Comprehensive Treatment

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By 11-13 years of age, the entire adult dentition is present and the patient is ready for full orthodontic treatment (braces).

Treatment starts with a full diagnostic workup which includes diagnostic records, including X-rays of the head, photos of the face and teeth, and plaster models placed on an articulator (which simulates jaw movements and bite position). A thorough dental and facial exam is also included.

From these records and exam, a diagnosis and treatment plan is formulated for treatment. These findings are presented in a consultation with the patient.

After planning treatment, braces are placed for a period of 1 to 3 years. In this active phase of treatment, the teeth are moved into ideal esthetic and functional position.

At the end of active treatment, braces are removed and retention therapy begins. During this phase, retainers are placed to hold the teeth in position until the surrounding bone and tissues settle into place and in order to ensure that the teeth don't move during further growth. Once retainers are placed, the patient is monitored for 2 years or to age 18.