Philosophy on Treatment

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We are unconditionally committed to a pleasing, functional and efficient office that is fun to visit and a pleasure in which to work.

Achieving a nice smile can be rewarding for all involved, the patient, orthodontist and parent if applicable. It is not, however, a life-threatening challenge. While it can enhance life’s experience by improving a smile to an extent that one is more willing to engage the world and improving the ability to chew comfortably, it is more an elective than requirement in most cases.

I view it as my responsibility to provide those who seek care here with information on any options available to that particular individual. I like to start with the optimal treatment and include any compromised plans giving the pros and cons of each. I will ultimately relay how I would address a given situation if it were my own child, the most important things in my life. There may be situations in another’s life that preclude certain options and those should be considered. After this information is ascertained the responsible party should ask any questions that could affect the process. They will then decide how to proceed. My sincere desire is that you get what you want. That could be treatment now or later, in this office or another.

My experience tells me that optimal treatment is not a necessity in most instances. If it is the desire of the patient and responsible party then great, given time and cooperation we can achieve great things. My most difficult task, I’ve found, is to motivate some teens (and often some adults). If the patient is not willing to do those tasks assigned them (usually hygiene, care in eating certain things and wearing adjunctive appliances needed) then I suggest not instigating therapy until that time comes, if ever. We can do more harm than good without cooperation. We can reach excellent results with patients who help us. If the patient is not committed to the process we decide upon a parent will be unlikely to influence them enough to warrant spending the finances at this time.

There are often many ways to achieve the same thing. There are many routes to get to Cartersville from here, all eventually get to Cartersville. In the same fashion there are many ways to get a great smile. Five different orthodontists can show you four different ways to accomplish tooth alignment and a stable bite. Our community is blessed with practitioners that are skilled and experienced in our art.

That being said, my thoughts on how to treat people in general are as follows:

* I am not a proponent of two-phase treatment. Several studies out recently show that performing orthodontic therapy when most of the permanent teeth are available works as well as doing some work early. This is more efficient with our efforts and your expenses. It doesn’t “burn-out” the patient on cooperation methods either.

* Some things do need to be done early such as some crossbites (in permanent teeth) or early removal of primary teeth to allow proper eruption of the permanent teeth. Kids today seem to have more impacted teeth then prior and early removal of some primary teeth can help in this area also.

* I do not use headgear. Patients don’t like them and usually will not wear them adequately. There is a fixed (glued-in) appliance that accomplishes the same effect usually. It requires good hygiene but is always working.

* Plan on lifetime retention if you want the teeth to stay where they are when the braces come off. Retainers can often be worn a night or two a week, eventually, but some movement is possible throughout life. As we “experienced” (older) adults find, muscles change over time and they have a lot to do with where teeth will exist or stay. Anything that exerts a force can move a tooth - that’s why clear trays (Invisalign) move teeth. Thumbs move teeth, grinding moves teeth, tongue position due to breathing and tongue habits move teeth.

* Individual variations abound, one method or plan does not fit all in orthodontics. Each person should be evaluated individually taking into account all the factors involved: need, personal desire, ability to cooperate (with brushing, wearing rubber bands and appliances, appointment keeping, etc.), age (maturity), and timing with lifestyle.

THE BOTTOM LINE - We want to accomplish the things you want and for which you are willing to reach. Excellent results require thought and action from all the parties involved: orthodontist, staff, patient and parent (if applicable). We’ll also want your dentist to support us, and we have incredible support through those in our community.

We look forward to being of service to you.