How We Treat Orthodontic Issues
Are you wondering how we treat orthodontic issues? You may be considering coming in to our office to find out how we do things. Every day, when we see new patients, we feel that first visit is one of the most important visits we’re going to experience with that patient. The reason I consider it so important is that it gives us an opportunity to take a look at a mouth unchanged by orthodontics and identify the factors that contribute to their orthodontic problems. We like to explain it by telling parents we look for the whys: why the patient has a malocclusion, why the teeth are crooked, why the teeth are crowded. Looking for the whys enables us to do a better job of diagnosis and achieve better stability at the end.
In our profession, we very often get caught up in looking at the how – how to move teeth. Although we feel the how is important, the why is much more important because, by understanding the why, we have a better chance to achieve stability after treatment.
How We Treat Orthodontic Issues | Treating Underlying Causes
When an orthodontist in our practice sits down to analyze a patient and identify their orthodontic problems, we are often looking for any potential underlying causes of their malocclusion. Many times, other treatment is necessary as an accompaniment to the orthodontic treatment we are prescribing. Our treatment of these contributing factors may include referral of that patient to their physician, a specialist such as an ear, nose, and throat doctor, or an allergist, speech pathologist. Sometimes, too, we may do things in the office to try to retrain the patient’s musculature to function properly. In our eyes, measures taken to correct a patient’s contributing factors can be just as important as the steps taken to aligning the teeth. Oftentimes, if left unchecked or unnoticed, these things will contribute to that patient’s relapse after treatment.
How We Treat Orthodontic Issues | The First Consultation
Our practice believes that the patient’s first visit is the most important one because, as we look at an untreated mouth, we have our best opportunity to identify things that might be contributing to the patient’s orthodontic problem in the first place. If we focus only on how we will treat a patient’s mouth, or malocclusion, or poorly fitting teeth, we may miss the reasons the patient’s teeth are like that in the first place.
At the first visit, we try to be very, very cognizant of the things that might be going on in that patient’s mouth. If we’re not perceptive, the minute you start to treat the patient, his mouth becomes an altered environment and it may no longer be possible to identify those problems. We feel that an individualized treatment plan is the most important thing we can offer our patient – and that starts with the first visit. It starts when we carefully evaluate the things that are going on in that patient’s mouth that contribute to an oral environment that needs orthodontic intervention. If you want to know more about how we treat orthodontic issues, please call one of our five locations to set up a free screening.