Christchurch Orthodontics Ltd. - Russell Lovatt & Christine Bailey


What can orthodontics do for me?

  • Increase self esteem by improving appearance
  • Decrease the likelihood of gum disease and premature loss of teeth by relieving stress on gums and bones which results when teeth do not meet properly
  • Eliminate speech problems caused by protruding or mal-aligned teeth
  • Lower the incidence of decay in crowded, overlapping teeth which can become food trap areas
  • Help correct poorly grown jaws in adults with a combination of Orthodontics and jaw surgery

Who needs treatment?

With time it is often obvious why orthodontic treatment may be needed. Dissatisfaction with your smile, trouble with your bite, missing teeth with gaps, retained baby teeth and extra teeth to name a few of the more obvious concerns. Although dental health concerns are frequently the primary impetus for orthodontic treatment, it is not unusual for treatment to be initiated for the patient’s emotional well-being. In many cases orthodontics provides both physical and psychological benefits.

First impressions often are based on the appearance of a person’s face, mouth and teeth. A person with crooked teeth or a facial deformity is often judged negatively not only on appearance but also on many other characteristics such as intelligence and personality.

Research also has shown that children and adults who believe their teeth or jaws are unattractive may suffer from a lack of self-esteem and confidence. In some cases, the psychological impact of crooked teeth has been found to hamper a person’s social or vocational growth.

When is the best time to seek treatment?

Although there is not a universal best age to begin orthodontic treatment, the American Association of Orthodontists (AAO) recommends that every child see an orthodontist at an early age, preferably before 10 years of age. However, a visit at any age is advisable if a particular problem has been noted by the parent, family dentist or child’s physician.

Orthodontic specialists can improve smiles at any age, but there can be benefits to early diagnosis. Early examination enables the orthodontist to detect and evaluate problems and determine the appropriate time to treat them. After the initial evaluation, the orthodontist may simply recommend periodic checkups while the permanent teeth erupt and the face and jaws continue to grow.

In other cases, interceptive treatment may be initiated to prevent more serious problems developing. These limited measures sometimes involve the use of removable appliances. Some of the most common corrective measures in children are guiding or controlling the eruption of teeth and correcting deformities in the jaws as they grow. Early intervention frequently makes the completion of treatment at a later age easier and less time consuming. In some cases, early treatment achieves results that are attainable once the face and jaws have finished growing. Many orthodontic problems can be corrected in adults as well as children, so adults should not hesitate to consult an orthodontist to discuss a problem.


Am I too old for Orthodontic treatment?

You are never too old to begin orthodontic treatment.  Whilst there is often an advantage in beginning treatment early when we can possibly take advantage of growth, there is no real preclusion to beginning treatment later in life.  Adult Orthodontic treatment is one of the largest growing areas of treatment, especially with the recent advancements in clear braces and invisible braces.