When to See an Orthodontist
One of the questions most frequently asked by parents is, "What is the best time to begin orthodontic treatment?" The easiest answer is: "Whenever the doctor, parent or patient feels there might be a problem."
The stages for orthodontic treatment fall into three categories: early treatment, adolescent (teen/preteen) treatment, and adult treatment.
Early Orthodontic Treatment
With the eruption of the permanent incisors and the permanent first molars, the child enters the mixed dentition stage of development. This usually occurs from ages 6-10, and represents an excellent time for early interceptive treatment and growth guidance corrections.
Preventive treatment such as space maintainers, controlling habits such as finger or thumb-sucking, and the correction of cross bites and overbites should be initiated as soon as they develop. These problems, if ignored, become more problematic later and lead to future developmental problems.
As a general rule, any orthodontic treatment during this age period is kept simple. Expanders, removable functional appliances, and limited fixed appliances offer treatment options to align the teeth and bite in preparation for further jaw growth.
Orthodontic Treatment for Adolescents (teen/preteen)
This group, ages 10-14 for females and 11-16 for males, constitutes the majority of orthodontic patients treated by Dr. Cohen. This is a difficult age requiring genuine understanding - a specialty of Cohen Orthodontics. Teenage patients relate well to the youthful enthusiasm extended by Dr. Cohen and his staff.
With the eruption of the permanent dentition and the pubescent growth spurt, this is an excellent time to initiate comprehensive orthodontic treatment for the correction of dental and mild skeletal discrepancies.
Clear or metal braces and invisible aligners are the most common treatment options available to treat this age group. In addition, treatment may be augmented by expanders and removal appliances.
Adult Orthodontic Treatment
Orthodontic treatment can be performed at any age, and adults are seeking orthodontic care in increasing numbers. It is estimated that adults make up 25 percent of all orthodontic patients today.
The biggest difference between adult treatment and adolescent treatment is the lack of jaw growth in the adult patient. Some adults seek orthodontic treatment to improve cosmetic appearances, whereas, others require orthodontic treatment in conjunction with periodontal (gum disease) and/or prosthodontic (crown/implant) treatment.
Adult patients with spaces, crowding or missing teeth, overbites, and cross bites all would benefit from orthodontic treatment. Whatever the reason, Dr. Cohen is conscious of the adult patients' lifestyle and their desire for less visible braces. Improved technologies with shorter treatment time, less discomfort, and more aesthetically pleasing braces all make orthodontic treatment an attractive option for adults.
The timing of orthodontic treatment is highly variable and depends on the individual problem. A basic fact to remember is that malocclusions (bad bites) are not self-correcting. Simply waiting for a patient to grow out of a situation or waiting for adult teeth to erupt may be harmful by wasting precious treatment time when growth could be utilized.
Whether it's for cosmetic reasons, crowding, spacing, protruding teeth, periodontal or restorative reasons; orthodontics is always a change for the better, regardless of age.
For your convenience, Dr. Cohen offers FREE consultations, no-down payment and low monthly payment arrangements. In addition, we accept VISA and MasterCard.
If there are any questions which you might have, or if we may be of any further assistance, please feel free to call us anytime.
We Serve Boca Raton, Coral Springs & the Surrounding Areas & Look Forward to Helping You with Your Orthodontic Needs