Orthodontics for Children
We love to treat orthodontic problems in children and teens! One of the advantages of orthodontic treatment for children, compared to adult treatment, is that we can affect jaw growth to achieve a more ideal result. Many orthodontic problems are caused by a combination of skeletal (jaws) and dental (teeth) factors, so the ability to alter jaw growth in children often allows us to better treat the underlying problem in many cases. Treatment is completed with the upper and lower jaws in a proper relationship with each other. This allows the teeth to fit together while well-positioned over the jawbones, enhancing stability, and often achieves real improvements in a child's facial profile.
During his 20+ years of practicing orthodontics, and in remaining current with the latest orthodontic research, Dr. Joiner has achieved a profound understanding of facial and jaw growth. He is able to work with a child's growth to correct many orthodontic problems before they require more complex treatment. Properly-timed growth correction can prevent the need for prolonged treatment, jaw surgery, and even extractions in many cases. The key is early assessment (7-8 years) so that care can be delivered at the optimal time. There are many circumstances where a brief interceptive phase of relatively minor treatment at a younger age (before growth is complete and permanent are all in) can make any future orthodontic care simpler and far less invasive.
This does NOT mean that every 7- to 8-year-old child with developing orthodontic problems needs treatment at that age! Not all children are candidates for early orthodontic treatment. There are many cases that are best treated when most of the permanent teeth have erupted. Dr. Joiner understands which types of orthodontic problems should be treated quite early (age 7-8) vs. those that may be comfortably treated at the more traditional age of 12 or so. Dr. Joiner looks at what is best for each individual's health and at the same time, what is most cost-effective for the parent. If, in consultation with the child and parents, the decision is made to postpone treatment, we will continue to monitor your child's growth and development at periodic no-charge observation visits.
Treatment timing can be very confusing for the family, and many parents don't know when it is time to visit the orthodontist for an initial evaluation. Therefore, for your peace of mind, early childhood assessment in our office is complimentary. This affords you the opportunity to discover your options and find out when it is best to start orthodontic care.