When to begin treatment
The American Association of Orthodontics (AAO) recommends an orthodontic screening for children by age 7. At this point the teeth and jaws are developed enough so Dr. Sturdivant can see if there will be any serious bite problems in the future. Treatment may be necessary at the age of 7. A visit to the Orthodontist at this age will afford patients the opportunity to have more choices if early treatment is necessary.
treatment for adults
More than 35% of our current patients are adults. That number is increasing each year. The average age of our adult patients ranges between 21 -85 years old. Adults who have tolerated dental malfunctions throughout their lives are thrilled with their new smile. They realize the value of improved dental health as well as the increased self-esteem derived from improving their appearance.
Visiting the orthodontist about every four to eight weeks is an important part of your orthodontic treatment. Our practice will work with you to make sure that your appointments are as convenient as possible. When scheduling appointments, please let us know what days and times work best for you, our friendly scheduling coordinator will assist you, or you can schedule your initial consultation online.
We appreciate you choosing our practice, and we are committed to making sure that your time spent with us is as comfortable and fulfilling as possible. We continue to provide exceptional care that keeps our patients smiling. Visit our Testimonials page to learn more.
In case of Emergency, contact our 24 hour on call system (956)682-6114. Although there are very few true orthodontic emergencies, during the course of treatment, you may discover that you have loose/broken braces or that the orthodontic wires may shift and begin irritating your lips or cheeks. Click below to learn how to treat minor emergencies.
Oral hygiene is a bit more challenging if you have a fixed appliance. You will have to make some changes to the way you clean your teeth. Cleaning your teeth after every meal is now even more important because plaque can build up quickly. View brushing and flossing tips below.
Most problems can be remedied at home. However, if you have a situation that you cannot resolve on your own, call us as soon as possible so we can give you advice on what you need to do. This section can help you resolve minor problems you may encounter during your orthodontic treatment.
Frequently Asked Questions
Orthodontics is an area of dentistry that focuses on the diagnosis as well as the treatment of tooth, jaw, and facial irregularities. Various methods are being used in this field in order to achieve the patients’ desired results and the cost of orthodontics treatment may vary on the technique and materials used.
Just as there are specialists in medicine (such as cardiologists, gastroenterologists, dermatologists, etc.), there are specialists in dentistry. Orthodontists are dental specialists who dedicate their lives to correcting misaligned teeth and jaws. Teeth and sometimes faces are permanently changed by orthodontic treatment; therefore, it is very important that the treatment be done properly. Only about 6 % of US dentists have the additional education required to be licensed and recognized as an orthodontic specialist. A licensed orthodontic specialist is an expert at moving teeth, helping jaws develop properly and working with you to help make sure the teeth stay in their new positions. Remember that most orthodontic insurance plans pay for braces only once in a lifetime. Have an orthodontic specialist do it right that one time!
What kind of formal orthodontic training have you had beyond dental school? Are you licensed as an orthodontist? Do you treat all orthodontics cases, even the most complex? Have orthodontists finished orthodontic work that you have started?
Common teeth misalignments can be corrected using braces. The signs in which someone needs braces include protruding front teeth, overlapped (crowded) teeth, and difficulties in chewing. When the centers of upper and lower teeth do not line up or when some of the teeth are behind the others, these cases also need correction using braces.
According to the American Association of Orthodontists, a child aged 7 should start to visit orthodontists or when the parents notice problems in chewing, biting, or issues in overall facial appearance. Although, there is really no definite age as to when a child should visit an orthodontist, the earlier detection of problems through evaluations is always better as developing teeth are easier to correct.
Early treatment provides the opportunity to:
1) Guide the growth of the young jaw bones creating a better environment for those new emerging permanent teeth
2) Guide incoming teeth into optimal positions
3) Regulate the width of the jaws
4) Lower the risk of trauma to prominent front teeth
5) Correct harmful sucking habits
6) Reduce the likelihood of teeth becoming stuck or impacted under the gums
7) Preserve or gain space for arriving permanent teeth
8) Allow easier correction if found early
Depending on the kind of method needed to correct certain problems, all dental treatments start with the evaluation, diagnosis, and then treatment. Once the treatment is done, patients will be evaluated so orthodontists will know if the method applied is effective or not.
The duration of treatment depends on the method used as well as the case of each patient (unique). Once the evaluation is finished, patients will know how long their treatment will last and which options are available for them. The national average is about 27 months. The better you are following your orthodontist’s instructions and taking care of your braces, the sooner your teeth will improve. Remember that no one else can wear your braces for you!
Braces are easy to install and in most cases, patients get their braces on the same day as their consultation. Schedule your Free New Patient Consultation or call us to find out about our financing options.
No, a referral from your dentist will not be necessary to start orthodontics treatment.
No, our staff will be the one to verify any insurance claim or orthodontic benefits that you have directly with your insurance provider. Visit our Insurance information page.
The installation of braces does not hurt however you may feel slight discomfort one to four days after the installation. Your mouth and cheeks will need one to two weeks in order to get accustomed with your braces.
No, braces do not interfere when playing with sports however it is recommended to wear mouth guards when participating in any extreme sports.
There will be no interference if you wanted to play musical instruments however there will be period of adjustment in which you need to get used to your braces.
Yes, you should proceed with your regular check-ups with your dentists even when you’re wearing your braces.
You’ll have to give up extremely hard, sticky, and high sugar foods. These foods can get caught on the braces, bend wires, loosen cement and pull the braces off and/or cause cavities and permanent white marks. Soft foods or foods cut into small pieces are much better. You’ll have to spend a few extra minutes cleaning your braces after meals. But, for the most part, you’ll find braces don’t cramp your style. You’ll still have fun. You’ll still be able to sing, play your musical instrument, smile, play sports and of course, kiss. You can even make a fashion statement by having your orthodontist add color to your braces. Your friends will be accustomed to you in braces faster than you think..
Patients grow at different rates and speed of the biological process that allows teeth to move can vary between patients. Slower than normal tooth growth, multiple problems often occurring together as in a “syndrome” and poor patient cooperation are the two things that lengthen treatment the most and both are out of the direct control of the orthodontist.
The following are some of the most popular orthodontic braces:
• Traditional braces – These braces are strong and tend not to stain the teeth. They are comprised of individual brackets which are cemented to each tooth and accompanied by an archwire which constantly asserts gentle pressure on the teeth. Traditional braces are generally metal but are also available in a clear synthetic material and “tooth colored” ceramic. The ceramic brackets are generally more comfortable than the metal alternative, but can become discolored by coffee, wine, smoking and certain foods.
• Invisalign® – Invisalign aligners are favored by many adults because they are both removable and invisible to onlookers. Invisalign® aligners are clear trays, and should be worn for the recommended amount of time each day for the quickest results. Invisalign® aligners are more comfortable and less obtrusive than traditional braces, but also tend to be more costly. Not all patients are candidates for Invisalign®.
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