Our approach to Orthodontics starts with early intervention
All orthodontic/cranial orthopedic treatment at our center begins with a thorough diagnosis which includes an examination, dental/bite impressions, facial and dental pictures, low dose x-rays, and a detailed computer-aided assessment of key structures of the face, jaws and teeth.
We treat the growing patient in phases.
- redirect growth more favorably
- wait for all of the remaining permanent teeth to grow into place
- reevaluate to determine if a second phase is necessary
- commonly shorter in duration compared with traditional orthodontics
- often no intervention is needed
The Benefits Of Early Intervention
Traditional orthodontics treats teenage children with the aim of straightening teeth and “fixing” the bite. Evidence shows that Early Orthopedic Orthodontics performed on kids as young as four have a significant impact on jaw development. Critically different from the traditional, this approach creates more room in the jaw for proper tongue placement, breathing and speech patterns. In many cases, if jaw development is corrected at an early age, permanent teeth have a much better chance of coming in straight, thus decreasing the need for braces.
How are teeth, jaw and face encouraged in the right direction?
Lightwire functional appliances exert gentle force and have been shown to be very effective at promoting proper jaw growth.
Trainers and Myo-functional appliances are removable, and successful in repositioning jaws, especially for the child with lower jaws that are too far back. These appliances help train the lower jaw to grow more forward, thus improving oral function.
The grown patient:
Treatment of adults falls into two main categories:
- Conventional orthodontics (braces)
- Invisible braces (Invisalign)
Consisting of a series of thin, clear, plastic coverings that slip over the teeth and provide incremental correction of crowded teeth, Invisalign braces are worn full-time with the exception of mealtime and when brushing. The advantage of Invisalign: more esthetically pleasing, and more stable in the correction of the TMD patient. This is due to its “mouth-guard protection effect” on the jaw. Invisalign is limited, however, to treating only certain kinds of orthodontic problems and usually takes longer to achieve targeted correction than conventional orthodontics. The decision to treat with Invisalign can only be determined after a comprehensive diagnosis has been completed.
Our Biological Orthodontist
Our Orthodontist manages both tooth movement and guidance of facial growth and development of patients during childhood. She evaluates how the jaws and bite affect the entire body. The orthopedic model of the body allows for cranial bones to move at their sutures, allowing widening or lengthening of the jaw to complete normal development.
Our Orthodontist loves seeing kids early in their dental development to see if she can aid mother nature as they grow. She begins to monitor jaw growth at 7 years of age to determine if early (Phase I) treatment is needed and the most effective time to take advantage of their jaw growth. Age 9-11 is a period of significant growth in most children and it is important to monitor of that growth in children who have certain types of bite problems.
Problems with bad bites (malocclusion) and overcrowding of the teeth start at a young age as the child develops. Improper breathing, problems in the nose, mouth, and ears and thumb sucking can all create problems for the dental facial growth. Our Orthodontist evaluates a variety of different factors, including the correct positioning of the tongue, the airways, and the relationship between the lower and upper jaw to determine the best treatment method to allow the proper facial growth. She aligns the teeth and jaws to optimize structural alignment to allow for better breathing patterns, open up the nasal cavities, decrease allergies and sinus infections, correct speech problems and swallow patterns.
While minimizing destructive forces on the teeth, jaw joints, and spine, her treatment modalities can eliminate the chances of losing permanent teeth, minimize jaw and tooth pain, abscessed teeth, headaches, and back pain over the life of the patient. Functional orthopedics can help decrease the need for surgery, decrease the need for extractions, decrease time in braces, improve the facial profile and provide a very stable, finished result. During phase-one treatment, Our Orthodontist uses a variety of specialized functional appliance therapies, such as tongue thrust treatment, expansion appliances, advancement of the lower jaw appliance, and habit breaking appliances.
Once Phase I is complete, she follows children for years to observe the eruption of the adult teeth and make sure there are proper jaw growth and development before beginning the second phase of treatment, which usually involves braces or Invisalign to straighten the teeth.
Our Orthodontist uses a light wire bonded braces system, using light continuous level of force, which is biologically effective for the teeth and supporting tissues and eliminates the need for monthly “tightening” and works with your biology, causing less discomfort and shorter treatment time. She uses a full line of high-quality orthodontic appliances, including metal free Clarity™ ADVANCED Ceramic Brackets, which offer the ultimate combination of aesthetics and performance for her patients. In addition to metal-free braces, she uses metal free orthodontic wires and esthetic retainers and has extensive experience in Invisalign treatment, as a certified Invisalign, Invisalign Express, and Invisalign Teen provider.