A Pediatric Orthodontic screening for all children should be done before age seven, or earlier if there are visible problems or concerns. Treated early, many orthodontic problems are more easily corrected. Some problems become more difficult to correct by waiting for the permanent teeth to come in, or until facial growth is nearly complete.
Most malocclusions (i.e. misalignment of teeth or an incorrect relation between the upper and lower teeth) are inherited; however, some are acquired. Inherited malocclusions include crowded teeth, widely spaced teeth, extra or missing teeth, and a variety of other irregularities of the teeth, jaws, and face.
Acquired malocclusions are created by thumb, finger or pacifier sucking, an airway obstruction by tonsils and adenoids, trauma (accidents), dental disease or premature loss of teeth, primary (baby) or permanent. Many of these malocclusions also negatively affect facial development and appearance. We can correct many different types of orthodontic-alignment-problems.
Orthodontic Procedure Time Frame
Orthodontic treatment time with dental braces can range from one to three years. Interceptive orthodontics (early treatment) may take just a few months. The severity of the problem, patient's age and growth of the mouth and face strongly influence the actual time span of required treatment. Completing treatment as scheduled is also affected by patient cooperation in wearing dental appliances as prescribed.
Orthopedic appliances carefully direct forces to guide the growth and proper development of jaws in children and teenagers. For example, during the course of an orthodontic treatment, a Herbst headgear appliance can dramatically reduce the protrusion of the top four front teeth and/or retrusion of the lower jaw, bringing the upper and lower jaws into alignment.
Orthodontic treatment requires a commitment in time and appliance therapy. At the end of the treatment, patients are rewarded with healthy straight teeth, correct jaw alignment and a beautiful health smile that functions better and lasts a lifetime.
Successful completion of the treatment plan requires that the patient keep appointments as scheduled, wear rubber bands, headgear or other appliances as prescribed by Dr. Clausen and carefully clean their teeth to avoid damage to the appliance. Damaged appliances can cause an undesirable outcome and lengthen the treatment time. We provide retainer replacement and repair for damaged braces.