What is orthodontics?
Orthodontics is a dental specialty that deals with the prevention, detection, and treatment of tooth and jaw misalignments.
Specialist dentists in orthodontics, also known as orthodontists, must complete a 3 to 4-year specialization in orthodontic practices and at university hospitals after completing their studies in dentistry.
Why visit an orthodontist?
If you have, or your child has, misalignments of the teeth or jaw, these can lead to problems with chewing and biting, an increased risk of tooth decay, speech problems, and impaired facial aesthetics.
Misalignments can also be a trigger for tension in the head and neck area, as well as for temporomandibular joint pain.
These are possible reasons to intervene with appropriate measures through orthodontic treatment.
In addition to improving the aesthetics by straightening the teeth, orthodontic treatment also aims to maintain or restore important health functions.
When is the best time for a first visit to the orthodontist?
The best time for your child’s first visit is between the ages of 6 and 8. At this age, early detection of progressive tooth or jaw misalignments and malfunctions is possible. Through early intervention, problems such as anterior tooth trauma due to overly protruding anterior teeth, for example, can be prevented and the growth of the upper and lower jaw can be positively influenced.
For the most part, no immediate intervention is required at this early stage.
In the interest of your child, we wait for the optimal time to start treatment, to keep total treatment time as short as possible. In most cases, treatment begins between the ages of 10 and 12, when the last permanent teeth are in the process of erupting.
Basically, it is never too late for orthodontic consultation and treatment.
What happens at the consultation?
We like to get to know you and your child during the first consultation. After a thorough examination, we can tell you if there is a need for orthodontic treatment.
Already at this appointment, we explain the treatment options and the braces they require, determine the optimal time to start treatment, and discuss the length of treatment.
Since cost transparency is very important to us, we advise you during your consultation as to what your health insurance covers and what other financial aspects must be considered.
If treatment is needed, we can prepare the diagnostic documents immediately to submit the treatment plan to your insurance provider.
What happens when orthodontic treatment is needed?
First, the diagnostic documents must be created. These include photos of the teeth and the face, an impression of the teeth, and X-ray (panoramic and lateral views) to analyze the skeletal relations and the facial profile.
After evaluation of the diagnostic documents, we develop an individual treatment plan for you and submit the treatment plan to the insurance provider.
After about 6 weeks, another appointment is scheduled to discuss the treatment and clarify any open questions. By that time, we should have received the commitment from the insurance provider.
Afterwards, the dates for the start of treatment are agreed upon.
How long does orthodontic treatment take?
Basically, the length of treatment depends on many factors. These include the age of the patient, the course of the tooth change, the extent of existing tooth or jaw misalignments, and patient cooperation (compliance).
We can give you an estimate of your individual treatment duration after the initial examination.
At what intervals do I have to go to an orthodontist for active treatment?
The frequency of the orthodontic appointments depends on the type of braces and the treatment phase. When installing new braces, 2 - 3 appointments occur closer together. Subsequently, the appointments are typically between 4 to 6 weeks for fixed braces and 8 to 10 weeks for removable braces.
When are removable braces and when are fixed braces used?
Which braces can be used for an orthodontic treatment depends on the existing tooth or jaw misalignment and the age of the patient.
We will be happy to schedule a consultation with you to discuss your individual treatment options.
Does orthodontic treatment hurt?
Installing a new device can result in discomfort in the first 3 to 6 days. This includes a sensation of pressure on the teeth and at certain points on the cheek or tongue. These sensations can vary based on the sensitivity of the patient and disappear completely in just a few days.