Orthodontics is dental treatment that focuses on straightening and aligning your teeth and jaws.
Columbia, MO orthodontist, Dr. Christian Francis, began his career by becoming a qualified dentist. Next, he completed at least 2 to 3 more years of specialized training in orthodontics. This makes the orthodontist an expert in the diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of malocclusions. Malocclusions are problems with spacing, positioning, or alignment of the teeth and jaws.
Orthodontists treat a wide range of malocclusions. They regularly treat adults, teens, and children starting from age 7.
Orthodontics impacts your health, appearance, and more.
Crooked, unevenly spaced, or misaligned teeth are harder to keep clean. This makes them more prone to tooth decay and periodontal disease.
Straight, properly aligned teeth are easier to keep clean and provide a more attractive appearance. A straight, healthy smile helps to boost self-esteem, self-confidence, and your self-image.
Improperly aligned jaws can lead to a variety of health issues. Some of these include:
- Difficulty biting or chewing
- Problems with speech
- Clicking jaws
- Teeth grinding
- Swollen or sore jaw muscles
- Tooth wear
- Gum or bone loss
Correcting misaligned jaws can help to prevent or alleviate these issues.
If you suffer from crooked, uneven, or misaligned teeth or jaws, orthodontic treatment can help.
The length of your orthodontic treatment will depend on your individual plan. During your consultation with Dr. Christian Francis, we will discuss your options. Once you select your treatment, we will estimate its length.
There are factors that can affect the duration of your treatment. Some of these include:
- Early Orthodontic Intervention: If you had early intervention, some steps have already been completed. This may shorten the time you need for this treatment.
- Type of Treatment: Depending on your needs, you may have braces, elastics, aligners, or other options. Which treatment you receive will affect its length.
- Compliance: Following our instructions will allow your treatment to work more quickly.
At Plaza Dental, we offer advanced solutions for your treatment. Our practice is a leader in comfortable and accelerated orthodontics. Depending on your needs, we may recommend:
- Metal Braces
- Ceramic Braces
To get started on your healthier, more beautiful smile, contact our Columbia, MO orthodontic office for a consultation.
Early Orthodontic Intervention
Orthodontics can correct issues with the alignment and spacing of teeth and jaws at any age. However, there are benefits to beginning treatment while teeth are still developing.
The American Association of Orthodontists recommends children have an orthodontic evaluation by age 7. Though treatment may not be needed now, early intervention allows Dr. Christian Francis to monitor your child’s teeth as they grow. This way, we can ensure timely detection of any orthodontic issues.
Early detection of issues allows more efficient and effective treatment. Your child’s first adult molars begin to erupt around age 7. These molars establish the back of the bite and proper alignment for the teeth. This provides a framework for evaluating the relationships between front and back teeth and between left and right side teeth.
By screening at age 7, Columbia, MO Orthodontist, Dr. Francis can watch for potential issues as teeth develop. Some of these orthodontic issues may include:
- Overbite – top teeth sit substantially farther forward than bottom teeth when teeth are closed
- Underbite – bottom teeth sit farther forward than top teeth when teeth are closed
- Open bite – front teeth do not come together when back teeth are closed
- Cross bite – top teeth do not properly align with bottom teeth
- Crowding – teeth overlap and become crooked due to lack of space
There are many immediate and long-term advantages to interceptive treatment. Some of the benefits early orthodontic intervention can provide include:
- Correcting teeth crowding
- Creating facial symmetry through influencing jaw growth
- Minimizing risk for trauma by correcting protruding front teeth
- Providing sufficient space for newly-erupting teeth
- Preventing the need for tooth removal
- Reducing duration of treatment for adolescent or adult orthodontics
- Improving self-esteem and confidence
If you have a child aged 7 or older who needs orthodontic evaluation, contact our orthodontist in Columbia to schedule an appointment for a consultation.
Adolescent Orthodontic Treatment
Though orthodontic treatment can be effective at any age, the most common time for treatment to begin is during adolescence. Once teeth have fully grown in, any issues with alignment or spacing become more easily identified.
During your consultation with Columbia Orthodontist, Dr. Francis, we will evaluate your teen’s individual needs. Dr. Francis will recommend an orthodontic treatment plan to provide optimal results in an efficient manner.
Your teen’s orthodontic treatment may include:
- Metal braces
- Ceramic braces
In every case, we will take time to fully discuss Dr. Francis’s recommendations and your options. We will answer any questions or concerns you have before treatment begins.
For more information or to schedule a complimentary orthodontic consultation for your teen, contact our Orthodontist in Columbia, MO .