Why have an orthodontic (braces) assessment early?

Why have an orthodontic (braces) assessment early? My patients and friends are constantly asking me about when  their children should see somebody about braces (orthodontics).

The simple answer to this is by the age of 10, girls could actually be a little earlier.  Now why is this?

The maximum growth for children is between the age of 10-13 in girls (girls stop growing a lot quicker too) and about 12-14 in boys.  Orthodontics and braces really are separated into two phases for children.

Phase 1; This is where we are trying to plan to use growth to our advantage to correct the position of the bones and basic alignment of the teeth so that as the majority of the adult teeth come in they are roughly in the right place, but more importantly the bones of the face are in the best position so we can to try and make the smile as beautiful as we can but also the function of the teeth (chewing) as best we can to protect the teeth in the future.

Remember straight well positioned teeth are always easier to look after and will generally need less dental work in the future.

Phase 2; This is more about making sure the teeth are in a very nice alignment and straight.  If we have carried out phase 1 it is much more likely that teeth will not need to be removed to be able to fit all the teeth in nice and straight as the majority of growth has occurred so growth can’t be used for our advantage.

Cost of Braces ( traditional orthodontics) with Adam;

For standard braces the cost is $5500 inclusive of the orthodontic work up and retention.  This may change a little but this is the base cost for standard orthodontics (braces) depending on length of treatment.

Dr Adam Alford  has advanced training through Progressive Orthodontics. Progressive Orthodontics has been the worldwide leader in comprehensive Orthodontic continuing education since 1984. Progressive Orthodontics is an ADA CERP Recognized Provider. ADA CERP is a service of the American Dental Association to assist dental professionals in identifying quality providers of continuing dental education.

I would also like to remind my parents that I see children under the age of 12 fund only for most preventative services, no matter what the fund.

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Dr Alford’s ‘Invisalign’ treatment and the different orthodontic treatments.

Invisalign progress update: Attachments have gone on!
While we are following my “Invisalign” aligner orthodontic treatment I thought I would take the opportunity to let you know some basics about the different orthodontic treatments available at the surgery.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Orthodontic assessment for children should be done at 8-9years of age, especially for females.

1. Braces or traditional orthodontics;
I believe this still to be the best, most controllable and stable of all the orthodontic treatment modalities available. It is putting brackets and bands on teeth and leveling them and aligning them. In doing this you are correcting bites and placing the teeth in the best position possible in relation to the jaw bones and lips etc, you are actually moving teeth through the bones to reposition them. Estimated cost of traditional braces is $5500 spread out over the course of treatment.
2. “Invisalign”;
This is the heavily advertised and patented aligning technology and very costly for the practitioner. We use clear aligners to straighten the teeth. I explain to patients that in my opinion this is not proper orthodontics it is straightening teeth so that patient expectations are fulfilled, therefore they look straight. Whether or not they are in a proper biting arrangement and balanced properly in the jaw bones is questionable. It relies heavily on tipping the teeth not moving them through the bones and unfortunately tipped teeth out of the alignment of the jaw bones are unstable teeth so therefore more prone to relapse and re-crowding if appropriate retention is not used every night. My opinion is ”Invisalign” is perfect for patients that have more than very minor tooth crowding in situations where they have had braces in the past but haven’t worn their retainers so the teeth have crowded and become crooked again, but the teeth and bite are in the right position already. Patients are made aware that this system will not correct the bite but merely straighten the teeth. Estimated cost $3000-$7000 over the course of treatment 12 – 24 months maximum, otherwise I will be doing traditional braces.
3. Basic aligning technology;
There are quite a number of dental labs in Sydney and Australia that generate their own aligners. These are the clear plastic braces like “Invisalign”. Instead of a computer generating a plan the dentist and lab technician come up with a basic plan. This is a very manually orientated system where the teeth are moved slowly on a plaster model and the aligners are made over the top. I use this for very basic realignment cases, usually short course treatment under 6 months. Once again most of the teeth are in a proper arrangement already and the teeth just need slight correcting. Estimated cost $1000-$3000 depending on the number of aligners needed.


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