Saturday, April 3, 2010

When is the best time to begin orthodontic treatment?

That’s a question I frequently hear from parents. I usually tell them that the American Association of Orthodontists recommends that an initial orthodontic evaluation should occur either at the first sign of bite problems or no later than age 7.

Of course that at this tender age orthodontic treatment may not be necessary. The value of such early evaluation, however, is that it can anticipate what will be the most advantageous time to begin treatment. Although an orthodontist can enhance a smile at any age, there is an optimal time period to begin treatment that will vary from person to person, from bite to bite. Beginning treatment at the time an orthodontist suggests ensures the greatest result and the least amount of time and expense.

Although seven may sound too early for a visit to the orthodontist, it’s by this age that the first adult molars erupt and establish the back bite. At this time, an orthodontist can evaluate front-to-back and side-to-side tooth relationships. For example, the presence of erupting front teeth can indicate a possible overbite or underbite in the making, an open bite or a deep bite development, and crowded or gummy smiles. Timely screening significantly improves the chances for a life-long healthy bite and a beautiful smile.

In my opinion, the main benefit of an early orthodontic evaluation is that it provides both timely detection of problems and greater opportunity for more effective treatment. Prudent intervention to guide growth, development and creation of space for seamless eruption of permanent teeth is proved to prevent serious problems later.

When orthodontic intervention is not necessary, careful monitoring of growth, development and observation of the eruption of the adult permanent teeth will allow me to make the call of when treatment start is ideal to obtain the best bite and smile possible.

Last but not least, I believe that everyone is entitled to an orthodontic evaluation. Therefore, my initial evaluations at Larchmont Village Orthodontics are complimentary they include digital photos and radiographs that allow me to clearly explain to you what I see so you can be a part of the decision of when is the best time to begin orthodontic treatment!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Welcome to My Blog

Hello everybody,

Orthodontics is a science but it’s certainly not a mystery. I’m starting this blog to give you some insight about the work we do at Larchmont Village Orthodontics and the things I as a doctor look at when planning how to build confident smiles and healthy bites.