We do more than straighten teeth. See how our approach to orthodontics focuses on creating harmony with your facial features.
The American Association of Orthodontics recommends children have their first orthodontic visit at age seven. Also known as the “Lucky number seven” visit because at this age, most children have begun the transition into the mixed dentition (a mixture of baby and permanent teeth).
At their first orthodontic visit, we enjoy talking with patients and parents about the exciting changes that are occurring as the permanent teeth begin to erupt. Additionally, we will observe and review the following:
Our pediatric dentists and orthodontists work closely together as a team to facilitate the care for our patients. If the pediatric dentist sees a potential issue like an impacted, crowded, or poorly positioned tooth, they may have the orthodontist come over immediately to check it out.
Also, when a child with braces comes in for a cleaning, the orthodontist can easily remove and put back on the wires or appliance for a more thorough cleaning. We believe our team approach is a huge benefit and convenience for our patients.
Depending on the scope and seriousness of the problem being addressed, early orthodontic (also known as Phase One) care is generally completed in about 6-18 months!
The goals of early treatment are to correct severe growth disturbances of the jaw (overbite, underbite, crossbites) and re-establish harmony in facial/skeletal growth. Early treatment also helps make room for permanent teeth to come in properly, lessening the chance for extractions in the future.
As an ounce of prevention, early orthodontics can improve the following imperfections:
Does my child need two-phases of treatment?
How long does it take?
What if I need to put off treatment?
Again, not all children will require early phase orthodontics. But as mentioned, treatment of severe crowding or functional problems at an early age will allow the orthodontist to utilize the patients’ active growth as well as produce benefits such as:
The total active treatment time for two phases of treatment is approximately 2 – 3 years split into two time periods to optimize long-term stability and harmonize aesthetics.
The confidence and self-esteem that comes with a great smile is a gift that is as rewarding for parents as it is for their teens. “It’s why we do what we do!” comments Dr. Thurston.
WE THINK FACES... NOT BRACES
Whether it is a big dance, senior pictures, or a family event, we know teens are motivated to complete any needed orthodontic care as quickly as possible. But we can't give you a beautiful smile without your cooperation!
When we consult with the parent and teen, we present a time frame for orthodontic treatment. Please note the following factors may affect the length of time and end result of treatment:
It’s never too late to improve your smile! In fact today, 1 in 5 orthodontic patients are adults. Additionally, advancements such as Invisalign and Damon Clear Braces have made treatment much more comfortable, discreet, and appealing for adults.
Whether it is preparing for a complex restorative procedure or creating a beautiful smile to make the best of your facial features and personality shine through, we will help. We can work closely with your general dentist and the finest specialists to give you an outstanding result!
Notice some of the cosmetic benefits of adult orthodontics:
Notice some of the functional benefits of adult orthodontics:
It’s a fact of life: Accidents happen. Even orthodontic accidents can happen, turning into emergencies. Please see below for our list of most common orthodontic emergencies and quick and easy fixes for temporary relief.
Types of BracesWhether your child wants colorful braces or Invisalign, Dr. Thurston and Dr. Gordon Dixon are pleased to offer a variety of solutions to achieve your treatment goals and objectives.
Traditional Metal Braces
Traditional metal braces are the most common braces offered by orthodontists. Metal brackets are bonded to the teeth and connected by a thin metal archwire. With pressure, the metal braces can guide teeth to their correct position while the archwire is periodically adjusted and tightened.
The Invisible Alternative
These clear, thermoplastic aligners are used to straighten teeth effortlessly for both TEENS AND ADULTS! Since Invisalign is almost invisible, they are aesthetically pleasing to the eye. Plus, the aligners are removable for easy brushing and eating.
We provide stellar results in facial harmony and aesthetics for patients of all ages (including adults). See why it's better to start sooner rather than later.
As your child approaches the teenage years, they undergo a transformative process. They begin to "look in the mirror," and are discovering who they are, what those around them represent, and how they fit into society.
A few weeks after beginning orthodontic treatment, our patients (children and adults) come out of their shells more - they become more outgoing, develop more confidence. Parents especially are delighted to get to know the adult their child is growing up to be.
Our orthodontists in San Diego see children, teens, and adults.
The goal of our orthodontic practice is to make you and your child's orthodontic treatment something they can be excited about when looking in the mirror every day. With our skilled team, cutting-edge technology, and expert orthodontists, San Diego patients can be confident they are in the best hands with Dr. Thurston and Dr. Gordon Dixon.
Frequently Asked Questions
If your question isn’t here, feel free to ask us! We love parents who want to learn more about their children's optimal dental health.
Ready to smile with confidence?
If you are a new patient or have been referred to our practice, please let us know. We will provide all of the information you need.
A Note About Coronavirus (COVID-19)
Nothing is more important to us than protecting the health and safety of our patients, team members, and community. That’s why we are suspending all non-emergency dental care at our practice. If you are experiencing a TRUE DENTAL EMERGENCY (such as severe pain, dental trauma, or swelling), please call 858-676-5000. We are available for Virtual Consultations as needed. Please be safe during this time and know that we are following all COVID-19 guidelines set forth by the state of California. We are grateful for your loyalty and we will get through this challenging time together.