Orthodontics

Some of the most exciting changes in all of dentistry have come in the orthodontic field. With newer techniques offering wide, beautiful, stable smiles in about a year's treatment time, kids and the "kids at heart" have advantages like never before.

 

When should my child be seen for an Orthodontic consultation?

Although the "ideal" age for orthodontic treatment would be considered to be between 10-13 years of age, it is very important that children be evaluated at their regular hygiene (cleaning) visits. A number of orthodontic problems can be prevented or corrected at an earlier age. A common example is the "crossbite" where one or more of the upper arch teeth falls to the "inside," or tongue side, of the lower arch.

How long will I have to wear my braces?

Great news! By using the most modern techniques available, treatment time can be reduced to months instead of years. Average treatment time in our office is 12-15 months for younger patients and 6-8 months for adults! We know your time is important and respecting that time means doing everything possible to achieve beautiful, stable results in as short a time as possible.

 

Will I have to have any permanent teeth extracted?

In the course of your lifetime? Probably. Only about 4% of adults have room for all of their 32 permanent teeth (including the "wisdom teeth"). Therefore, the all important question is which teeth may have to be removed. In the past, the most common answer to orthodontic crowding was extraction of 4 first or second premolars located just behind the cuspids or "eye" teeth. This unfortuantely led to a smaller archform, a more "flattening" of the face and often resulted in a subsequent extraction of the third molars (wisdom teeth). A total loss of EIGHT permanent teeth is the result.

In Dr. Palmer's and Dr. Ross's office, if teeth must be extracted to relieve crowding, the second molars (visually, the teeth farthest back) are removed allowing the wisdom teeth to erupt in their place. Therefore, in most cases, no more than four teeth are removed. By NOT extracting the teeth towards the front of the mouth (premolars) it becomes easy to achieve those wide, full, beautiful smiles so highly regarded in our society.

Ever notice that all the beauty pageant winners have those fantastic wide, full smiles? A recent study noted that nearly all the finalists in the major pageants have NOT had their premolars removed. The results speak for themselves.

Other advantages to this type of treatment include:

  • Finest facial esthetics.
  • Shorter treatment time - 12-15 months average.
  • A total of 28 permanent teeth remaining in occlusion (biting surface) vs. 24 (with loss of premolars and wisdom teeth).
  • A fuller, broader smile - no "dark corners" in the smile line.
  • Excellent stability (retainer wear is less important).
  • No spaces to close.
  • No retruded condyles (fewer potential TMJ or "jaw-joint" problems).
  • Third molars are allowed to erupt, therefore no future surgical extraction and potential complications of impacted "wisdom teeth" (ie. pain, swelling, bleeding, or prolonged "numbness").

Dr. Palmer and Dr. Ross have many excellent examples demonstrating both types of treatment. Call for a free consultation!

 

How much do braces cost?

In our office, a typical fee range for full orthodontic treatment is between $3,800.00 and $5,200.00. This includes all orthodontic procedures including repair of broken wires, brackets and one set of retainers at the completion of treatment. There are no "surprise fees." Financing is available with a 5% discount given for payment in full at start of treatment. We do not charge more for shorter treatment time.

There has never been a better time for orthodontic treatment. Modern orthodontics make every aspect of treatment more pleasant. Remember parents, there are only two things you can do for you children which they can take with them forever.

A good education!

A beautiful smile!