- What is the science of orthodontics?
- What is an orthodontic specialist?
- How can I determine whether my dentist is an orthodontic specialist?
- What causes a bad bite?
- What is the best age to be evaluated by an orthodontic specialist?
- What is Phase 1 treatment?
- Does Phase 1 treatment prevent the need to wear braces in the future?
- What is Phase 2 treatment?
- What happens if orthodontic problems are not treated?
- Am I too old for braces?
- Do braces always have to be metal?
- More questions?
What is the science of orthodontics?
Orthodontics is the specialty branch of dentistry that involves the diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of dental and facial irregularities. Orthodontic treatment will straighten crooked teeth, align jaws, establish balanced facial profiles, and create healthy and beautiful smiles that with proper hygiene care will last a lifetime.
What is an orthodontic specialist?
An orthodontist is a dentist with an advanced degree that has continued their education and training so as to understand and to treat the patient with complexities and irregularities in the developing teeth and facial structures. In addition to receiving a dental degree, an individual must complete an advanced training program that can last two or three additional years after graduation from dental school. While any dentist can "move" teeth to make them look better, only an orthodontist has the skill and expertise needed to provide a comprehensive treatment of a malaligned bite. Only a dentist with the proper training and expertise may call themselves an orthodontic specialist.
How can I determine whether my dentist is an orthodontic specialist?
Of course the easiest way to determine if your dentist is an orthodontic specialist is to simply ask him or her about their advanced training. Any orthodontist would be proud to discuss their advanced educational training, and give you a sense of their experience. Another way to determine the credentials of your orthodontist is to look for their membership in the American Association of Orthodontists (AAO). Only those dentists who have completed an advanced educational program in an accredited facility are eligible for membership in the AAO.
What causes a bad bite?
There are several reasons why an individual will develop a bad bite. The primary cause is usually hereditary. We tend to grow in a similar fashion to our parents. So, if Mom or Dad had crooked teeth or a large overbite, then the chances are great that this will be passed down to the children. Other factors can also influence the development of the bite. Physical habits such as thumb sucking, or tongue thrusting may alter development of the face or the teeth. Trauma or disease may also play a role in the overall health of the teeth. Whatever the reason, the orthodontic specialist is trained to diagnosis these problems and recommend the proper treatment at the proper time.
What is the best age to be evaluated by an orthodontic specialist?
The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that an orthodontist evaluate a child at the age of seven (7). This does not necessarily mean that treatment will begin this early. By examining a child at this age, the orthodontist can begin to assess the manner in which the teeth are erupting into the jaws, and most importantly, determine if the upper and lower jawbones are growing properly. Often times, by identifying these problems early in a child's development, an orthodontist can suggest a first phase, or "phase one", of treatment that may prevent further and less complicated orthodontics in the future.
What is Phase 1 treatment?
There are basically two types of problems that concern an orthodontic specialist. The first deals with the position of the teeth. This can include crowded teeth, rotated teeth, or spaced teeth. The second type of problem involves the position of the jawbone. These are the types of problems that can lead to large overbites, cross bites, facial asymmetries, or long open faces. These are the most difficult problems to correct because they require movement not only of the teeth, but also of the underlying bone structure. Often times, by starting the treatment early enough in the child's development, the orthodontist can realign the jawbones and establish a new position of the teeth and facial features, such as the chin and lips. This preliminary phase is often referred to as Phase 1. It is often performed in the early years of a child's development and can last several years.
If a Phase 1 treatment is recommended, does that prevent having to wear braces in the future?
There are times when the Phase 1 treatment will be all that is necessary to correct the problem in the developing child. More often than not, the child will still need some type of conventional brace placement to fine tune and detail the bite. This part of orthodontic treatment is referred to as Phase 2.
What is Phase 2 treatment?
Phase 2 of the orthodontic treatment plan is the part that almost everyone is familiar with. It involves the placement of actual braces on the adult teeth so that they can be moved into the proper alignment. While the objectives of Phase 1 is to broadly align jaws and bring the abnormal bite back into proper development, "phase two" treatments are performed when growth and development has stopped. The objective in "phase two" is to completely align the bite and restore proper function and esthetics to the adult teeth.
What happens if orthodontic problems are not treated?
There comes a point in an individual's development where the teeth will no longer improve their position on their own. This will determine the long-term health and appearance of the teeth. Of course, teeth that are crowded, spaced, or in an improper opposition will not look right. This may cause an individual to feel uncomfortable about their appearance or to be self-conscious about their smile. Feeling good about your teeth is one of the primary reasons people seek out orthodontic treatment. A more important reason to treat a bad bite is the long-term dental issues that can arise due to poorly positioned teeth. Increased incidences of tooth decay, gum problems, bone loss, or weakening of the teeth are just some of the problems that can occur if the orthodontic problem is left untreated.
Am I too old for braces?
Of course! Orthodontic treatment is a benefit at any age. As long as the teeth and the supporting tissues are healthy, the successful treatment of malpositioned teeth can be accomplished in adult patients. However, there are some additional concerns in adult treatment that you should understand. First, because facial development is complete in an adult, the treatment may require a more complicated technique than that of the younger patient. Second, because the adult biology does not respond as rapidly as it does in a child, orthodontic treatment in an adult may take longer to complete. However, neither of these factors should discourage the well-supervised movement and the successful completion of the orthodontic treatment in the adult.
Do braces always have to be metal?
Over the past few years, orthodontic technology has progressed to the point where there are several new systems available, especially for our adult patients. Braces today are much more esthetic than the traditional silver, metal braces. The most popular method is the use of porcelain brackets, or tooth colored braces. These braces are composed of a very hard glass material that when placed in the mouth take on the coloration of your natural teeth. The result is a near invisible appliance that works just as effectively as the standard metal brackets and bands. The latest technique available to move teeth and still be esthetic is the "Invisalign" system. While this method is available for a very select group of patients, it is another method available to move teeth while being conscious of your appearance.
Please contact us with any questions you may have. We look forward to hearing from you soon.
Interested in orthodontic treatment? Contact us below to schedule an evaluation.
I can't say enough good things about Pittsburgh Orthodontic Group. My 2 children have been patients for more than a year and we have received nothing but professional service every time. Dr. Deme and Dr. Gobbie are both pleasant and have established a wonderful relationship with my kids. Dr. Deme once dealt with an unforeseen situation in an extremely timely manner. Bonus: the hygienist and the receptionist are equally welcoming and efficient.
As an adult, I was not looking forward to the idea of having braces — especially since I'd had them when I was in my 20s. I was diagnosed with severe obstructive sleep apnea, and the doctors thought that my best chance was to have reconstructive oral surgery on my lower jaw. The first step was to work with an orthodontist, and I am so happy that I was referred to Dr. Gobbie and his team. They worked with me and my oral surgeon every step of the way — sometimes literally holding my hand! I would never have made it without their help, and now thanks to them, I can breathe, eat and sleep like a normal person.
Thank you so much to Dr. Gobbie, Dr. Deme, Patti and Beth — you have given me so much to smile about!
Dr. Gobbie and his team are the best and most professional. Our daughter has the most beautiful smile. Because of his perfection she can not stop smiling! Thanks Dr. Gobbie!
Great friendly office that is outstanding with kids. Very flexible with scheduling and responsive when the unknown occurs. Their work is of the highest quality and produces BIG smiles!
I have two boys in braces and couldn't be more pleased with the treatment. Dr. Deme always takes time to explain what he is doing so we understand the process and next steps. I feel like he isn't just an orthodontist but also an artist who is sculpting my children's mouths into a perfect smile. He has contacted us over the weekend on a couple occasions when a child has a new retainer or recently installed braces just to make sure things are going well. The office staff are flexible and friendly when I need to change appointments.
Dr. Deme is great! My kids love him. The work he has done for them has gone smoothly and looks really good. I would recommend Pittsburgh Orthodontics Group to everyone.
Dr. Gobbie and Invisalign gave me my beautiful smile!
I'm so happy that I decided to go ahead with the Invisalign process. It was very easy and didn't take long at all. Invisalign is a great way to straighten your teeth and it's not very noticeable. Being in my twenties, it was perfect for me because most people didn't even notice that I had anything on my teeth. The trays didn't bother me at all, they were comfortable and I got used to them very quickly.
Dr. Gobbie was great. He and his staff are very friendly and made me feel comfortable every time I had a visit. I trusted him completely - and I'm glad I did! I'm very happy with the way he transformed my smile!
My son has started the process of getting an expander and braces. He was nervous. I was nervous. Dr. Deme is SUPER awesome with kids. He explained everything that was going to happen and even went over the patient consent with my son to make sure he understood what was going on. For a process I really hoped my kids wouldn't have to go through, his experience is a million times better than mine was. If you need any type of orthodontic work done, go here. Seriously. You won't be disappointed.
Dr. Deme and Dr. Gobbie have been great to work with. Both of my kids are currently having work done on their smiles. Dr. Deme explained everything they wanted to do and why during the initial consultation. The staff is very friendly and will answer any questions you have.
Love, love, love Dr. Deme and the girls! I could not be happier with the service and the results from my invisalign! All smiles here! (-:
I came into their office needing surgical treatment because my teeth and my jaws were all over the place. Two years later my teeth look perfect, and Dr. Deme and Dr. Gobbie managed to align my teeth without surgery! They are truly genuine people and very family friendly all within a stress free environment. Thanks to Dr. Deme and Dr. Gobbie I will be able to smile confidently for the rest of my life!
I have two children being treated by them with another to likely need the same treatment soon. Great with the kids during what can be a painful process. Always willing to take the time to completely answer questions from kids and parents.
My daughter and I really like Dr. Deme. He's very kind and takes the time to explain what is going on, and answered all our questions patiently. He also helped us think through how to play a wind instrument with braces which I was concerned about.
Forever thanking Dr. Gobbie for the great smile I'm sure to use everyday of my life!
I had my teeth straightened here, when no other orthodontist could help. Dr. Gobbie did an excellent job. He made a plan and did what I wanted, where all other orthodontists said my teeth were straight. But not in my eyes, they weren't. Dr. Gobbie fixed them to my likings. I would recommend him to anybody who needs their teeth straightened.