Though an orthodontist can enhance a smile at any age, there is an optimal time period to begin treatment. Beginning treatment at this time ensures the greatest result and the least amount of time and expense. The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that the initial orthodontic evaluation should occur at the first sign of orthodontic problems or no later than age 7. At this early age, orthodontic treatment may not be necessary, but vigilant examination can anticipate the most advantageous time to begin treatment.
Early evaluation provides both timely detection of orthodontic problems and greater opportunity for more effective orthodontic treatment. Prudent intervention guides growth and development, preventing serious problems later. When orthodontic intervention is not necessary, an orthodontist can carefully monitor growth and development and begin treatment when it is ideal.
Some of the most direct results of interceptive treatment are:
Braces aren’t just for kids anymore. Tooth alignment can be changed at any age if your gums and bone structure are healthy. At Dr. Christian’s Family Orthodontics, we offer a variety of treatments that are designed for different age groups – including adults. A new smile can begin today.
Orthodontic treatment at later stages in life can dramatically improve your personal appearance and self-esteem. Improving the health of your teeth and gums is equally important. Crooked teeth and a bad bite can contribute to gum and bone loss, tooth decay, abnormal wear of the tooth enamel and surfaces, headaches and jaw joint (TMJ/TMD) pain.
Good news! The new techniques and appliances we use greatly reduce discomfort levels, decrease the frequency of visits, shorten treatment time and may allow you to choose from several options. Your options may include metal braces, translucent braces or invisible aligners that can be worn to improve mild cases of misaligned teeth.
During the initial examination, we will be able to determine the best possible treatment for your individual needs. During this initial examination, we can outline the treatment plan, time of treatment expected and the approximate cost.
A large percentage of our patients are adults, and they agree that it’s never too late to improve their greatest asset – their smile.
Dr. Christian thoughtfully offers the following to his patients who seek results later in life:
Our office provides the most state-of-the-art procedures available, ensuring optimal results for our patients. We also offer Invisalign as an alternative to braces. Invisalign is a revolutionary system that utilizes 3-D computer graphics to design and manufacture customized clear appliances called “Aligners”. Invisalign appliances are virtually undetectable, easy-to-use and comfortable to wear.
The invisible way to straighten your teeth, without braces. Invisalign® can give you the beautiful straight teeth you’ve always wanted. It works through a series of invisible, removable, and comfortable aligners that no one can tell you’re wearing. So you can smile more during treatment as well as after. Here at our St. George office we are certified Invisalign providers.
Frequently Asked Questions!
Q: How much does Invisalign® cost?
A: As with other types of orthodontic treatment, the cost of Invisalign® depends on the complexity of a patient’s case. The cost is generally slightly more expensive than traditional braces, but find out what your treatment involves by contacting our office for a complimentary appointment. We also do not let finances stand in the way of getting a beautiful smile. We offer a number of payment plans that make any treatment fit our patient’s budget.
Q: Does Invisalign® really work?
A: Yes. In both clinical research and in orthodontic and dental practices nationwide, Invisalign® has been proven effective at straightening teeth.
Q: Does insurance cover Invisalign®?
A: Because medical benefits differ significantly from policy to policy, each patient should review their coverage. However, if a patient has orthodontic coverage, Invisalign® should be covered to the same extent as conventional braces.
Q: What are aligners made of?
A: Aligners are made of clear, strong medical grade plastic that is virtually invisible when worn.
Q: What do aligners look like?
A: Aligners are nearly invisible and look similar to clear tooth-whitening trays, but are custom-made for a better fit to move teeth. Some orthodontists and dentists have referred to them as “contact lenses for teeth.”
Q: How does Invisalign® effectively move teeth?
A: Like brackets and archwires, Invisalign® Aligners move teeth through the appropriate placement of controlled force on the teeth. The principal difference is that Invisalign® not only controls forces but also controls the timing of the force application. At each stage, only certain teeth are allowed to move, and these movements are determined by the orthodontic treatment plan for that particular stage. This results in an efficient force delivery system.
Q: What is the minimum age of a patient that a doctor can treat with Invisalign®?
A: Doctors can use Invisalign to treat a vast majority of patients with fully-erupted molars.
For more information on Invisalign®, please visit CLICK HERE!
Say goodbye to gooey impression material and trays that cause gagging. Our office provides the most state-of-the-art procedures available, ensuring optimal results for our patients. We are proud to offer iTero Impressionless scanning technology in our office.
Impressionless scanning is an innovative technology used to take oral impressions for braces, Invisalign®, appliances, and retainers. Impressionless scanning uses confocal imaging to digitally capture the shape of the teeth and gums, providing a multitude of patient benefits and orthodontic improvements.
1. Scanning/Instant Visualization
The assistant scans the patient’s dentition and palatal area using our iTero digital scanner. Our exclusive Invisalign® Integration enables us to scan patients for Invisalign® aligners.
2. Review/Treatment Plan
Dr. Christian reviews the scans and creates a treatment plan that best fits your needs.
3. Invisalign® Patients
Dr. Christian submits the scanning data at the click of a button and your custom appliances or Invisalign® aligners are created, drastically cutting the amount of time it takes to construct Invisalign® aligners and providing you with a more comfortable fit.
Come experience this new state of the art technology! Call today to schedule your FREE exam!
Dr. Christian is a proud provider of AcceleDent, the fast track to straight teeth. AcceleDent works with braces or Invisalign®, providing patients 38% to 50% faster treatment time.
How Does it Work?
AcceleDent is an appliance that complements braces or Invisalign® to accelerate tooth movement and provide quicker treatment time. It works by inserting a mouthpiece that fits around your braces and turning on the activator for 20 minutes each day. When activated, AcceleDent generates a series of gentle vibrations to stimulate the bone to restructure at an accelerated pace – 38% to 50% faster. Patients typically experience no discomfort using AcceleDent and often have less discomfort when using AcceleDent.
Dr. Christian is an expert in placing TADs (Temporary Anchorage Devices). TADs can replace the need for head gear, making your treatment free of bulky, awkward devices. TADs are changing the way orthodontists treat patients. They provide a fixed point to apply force to move teeth. They can be placed in different parts of the mouth. TADs can contribute to shorter treatment time and excellent results. Patients experience little to no discomfort when a TAD is placed.
Ask Dr. Christian if TADs can help your treatment!
3D X-rays capture information critical for orthodontic treatment. Dr. Christian uses the latest in high-tech orthodontic equipment like the Carestream 3D imaging system to achieve the smile you have always dreamed of.
Patients wearing braces need to be ever vigilant when it comes to keeping their braces, teeth and gums clean. By following your orthodontist’s instructions on oral hygiene and avoiding certain foods, you can maintain healthy teeth and a beautiful smile that will last a lifetime. Plaque is your enemy. If plaque is left on your teeth, around the braces, you can develop swollen gums, bad breath, scarred & discolored teeth, even cavities.
Retainers, just like your teeth collect plaque, bacteria and food particles. You should clean your retainer everyday! Keep your retainer soaking when it is not in your mouth. Use a mouthwash rinse or denture cleaning agent to freshen it up and keep it free of bacteria. Keep your retainer away from heat; the plastic can crack if it gets too dry or too hot. Try not to bend the wires; flipping your retainer in your mouth can do this.
Patients should avoid foods that are sticky, hard or chewy. They should also avoid any food and drinks that are known to cause cavities. Patients should brush, floss and rinse their mouth regularly between meals.
The foods below are known to cause breakage of orthodontic appliances and are examples of what NOT to eat:
Now that you have braces, your teeth are more difficult to clean, so you have to be very careful to keep those new braces clean. You should brush your teeth properly after every meal and snack. Always keep your toothbrush handy, you should even be brushing at school or work after lunch. You will also need to replace your toothbrush more often, since the braces will make it wear out quicker.
Flossing with braces is a bit on the tricky side, so it takes a few minutes to perfect. But don’t give up, flossing is very important to the health of your teeth.
The interdental brush is especially good in cleaning the tooth surface next to the braces.
The water jet is an effective tool to remove plaque and debris lodged deep between teeth and around braces. The water jet shoots a pulsing stream of water that dislodges remaining food particles. Adding an antiseptic dental rinse to the water is recommended. Use the water jet after your regular brushing and flossing routine.
When you are finished brushing and flossing, rinse your mouth carefully with water or antiseptic dental rinse.
An antiseptic dental rinse and anticavity rinse such as A.C.T. can help with minor gum irritations from braces and inflammations. Also used to cleanse canker sores, minor wounds, and other mouth and gum irritations, this mouth rinse removes debris, enabling healing to occur.
Malocclusion literally means “bad bite” and is the number one reason people see an orthodontist. There are many different forms of “bad bites” which can lead to a variety of complications. There are many causes of malocclusion. Genetics are one of the leading factors. A child may be born with a disproportionate jaw. There are also environmental factors, such as thumb sucking beyond the age of 4.
Crowded teeth, the opposite of spacing is caused where there just isn’t enough space in the mouth for all those teeth. Crowding just gets worse over time as one tooth pushes over the other leading to overlapping teeth. Crowded teeth are harder to clean then straight teeth, which will lead to cavities and tooth decay. Crowding can often be correct by expansion so as to avoid tooth removal.
In an Underbite, the lower jaw is longer than the upper which causes the lower teeth to protrude in front of the upper teeth. It is best to diagnose the problem early.
An overbite, or deep bite is when the front teeth cover the lower teeth too much. An excessive overbite leads to wearing down of the teeth and even may cause the bottom teeth to bite into the roof of the mouth.
The malocclusion known as spacing is too much room between the teeth. Spacing can occur if teeth are missing, small, or if the dental arch is wide. The most common complaint from patients with excessive spacing is cosmetic.
A crossbite is when the back upper teeth fit into the inside of the lower back teeth. A crossbite causes tooth stratification and misaligned jaw growth.
When the upper front teeth stick out too far forward, or the lower teeth don’t extend enough this is called protrusion. Because of the abnormal contact between the upper and lower front teeth it could cause injury to the lower teeth. It also causes poor bites and may even be from uneven jaw growth. This problem can be caused by thumb and finger sucking.
In a perfectly aligned face there should be a straight line from the bridge of the nose to the bottom teeth…all should be lined up. If they are not and the bottom teeth are actually misaligned from the top teeth, then your midlines are off. When your midlines off your teeth could be drifted or your lower jaw could be shifted, which would result in an improper bite.
The common result of thumb sucking or tongue thrusting, an open bite is when you can actually stick your tongue between your teeth while biting down. An open bite is a cosmetic problem, but it can also cause chewing problems.