Why should I chose an orthodontic specialist?
Orthodontists are dentists who spend an extra 3-4 years of special training in order to become orthodontists. They learn how to treat all orthodontic anomalies and pass a national board exam in order to be qualified as specialist orthodontists. Only an orthodontist knows how to treat your smile risk free.
When is the right time for an Orthodontic check-up?
The American Association of Orthodontists recommends all children get a check-up with an orthodontic specialist no later than age 7. Orthodontists can spot subtle problems with jaw growth and emerging teeth while some baby teeth are still present. While your child’s teeth may appear to be straight, there could be a problem that only an orthodontist can detect.
Why should orthodontic anomalies be treated early?
Advantages of Phase 1 treatment for growing kids:
1. In order to avoid dental trauma (ex on dental protrusion) or other irreversible problems (ex enamel loss, gingival recessions)
2. In order to correct the facial profile of the growing kid in case or prognathism or retrognathism (this can only be done in the prepubertal stage)
3. In order to improve chewing and dentofacial development and guide permanent teeth into a more favourable position
4. In order to improve speech problems
5. In order to make oral hygiene easier
6. In order to reduce caries risk and gum disease risk
7. In order to avoid dental extractions in the future
8. In order to boost your kid’s self esteem
9. Usually the cooperation levels are higher in prepubertal kids
10. In some cases after a successful first phase treatment at the right age there might be no need for a second phase treatment or the second phase might be shorter in time and easier
What are the problems to watch for in growing children?
If you notice any of the following in your child, check with your orthodontist:
- Protruded teeth
- Thumb sucking/ prolonged pacifier use/ nail bitting
- Tongue thrust
- Speech difficulties
- Mouth breathing
- Premature loss of baby teeth
- Jaws that shift or make sounds
- Prognathism or retrognathism on profile view
- Permanent tooth unerupted for too long
What do I need to have in order to book the first appointment?
New patients are welcomed with a complimentary orthodontic consultation!
We will take full dental and medical history records and access any X-rays you might already have (Panoramic, Lateral Cephalogram or CBCT).
Then, if the timing is ok to start, we will take full intraoral and extraoral photos and dental impressions in order to make a proper diagnosis.
How long does orthodontic treatment last in most cases and how often should I visit the clinic?
Regardless the orthodontic method you chose, most orthodontic problems can be solved in 6 months to a maximum of 3 years in complex cases. Most patients can be treated in a period of 1,5 years. Appointments are usually once in 4-6 weeks.
Is orthodontic treatment painful?
It usually takes 3-4 days in order to get used to braces and even less if you chose aligners as a treatment option! During the first few days you will feel your teeth a little sore during meals and/or some pressure. Usual painkillers improve that feeling. After that there is no need for painkillers and the pressure goes away.
Are there any foods to avoid and how easy is it to maintain proper oral hygiene?
Orthodontic patients can eat everything if they are using aligners and almost everything if they are using braces. It is better to avoid hard foods or chewy textured food such as gum or candy.
Oral hygiene is the same as before treatment with aligners, while with braces more attention should be paid during brushing and flossing.
What is the maximum age for orthodontic treatment?
There really is no limit in order to improve your smile. Anyone can undergo orthodontic treatment if they keep good oral hygiene and follow their dentist’s instructions.
Many of the orthodontic problems can be successfully corrected in the adult life, so there is no time limit for you to correct your smile!
Sometime adults need to undergo orthodontic treatment not only to improve aesthetics but also to correct functional problems ( ex. correction of the occlusion in order to make the prosthetic rehabilitation easier for the general dentist or facilitate the implant placement by the dental surgeon)
This is why cooperation between dental specialties is crucial in order to achieve the best possible aesthetic and functional result for every case.
What if I become pregnant during orthodontic treatment?
If a pregnancy happens during treatment you can continue your treatment as usual just paying more attention to the oral hygiene instructions given by your orthodontist. Pregnant women tend to have gum problems so oral hygiene is top priority during that period. X-rays and tooth extractions should be avoided during pregnancy, except on emergencies.
Is the result permanent?
Orthodontic treatment results are permanent. In order to avoid any relapses, in every case we use permanent lingual fixed retention and/or removable aligners at night depending on the orthodontic problem that was treated.