The American Association of Orthodontists recommend that a child’s 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 orthodontic treatment can create room for crowded, erupting teeth, create facial symmetry by influencing jaw growth, correct harmful habits, lower the risk of to protruded front teeth, improve appearance and self-esteem, improve chewing and speech, and improve the way the lips meet.
Because teenagers are still growing, the teen years are often the optimal time to correct orthodontic problems and achieve excellent results. Treatment is important because crooked or crowded teeth are hard to clean, which may contribute to tooth decay, gum disease, and tooth loss. A bad bite can also cause abnormal wear of tooth surfaces, difficulty in chewing and/or speaking, excess stress on supporting bone and gum tissue, and possible joint problems. Without treatment, problems may become worse. Orthodontic treatment to correct a problem may prove less costly that the additional dental care required to fix the problem that can develop later in life.
There’s also the emotional side of an unattractive smile. When you are not confident in the way you look, your self-esteem suffers. Teenagers whose malocclusions are left untreated may go through life feeling self-conscious hiding their smile with tight lips or a protective hand.
It’s never too late to have orthodontic treatment! Healthy teeth can be moved at any age and many orthodontic problems can be corrected as easily for adults as for children. Crooked teeth and a bad bite can contribute to gum and bone loss, and abnormal wear of the tooth enamel. Orthodontic treatment can restore good function and improve the long-term health of your teeth and gums. And teeth that work better usually look better too. A healthy beautiful smile can dramatically improve self-esteem, no matter what age you are.
For some adults, orthodontic treatment is needed prior to tooth restorations such as crowns, bridges and implants. Dr. Brigance will work with you and your dentist to restore your smile to optimum health.
Corrective Jaw Surgery (Orthognathic Surgery)
Orthognathic surgery is surgery to correct conditions of the jaw and face related to structure, growth, sleep apnea , TMJ disorders or to correct orthodontic problems that cannot be easily treated with braces.
Dr. Brigance will work with your oral and maxillofacial surgeon to determine the optimum timing of the braces and the surgery.
Oral and maxillofacial surgery is surgery to correct a wide spectrum of diseases, injuries and defects in the head, neck, face, jaws and the hard and soft tissues of the oral and maxillofacial region. It is a recognized international surgical specialty.
Orthognathic surgery may be unecessary if orthodontic treatment is started early while a child is still growing.