The doctors at Pediatric Dental Specialists, PA will perform an orthodontic evaluation at every cleaning appointment. Upon the findings of the evaluation, the doctor will recommend to either wait and watch the child grow or recommend orthodontic records be taken. If the child is ready for orthodontic records, a set of molds or digital scan, photographs and specials x-rays will be taken in order for the doctor to build a treatment plan designed specifically for the child. Once completed, the next step is an orthodontic consultation. During the consultation, treatment will be recommended based upon the doctor’s findings. All questions regarding treatment and associated fees will be answered during the consultation. The next step is to get started with orthodontic treatment.
There are two types of orthodontic treatment that our doctors provide: Interceptive orthodontic treatment and comprehensive orthodontic treatment.
Interceptive Orthodontic Treatment
Interceptive treatment is typically recommended between the ages of 7 – 10 years when the child has most of their baby teeth and a few of their permanent teeth. Treatment is recommended for younger children who have jaw discrepancies. The reason being is that it is easier to manipulate a growing jaw versus a non-growing jaw. The main goal of Interceptive treatment is to reduce or eliminate the probability of extractions, surgery and extended comprehensive treatment time.
Children who are recommended Interceptive treatment will more than likely need another phase of braces later on in adolescence. The goal of Interceptive treatment is not to avoid a second phase of braces, but to resolve the following problems while the child is growing:
- 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 removal
- Reducing treatment time with braces
The average treatment time for Interceptive treatment is between 9 – 16 months.
Comprehensive Orthodontic Treatment
Comprehensive treatment following an Interceptive treatment usually takes place a number of years later. Most or all of the permanent teeth need to have erupted before this step can be taken. The most common age is between 11 – 13 years of age.
“Traditional” braces typically consist of upper and lower brackets placed on the front of the teeth. Additional appliances or clear aligners may be recommended based upon the doctor’s findings. There are many appliances available and our doctors will decide which appliance (if needed) is right for the child. The length of treatment time is based upon each child. However, typical treatment times range from 18 months – 24 months.
Benefits of Orthodontic Treatment
The doctors at Pediatric Dental Specialists, PA recommend orthodontic treatment based upon the following benefits:
- Orthodontically corrected teeth are less prone to chipping and wear
- Well aligned teeth are easier to clean, and less likely to decay
- Ideally positioned teeth lessen the chance of gingivitis, recession, and gum disease
- A good bite results in less strain on jaw muscles/joints
- Better chewing
- Ability to close spaces and avoid the need for bridges or implants
- Increase confidence
- Improved self-acceptance and well-being
Untreated orthodontic problems may lead to the following issues:
- Tooth decay
- Periodontal disease
- Digestive difficulties
- Abnormal wear of tooth surfaces
- Stress on gum tissue
- Misalignment of the jaw joints can result in chronic headaches or pain the face or neck
- Low self-esteem
“The information on this site is provided for educational or informative purposes only; it is not intended to be a substitute for professional advice, recommendations or treatment”.
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From the moment they step inside our practice your child's comfort is our number one priority.
We expect the best. We are setting new standards of what it means for your child to visit the dentist.
With 4 locations to conveniently choose from in North Kansas City, Leawood, Country Club Plaza, and Lee's Summit to best serve your dental needs.
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Our welcoming and experienced staff will take care of any questions or concerns you may have during your visit to our practice.
Dr. Donna Thomas was born and raised in the Kansas City area. She attended St. Mary’s high school and Rockhurst College. She received her Doctorate of Dental Surgery in 1992 from University of Missouri, Kansas City School of Dentistry. Following graduation, Dr. Thomas completed a 2-year Pediatric Dental Residency at the University of Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha where she also obtained a Masters Degree. Read More...
Dr. Nicole Hawkinson was raised in central Iowa and attended Luther College where she received a degree in biology. She then attended the University of Iowa, College of Dentistry, where she completed her Doctor of Dental Surgery degree. Dr. Hawkinson went on to continue her education and received a certificate in Pediatric Dentistry at Strong Memorial Hospital and the University of Rochester, NY. She received extensive training in child psychology, dental trauma, sedation, hospital dentistry and development. Read More...
Dr. Claudia Lopez is originally from Bogotá, Colombia. She graduated first in her class at the El Bosque University of Dentistry. In 1992, she moved to the United States and obtained a certification in Pediatric Dentistry from New York University College of Dentistry. Dr. Lopez completed a DDS certificate and one year of dental research fellowship training at Children’s Mercy Hospital and the University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Dentistry. Read More...
Dr. Frank Crist attended Park Hill High School where he graduated in 1982. He received a Bachelor of Science in Biology from Kansas State University in 1986 and went on to attend the University of Missouri, Kansas City School of Dentistry where he received his Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS) in 1990. Dr. Crist completed a General Practice Residency at the Miami Children’s Hospital in Miami, Florida. Read More...
We are thankful to our amazing patients and parents who acknowledge our excellence and have posted 5-star reviews on Google.
"My daughter loves coming for her appts! Have always had great experiences! She loved Dr. Lopez!!"
"My grandson loves going to the dentist. Dr. Thomas is an awesome dentist, kind and gentle with him when he had to have a tooth fixed."
We combine the latest in cutting-edge technology along with time-tested techniques in order to ensure that your child will always get the safest and most effective treatment possible.