Why & When

Are you a candidate for orthodontic treatment?

This will be determined at your first visit new patient exam.

Orthodontics is not merely for improving the aesthetics of the smile; orthodontic treatment improves bad bites (malocclusions). Malocclusions occur as a result of tooth or jaw misalignment. Malocclusions affect the way you smile, chew, clean your teeth or feel about your smile.

Untreated malocclusions can result in a variety of problems. Crowded teeth are more difficult to properly brush and floss, which may contribute to tooth decay and/or gum disease. Protruding teeth are more susceptible to accidental chipping. Crossbites can result in unfavorable growth and uneven tooth wear. Openbites can result in tongue-thrusting habits and speech impediments. Ultimately, orthodontics does more than make a pretty smile — it creates a healthier you.

When is the best time to begin orthodontics?

Though an orthodontist can enhance a smile at any age, there is an optimal time window to begin treatment. If we begin treatment at this time, we can have the best result in the most efficient manner.

The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that the initial orthodontic evaluation should occur at age 7. At this early age, most patients are not yet ready for orthodontic treatment, but permanent molars and incisors are erupted so crowding, spacing, crossbites, and bite issues can be evaluated.

We can discuss what problems and future treatments would be most likely recommended, and we can follow the patient in our recall system so that orthodontic treatment can be started at the appropriate time.

What are the advantages of interceptive treatment?

While most patients are treated efficiently in a single phase of orthodontic treatment at the time when most of the permanent teeth are erupted, some orthodontic issues are best treated with a Phase I /Phase II treatment regimen.

Phase I orthodontic treatment, also known as Interceptive treatment, is a short treatment that takes place when baby teeth are still present. The reason for Phase I treatment is to make the comprehensive or Phase II treatment more efficient and to hopefully avoid more complicated treatments involving extractions and jaw surgery.

Some of the most direct results of interceptive treatment are:

  • Creating room for crowded, erupting teeth
  • Creating facial symmetry through influencing jaw growth
  • Reducing the risk of trauma to protruding front teeth
  • Preserving space for unerupted teeth
  • Reducing the need for tooth extractions
  • Reducing treatment time for Phase II braces

Adult Treatment

Braces aren't just for kids anymore. Over 20% of our current patients are adults.

Tooth alignment can be changed at any age as long as your gums and bone structure are healthy. We offer a variety of treatments such as metal braces, ceramic braces, or Invisalign® that are appropriate for adults. Dr. McCray is an experienced Invisalign® provider. You will find out during your first visit what treatment options would be appropriate for you.

Orthodontic treatment for adults can dramatically improve your personal appearance and self-esteem. Improving the health of your teeth and gums is equally important. Some adult patients need orthodontic treatment to prepare for dental restorations or implants.

It's never too late to improve one of your greatest assets – your smile.