Your Questions

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Check out answers to commonly asked questions below!

Why is orthodontics important?

Orthodontic treatment allows your teeth to be aligned and less prone to decay and injury. A “bad bite” can contribute to speech impairments, improper tooth ware, and other dental injuries. A healthy, straight smile can also provide a boost in your self-confidence and how you present yourself. Villa Park Smiles offers a variety of treatment options that can help you achieve that straight, beautiful smile. With modern technology, we can achieve excellent results in children and adults.

When should my child first see an orthodontist?

The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that your child receive an orthodontic screening no later than the age seven. Many orthodontic problems are easier to correct if detected early in the child’s growth, rather than waiting until the jaw growth has slowed and permanent teeth have erupted. Early treatment may prevent a patient from having surgery or other serious corrections later in life.

Am I too old for braces?

No. Age is not a factor; it’s just a number. It’s never too late to move healthy teeth. About 25% of our orthodontic patients are adults and that number is still growing! Adults are learning that they have numerous innovative options that exist in comparison to the old braces that were available in their teen years.

What is the right age to undergo orthodontic treatment?

There is no magic number. An early examination allows us to determine when the patient should be treated for the optimal results, in the least amount of time and at the lowest cost to the patient. Certain patients benefit from early intervention (between the ages of 7-11), during which time the orthodontist can capitalize on growth stages and make growth modifications and potentially avoid extractions and oral surgery. Full orthodontic treatment with traditional braces generally begins once most of the permanent teeth are in place, typically around the age of 12 or 13.

Does everyone need Early Treatment (Phase I)?

Absolutely not! Only certain bites require early intervention. Phase I or Interceptive Treatment usually starts while the child has most of their baby teeth and a few of their permanent front teeth. This stage in development usually occurs around the age of seven. The goal of Phase I treatment is to intercept a moderate or severe orthodontic problem early in order to reduce or eliminate it. These problems include skeletal dysplasias, crossbites and crowding.

Phase I treatment takes advantage of the early growth spurt and turns a difficult orthodontic problem into a more manageable one. This helps reduce the need for extractions or surgery and delivers better long-term results and treatment options. Most Phase I patients require a Phase II treatment in order to achieve an ideal bite.

Phase II treatment usually occurs a number of years later. Usually we are waiting for 12-16 more permanent teeth to erupt before Phase II begins. This most commonly occurs at the age of 12 or 13. The goal of Phase II treatment is to achieve an ideal occlusion with all of the permanent teeth.

What is Full or Comprehensive Orthodontic Treatment?

This is another name for orthodontic treatment that occurs once the permanent teeth have erupted. Comprehensive treatment can occur at all ages. It is more commonly used when an early treatment was not performed.

Can I wait on Phase I Treatment until my child is older?

This is not recommended. If your child is recommended Phase I treatment, this means that he or she has a difficult problem that requires immediate attention. If no orthodontic action is taken, treatment options become limited, more difficult, and the long-term stability may be compromised. In addition, it may lead to extractions, oral surgery, and increased costs.

What is the length or duration of orthodontic treatment?

Braces may be worn between 6 months and 30 months, or longer depending on the severity of the problem, the patient’s cooperation, the degree of movement possible, and successive visits within 6 to 8 weeks. We are a team working with you to achieve your straight, beautiful smile.