FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

What is an orthodontist?

An orthodontist is a specialist who has completed an extra 2-3 years of advanced education and residency following dental school to learn the special skills required to manage tooth movement and guide facial development in a comfortable and efficient manner.

Why should I choose an orthodontic specialist?

Teeth, and sometimes entire facial structures, are permanently changed by orthodontic treatment. It is important that the treatment be appropriate and properly completed. Dr. Garrett has extensive and specialized training that enables him to provide professional, personalized treatments.

When should my child first see an orthodontist?

The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that every child should get an orthodontic screening no later than age seven (7). Many orthodontic problems are easier to correct if discovered early rather than waiting until jaw growth has slowed. Early treatment may mean a patient will avoid surgery, extractions or other serious corrections later in life.

What are the benefits of orthodontics?

  • A more attractive smile that you constantly want to show off
  • Better long-term health of teeth and gums
  • Increase in self-confidence
  • Reduced appearance-consciousness during critical development years
  • Increased ability to clean the teeth
  • Better function of the teeth
  • Improved force distribution and wear patterns of the teeth
  • Guide permanent teeth into more favorable positions
  • Reduce the risk of injury to protruding front teeth

What is Phase I Treatment?

Phase I, or early interceptive treatment, is limited orthodontic treatment (i.e., expander or partial braces) before all of the permanent teeth have erupted. Such treatment commonly occurs between the age of six and ten. This treatment is often recommended to make more space for developing teeth, or to correct crossbites, overbites, underbites, or harmful oral habits. Phase I treatment creates a good foundation for the erupting teeth, and corrects growth problems that would otherwise require jaw surgery, extractions or extensive orthodontic treatment to correct.

Will my child need full braces if he/she has Phase I treatment?

More than likely yes, your child will benefit from full braces even after Phase I treatment. After early treatment, Dr. Garrett will closely monitor growth and tooth eruption and keep parents and patients well informed of future Phase II treatment recommendations.

Phase II, or comprehensive treatment, involves full braces when all of the permanent teeth have erupted, usually between the ages of eleven and thirteen. Phase II is usually the final stage of multi-phase treatment. During Phase II treatment, the permanent teeth are moved into place to create ideal esthetics and function, leaving you with the fantastic smile you always wanted for you or your child!