What Is Orthodontics?
Orthodontics is the specialty of dentistry that focuses on the alignment of teeth to give people beautiful smiles and their most ideal chewing function. You may also hear orthodontics being referred to as "dentofacial orthopedics." This is because an orthodontist can help guide the growth of the upper and lower jaws so that they develop in a harmonious relationship. This relationship can have a direct influence on teeth alignment, facial structure and esthetics.
What Qualifies Your Doctor As An Orthodontic Specialist?
Your orthodontist is a doctor who has graduated from dental school and is accepted into an advanced specialty program in the field of orthodontics. This additional training is a full time 2-3 year residency where your doctor treats orthodontic patients exclusively and becomes highly educated in current orthodontic research, technology and patient care. Dr. Terrence Fong graduated from Georgetown University Dental School and Dr. Garrett Fong graduated from the Harvard School of Dental Medicine. Both Drs. Terrence & Garrett Fong completed their orthodontic specialty program at the University of Southern California.
How Long Does Orthodontic Treatment (Braces, Invisalign) Take To Straighten Teeth?
Cases can range from simple to complex. The more complex the case, the longer the treatment time can take, and vice versa. However, the average orthodontic case can usually be completed in about 24 months or less. Keep in mind that broken brackets, missed appointments, or non-compliance can lead to delayed treatment times.
How Much Do Braces Cost?
Because each case can be different, cost will vary depending on what is required for your treatment. We are happy to offer you a complimentary initial orthodontic consultation where we can provide you with an estimate of the cost based on your specific treatment needs.
What Age Should My Child First Visit The Orthodontist?
It is ideal for your child to see us for a complementary exam when the permanent teeth are beginning to erupt. This is usually around the age of 7. Most likely no treatment will be needed at this time and we will advise you to come back after more permanent teeth have erupted. At our office, we maintain a conservative approach to orthodontic treatment and will only recommend starting treatment when it is most beneficial for the patient. This may involve starting a First Phase at an early age to help correct particular issues that pose immediate concerns (ex.crossbite, severe overbite/overjet, abnormal eruption patterns). Addressing these issues at an early age, while the patient is still growing, can correct problems that would worsen over time and can also prevent the need for extraction of teeth in some cases. However, if there are no issues that require immediate attention, then treatment will be most effective around the age of 10-12 when the remaining permanent teeth have erupted.
I'm An Adult, Is It Too Late To Get Braces?
It's never too late to get the smile you deserve! In fact, adults make up over 30% of our orthodontic patients. Dr. Fong has even had the privilege of treating patients in their 70s, giving them the smile they had always wanted.