At Innovative Dental, comprehensive care is our ultimate goal for every patient, all the way to our youngest patients! Preventative measures can be a parent’s best long-term investment for a child’s dental health. Early intervention through orthodontic appliances can prevent major problems from occurring later on for many children.

When should my child be evaluated for Traditional Orthodontics?

Dr. Megan Westrich uses the latest technology and training to properly diagnose and treat orthodontic cases, and starts evaluating children as early as age 5. Dr. Megan is passionate about orthodontics, and encourages early intervention to potentially prevent permanent tooth extractions, surgery, speech problems, and trauma. Utilizing functional appliances with Phase 1 orthodontics, she can successfully treat crossbites, narrow palates, excessive crowding, tongue thrust and thumb sucking habits. Intervening early on with Phase 1 has the additional benefit of saving time and money later on when moving on to Phase 2 treatment.

What is the difference between Phase 1 Orthodontics, and Phase 2 Orthodontics?

Phase 1 and Phase 2 are terms that orthodontists and dentists often use to differentiate stages of orthodontic treatment. Phase 1 is utilized in cases prior to all of the permanent teeth erupting, and typically involves a functional appliance to treat crossbites, narrow palates, excessive crowding, tongue thrust and thumb sucking habits. Using Phase 1, theses types of orthodontic problems can be addressed as early as age 5, and is aimed at preparing the jaw to accommodate space for permanent teeth, and improve the relationship between upper and lower teeth to correct the bite. Benefits of opting to have your child in a Phase 1 treatment are that it can prevent the need for extractions of permanent teeth, and often saves time and money when moving on to Phase 2 treatment.

For most people, Phase 2 is what comes to mind when they think of orthodontics. Phase 2 is applied when all of the permanent teeth are present. Braces, wires and brackets, and occasionally appliances, are used in Phase 2 to position permanent teeth in order to maximize their appearance and function.

What To Expect

If you are concerned that yourself or your child may need to undergo an orthodontic treatment, at Innovative Dental we offer a complimentary consultation with Dr. Megan to assess and discuss the benefits and process of treatment. At the consultation, we will take complimentary x-rays to check for decay or impacted teeth that may need to be addressed. Dr. Megan will review the results of the images, and perform a visual exam to make an assessment of what phase of treatment is right for them, and give an initial idea the possible treatment and steps.

The next step is to have a ‘workup’ of diagnostic information to determine the finer details of your unique case. A work-up consists typically of:

  • Panoramic x-ray to examine root positioning
  • Ceph x-ray to view the profile and jaw positioning
  • Impressions to fabricate diagnostic casts, or models, of the teeth for Dr. Megan to explore the relationship of your upper and lower teeth and visualize your case
  • Photos of the upper and lower teeth, and of occlusion (how the teeth fit together)

After the workup is complete, Dr. Megan will take time to study the case. Typically within 1-2 weeks you will have a final consultation with Dr. Megan to learn about the exact specifications of yourself or your child’s orthodontic treatment plan.

Depending on the recommendations made, the next step may be a functional appliances such as an expander or spacers, and in other cases brackets are the first step in treatment.

Dr. Megan recommends her patients to see her every four weeks to assess progress, and move forward with treatment adjustments. Upon the completion of orthodontic treatment, your lifetime retainer is included to maintain your beautiful new smile.

Why choose Innovative Dental for your treatment?

Dr. Megan goes above and beyond her minimum continuing education requirements by attending multiple courses a year to learn the latest advancements in the field of orthodontics, including many advanced courses recognized by the International Orthodontic Association. This means Dr. Megan is keeping up with the latest advancements in orthodontics to benefit her patients with less invasive treatment options, and quicker results.

While braces are a popular option for children and young teens, many adults also appreciate the benefits of orthodontic treatments, so Dr. Megan also utilizes porcelain or Neolucent brackets for those patients that prefer a more esthetic look while undergoing traditional braces.