Considering Orthodontic Treatment?
Here are some things to think about.
More than 5 million people in the United States and Canada are in the care of an orthodontist and looking forward to a beautiful, healthy smile that's good for life. The obvious potential reward is straighter teeth that are less prone to decay and injury. But just as important is the boost to self-confidence that a better smile can provide.
As you prepare to make decisions about orthodontics, it's very important to be armed with the facts. Here's a checklist of what to keep in mind:
Why is orthodontics important?
Orthodontics can boost a person's self-image as the teeth, jaws and lips become properly aligned. However, an attractive smile is just one of the benefits alleviating or preventing physical health problems is just as important.
Without treatment, orthodontic problems may lead to tooth decay, gum disease, bone destruction and chewing and digestive difficulties. A "bad bite" can contribute to speech impairments, tooth loss, chipped teeth and other dental injuries.
When should my child first see an orthodontist?
The American Association of Orthodontists (AAO) recommends that every child should get an orthodontic screening no later than age 7.
Many orthodontic problems are easier to correct if detected early rather than waiting until jaw growth has slowed. Early treatment may mean a patient will avoid surgery, adult tooth extraction, or other more serious treatment needs later in life.
Is it ever too late for a person to get braces?
Of course not! Healthy teeth can be moved at any age and an orthodontist can improve the smile of practically anyone. In fact, orthodontists regularly treat patients in their 50s, 60s and older!
What makes an orthodontist different from a dentist?
Orthodontists are the dental specialists who have undergone 2-3 years*of additional education specifically devoted to the correction of dental and facial irregularities. This is what they do, day in, and day out. An orthodontist is expert at moving teeth, helping jaws develop properly, and working with the patient to help make sure the teeth stay in their new positions.
Our orthodontists are also Board Certified Diplomates of the American Board of Orthodontics. This means they have taken exams and presented very challenging cases to a group of their peers for critical evaluation. This certification is a demonstration of Drs. Thanasas' and Ker's devotion to providing the highest quality of orthodontic treatment.
What about costs?
This will vary, of course, depending on the nature of the problem. Many orthodontic problems require only limited treatment. You may be surprised to discover that orthodontics is less expensive than you thought.
Your orthodontist will be happy to discuss fees. Our office offers flexible and convenient payment plans to help meet individual financial needs. In addition, many dental insurance plans now include orthodontic benefits. Of course, it's important to keep in mind the lifetime value that orthodontics provides.
Should I ask to talk to present and/or former patients?
As part of the Southeast Michigan community since 1968, we have helped many patients and families find their most beautiful smile. Ask your family and friends about us and be sure to tell us who referred you when you come for your initial visit!
It is wise for a consumer to investigate the value of any product or service. Most orthodontic patients will give it to you straight - orthodontics is one of the best investments they've ever made. Better self-esteem and better oral health are benefits that can last a lifetime.
Who can recommend an orthodontist?
Ask your family dentist to recommend an orthodontist or, again, ask your family, friends, and neighbors about us. You also can find the names of AAO members in your area simply by calling a toll-free number, 1-800-STRAIGHT (787-2444) or visiting their website: www.braces.org.