Embrace Orthodontics Answers Your Common Questions
New to braces? Have inquiries about Invisalign? Dr. Sievers and Dr. Van Vooren can help! We’ve got answers to the most common orthodontic questions from people like you in Lindstrom, Cambridge, and Pine City.
If you don't see your question listed, please feel free to call our office and our helpful team members will answer all your questions.
Braces Questions in Cambridge, Lindstrom, and Pine City
Orthodontics is the branch of dentistry that specializes in the diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of dental and facial irregularities. The technical term for these problems is “malocclusion,” which means bad bite.
The practice of orthodontics requires professional skill in the design, application, and control of corrective appliances, such as braces, to bring teeth, lips and jaws into proper alignment to achieve facial balance.
A great resource for more information is the American Association of Orthodontists website, which may be found at www.mylifemysmile.org
An orthodontist is a dental specialist in the diagnosis, prevention and treatment of dental and facial irregularities.
Orthodontists must first attend college, followed by a four-year graduate dental program at a university level dental school accredited by the American Dental Association (ADA). They must then successfully complete an additional two to three-year residency program of advanced dental education in orthodontics accredited by the ADA.
Only dentists who have successfully completed this advanced specialty education may become an orthodontist.
Most malocclusions are inherited, and some are acquired. Inherited problems can include:
Crowding of teeth,
Too much space between teeth,
Congenitally missing teeth, and
A wide range of discrepancies of the jaws, teeth, and face.
Meanwhile, acquired problems can be caused by:
- Thumb or finger sucking,
- Airway obstruction by tonsils and adenoids,
- Dental diseases, and
- Premature loss of baby or adult teeth.
Many of these problems affect not only the alignment of teeth but also facial development and appearance as well.
It is usually difficult for you to determine if treatment is necessary because there are many orthodontic problems that can occur even if their front teeth look straight. Also, there are some problems that look intimidating and complex which will resolve on their own.
Asking your general dentist is a good reference, but Embrace Orthodontics is your best resource since orthodontics is all we do.
Our initial exam is comprehensive and informative, and we would be more than happy to see your child and make any recommendations necessary.
Although determining if treatment is necessary is difficult for you to assess, the following signs may help in prompting you to seek orthodontic advice:
- Crowded or overlapping teeth,
- Gaps between the teeth,
- Front top teeth not lining up with the bottom teeth,
- Top front teeth not meeting with bottom teeth, and
- Top front teeth covering more than 50% of the bottom teeth.
If you see any misalignment or shifting of the jaw, your child may have a skeletal problem, which may require early orthodontic treatment. These are only some of the obvious symptoms of orthodontic problems.
The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that your child be evaluated by age seven.
Though the majority of children will not require orthodontic treatment at age seven, and can instead wait until they are older to begin treatment, detecting orthodontic problems early helps Dr. Sievers and Dr. Van Vooren take early corrective action and avoid more difficult treatment later.
Age is not a factor in considering orthodontic treatment. Any adult in good general health with healthy gums and good bone support for the teeth is a candidate for orthodontic treatment.
About 25% of our orthodontic patients are adults, and that number is still growing!
Over the years, orthodontic treatment has improved dramatically. Gone are the days of violent tooth extraction and overly-tight brace ligature.
As a rule, braces make your teeth tender and sore for a few days, but they won’t cause distress or sharp pain. This ache can be relieved with an over-the-counter analgesic.
Today's braces are more comfortable than ever and use technology to reduce discomfort as much as possible. We use the latest in biocompatible braces, the advanced technique with light force and the highest quality of orthodontic materials, in order to reduce discomfort and treatment time.
Phase I, or Interceptive Treatment, usually starts while the child has most of his or her baby teeth and a few of his or her permanent front incisors. This stage in development is usually between the ages of seven and nine.
The goal of Phase I treatment is to intercept a moderate or severe orthodontic problem early in order to reduce or eliminate it. These problems include skeletal discrepancies, cross bites, and severe crowding.
Phase I treatment takes advantage of the early growth spurt and turns a difficult orthodontic problem into a more manageable one. This often helps reduce the need for extraction or surgery and delivers better long-term stability.
Still, most Phase I patients require a second phase of treatment in order to achieve an ideal final bite.
Phase II treatment usually occurs a number of years later. Usually, we are waiting for the remaining permanent teeth to erupt, including second molars, before Phase II begins. This most commonly occurs at the age of 12 or 13. The goal of Phase II treatment is to achieve an ideal bite with all of the permanent teeth.
Not every child needs a Phase I treatment. Only a small percentage of children with certain bites require early intervention. All others can wait until most, if not all, of their permanent teeth erupt.
However, it is still important that every child be evaluated by age seven.
Braces may be on between 6 to 30 months or, in rare instances, longer. This depends on the development of the dentition, the severity of the problem, patient cooperation, and the degree of tooth movement required.
Both are methods of addressing over-crowded teeth. Extraction therapy is a technique where one or more permanent teeth are removed to make room for the other teeth in the mouth.
This is in contrast to non-extraction therapy where one expands a patient's jaw and/or adjusts the size and shape of some teeth to make them fit within the jaw.
Our office's treatment philosophy is very conservative, and we do make every effort to avoid extraction by treating patients at an early age to accommodate all of their teeth as they grow.
However, for severe crowding and severe jaw discrepancy, the extraction approach may be required.
When orthodontic treatment is implemented at the proper time, treatment is often less costly than the dental care required to treat the more serious problems that can develop years later. Orthodontic fees have not increased as fast as many other consumer products.
Financing is usually available, and our office offers many payment programs that will meet your needs. In addition, most insurance plans now include orthodontics.