Areas of Expertise
Orthodontics is the specialty branch of dentistry related to the study, prevention and treatment of problems of growth, development and maturing of the face, of the dental arches and of the bite, or in other words, of dental-facial disorders.
Most of these problems are hereditary, but some are acquired. Inherited problems include crowding of teeth, too much space between teeth (diastema), extra or missing teeth, cleft lip and palate and a wide variety of other irregularities of the jaws and face.
Acquired problems may be caused by thumb or pacifier sucking, atypical swallowing, upper espiratory tract being obstructed by tonsils and adenoids, dental disease or premature loss of primary or permanent teeth. Whether inherited or acquired, many of these problems affect not only teeth alignment but also bring in their wake functional and aesthetic consequences that also affect facial appearance.
Ideally, the first patient evaluation should be made when a child is approximately 7 years old. An early examination allows the specialist in orthodontics to determine when the child should be treated to obtain the best result in the shortest space of time and the least financial cost. In many patients, preventive treatment achieves results that are unattainable once the face and the jaws have finished growing.
Orthodontic treatment can be performed at any age. In fact, roughly 30% of patients are now adults. The biological process involved in tooth movement is the same in adults and children. The health of the teeth, gums and alveolar supporting bone of a person is what is most important in determining the prospects for improving the smile and dental health in an adult patient.
Moreover, with the evolution of treatment systems (shorter) and new materials (more attractive devices), the acceptance of such treatment by patients has greatly increased.
However, certain corrections can not be achieved only with conventional treatment with brackets. Significant facial changes are achieved with a combination of surgical and orthodontic procedures for those for whom this sort of treatment (ortho-surgical treatment) is recommended.