1. What is orthodontics?
Orthodontics is a dental specialty, focusing not only on the proper alignment of teeth, but the whole facial structure, including the jaws and mouth.
2. Are you too old to see an Orthodontist?
A surprising percentage of our patients are adults. In fact, 25 percent of all orthodontic patients are adults. Health, happiness and self-esteem are vitally important to adults. No patient is "too old" to wear braces!
3. What is an orthodontist?
An orthodontist is a dentist who has successfully completed the additional number of years of specialty training set by organizations like the American Dental Association and Canada Dental Association.
4. Can any dentist say he/she is an orthodontist or specialist in orthodontics?
A dentist can only refer to themselves as an orthodontic specialist if they have completed the additional two years of post-doctoral training in orthodontics.
5. When should I be evaluated by an orthodontist?
If you have a concern, question or doubt about a tooth eruption pattern or about the growth and development of the jaw/face, you should seek the opinion of an orthodontist.
6. Why is important for people to seek care from an Orthodontist (especially children)?
Orthodontists are specially trained to correct tooth eruption patterns and growth and developmental issues of the jaw and face. It is best to have these problems corrected the first time they appear. Orthodontic treatment will permanently change the position of your child's teeth and possibly his/her face.
7. What if my general dentist doesn't realize a bad bite exists or if there is a growth problem?
If your general dentist doesn't recognize there is a potential growth problem in your child's mouth, you should seek the advice of an orthodontist immediately. Most often, your dentist will gladly help you make your first appointment with our office. Or you can contact our office yourself to schedule your initial consultation.
8. What if my general dentist also offers orthodontics?
Many general dentists offer advanced orthodontic treatment without having completed the beneficial years of orthodontic specialty training. Others offer limited orthodontic services in conjunction with an orthodontist. If you have any doubts, feel free to contact our office, where Dr. Kershman is a specialist in orthodontics.
9. Do Canadian or American Dental Associations test the ability of general dentists in their orthodontal work like they do a professional Orthodontist?
No. There are requirements set by the American Dental Association which are necessary to be an orthodontist, but there are no standards set to govern, qualify or test general dentist's orthodontic abilities.
10. How can I avoid confusion concerning a second opinion regarding my orthodontic treatment?
You should see an orthodontic specialist for a second option.
11. Can my records be obtained from another office if I want a second opinion?
The office where you are seeking a second opinion will request the records from the first dental office.
12. Will I upset my dentist if I seek an evaluation from an Orthodontist after my general dentist wanted to perform my orthodontic treatment?
Healthcare professionals truly care about you and exist to serve you. A truly concerned general dentist will welcome this opportunity for you to fulfill your needs at the orthodontic office of your choice.
13. What are the benefits to early diagnosis and treatment from a qualified Orthodontist?
The American and Canadian Associations of Orthodontists recommend an orthodontic screening at age 7. By this age, several permanent teeth in most children have erupted, allowing us to effectively evaluate your orthodontic condition.
14. Why do my crooked teeth need to be straightened?
Not only will straight teeth give you a nicer smile and higher self-esteem, it will give you a healthier bite, which will make it easier for you to chew all kinds of food. Having crooked teeth also makes it harder to clean them.
15. Are there any other materials besides metal that can be used for braces?
Metal, plastic, ceramic and glass are all the types of materials used in different types of braces. Your orthodontist will work with you individually to determine the right type of braces to fit your personal needs and lifestyle. Clear braces are available, which not only reduces the amount of metal used on the front teeth, but also enhances to the aesthetic appearance for patients in braces.
16. Do removable appliances take the place of braces?
No. Removable appliances are another option mostly used for retainers. Retainers can only push or pull a tooth, where braces can make bodily movements of the teeth.
17. What is a crossbite?
A crossbite is when upper teeth sit inside the lower teeth, which may cause tooth stratification and misaligned jaw growth.
18. What is crowding?
Crowding occurs when teeth have insufficient room to erupt from the gum. Crowding can often be corrected by expansion, and many times, tooth removal can be avoided.
19. What can be done about crowding?
If treated at an early age, the upper and lower jaws can be expanded to allow more room. Tooth extraction may also be necessary to eliminate crowding. Patients may also have to wear a special appliance such as headgear to move the teeth helping to create more space.
20. What benefits are there for keeping baby teeth in their normal position?
Baby teeth help to uphold the normal form and length of the arch. You should check with your general dentist or orthodontist about a space maintainer if baby teeth are lost early due to decay or extractions.
21. Is there a problem when there are spaces between baby teeth?
Generally, spacing between baby teeth is not a problem because the permanent teeth that will replace them are much larger; however, if there is not enough space, crowding is usually indicated.
22. What are impacted teeth?
Impacted teeth are teeth that have not erupted because of three possible reasons: (1) because of severe crowding; (2) because of bony tissue impaction; or (3) because of soft tissue impaction. Surgery is sometimes necessary to uncover and actively move the tooth into place.
23. What is frenectomy?
Fermium attachments are the ligaments that attach the muscle that surrounds the mouth. IN some people, the ligaments are large and grow between the upper front teeth, which does not allow the upper front teeth to close together. A frenectomy may need to be performed, depending on the age of the patient. A frenectomy basically removes the ligament attachment allowing the orthodontist to close the space between the teeth.
24. Are strong and weak lower jaws inherited?
Genetics definitely play a role in the growth pattern of a child's jaw. If either parent has a weak or strong lower jaw, your child should be monitored by an orthodontist for growth guidance. The earlier the child is seen and treated, the greater the results reducing the possibility of surgery.
25. Do I need a referral to see an Orthodontist?
No. We understand patients often desire to see an orthodontist because of a problem he/she has noticed themselves. Referrals from our patients are becoming more frequent and accepted. We are available any time you have a question and we appreciate your referrals.