Q. What are the most commonly treated orthodontic problems?
A. Class II and Class III Correction:
Abnormalities in bite relationship between the upper and lower jaw.
Crossbite is when the lower teeth are located outside of the upper teeth. This irregular condition can involve a single tooth or a group of teeth. It can be classified as anterior or posterior.
Crowding of teeth occurs when there is insufficient room for the permanent teeth.
Spacing between teeth is a common problem which can result from unusually small teeth, impacted teeth as well as missing teeth.
Q. What cased the problem in the first place?
A. No one knows the exact cause of every othodontic problem. Some causes are very evident, such as thumb sucking. Most are much more complex. however, the old cliche that the patient inherited dad's teeth and mother's jaw is simply not correct.
Q. Why do my child's teeth look so large?
A. The teeth do not change in size once they are formed. In a normal relationship the face and jaws grow fast enough to accomodate the erupting permanent teeth. It is when this balance becomes disrupted that orthodontic problems start to occur.
Q. Are teeth ever too large for the patient's mouth?
A. Yes. However, this is not a common occurrence. incidentally, the teeth can also be too small for the patients face and jaw.
Q. When should I first see an orthodontist?
A. The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that all children have an orthodontic examination by age seven. Each child is different, therefore early screening can determine appropriate timing for intervention based on your child’s dental development. Orthodontic care during your child’s pre-adolescent growth stages can be beneficial in preventing more serious problems. Children with serious orthodontic problems should be treated early on, which can begin at age seven. Minor orthodontic problems which are less complicated to treat can be deferred until all permanent teeth are present.
Q. Why is orthodontic treatment important?
A. Straight teeth are an asset to maintaining good dental health. They are less prone to dental decay and gum disease as straight teeth collect less plaque. It is much easier to clean straight teeth as opposed to crowded teeth. Well aligned teeth and a normal bite will prevent premature wear of the dentition encouraging healthy normal functioning jaw joints.
Q. What are the benefits of early treatment?
A. Most children at age 7 have a mixed dentition, in which both primary and permanent teeth are present. At this stage in dental development interceptive treatment can be beneficial in creating more space, holding space, correcting crossbites, breaking oral thumb and finger sucking habits, as well as guiding permanent teeth into their desired positions. Interceptive orthodontic treatment can prevent more serious problems and shorten comprehensive treatment length.
Q. What is malocclusion?
A. A malocclusion refers to the misalignment of teeth and/or incorrect relation between the teeth of the dental arches. Malocclusion commonly known as a “bad bite” can cause premature wear of teeth and jaw joint problems if left untreated.
Q. What will happen on my first visit?
A. Each individual’s orthodontic problem is different and deserves personalized attention. Your consultation is an important opportunity for us to get to know you and what you want to accomplish with your orthodontic treatment.
Q. Can my child be treated with only removable appliances?
A. Not usually. Sometimes all of the permanent teeth will correctly align themselves following orthopedic therapy. however, everyone should be prepared to complete the second phase of treatment which is orthodontic therapy using fixed braces.
Q. Do children "talk funny" with an appliance in their mouth?
A. Only for a short period of time. The speech pattern will quickly adapt to the appliance when it is worn full time.
Q. When can my child take the appliance out?
A. Only when eating and brushing. There are certain exceptions, such as singing in choir. These should be discussed with the dentis. There are also certain malocclusions where it is best to wear the appliance while eating, as this speeds up the treatment.
The first step in determining your treatment plan is learning as much about your orthodontic condition as possible. Your initial consultation will consist of a thorough examination during which your teeth and jaw alignment will be evaluated. During the exam, we will take orthodontic records which may include photographs, x-rays and impressions for study models to help communicate your treatment needs. The doctor will explain in detail his recommendations for treatment and the length of treatment based on your specific needs.
Our administrative staff will assist you with methods of payment, insurance and any flex plan questions you may have. It is our goal that you have a clear understanding of your treatment and payment options.
It's the goal of everyone concerned to create beautiful smiles, beautiful faces, and teeth that will last a lifetime. The time and expense that is required to attain this goal is a nominal investment compared to a lifetime of rewards.
Please feel free to give us a call and to schedule an appointment with Dr. Caldwell soon ... (417) 673-1988
Caldwell, Dr. Kevin L., DDS, PC