Orthodontic Services at Woodbury Pediatric Dentistry & Orthodontics
Tooth decay isn’t the only reason for a dental visit. The pediatric dentist may identify orthodontic problems and suggest treatment to guide teeth as they emerge in the mouth.
At your child’s first dental check-up, the pediatric dentist will review your child’s medical and dental history. He or she will gently examine your child’s teeth, oral tissues, and jaw. The teeth will be cleaned and polished, followed by the application of fluoride solution. X-rays may be needed to diagnose tooth decay, abnormalities, survey incoming teeth, diagnose bone diseases, evaluate the results of an injury, or plan orthodontic treatment. X-rays allow dentists to diagnose and treat conditions that cannot be detected during a clinical examination. Our x-rays are performed in a way that is perfectly safe and poses no risk to children. Lead body aprons and shields help protect your child during x-rays. Today’s equipment filters out unnecessary x-rays and restricts the x-ray beam to the area of interest. High-speed film, digital x-rays, and proper shielding assure that your child receives a minimal amount of radiation exposure. The dentist or hygienist will discuss the need for x-rays with you before any are taken.
During the first visit, you and your child will meet the doctor for an evaluation and will discuss whether or not they would benefit from orthodontic treatment. At that time, the doctor will discuss general treatment; however, more precise details and a treatment plan may not occur until a complete set of records are taken and reviewed. If desired, a complete set of records can be taken at this appointment, which includes 2 digital x-rays, photographs and study models (impressions). This appointment is generally scheduled for 45 minutes.
If the patient is ready to begin treatment and records have been taken during the first visit, the second visit will be a more formal Consultation. During this visit, the records and diagnosis will be reviewed, and a detailed treatment plan will be discussed. If different options are available for treatment, they will be discussed at this time, along with the associated treatment fees. Patients/parents are encouraged to ask questions to help them feel more comfortable with any proposed treatment.
Some children may need what is called Early/Phase I Treatment. Early treatment is recommended in instances when your child’s teeth have specific problems that may affect normal tooth eruption or proper jaw growth. Some examples of early/phase I treatment are as follows:
Fixed or removable appliances to prevent crowding from worsening, or to prevent space loss when baby teeth need to be extracted early.
An expander is required when your child’s upper jaw (maxilla) is too narrow relative to the lower jaw (width). The discrepancy in jaw size results in a “cross-bite.” Palatal expanders work better in younger patients, often before the child is ready for “full braces” treatment. If left untreated, this can lead to facial and jaw asymmetry.
Some patients have either excess growth or deficient growth of either the upper or lower jaw. In some of these cases, growth modification can correct this discrepancy. A common form of growth modification is called a headgear/night brace. The most common type used in early treatment is designed to encourage a deficient upper jaw to grow more than it normally would otherwise.
Comprehensive Orthodontic Treatment, often called “full braces,” not only aligns the teeth to provide a beautiful smile but also corrects occlusion/bite issues that may exist (over-bites, under-bites, etc.) Some patients who have severe crowding or extreme overjets/overbites may require extractions of adult teeth to allow proper alignment. For children, comprehensive treatment is often started when the last few baby teeth are still present and are beginning to loosen. Often, comprehensive treatment can be completed within 18-24 months. Correct timing to start comprehensive treatment, can greatly aid an orthodontist in providing ideal results and reduce the chance that adult teeth need to be extracted. However, it is never “too late” for comprehensive orthodontic treatment, as beautiful results can be achieved for patients of all ages, including late into adulthood.
It is never too late for orthodontic treatment, and these days we see many adult patients who never had orthodontic treatment as children and want to straighten their teeth or some adults who had braces in the past, and now have relapsed somewhat and would like to touch-up their smiles. Other adults may need limited orthodontic treatment to provide the needed space to allow their dentist to place implants, crowns or bridges. As with children, all treatment plans are customized to best fit the patient’s need.
Esthetic/Cosmetic Orthodontic Treatment Options
While these days, more and more adults are getting “braces,” many adults and even older teenagers are not too excited about “metal braces.” For those patients not looking to dress up their braces with all the colors of the rainbow, we offer multiple cosmetic options for treatment, which are less conspicuous than traditional braces. These cosmetic options include ceramic (tooth colored) braces and Invisalign® treatment.
Invisalign® is often misunderstood as a product that you can simply “purchase” from dentists or orthodontists that will straighten your teeth. The fact is, Invisalign® is an appliance used for comprehensive orthodontic care, using clear plastic removable aligners, instead of braces. As with braces, the results are only as good as the doctor providing your treatment, as the aligners are designed to work according to the doctor’s detailed prescription/instructions. Our patients can have confidence that they will get a beautiful result under the care of our Orthodontists who have extensive training on Invisalign® treatment.
A small percentage of orthodontic patients have bite problems and/or facial deformities that require orthodontic treatment in combination with jaw surgery to correct the underlying issues to obtain an ideal result. These patients often have excessive or deficient upper or lower jaw growth or facial asymmetries that cause severe esthetic or functional problems. Our Orthodontists are very experienced with these types of cases and works in concert with the most experienced surgeons to provide the best results possible.
If you are interested in scheduling an appointment or learning more about the orthodontic services provided by our practice, please call our office at 516.921.0400 or fill out the form on this page to speak with a patient care coordinator.