Orthodontists specialize in the diagnosis, prevention and treatment of dental and facial irregularities, and treatment to achieve function, balance, and harmony between the teeth and face. Aside from the fact that crooked or crowded teeth can contribute to poor oral health, an attractive smile can greatly enhance a person’s self-esteem and self-confidence. Orthodontics can enhance one’s quality of life at any age.
Dr. Larry Layfield will personally explain all recommended procedures, and will keep you fully informed about every aspect of your treatment at New Braunfels Orthodontic Associates. After gathering important information – which may include models, x-rays, and facial photographs – we can best determine your orthodontic needs and treatment plan. In addition to braces, other orthopedic appliances can direct the growth and development of jaws in children and teens.
In non-growing patients, orthodontic treatment can sometimes be combined with orthognathic (jaw) surgery, to achieve maximal results. Treatment time for braces can range from one to three years. Interceptive, or early treatment procedures, may take only a few months. Actual length of treatment depends on the patient’s mouth and facial growth, and the patient’s attentiveness to at-home maintenance. During orthodontic treatment, you should see your general dentist every six months (or as directed) to have routine follow-up care. Our staff will also teach you how to take care of your teeth, gums, and braces during treatment, and help you maintain good dental health. Orthodontic treatment can address the following problems:
• The teeth are crowded or overlapped
• The teeth are spaced (gaps between teeth)
• The upper teeth protrude (overbite)
• The lower teeth protrude (underbite)
• The upper teeth fit inside the lower teeth (crossbite)
• The upper teeth cover too much of the lower teeth
• The front teeth do not meet when the back teeth are together
• The midlines between the two upper front teeth and the two lower front teeth do not line up properly
The American Association of Orthodontics recommends that children should first visit an orthodontist no later than age 7. The primary advantage of early treatment is that a child’s natural facial growth can be influenced and augmented to avoid more costly and invasive procedures in the future. Also, as the child experiences rapid skeletal growth, Dr. Layfield can use this natural growth for smile enhancement. Most patients will not be ready for full orthodontic treatment until around age 11, but an early examination will allow maximal timing of treatment, as well as any beneficial interceptive procedures.
There are several options of braces, in varying degrees of visibility. We offer mini stainless steel braces, and clear ceramic braces. For adults that may be concerned about wearing traditional braces, we are pleased to offer Invisalign®, clear plastic aligners that gradually move teeth into the correct position.
No matter what your age, your appearance is an important aspect of your life. If you are unhappy with your smile, have crooked teeth, or an uneven profile, it is never too late to begin orthodontic treatment. In fact, almost 30 percent of orthodontic patients are adults. In addition to enhancing their smiles, many adults seek orthodontic treatment to improve the function of their bite, improving oral health.