Early Orthodontic Treatment
Adolescent Orthodontic Treatment
Adult Orthodontic Treatment
An orthodontist receives special training to fix misaligned teeth. An orthodontist must first complete regular dental training and then has an extra four years of specialty training in orthodontics. If you have misalignment in your teeth and/or jaw, a dentist will refer you to an orthodontist.
As permanent teeth begin to replace baby (or primary) teeth, we recommend an orthodontic evaluation. This typically takes place by 7 years of age and the American Association of Orthodontists suggests that children receive an examination by an orthodontist no later than this age.
The orthodontist will look at your child’s teeth, face and jaws to determine proper growth and development. X-rays may be given if recent ones aren’t available or don’t provide the proper angels necessary for evaluation. We are specifically looking at tooth placement, bite and jaw alignment, and the overall development of the mouth and face. If a problem exists, or if one is developing, the orthodontist will advise you on treatment options.
Three common malocclusions (bite problems) are crossbite, crowding and impacted teeth.
Crossbite – A crossbite exists where the top teeth and bottom teeth do not come together or bite in the correct position. Instead, the upper teeth fit inside the lower teeth when the mouth is closed. If the back teeth are affected, the upper teeth sit inside of bottom teeth and this is referred to as a posterior crossbite. In an anterior crossbite, one or more top teeth sit behind the bottom teeth. This should not be confused with an underbite, where all of the top teeth are located behind the bottom teeth and the bottom jaw is pushed strongly forward.
Crowding – Overcrowding of teeth is when there is not enough space in your mouth for your permanent teeth to grow in straight. This can cause misalignment of your bite and teeth.
Impacted Teeth – An impacted tooth is a tooth that does not fully erupt above the gums. This is typically caused by overcrowding, your jaw is too small for all of your teeth or the tooth is erupting in the wrong direction. Not all impacted teeth require oral surgery.
While Invisalign and clear aligners have become popular options for straightening teeth, Abington Children’s Dentistry & Orthodontics has chosen to specialize in braces. This decision is based on several factors, including cost, treatment times, and treatment outcomes. Braces are typically less expensive than Invisalign or clear aligners, as there are no additional lab fees or third-party companies involved in the treatment process. Additionally, braces offer greater control for the experienced orthodontist, resulting in shorter treatment times and superior results.
Braces are typically less expensive than Invisalign and clear aligners. With braces, there is only the practice that gets paid, whereas with Invisalign and clear aligners, both the practice and the company making the aligners get paid, driving up the cost of treatment. Abington Children’s Dentistry & Orthodontics even offers fees that are lower than most online options for the same estimated treatment times, such as 6 to 12 months.
Braces provide the experienced orthodontist with more control and patients are seen more often, resulting in shorter treatment times and superior results. While Invisalign and clear aligners may offer convenience and the perception of lower cost, patients should never put convenience ahead of their health, safety, quality professional care, and excellent results. Orthodontic treatment that starts without a thorough examination, including x-rays of the teeth and jaws, and a health history review, and orthodontic treatment that is not personally and directly monitored by a trained and licensed dental professional at regular appointments may have dire consequences.
Dr. Fitzgerald is a passionate orthodontist who wants only the best for his patients. Based on his extensive experience assessing the results of many orthodontists treating with braces and Invisalign, as well as assessing his own results treating with both modalities, he has found that braces are the superior treatment option. Therefore, he has chosen to specialize in braces and be known as a Braces Specialist to ensure that he can provide his patients with the best possible care and superior treatment outcomes.