Types of Treatment
Braces for Children
Most patients only need yearly monitoring until the eruption of all permanent teeth. In some cases, braces may be necessary to address specific orthodontic problems while baby teeth are present. In this situation, two phases of treatment are needed:
The average treatment time for phase I is 8-12 months. Only about 20% of patients from the age of 7-10 need some treatment. Orthodontic problems that are addressed at this age are:
Dr. Martinez tries to avoid unnecessary early treatment unless a patient or parent want treatment for cosmetic reasons. If phase I treatment is recommended, Dr. Martinez will explain his findings, risks, benefits, and alternatives at the initial consult. Phase I can sometimes make Phase II shorter and may prevent the need for extraction of permanent teeth.
Phase II/Comprehensive Adolescent Treatment
Once a patient's permanent teeth have erupted, they are ready for what we traditionally know as "braces". This is the initial treatment for 80% of our patients. For the 20% who had phase I, this round of treatment is considered Phase II. We address all orthodontic issues during this phase. At the end of treatment, all teeth will be placed in a position that maximizes esthetics and function. Treatment time ranges from 18 to 36 months depending on complexity.
Braces for Adults
It is never to late for orthodontic treatment. The "forever-youngest" patient Dr. Martinez has treated was in his late 70's. Thanks to more esthetic options like Invisalign and clear brackets, adults now compose about a quarter of all patients in most orthodontic practices. Many times, adults require dental work before and/or after orthodontic treatment. Dr. Martinez recognizes the importance of great communication and will consult with your dentist to create a comprehensive multidisciplinary treatment plan that best addresses your treatment needs.
Surgical treatment may be necessary for patient's who's upper and lower jaws are not the same size. Growth must be complete in patients who choose braces in conjunction with surgery.