Orthodontics is the branch of dentistry that specializes in the diagnosis, prevention and treatment of dental and facial irregularities.
Who needs orthodontics, and when?
Studies show that millions of Americans have oral health problems that could benefit from orthodontic treatment. Without treatment, many of these people could develop serious problems.
Although there is not a universal best age to begin treatment, the American Association of Orthodontics (AAO) recommends that every child see an orthodontist at an early age. This could be as young as 2 or 3, but should be no later than age 7. However, a visit at any age is advisable if a particular problem has been noted by the parent, family dentist, or child’s physician.
Orthodontic specialists can improve smiles at any age, but there are benefits to early diagnosis. Early examination enables the orthodontist to detect and evaluate problems and determine the appropriate time to treat them. After the initial evaluation, the orthodontist may monitor facial growth and development by periodic checkups while the permanent teeth erupt and the face and jaws continue to grow.
Early intervention frequently makes the completion of treatment at a later age easier and less time-consuming. In some cases, early treatment achieves results that are unattainable once the face and jaws have finished growing. (Many orthodontic problems can be corrected in adults as well as children, so adults should not hesitate to consult an orthodontist to discuss a problem.)
Isn’t orthodontic treatment expensive?
Not in comparison with the cost of dealing with untreated problems. Orthodontic treatment may bring long-term health benefits and may contribute to the avoidance of costly, serious problems later in life.
Historically, the average cost of all health services has risen faster than the average cost of orthodontic treatment. In addition, the cost of orthodontic treatment has increased significantly less than the rate of inflation, meaning the public’s buying power has gone up faster than orthodontic fees.
Orthodontic insurance is not available on an individual basis, but millions of people are covered by group dental plans including orthodontic coverage which are offered through their employers. We are currently offering the low starting at $88 a month (fees depend on the severity of the problem, complexity of treatment, and length of treatment time.)
The AAO offers its assistance at no charge to companies interested in offering employees a dental plan that includes orthodontic coverage. The AAO provides Concept DR, a self-funded, direct reimbursement dental/orthodontic benefits program that is generally less expensive and offers better benefits that traditional dental insurance plans.