Evaluating Growth for Orthodontics

Do you have questions about how our experienced orthodontists evaluate growth status and growth spurts in children as they relate to orthodontic treatment. In this educational video, dedicated Hamburg orthodontist Dr. Steven J. Hietanen discusses our process for evaluating growth for orthodontics. If you are considering orthodontic care for your child, please contact our office today to arrange a free consultation.

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  • When we diagnose a patient for orthodontic treatment, the timing depends on the patient’s growth status.
  • We examine records which enable us to look at the shape of the cervical spine. This is because the shape of the vertebrae indicate the patient’s growth status relative to their pubertal growth spurt. We see some patients who have not yet hit their growth spurt.  Some others are too far along to benefit from certain treatments.
  • Cervical spine 2 shows a depression at the initiation of the pubertal growth spurt. Then, as a patient’s growth accelerates, cervical spine 3 and 4 will also begin to show a depression. Their shape will also change from rhomboid to more of a square and sort of marshmallow shape.
  • Once the vertebrae reach that square marshmallow shape and all three show a depression, we know the patient has reached the midpoint of their growth spurt. This means that the vertebrae will grow in height during the remainder of the growth spurt.
  • Vertebrae that are taller than they are wide indicate that the patient is nearing the end of growth. However, because skeletal age is not always correlated with the patient’s chronological age, we look at these physical factors to help choose appropriate timing.

Orthodontists Associates of Western New York is proud to offer braces for all ages throughout Buffalo, LancasterOleanHamburgOrchard Park, and DunkirkEast Aurora, and Niagara Falls New York. If you are considering orthodontic treatment for yourself or a loved one, please contact one of our 7 convenient orthodontic offices to arrange a free consultation.

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At Orthodontists Associates of Western New York, our reputation as a leader in orthodontic care is based on one thing… Making a Healthy and Beautiful Smile