I assume the following when you bring your child to me:
- You want the most conservative treatment methods.
- You are placing your trust in me to obtain the best possible result for your child.
- You and your child want to be informed about treatment options and treatment procedures as much as I do whenever I see a medical or dental professional.
- Accordingly, the first thing I ask myself when I examine your child, is "What would I do if this were my child?"
I am very conservative in my treatment approaches. This means that:
- I will let the teeth develop naturally as much as possible. I do not recommend the removal of baby teeth unless absolutely necessary.
- If there is a chance that a problem will get better on its own, I will always give this a chance to happen. In many cases, growth can improve a problem, and I always take this into consideration when formulating a treatment plan.
- I will use the least aggressive appliance possible to address a problem. If a problem can be corrected using a "retainer" type appliance, I will suggest this instead of braces.
- If a problem can be caught before it becomes too severe, it can enable me to obtain a better result. I therefore will recommend early treatment when necessary to create enough room for all of the adult teeth, or head off bite problems before any damage is done to the teeth. Early treatment can minimize or eliminate the need for permanent tooth extractions.
My skill level is also such that I can treat many problems without the removal of permanent teeth.
You should also know that I do not take your trust lightly. I take more than the state requirement (40 hours every 2 years) continuing education to keep current on the latest techniques and advances in orthodontics and dentistry.
At every visit, I re-evaluate your progress based upon your growth and how you are responding to treatment. I am very meticulous and treat every case with the utmost attention to detail.
I am careful to explain all treatment procedures before you experience them, so you know what to expect. I also try to be careful not to use dental terminology that you might not be familiar with.
Of course, if you are an adult, I take the same care in treating you as I do with my younger patients.
Some of the specific things that you will experience in my practice related to the quality of your care are:
- I use "State of the art" wire materials that are as gentle as possible.
- I use more expensive self-ligating molar brackets so that I can properly align the second molars.
- All of the x-rays that I take are digital - this reduces the exposure to radiation over the older film technology. It also enables better communication with any other dental professionals that may be involved in your treatment. Any time someone needs to see an x-ray that I have taken on you, I can email them the x-ray or print out another original. With the older film technology, the films needed to be duplicated and the quality on the duplicate was not as good as the original. This reduced the diagnostic quality for the dentist receiving the duplicate.
- I delegate very little to my staff. The way I see it, you are paying for my skill, my judgment, and my care, so that I what I provide. Some practices have their assistants put the braces on. I consider this to be the most important part of your treatment and I do not delegate this. Some practices have a technician put the braces on your model and then the braces are put on your teeth based upon a template that the technician generates. Again, bracket position is so important that I do not want to delegate this.
- The braces are attached to your teeth by a composite material (I'll call it glue for simplicity's sake here). If there are gaps of no glue between the brace and your tooth, you can get a stain or cavity in this spot. If too much glue is left around the brace (flash), this can be a source of either irritation to your gum or a spot that will retain plaque more When putting the braces on, I take particular care in
- I do all of the adjustments to your braces, including putting bends in the wires, changing your wires, any activating adjustments, etc. Some practices delegate this to their assistants. All of these things provide me with diagnostic information which I need to know to ensure the proper progression of your treatment.
- I have an iTero Element 2 digital scanner, which means in most cases, we don't need to take impressions of your teeth - just the digital scan (these are a set of photos, not xrays) - to make digital study models.