Reasons it May Be Time to Seek Orthodontic Treatment
In many situations, people do not seek out orthodontic care on their own accord. Instead, the person’s primary dentist will refer them to see a qualified orthodontist for things such as spacing between teeth, a crooked smile, or an improper bite.
Other people take the initiative themselves and seek out treatment from a local orthodontist.
If not referred by their family dentist, children should see an orthodontist for an evaluation beginning at the age of 7 years old. This is done to determine if any issues are present or developing. It also serves to establish a baseline upon which to compare future changes.
Can Someone Be Too Young or Old to Receive Treatment?
Regardless of what brings an adult or child to the orthodontist, it is important to keep in mind that no one is too old to receive orthodontic care.
On the other end of the spectrum, the earliest an orthodontic exam has value is just after the permanent first molars erupt. This is typically at age seven.
In any case, the initial consultation is free of charge. This first appointment can serve as the perfect way to determine if treatment is needed in the near-term or if waiting awhile is better.
Burke & Redford Orthodontists works closely with their patients to accurately diagnose and treat the following issues through state-of-the-art technology and decades of expertise.
The topics listed below are common reasons that patients or parents seek orthodontic care.
Your Child is 7 Years or Older
According to the American Association of Orthodontists, it is beneficial for children to be seen for a consultation starting at 7 years of age.
There are certain orthodontic problems that are best addressed in young patients while their mouth is still forming, and the jaws are “pliable”.
However, if no near-term problems are detected and early treatment would not have a beneficial long-term impact, no treatment will be advised for these young children. In these cases, the orthodontist will recommend the patient return yearly to re-evaluate how teeth and jaws are developing. Additionally, having a baseline record of teeth and jaw development is valuable so that when a child is seen later the orthodontist can judge if things are trending in a positive or negative direction and make recommendations accordingly.
You Feel Self-Conscious of Your Smile
A smile is one of the first things many people notice about someone. Because of this fact, a beautiful, straight smile can have an enormously positive impact on your self-esteem.
Dr. Redford and Dr. Burke are passionate about using their combined decades of experience to help people, both young and adult, achieve the smile of their dreams through outstanding patient care.
You Have a Bad Bite
A malocclusion, which is a technical term for a bad bite, refers to several different ways that the teeth or jaws can be mismatched. These include:
- Underbite – When the lower teeth or jaw set forward of the upper teeth or jaw when biting down
- Overbite – When there is excess horizontal space between the upper front teeth or jaw and the lower front teeth or jaw
- Crossbite – When the upper teeth or jaw is either too narrow or too wide relative to the lower teeth or jaw
- Open bite – When there is excess vertical space between the upper and lower front teeth when biting down
- Deep bite – When there is excess vertical overlap of the upper and lower front teeth when biting down
All these issues may be resolved through orthodontic care.
You Have Crooked Teeth
Crooked teeth may be corrected through wearing braces or other orthodontic devices such as aligners.
It is important that underlying issues (such as bone/gum loss) are identified and treated before straightening teeth. Failure to do so can result in other dental problems later on, even the possibility of losing teeth.
It is also important to note that no two cases are the same. An accurate diagnosis and explanation of pros and cons related to each treatment option should be presented to a patient prior to starting treatment. In other words, one patient may be best treated with clear aligners, while another patient best treated with braces. The results achieved from treatment are directly related to the treating orthodontist’s diagnosis and skill level in executing treatment, not the device used. Orthodontic treatment is a big investment in time and money – select your provider carefully!
You or Your Child Has a Speech Impediment
Speech impediments, such as lisps, often result from improperly positioned teeth. By undergoing quality orthodontic care, speech impediments may be improved.
Eating, Chewing, or Biting is Difficult
If daily activities such as chewing, eating, and biting are difficult, it may be time to see an orthodontist.
Whether the root of the issue lies in the gums, jaw, or teeth, our doctors will be able to expertly determine what is occurring and the best type of solution.
In many situations, these types of problems may be indicative of a need for orthodontic care
Significant Oral Discomfort
Discomfort in and around the mouth can range from mild to severe. The root of discomfort is not always easy to pinpoint. It may come from an issue ranging from a maladaptive bite to an infection in the mouth.
Trained professionals like Dr. Redford and Dr. Burke, who are specialists in the field of orthodontics, are well equipped to determine the root cause. If it is an orthodontic issue, they will treat it accordingly. If it is a non-orthodontic problem, they can refer the patient to the appropriate dental specialist for care.
Significant Jaw Discomfort
In some cases, jaw discomfort can be related to problems with the temporomandibular joint (TMJ) and surrounding structures. While many lay people refer to this pain as “TMJ”, dental professionals refer to it as temporomandibular joint dysfunction/disorder or TMD.
In most cases, orthodontic treatment neither improves nor worsens TMD. Orthodontics is also unable to cure TMD. These issues are best resolved by treatment with a TMD specialist or oral surgeon instead of an orthodontist. We recommend patients experiencing TMD signs or symptoms seek care with these other professionals.
At Burke & Redford Orthodontists, seeking orthodontic treatment is fast, easy, and stress-free. We not only offer qualifying patients the opportunity to opt into a zero-interest financing payment plan, but we also offer free consultations. We have removed all the barriers to seeing a qualified orthodontist for you or your children with this consultation.
If it is time to see the orthodontist, our practice would be more than happy to provide the excellent care needed to achieve a stunningly straight smile. Both of our office locations are conveniently located in Temecula and Lake Elsinore.
Call us at (951) 699-8011 to set up a consultation or appointment with our fantastic team of board-certified doctors.