Why would my child need early treatment?

Early treatment, or Phase I, would be recommended if there are certain discrepancies in the development of the upper and lower jaws. Early treatment can correct these problems in the early growth phase of your child. To achieve an ideal result, Phase 1 treatment is very often followed by Phase 2 treatment once all of the permanent teeth have erupted.

What are the benefits of early treatment?

  • Improve esthetics and self-esteem
  • Correct/aid in the cessation of harmful habits
  • Reduction of the time in fixed braces during the 2nd phase of treatment
  • Reducing the amount of crowding and potentially the need for extractions in the 2nd phase of treatment
  • Reduce the likelihood of an erupting adult tooth becoming impacted (stuck in the bone, unable to erupt)
  • Correction of crossbite to "normalize" masticatory function
  • Increase the stability of the final result after the 2nd phase of treatment has been completed

How long does Phase I treatment last?

Phase I treatment usually lasts approximately anywhere from 2 weeks to 18 months depending on the severity of the case. When braces are used to move the teeth, a retainer is almost always used to hold the alignment after the braces come off. Once, the permanent teeth have all erupted (around 12 years old typically), your child will be re-evaluated for further treatment or the fabrication of a new retainer if needed.

At what point will my child need orthodontics?

It is recommended that your child be evaluated for treatment around the age of 7 to 8 years old, when the maxillary lateral incisors have erupted. There are special circumstances in which it may be beneficial to have your child evaluated earlier. Ask your dentist or call our office to set up an appointment to be evaluated for early treatment. Once the early phase of treatment is finished your child will be evaluated on an ongoing basis to monitor the eruption of the permanent teeth. Once the permanent teeth have erupted, your child will be evaluated for the need of an additional treatment. In order to achieve ideal esthetics and function, additional orthodontic treatment is necessary and can be accompllished by several means. Removable retainers, full upper and lower braces, and Invisalign (yes, Invisalign works for teenagers as well as adults) are the most common forms of treatment and can range in time from a few months to 2 years. Occasioanlly, no further treatment is necessary. Dr. Vogt and Ellerhorst will make sure you know all of your options, so you and your child can make the best decision for your situation.

What is Orthodontics?

Orthodontics is the area of dentistry involved in aligning teeth and jaws for ideal esthetics and function. Teeth can be moved at any age, adult or child, and through many different types of appliances. Dr. Vogt and Ellerhorst will inform you of the most efficient time and manner to achieve your desired orthodontic outcome.

How long does orthodontic treatment last?

The average length of time for orthodontic treatment widley varies from patient to patient, depending on the severity of the problem and when treatment is started. Retention (worn nightly while sleeping) after treatment has been completed is a lifetime deal.

Are there different kinds of braces?

There are several different methods for moving teeth. Our offices utilizes metal braces (colors are available if desired), clear braces, Invisalign, as well as removable retainers to achieve your desired esthetic, functinal result.

Will teeth move when the braces come off?

Teeth will definitely move after your treatment is complete unless you wear your retainers. Retainers should be worn part time indefinitely (that means when you are at home and for as long as you want your teeth to be straight) to maintain your beautiful smile. We offer several different types of retainers. Typically, removable acryli/wire retainers offer the best result as they can be adjusted as needed and last the longest. Clear suckdown retainers can also be made. A retainer can be bonded to the inside of your front teeth in order to maintain theri alignment after your treatment is complete. feel free to discuss any of your options for retention with either Dr. Vogt or Dr. Ellerhorst.