At Freeman Orthodontics, we say all the time that we value a great smile AND a great experience. We know that thinking about orthodontic treatment can bring up a lot of questions. We want our patients to feel informed, comfortable, and equipped to make the best decisions for their families. That is why we want to share a few of the most common questions we receive about orthodontics.
What is orthodontics anyway?
Orthodontics (also referred to as dentofacial orthopedics, if you want to impress in that next round of trivia) is a specialized form of dentistry, focusing on the diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of dental and facial abnormalities. That’s right, all orthodontists are dentists! An orthodontist is a dental specialist who has received 2 to 3 years of additional training and experience. Your orthodontist is able to straighten teeth, correct misaligned jaw structure, and improve the function of your smile.
How do I know if my child needs orthodontic treatment?
It is usually difficult for parents to determine if their child requires treatment because there are many problems that can occur even though the front teeth look straight. On the other hand, there are also some problems that look intimidating and complex, but will actually resolve on their own. Asking your general dentist is a good reference, but seeing an orthodontist is your best option.
Our initial exam is complimentary and we would be more than happy to see your child and make any recommendations necessary.
At what age should my child be seen by an orthodontist?
The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that children first visit an orthodontist around the age of 7. At this age, most children have lost their baby teeth and have had many permanent teeth erupt. This allows us to accurately assess their orthodontic needs while still being able to take advantage of their growing jaw and mouth to make future treatment that much easier.
It is important to keep in mind that orthodontic treatment is not exclusive to children and teens, with about one in every five orthodontic patients being over the age of 21. If you want to improve the look and feel of your smile, then any age can be a great age to see the orthodontist.
How long does orthodontic treatment take?
That’s a tough question because no two cases are alike. We want to focus on quality and not speed. However, most comprehensive cases are completed in 18 to 22 months in our office. Obviously, depending on things like initial difficulty and patient compliance, some cases will take significantly less time and some will take a bit longer. Different treatment options can vary in length as well. Whether you choose traditional braces or Invisalign, we promise to help you to achieve a healthy, beautiful smile as efficiently and comfortably as possible.
At Freeman Orthodontics, we are proud to offer excellent orthodontic care to the San Jose region. We take pride in our work and value the relationships we have with our patients and in the community. If you have any additional questions about orthodontics or treatment, visit our website Q&A page here, or call our office for your complimentary consultation today.