While our office does perform some limited orthodontic therapy for our patients, many patient who wish to have teeth straightened or crowding eliminated, will require a referral to this type of dental specialist.
Orthodontists work to move teeth and correct dental malocclusions. Dental malocclusions occur when the teeth do not meet as they would ideally. Children with dental malocclusions can have significant self-esteem problems and may not smile because they are ashamed of their teeth. Others can suffer from malocclusions that are so significant it effects speech and eating.
Orthodontist work largely with teens. This is a time in life when all the adult teeth have erupted, the bone is very susceptible to moving teeth and malocclusions first present themselves. It is a perfect time to move the teeth into a more acceptable and functional position.
Adult orthodontics, however, is quickly becoming a bigger part of the orthodontist's patient base. Many adults are electing orthodontic treatment later in life and new materials and methods can make tooth movement much less esthetically unpleasing as braces once were.
Our office monitors all our minor patients and suggests consultations with an orthodontist should the child exhibit a need for such services. If, however, you're an adult desiring this sort of therapy, please make this known to Dr. Titus, as we do not always recommend such treatment on adult patients--even if they could benefit from it.
Orthodontists not only employ mechanical means to move the teeth, they also can take certain measure to prevent crowding, promote bone growth and create space for the developing dentition. Usually, by the time a child has achieved the age of 8 and they are exhibiting signs of crowding, our office will make an orthodontic referral. This is a consultation to determine how much crowding is present and to evaluate if certain treatment is appropriate to minimize future crowding. Such things as palatal expansion and sequential extractions cannot wait until the teen years to be employed. Rarely will an 8 or 9 year old, being referred to an orthodontist, end up in braces right away. These are typically consultations to just evaluate the child's teeth, the degree of crowding and to evaluate if something need be done before the child hits puberty.
While orthodontic therapy isn't inexpensive, most orthodontic offices offer parents and adult patients easy financing terms where the therapy can be paid for over the course of treatment. Providing a child with an attractive smile and healthy teeth is a valuable gift which fosters, self-confidence, sociability and success in their future.