What age is a good time to schedule an appointment?
As an adult if you would like to improve your smile and are keen to correct your teeth, then any age is a good time to visit us.
At age 7, several permanent teeth have erupted and it is at this stage that the American Association of Orthodontists recommend a quick screening exam with the orthodontist to look out for any growth problems with the teeth or jaws. Treatment success can be optimised by timing the treatment to coincide with the pubertal growth spurts which would allow maximum improvement to the problem. Early intervention in severe cases can potentially avoid the need for jaw surgery later in life.
Most patients assessed at age 7 do not need any intervention before all permanent teeth are present. So although only a few orthodontic problems need to be corrected at an early age, the early exam will allow Dr O’Donnell to guide you as to when is best to start treatment and maybe to also help in the cessation of any habits.
Intervention and early orthodontic treatment between ages 7 to 10 would be indicated if it was necessary to:
- Psychological distress and teasing by peers or
- Accidental damage from falling, sport or daily activities.
So the benefits of early intervention for the small number of patients who require it allow:
So, early detection and prompt treatment will shorten and perhaps avoid the need for later comprehensive orthodontic treatment.
However, most children are treated from age 12 onwards once we have established that the growth and development of the face, jaws and teeth are all progressing normally.
Is it necessary to have a referral from my dentist if I wish to book a consultation with you?
No, you can contact us directly and arrange a time to suit yourself. Many of our patients are referred by their family dentist but a significant amount of patients initiate the consultation themselves.
How long does orthodontic treatment take?
This depends on the position and stage of development of your teeth, jaw and face. In general though, treatment times are reduced as the latest technologies allow treatment to be easier and faster.
The average time is 12-18 months, however treatments can range from 4-30 months depending on:
Treatment duration would increase if:
-you miss many appointments
-you damage your brace by eating very crunchy or hard foods
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