Successful orthodontic treatment is a partnership between the orthodontist and the patient. The doctor and staff are dedicated to achieving the best possible result for each patient. As a general rule, informed and cooperative patients can achieve excellent orthodontic results. While recognizing the benefits of a beautiful healthy smile, patients should also know that, as with all healing arts, orthodontic treatment has limitations and potential results. These are seldom serious enough to indicate that the patient should not have treatment. However, all patients should seriously consider the option of no orthodontic treatment at all by accepting their present oral condition. Alternatives to orthodontic treatment vary with each individual’s specific problems, and prosthetic solutions or limited orthodontic treatment may be considerations. The patient should discuss alternatives with the orthodontist prior to beginning treatment.

Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopedics is the dental specialty that includes the diagnosis, prevention, interception and correction of malocclusion, as well as neuromuscular and skeletal abnormalities of the developing or mature orofacial structures. An orthodontist is a dental specialist who has completed at least two years of additional graduate training in orthodontics at an accredited program after graduating from dental school.

Orthodontic treatment usually proceeds as planned, and we intend to do everything possible to achieve the best results for every patient. The success of treatment depends on the patient’s cooperation in keeping appointments, maintaining good oral hygiene, avoiding loose and broken braces, and following the orthodontist’s instructions carefully.

The length of treatment depends on a number of issues, including the severity of the problem, the patient’s growth and the level of patient cooperation. The actual treatment time is usually close to the estimated treatment time, but treatment may be lengthened if, for example, unanticipated growth occurs or no growth occurs. Also, if there are habits affecting the dentofacial structures, or if periodontal problems occur or if patient cooperation is not adequate treatment times can be extended.

Fortunately, the risks and limitations of orthodontic treatments are minimal compared to the amazing results that can be achieved. So remember, you are never fully dressed without a smile!

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