Following the guidelines of the American Association of Orthodontists, we recommend that each child have an orthodontic check-up by age 7. Usually by this age, the permanent first molars are in place, and the permanent incisors have started to erupt. This gives the orthodontist a good idea of future dental problems including crossbites, improper eruption, severe crowding, and severe deep bite.
Interceptive treatment is treatment when a patient has some permanent teeth present, but still has mostly primary teeth. It is ususally started when a child is 6 years to 9 years old. While many orthodontic problems can be addressed at a later age, interceptive treatment is sometimes necessary in order to decrease the severity of the problems present. Goals for early treatment may include making room for permanent teeth, enhancing proper facial growth, decreasing severity of dental problems, and addressing dentally-related social or esteem issues.
The majority of our patients are adolescents. They require special attention and must be made to feel involved in their treatment. We work had to demonstrate the importance of orthodontic treatement to this age group. We want them to see value in their treatment so that they will be more cooperative and supportive of our goals for their smile. We want each patient to realize that the final result depends strongly on their commitment to treatment.
Adult patients are some of our favorite patients in the office. We enjoy the interaction and discussions that our adult patients provide. For this age group, we work hard to coordinate orthodontic care with the general dentist and other dental specialities, including periodontists and oral surgerons. We strive to educate our adult patients about each step of their orthodontic treatment, as well as realistic expectations about their treatment results.