What is an Orthodontist?
An orthodontist is a specialist who has completed two or three years of postdoctoral training in the recognition and treatment of dental and skeletal malocclusions (abnormal bites.) At Durham Pediatric Dentistry and Orthodontics, Dr. John is a pediatric dentist and an orthodontist. Dr. Christensen completed his orthodontic training following his pediatric dentistry education. This unique specialty training in facial growth and development allows Dr. Christensen to intercept potential orthodontic problems as well as treat existing malocclusions.
When Should Treatment Start?
There is no “right” time to receive orthodontic treatment. Some children require early treatment to intercept dental problems. Other patients can wait until all the permanent teeth have erupted before starting treatment. There is no upper age limit in orthodontics and many adults are now starting treatment.
If your child is being seen for pediatric dentistry in our office, Dr. John and Dr. Dolan are evaluating and documenting your child’s growth and development at their regular six-month check-ups. They will present and discuss any orthodontic concerns they may have with you at these appointments.
Many of our orthodontic patients receive their regular dental care with a family dentist and see Dr. Christensen just for orthodontics. You do not need a referral from an outside dentist to make an appointment.
Dr. Christensen will meet with you and your child for an initial orthodontic consultation and evaluation. Dr. Christensen will share his findings with you and also correspond with your child’s primary dentist. Once your child begins orthodontic treatment in our office, it is important that they continue to see their family dentist for regular, six-month exams and cleanings (check-ups.)
After the initial consultation, we will schedule an Orthodontic Records Appointment to take special orthodontic x-rays, dental impressions and photographs. These photographs will be of the patient’s face and teeth. Dr. Christensen will then study this information and develop an individualized treatment plan for your child and their smile.
Treatment Plan Presentation
During the Treatment Plan Presentation appointment, Dr. Christensen will sit down with you and your child to discuss the orthodontic problems, the different treatment alternatives, and the length and cost of treatment This open discussion focuses on treatment options for your child — including the advantages and disadvantages of treatment. You can ask questions, gain an understanding of the process, and participate in the decision-making about the proposed treatment.
Our Treatment Coordinator will also meet with you review and answer any questions you may have about scheduling appointments, caring for your child’s braces and orthodontic fees and payment options. Durham Pediatric Dentistry & Orthodontics provides interest free financing for orthodontic treatment and will work with you to develop a customized payment plan.
Dr. John will place braces or deliver orthodontic appliances to straighten your child’s teeth and improve their smile. Generally, we will schedule appointments every four to eight weeks. We will do our best to try and keep school time appointments to a minimum. However, there are certain times we may need to schedule your child for a school time appointment. Our front office staff keep copies of local school calendars, teacher workdays and holidays to help you with scheduling your child’s appointment.
Seeing is Believing!
If you have ever wondered how the process works, watch these videos. You will see beautiful smiles develop from some pretty bad crowding and bites.