Introduction to Braces and Orthodontic Treatment
Orthodontists recommend that children have an orthodontic screening appointment by seven years of age. By age seven, a number of dental and esthetic problems can be identified. Early detection of an alignment or bite problem provides the greatest number of treatment options. Current research has indicated that some problems are best treated early, others are more efficiently treated during the pubertal growth spurt, while others should be treated after growth is complete.
Orthodontic specialists are trained to diagnose problems and determine the optimal course of treatment. Dr. Ball’s research on growth and development has been published in the leading peer-reviewed journal, AJODO – American Journal Of Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopedics.
More and more adults are undergoing orthodontics to improve the look of their smile or to improve their bite. Although orthodontic treatment can be successful at any age, adult treatment does not have the opportunity to benefit from growth. Adult orthodontic treatment also requires that additional attention be paid to the health of the patient’s bone and gum tissues supporting the teeth. Often it is necessary to work in conjunction with a periodontist (gum specialist) during adult orthodontic treatment.
Sometimes your orthodontist may recommend surgery to reposition one or both jawbones in addition to orthodontic treatment. Surgically repositioning jawbones is usually recommended in situations where the esthetic outcome and/or health of the supporting structures will be compromised if the problems are treated with just braces alone.
Braces are a commitment but they rarely interrupt a person’s life to a significant degree. Most esthetic concerns can be addressed through the use of clear braces, lingual braces and Invisalign®.