"I cannot speak highly enough of Dr. Hullings and his staff. We have so appreciated their care of our daughter, the interest they take in her outside of her orthodontic care and the propensity to run appointments on time." - Lisa J.
When to Begin | Interceptive Treatment | Comprehensive Treatment | Adult Treatment | Dental Care | Before & After Photos/ Phase I Treatment | Before & After Photos/ Full Treatment | Before & After Photos/ Adult Treatment
When to Begin
Though orthodontic treatment can enhance a smile at any age, there is an optimal time to begin treatment to ensure the best result. Your family dentist may suggest an orthodontic evaluation for your child, but a direct referral is not necessary. The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that the initial orthodontic evaluation occur by age 7 or when the permanent first molars and incisors (front four teeth) are in.
At this early age, orthodontic treatment may not be needed, but Dr. Hullings will carefully monitor growth and development to determine the best time to begin. Early evaluation provides both timely detection of problems and a greater opportunity for more effective treatment. Orthodontic intervention can guide growth, preventing more serious problems later.
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Sometimes orthodontic treatment begins at an early age when there are still some baby teeth present. This type of treatment is called Phase One or Interceptive orthodontic treatment and is recommended for patients with more severe orthodontic problems. Dr. Hullings will recommend interceptive treatment only when the same result cannot be achieved if treatment is delayed until all of the permanent teeth are in place.
The most common goals of Phase One treatment are to improve jaw relationships, correct crossbites and/or to create adequate space to accommodate the permanent teeth. Growing children can benefit enormously from an early phase of treatment using orthopedic appliances designed to guide the growth of the upper and lower jaws. Not only is the bite improved, but the facial profile can be dramatically enhanced.
Phase One is the first phase of an anticipated two-phase treatment service. It usually does not eliminate the need for further treatment to align all of the permanent teeth and detail how they fit together. However, interceptive treatment frequently makes the completion of treatment (Phase Two or full braces) at a later age easier and less time consuming.
Before & After Photos of Phase One Cases >>>
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If the orthodontic problems do not require early intervention, comprehensive treatment (full upper and lower braces) can be delayed until all of the permanent teeth have erupted.
While the most obvious benefit of orthodontic treatment is a beautiful, confident smile, there are numerous dental health benefits as well. Straight teeth collect less plaque and are easier to keep clean, which makes them less prone to decay and gum disease. Properly aligned teeth and jaws will also reduce the risk of abnormal wear on the teeth and excessive stress on gum tissue and the bone that supports the teeth.
Ultimately, orthodontic care to correct a problem early may be less costly than the restorative dental procedures that are required to treat problems that arise as a result of untreated orthodontic problems.
Whether your orthodontic treatment goal is a beautiful smile or healthier teeth, you can be sure that our goal is both. Please view our before and after cases to envision what Dr. Hullings can do for you.
Before and After Photos of Full Treatment Cases >>>
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Orthodontic treatment can be successful at any age, and adults especially appreciate the benefits of a beautiful smile. Twenty percent of all orthodontic patients are adults. In our office, many parents have been so impressed with the changes they’ve seen in their own children that they have decided to pursue orthodontic treatment for themselves.
Your dentist may have recommended orthodontic treatment to improve the fit and function of your teeth and jaws, or you may have wanted to improve the look of your smile for years. Either way, Dr. Hullings would welcome the opportunity to visit with you about the benefits of treatment.
Before and After Photos of Adult Cases >>>
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Regular Dental Care
As part of your orthodontic treatment, you must be committed to taking excellent care of your teeth and gums while you are in orthodontic appliances. All of our patients receive an electric toothbrush and individual instruction for proper oral hygiene when the appliances are placed. Regular dental check-ups and cleanings with your family dentist are a must!