Orthodontics 101
Posted on 04/25/2022

Orthodontists are dental specialists who concentrate on fixing irregularities in teeth and jaws. They straighten teeth and help correct problems such as crowding, overbites and underbites.  Many patients believe that getting orthodontic treatment is all about cosmetics. This is a common misconception. The proper alignment of teeth can benefit a person's overall dental health as well as benefit overall well being.  When it comes to the former, the direct health benefits are clear.  It's harder to clean around crooked teeth.  There are more nooks and crannies around crooked teeth for plaque to accumulate, and this build-up of plaque can result in tooth decay or gum disease. When it comes to the latter, it's true that straighter teeth are more appealing to look at,   and the impact of this on how a person is perceived in life has been studied extensively. A person who has noticeably crooked teeth is perceived as less smart (even though we know this is not true). The result is they may be less likely to land that job interview, or be considered for that promotion or be asked on that second date.  Further, most of the treatments that orthodontists recommend are actually to deal with a bite that’s out of alignment, and the teeth need to be straightened in order for the abnormal bite to be properly corrected. An abnormal fitting bite can lead to uneven tooth wear which can result in significant damage to the teeth in the long term.


When it comes to children's teeth, The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that every child have an orthodontic evaluation by the age of seven.  Some orthodontic problems show up early, and there is an option to treat early while the jaws are still growing.  This means that your child could benefit from early orthodontic treatment that is completed when they still have baby teeth.  If your child doesn't require early treatment it's most common to wait until around age 12 or 13, when the adult teeth have finished emerging. Orthodontic treatment can be most effective when it is applied at the appropriate time.  This, along with the technology built in to today's orthodontic appliances, allows for more efficient tooth movement in less time with less discomfort. It's a win win for the patient and the parent as less time in treatment means quicker results with less trips back and forth to the orthodontist for adjustments!  


You have many options when it comes to choosing a professional to straighten your teeth. Did you know that everyone who offers teeth straightening is not an orthodontist?   An orthodontist is a person who has finished dental school and has completed additional years of education and practice to become a licensed specialist in orthodontic treatment. Not everyone offering braces or aligners has completed that kind of training. Especially be wary of "direct to consumer" companies who offer straight teeth with aligners in 4-6 months.  They make the process seem so easy and affordable.  There is no clinical examination of the condition of your teeth and surrounding bones nor do they obtain x-rays of your teeth prior to tooth movement.  And worst of all there is no clinical oversight by any doctor during the treatments.  The fact is that if you trust your orthodontic treatment to one of these "direct to consumer" companies, you are risking damage to your face and smile, or damage to your gums and bones surrounding the teeth - which can be permanent. 


Although the price of braces from an orthodontic specialist may seem high up front, consider that you or your child would be receiving state-of-the-art care from a highly specialized and experienced individual.  The least expensive options out there one may end up costing you more if the treatment is not done properly.  Orthodontic treatment is an investment in you or your child's future. At Orthodontic Associates of Collegeville, P.C., we offer a complimentary examination, participate with various dental insurances and offer flexible payment options.  Each prospective patient receives an individualized treatment plan presented at the consultation visit during which the patient is fully informed about all treatment options available to them. We are committed to giving each and every one of our patients the personalized attention they deserve, and we believe this is what separates us from what many other orthodontic practices are doing. Please visit our website www.orthodontists.com for more information about orthodontic treatment or to schedule an appointment call us at (610) 409-9880.