When we do provide early treatment, we strive to limit that early treatment to situations where it will reduce future orthodontic treatment in a meaningful way, accomplish treatment goals that cannot otherwise be accomplished, or potentially take away future orthodontic problems to the degree that future orthodontics may not even be necessary. Early treatment should be reserved for circumstances that cannot otherwise be adequately corrected by a single phase of treatment. Early treatment should not be simply for the purpose of early expansion in situations of mild to moderate dental crowding as such an idea is outdated and has been shown to be clinically unnecessary. While there are some patients who have extreme orthodontic needs, you will not regularly see large groups of 6, 7, and 8 year old patients in braces and/or retainers at our office.
New Braces for Every Patient:
Every patient who comes to our office and who starts treatment gets their own new set of braces. There are some offices who use recycled braces. We feel that the fine tolerances of braces require a new set for each patient. Most of our patients have personalized braces which have been custom made for them with the use of Insignia. In fact, at the conclusion of treatment, we offer each patient the opportunity to keep his/her braces because each set is otherwise discarded.
Surgery in combination with orthodontics can sometimes offer excellent treatment results, but surgery is not necessary for everyone (nor should it be for everyone), and we strive to provide non-surgical treatment to our patients whenever possible. Very few patients have conditions serious enough to warrant surgical intervention in addition to orthodontics; however, if there is an extreme change that can only be accomplished through surgery, we will talk to you about treatment options respecting the fact that surgery is a serious situation. We do not take presentation of a surgical treatment plan lightly.
Early Orthodontic Treatment when it matters, not just to be a busier office:
We limit early treatment to situations where it truly matters and where it can truly make an actual difference in the long term. The question is not whether early treatment will make things look better in the short term, rather, the question is whether or not early treatment will result in a better result in the long term..... and then let you decide what is best for your family.
Certainly, we will provide early treatment in circumstances where patients are self-conscious, an emergency circumstance requires action, or in the rare scenario where such treatment will actually make a difference to long term results. With that said, only about 7% of our patients have early treatment with retainers and only about 3% of our patients have early braces. That means only 10% of our total practice has "early treatment" because most parents, when given the options, realize that waiting for a single phase of treatment is okay. We feel that we are different for offering early treatment as an "option" rather than an "obligation", and we will have an honest discussion with you about those options.
In the past, orthodontists used to believe that early treatment was the only way to provide nice overall treatment results. Expanders, lip bumpers, and other appliances were used on nearly every patient. Patients were subjected to extensive treatment at early ages only to be asked to go through more treatment later. While arguments can be made that such treatments are not harmful, it is a stronger argument to say that such methods are simply not necessary for most patients. Fortunately, there are newer treatment methods which makes much early treatment unnecessary. With patience of waiting for the right time and with the use of The Damon™ System Braces and Insignia, we are able to postpone treatment until the adult teeth have erupted to provide treatment when it really matters. While we will suggest early treatment when it is necessary, we don't want to take advantage of our patients by providing treatment that is not necessary.
It is important to recognize that waiting can sometimes result in a positive change without interference from an impatient orthodontist as can be seen in the photos to the right. There are times when the natural process of growth and development will result in positive changes without orthodontic treatment. Waiting for the "right time" can often simplify the problems. The baby molars are actually bigger than the adult teeth that replace them. See in these photographs how, as the baby molars are lost naturally, the crowding is reduced without orthodontic intervention.
Stable, Comfortable Expansion without Rapid Palatal Expanders:
The Damon™ System Braces makes the use of palatal expanders unnecessary. This is not to say that we don't provide expansion of the dental arches when necessary, but it is to say that our doctors feel that there is better way to expand than the outdated technology of the rapid palatal expander. If you have been told that palatal expansion is what you need, please call us so that we can show you how expansion can be achieved without an expander. In our opinion, the Damon™ System Braces allow us to achieve a healthy, stable expansion equal to or better than that which is achieved with palatal expanders, correcting crossbites and/or crowding without uncomfortable, bulky, difficult to clean palatal expanders.
The use of The Damon™ System Braces also allows us to provide non-surgical treatment for many adult patients. If you are an adult and you have been told that your treatment would require surgical expansion, please call us for a second opinion because there may be other options available. Expansion was often considered to be limited to treatment of children. That is no longer the case. Expansion in adults with The Damon™ System Braces is not a compromise with a lesser result. Expansion in adult patients with The Damon™ System Braces is a valid treatment option that has been shown to be an excellent treatment option for many patients.
Damon System/Damon Smile
Before & AFter full Treatment
Efficient Treatment through sound treatment philosophy and the best technology:
We believe in efficient treatment. By waiting to start treatment until the "right time" we can accomplish more treatment with less effort (and often less cost). This means that, when possible, we will wait until all baby teeth are gone and the adult teeth have erupted; however, specifics of treatment will depend upon the individual patient and each person's unique set of teeth.
While everyone is different and treatment times vary, average treatment times at our office are only 12-18 months. Only about 20% of our patients are in treatment longer than 18 months. To achieve those treatment times, we use the Damon™ System Braces and Insignia Custom Smile Design. We don't rush treatment, we just plan really well and use effective technology.
Of course, providing quality is more important than the speed. Insignia is a system where we use computers to visualize our end goals to and then reverse engineer the process to create a truly unique and superior treatment result (with great efficiency). Through Insignia, we are able to use computer modeling to "virtually" place the braces and make customized wires. Technically, we are doing your treatment first in the computer to see how it should go before we start treatment with your actual teeth.
269-963-4118 4602 Beckley Road, Battle Creek, MI 49015
269-273-9595 111 E Kelsey St, Three Rivers, MI 49093
269-544-1222 950 N 10th St, Kalamazoo, MI 49009
Before & AFter early Treatment
WHat type of orthodontic treatment is best for you?
Insignia Custom Smile
Trios - no impressions!!!