Orthodontics is a dental specialty that focuses on the diagnosis and treatment of tooth misalignments and jaw growth problems (malocclusions) using braces, clear aligners and other appliances. Not just for aesthetic enhancement, orthodontics also serves to improve a patient’s overall oral health for a lifetime, and can even help with speech impediments. A properly aligned bite makes it easier to eat, smile and speak!
The Value of a Beautiful Smile
Research shows that a person’s smile is often their first impression. Our mouth is a focus of attention because we consistently communicate and express our feelings through it.
We are all very aware of how our teeth look – sometimes even unconsciously. Some individuals are so self-conscious, they’ve become experts at hiding their smiles. They may sport a shy grin, look away, or even cover their smile with one or both hands.
Orthodontic treatment is a proven method of improving appearance and self-esteem, as well as improving the health and function of your smile. Dr. Virgulti has helped thousands of children and adults blossom as their smiles improved from self-conscious to self-confident.
The Best Time for the First Orthodontic Evaluation
If your children are between the ages of 7 and 9 years old, this may be of help to you.
Often children within a family will exhibit certain predictable patterns of growth in much the same way they inherit similar eye and hair color. Patterns of tooth and jaw development can also “run in families.”
As a preventive orthodontic office, we like to examine children by the age of 7. This is the age recommended and endorsed by the American Association of Orthodontists (AAO) – the primary recognized association representing orthodontic specialists. Usually no orthodontic treatment will be needed at this time. However, if treatment is required, we can sometimes shorten full treatment in the future, and can avoid the need for permanent tooth extractions. This leads to more comfortable treatment and better, healthier smiles.
We have found that parents sometimes feel they do not need to have their younger children examined by us unless their general or children’s dentist makes a referral. We do not always find that dentists recognize the same problems that we do, any more than we would recognize some of the problems that they look for in general dentistry. True, we are all dentists, but the specialty of orthodontics is complex and is a vast specialty field by itself.
In the interest of prevention, we are happy to offer all initial examinations and follow-up recall visits at no charge. If you would like to take advantage of this open offer, contact us right away for an appointment.
What is the Difference Between a Dentist and an Orthodontist?
An orthodontist is a dentist who chooses to specialize, attending an additional two or three years of training beyond dental school in a university setting in an orthodontic residency program. While some general dentists do offer braces and other orthodontic treatment to patients, an orthodontist is the expert in recognizing and treating tooth alignment and bite issues.
How Long Does Orthodontic Treatment Take?
Treatment typically takes 6-24 months and is dependent upon age, severity of alignment issues, and the treatment method that is used.
What Types of Problems are Treated with Orthodontics?
Some of the most common problems that can be corrected are overbites, underbites, overcrowding, and spacing issues.
What is the First Step?
Orthodontic problems, which often result from genetic factors and environmental factors such as finger sucking, must be diagnosed before treatment begins. Proper diagnosis involves taking photographs, x-rays, and dental impressions. These painless diagnostic procedures enable us to make educated, informed decisions about which treatment options are best for you.
We recognize that outstanding results are dependent on maximizing the coordination of care between you and our office. We are committed to delivering the best possible service to help you achieve your orthodontic goals in the quickest way possible.