As an experienced orthodontist, I have been involved in the treatment of more than twenty thousand patients. You can be sure that most of them started the discussion before treatment with the question “do I need braces” or “why do I need braces”?
Fortunately, I have always been able to answer pretty much the same way.
If you want your teeth to look, feel and work as best as they can, you could benefit from orthodontic care.
Our own practice brochure opens with the statement:
Orthodontic care for the most part is an ELECTIVE DENTAL SERVICE that can improve ones’ health, function or comfort and self-esteem or appearance.
So, the good news is that I rarely feel the need to “sell” or “push” orthodontic care. Demands of a healthy, advanced society appear to include orthodontic care as a part of overall health, comfort and appearance.
So here are some thoughts regarding health, function comfort and self esteem.
It’s not fair or accurate to say that you need straight teeth to keep your teeth. I have heard that opinion given to many patients over the years and for the majority of patients that is just not true! However, straight, well aligned teeth can:
Make it easier to clean teeth and
Make it easier to restore or fix teeth should they have cavities or other problems.
These two factors alone give credibility to the statement that you may be able to keep your teeth longer if your teeth are properly aligned. See Figure 1.
It’s difficult to say how straight teeth feel comfortable, but suffice it to say that if they all hit evenly, your teeth will rarely be bothersome or annoying.
Many patients have come to the office with a concern that their bite feels off or uncomfortable.
Many times, this is true. Wear and tear, aging and recent fillings or trauma can affect the way your teeth hit or “feel” Many patients have had sleep apnea appliances that have re-arranged their teeth only to need them made to “hit or occlude” more evenly with orthodontic braces or aligners. Orthodontic care properly designed to make them “hit” evenly can be a benefit. See Figure 2.
Appearance, of course, is the reason most patients come to the office and their personal perception certainly is the most variable. Some patients are highly critical of every little twist, turn or space.
Some just want some obvious problems corrected such a severe flaring or serious under-bites.
Whatever the case, it is important to understand that once an orthodontist begins taking care of a specific concern, he or she is often obligated to continue with a more complete correction.
The reason for this is that many times the problem that patients are noticing is a result of something that they may not notice or understand. For example, a crooked lower tooth may be because of an upper tooth being positioned too far to the palate and not being noticed by the patient. See Figure 3.
Our modern society has placed a high priority on an attractive smile. Many times, orthodontics can create this smile all by itself or many times in conjunction with other dentists. For instance, middle age and older adults may have many crowns or veneers planned by their dentist. To do so we may have to place the teeth roots in the proper position prior to these restorations. This extra treatment makes the final result much more successful and attractive.
Whatever the reason for seeking orthodontic care may be, you can be assured that our team will work hard to make your time spent in our facility worthwhile.