Am I ready for Braces?
There are several key things you can look for to determine if you should consider an orthodontic evaluation. Naturally, your family dentist is the best source to recommend pursuing orthodontic treatment. For adult patients technology and innovation have made braces less noticeable and more comfortable than ever before. And at Kadar Orthodontics, we use the latest technology to make it fast too, in most cases in less than 14 months! For baby boomers, a bright, healthy smile keeps us feeling younger, looking good and contributes to our general health as we grow older.
But orthodontics is more than just straightening teeth. For a bite to be stable the teeth have to fit together in the correct way, so that you have a healthy bite and balanced face.
Our goal is to make treatment time as short as possible while also achieving the absolute best results.
The approach is similar in children and teenagers. Here are some other ways you can notice early problems with your child's teeth:
Look for excess spacing and crowding. If large gaps are present or overlapping teeth become obvious, orthodontic correction is necessary.
Teeth that are missing or erupt incorrectly function improperly and look less pleasing.
Improper bite. Have your child close his or her teeth, and see if the upper front teeth stick out or protrude when compared to the lower teeth. If the upper teeth bite behind the lower teeth (underbite), you should also consider treatment.
Check for symmetry by comparing the middle of the upper teeth to the middle of the lower teeth.
Any of these problems can cause functional and developmental deficiencies.
The advantages of an early start
We evaluated one 7-year old with a severe underbite. By guiding the formation of her lower jaw, and by correcting her crossbite, we developed a better position for her emerging permanent teeth. When she reached adolescence, she simply wore braces, which straightened her teeth and made her a happy, health and very attractive teenager.
How early should you begin?
Seven could be your child's lucky number!
That's because the American Association of Orthodontists recommends all children receive their first orthodontic screening around the age of seven. And we agree. This allows us to evaluate the child early, to determine whether orthodontic treatment may be required.
Very often, the Doctor's recommendation is "let's wait and see" until more permanent teeth are in place. Sometimes, we'll advise what we call the Observation Period, during which we can track changes that take place and get a better picture of the need, if any, for treatment.
If treatment is needed, we can advise the family on the best time for the child to begin. Sometimes, we can begin to correct any abnormalities while the teeth and jaws are still in their formative stages. Some of these problems include:
- Crossbites, causing the lower jaw to shift.
- Severe jaw imbalances.
- Excessive space, due to the early loss of baby teeth.
- Excessive crowding of teeth.
- Airway and speech problems.
Most Kadar patients will begin orthodontic treatment between ages 11 and 14, when permanent teeth are in place. However, by bringing your child in for an early evaluation, you may be able to avoid costly or arduous treatments later in life. There are several advantages to waiting for the permanent teeth to come in including:
- Fewer appointments will be necessary, so the child spends less time in braces.
- Shorter treatment time means less chance of enamel decalcification and root shortening. There's less chance of missing school or broken braces, too!
- Your child will be more mature, with a better understanding of the need for braces.
- We encourage you to take a proactive approach to your child's smile, which is a vital asset for both self-confidence and self-esteem.
The role of your family dentist
Your family dentist will be a key player who can determine the need for an orthodontic specialist.
After an orthodontic evaluation, both your dentist and our doctor will chart a plan for the best result. Orthodontic treatment should not begin until your dentist has evaluated the health of the teeth and gums.
If major dental work is needed, orthodontic treatment will wait until after the dental problems have been resolved. However, some cases will warrant orthodontic care prior to the dentist's care in order to complete a particular treatment successfully.
When managing a complicated procedure, the orthodontist and dentist will remain in contact with each other throughout the active tooth movement phase. We always recommend that our patients continue to see their family dentist at their regularly scheduled times.
If a tooth requires a filling or any dental attention, that will take priority over our orthodontic treatment. The family dentist will continue to perform all cleanings, checkups and fillings during orthodontic treatment.
Our goal is to provide the best orthodontic care and results so patients can resume their regular routine.
There are a number of oral habits which can impede progress during the course of orthodontic treatment. Most common habits include thumb and lip sucking, tongue thrusting, nail or cheek biting, grinding, lip chewing, ice chewing and pen/pencil biting.
Teeth move or respond to these types of pressure and may move in undesired directions. Therefore, it is essential to determine if any of these habits exist.
For example, in the case of thumb sucking, the thumb rests on top of the lower front teeth and pushes them back towards the tongue. Additionally, the thumb rests inside the upper teeth and pushes them forward in a flared position. An extremely protrusive appearance is the result of this habit. If the habit can be broken, the teeth will spontaneously resume a more normal direction. Dr. Kadar often recommends for families to visit www.thumbguard.net for more information on thumb sucking habits.
We use many methods to control habits. Appliances, positive reinforcement and speech therapy can be effective. However, the most effective preventive method is for the patient to be ready and willing to stop. We have an excellent rate of success with patients who truly want to control their habit. Please discuss any concerns about oral habits that you or your child may exhibit.
Did you know that you swallow about 2,000 times each day?
During each swallow, your tongue can exert about six pounds of pressure on the surrounding teeth! This can push the teeth and bone forward, or move them apart.
Tongue thrusting is a habit that exaggerates the swallowing motion, and can be corrected by training the tongue to sit in the right position. Be patient - it can take about 12 weeks to change this habit.
- Your tongue should sit just behind the row of "bumps" on the roof of your mouth. Being aware of its proper placement can help you retrain your tongue.
- If you need help, a speech language therapist can help you with your exercises.
- It’s important to exercise as often as possible.
Initial Consultation – Becoming a New Patient
We invite you to visit our office for a complimentary initial consultation. For adults or children, the New Patient Appointment is easy, fun and informative! First, we schedule a convenient appointment time for you, our Doctor and our Treatment Coordinator (a certified and registered dental assistant with specialized training). Our welcome packet (the famous Blue Folder!) will arrive in your mailbox shortly before the scheduled first appointment.
We ask you to complete the folder’s contents including the medical history form, demographic information and “Tell Us About Yourself” form (for kids and teens). To help make your first visit comfortable, you will receive two reminder calls from our office . One will be our automated system so you get the chance to see our technology in action! Secondly, our Treatment Coordinator will call to confirm your appointment personally and answer any last minute questions you may have about the first visit. We ask that you return the favor and confirm one of these two calls so we can be prepared for your appointment.
During the new patient appointment, Team Kadar will provide all of the information you need to make an informed decision about orthodontic treatment including:
- If orthodontics is indicated
- When you can get started
- What type of treatment is needed
- Estimated length of treatment
- Orthodontic insurance and financing options.
When you arrive, the Kadar administrative Team will greet you, review your Blue Folder and help you sign in on our computer! Your Treatment Coordinator will begin the visit with a tour of our office including the computerized check-in, clinic areas and digital imaging room. The digital imaging room is the patient's first stop. One of our certified and registered dental assistants will take a digital panoramic x-ray of your teeth and have you pose for digital orthodontic pictures.
After this brief stop, we invite you relax in our consultation room while our Doctor examines your teeth, reviews the x-ray and photos and answers your questions about braces. If they feel you are ready for orthodontic treatment, they may suggest that we make a digital model of your teeth. Our Treatment Coordinator is available during this entire visit to guide you through the process. She is even able to explain how your insurance and payment plans can be structured to fit your personal budget and plans.
Not Ready for Braces - What Happened During Wait and See?
When observation is indicated.
The purpose of the Observation period is to monitor your child over the next few years to determine if more active treatment will be needed.
You'll be asked to return every 3 to 12 months, so that we can track any changes that occur. Don't worry; you are still a part of the Kadar family even though you don't have braces! Be sure to watch your mail for the Kadar News, our customized newsletter, that will keep you informed of ongoing orthodontic news, Kadar community events and our current contests. And you can always check this website for the latest Kadar Smiles!
When treatment is recommended.
If, during the Observation Period, we find indications that active treatment may be necessary, we'll schedule a Diagnostic Records Appointment with you and your child. This 30 minute meeting will include:
- Digital photographs
- Digital panoramic and cephalometric x-rays
- Digital Study models
DIAGNOSTIC RECORDS (Photos, Models & Xrays)
Diagnostic Records are just that - records (or information) that helps Dr. Kadar "diagnose" your specific orthodontic situation. These are taken either at the initial appointment or when Dr. Kadar needs additional information about how your teeth are developing. The Diagnostic records have three parts:
- Digital Photographs - We call these our orthodontic "glamour shots" because we get to see you smile from many different angles. These help Dr. Kadar examine your bite and facial profile. You'll even get to take a copy home for the old scrapbook!
- Digital Study Models -We are excited to be one of the first offices in our area to offer digital imaging! We can take a digital scan of the mouth and eliminate the need for a gooey impression in most cases! Back when Dr. Kadar had braces, at age 13, he had to endure a gooey, flavorless substance that took 5 minutes to set up in the mouth!! He is excited that his patients don't have to deal with that! Our new technology offers the most accurate and easily shared study model available. In rare cases, if an actual stone model is necessary,don't worry, we have almost two dozen flavors of putty-gel material that sets up in 45 seconds!
- Digital X-rays – We have reached the 21st Century! The last part of Diagnostic Records is x-rays – For Orthodontics, we need two x-rays - a panoramic (full mouth) and a Cephalometric (facial profile). To provide the most advanced patient care, Kadar Orthodontics has installed a completely digital x-ray system. This technology is the most precise imaging system available and benefits our patients in many ways. The images can be enhanced, duplicated and diagnosed better than ever. Radiation exposure is cut as much as 90%. With traditional x-rays, the films cannot be enhanced and run the risk of becoming damaged or lost. A chair-side reading allows our patients to see exactly what Dr. Kadar sees and shortens the time for your orthodontic checkup. Your general dentist can also be more actively involved because he/she can retrieve your digital x-rays from our secure server. Best of all, digital x-rays have eliminated the use of harmful chemicals used in developing tanks and we no longer deal with caustic or environmentally damaging solutions. We know you’ll appreciate the difference with our new digital system.
Our doctors will review the diagnostic records after the appointment, and design your individual treatment plan. Within a couple of weeks, you will have a telephone consultation with our Treatment Coordinator to review the findings. You will receive an automated reminder call to confirm this appointment. This is important, because at Kadar Orthodontics, our appointments are tailored to your needs, and even one missed appointment can affect everyone else's schedule. This meeting or phone call will cover:
- Any appliances you may need to wear
- Your ongoing, personalized appointment schedule
- Fees and any other concerns
Just like our initial consultation, Observation, Diagnostic Records & Consultation appointments are complimentary and scheduled with your busy life in mind! We believe this serves as our commitment to provide you with the best orthodontic treatment and care.