If you missed out getting straight teeth as a kid, you can relax. Orthodontic treatments today are for everyone. Adults and children can enjoy the benefits of better function and aesthetics following orthodontic treatment.
At Singleton Dental in the Okanagan, we customize orthodontic treatment planning for each person, by spending the time to discuss your concerns and long terms goals, as well as going over the results of a comprehensive diagnostic exam. The exam consists of a “hands on” assessment, 2 radiographs, photographs, and diagnostic models. It may also include a neuromuscular analysis to see what the ideal position for the muscles and TMJ (jaw joint) are, if you are having problems.
Dr. Singleton keeps up-to-date with modern orthodontic knowledge. Combined with the latest technology in appliances and materials leads to more predictable, stable long term resultsfor you in the shortest period of time, which is what the ideal treatment plan should be.
At Singleton Dental, we have parents approaching us daily about their children’s crowded teeth, protruding teeth and spaces between teeth. Today’s parents want the best for the kids and do not accept the answers given by some dentists and orthodontists when observing that their son or daughter has a problem. “No treatment is indicated at this time, the patient is too young, the malocclusion will be observed and treated when the permanent teeth erupt in.” For practitioners like Dr. Singleton, trained with a preventative philosophy, this approach seems completely illogical when statistics have proven that malocclusions when left untreated worsen over time. We hate to say it, but the term “supervised neglect” seems very appropriate.
One of the main reasons why treatment should take place early is there is such a high incidence of malocclusion or misaligned teeth in children. Evidence from the Burlington Growth Study, Toronto, Canada, revealed that 75% of children, age 12, have some form of malocclusion.
Since 90% of the face is developed by age 12, practitioners must treat early if they want to guide and, in fact, modify the growth of younger patients. At Singleton Dental, we recommend children come in for an initial evaluation between age 9 and 10 and we emphasize a functional-orthopedic philosophy and favor a two-phase orthodontic treatment.
Mixed dentition refers to the time period when some permanent teeth have come in, but there are still primary teeth which have not fallen out. Dr. Singleton will take the time to go over the concerns with you and explain what the long-term problems can be: thumb sucking, digital habits, anterior and lateral tongue thrusts, airway problems including mouth breathing and snoring and jaw joint (TMJ) problems must be corrected early with functional appliances. Skeletal problems such as constricted maxillary or mandibular arches (where there’s no enough room for the teeth to develop) and prognathic or retrognathic mandibles (where the lower jaw juts out) are best treated as early as possible with functional appliances in the mixed dentition period of growth.
This is after all the primary teeth have fallen out and the permanent teeth have grown in. At this point, dental problems are solved with straight wire appliances (fixed) braces in permanent dentition.
One of the main advantages of early treatment is the majority of misaligned teeth can be corrected without extraction of permanent teeth and non-surgically. Parents favor the use of functional appliances to correct under-developed jaws in the mixed dentition stage rather than delay treatment until all the permanent teeth erupt.
Dr. Singleton is trained to use the latest development in jaw repositioning appliances, such as the Twin Block, Rick-A-Nator, and Schwartz appliances, and believes it to the best solution to treat children when they can be treated in 7 to 12 months non-surgically using functional appliances.
Why wouldn’t you choose this option, rather than wait for serious problems which could potentially require surgery?
For those patients who have clear indications for early intervention, early treatment presents the opportunity to:
For Beautiful, Affordable and Local dental care in the heart of the Okanagon, contact Dr. Alan Singleton at Singleton Dental.