The Process of Orthodontics
Your initial consultation begins with a brief tour of our office. Our clinical coordinator will escort you to one of our private rooms so that we may get to know you. You will be asked to provide information and complete paperwork concerning your dental and health history.
We will also ask you to sign a HIPAA form. This allows us to discuss your treatment with your general dentist or other dental specialists. These forms are available for download on this site for your convenience. Click HERE to complete forms.
At your initial consultation, Dr. Gupton does a thorough examination, discusses her findings and makes recommendations for your treatment. Complementary x-rays are taken as needed to give Dr. Gupton the additional information she may need to formulate a treatment plan and to ensure there are no hidden findings such as missing or impacted teeth. At the time of your consultation, all procedures and fees are discussed along with a schedule for your treatment. The consultation visit is complementary. No fees are incurred until treatment is started.
Checking with your insurance carrier prior to your visit to verify orthodontic benefits will help us determine your financial responsibilities.
Timing of Initial Evaluation
The American Association of Orthodontists suggests an orthodontic screening at age 7. At this time the permanent first molars and several front teeth have usually erupted and the posterior bite is established. This enables us to evaluate anterior-posterior and transverse relationships.
The initial evaluation will discuss if your child an underbite, overjet, crossbite, crowding, deep bite, openbite, or habits that are interfering with normal development? Many times no treatment is the best option and we just continue to monitor your growth, development, and eruption pattern.
Early or Interceptive Treatment
If early treatment can minimize or shorten treatment time later in braces or prevent the need for permanent tooth removal, treatment will be suggested. Early treatment gives us the opportunity to influence the following:
A) Influence jaw growth in a positive manner (For example, begin to treat Class II cases where the upper teeth and bones are ahead of the lower; begin to treat Class III cases where the lower teeth and bones are ahead of the upper)
B) Harmonize the width of the dental arches; correct crossbites; make room for erupting permanent teeth
C) Improve eruption patterns reducing the likelihood of impacted permanent teeth
D) Lower the risk of trauma to protruded upper incisors
E) Eliminate harmful oral habits
F) Preserve or gain space for eruption of permanent teeth
Comprehensive orthodontic treatment or braces are usually placed when most of the permanent teeth have erupted. As mentioned above, having a skeletal problem corrected before braces can dramatically shorten the length of time that braces are worn.
Length of Treatment
Length of orthodontic treatment depends on several factors including severity of problem, level of the patient cooperation, habits affecting the dentofacial structure, coordination of other needed specialties, and growth.
Adult orthodontic treatment can dramatically improve the appearance and function of your teeth. Crooked teeth and a poor bite can contribute to gum and bone loss, abnormal wear of tooth enamel, fractured or lost teeth, headaches and jaw/temporomandibular joint pain.
Often times in order to properly restore adult teeth, place implants, or have proper cosmetic dentistry preformed, orthodontic treatment is a prerequisite. Ideal dentistry often requires proper positioning of the teeth over the bones and proper positioning of the dental arches to one another. Frequently a team approach is needed combining several specialties to properly reconstruct an adult dentition.
Cosmetic options such asClear Braces, Invisalign (Inside the teeth or Lingual braces) are less visible options available to our adult patients.