Treatment Info

About Orthodontic Treatment

The Right Age for Orthodontic Treatment

It is never too early or too late to inquire about treatment. Orthodontics can benefit people of all ages. The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that children come in for their first visit by their 7th birthday.

Early orthodontic exams are both important and free of charge. They allow our doctors to work with a child's unique growth time line and pattern to choose the best time to begin treatment. Our doctors recommend "early treatment" in less than 25% of elementary aged kids our practice, which is far more conservative than the national average. Most patients are treated one time during Junior High or High School and this is known as "adolescent treatment". However, it is never too late for orthodontic treatment. New cosmetic treatment options and advancements in comfort have made "adult treatment" more popular than ever.

Our philosophy is to start orthodontic treatment when we can achieve the best results possible in the shortest period of time.

Benefits of Orthodontic Treatment

As your general dentist or hygienist may have explained, there are numerous benefits to straight teeth and proper bite. Crooked teeth are difficult to adequately clean and crowded teeth make it difficult to floss. This can result in tooth decay, gum disease and lead to tooth loss. Other bite problems can contribute to abnormal and excessive wear of tooth surfaces (enamel loss), inefficient chewing function, excessive stress on gum tissue and the bone that supports the teeth, joint discomfort or misalignment ("TMJ" or TMJD).

The doctors and team at Heetland Orthodontics know the benefits of a beautiful, healthy smile. Research has confirmed what many believe; a beautiful smile improves self-esteem, enhances the quality of relationships, and improves success at school and work. For most people, a beautiful smile is the most obvious benefit of orthodontics; however healthy teeth and a correct bite are benefits that can last a lifetime.

What's Wrong With My Smile?

Orthodontic problems can result from a combination of genetic and developmental factors and disruptive habits.

The best treatment results begin with the best initial diagnosis, which is why it's important each problem is diagnosed properly before treatment begins. Our certified orthodontists are experts in doing this.

Your initial visit allows our orthodontists to understand your concerns, diagnose and explain the problems, and offer treatment options with approximate time and fee. We will take records at no charge as part of our examination.  

Getting Started

With our lives being so busy, many patients wish to start treatment as quickly as possible. To accomplish this, we combine the process of gathering all necessary diagnostic information at your first visit.

Dr. Shawna or Dr. Kelly will review your records with you to create a custom, detailed treatment plan treatment plan to address your concerns and create an optimal bite and fantastic smile. They will discuss appropriate treatment goals to target and discuss the best methods for achieving these goals as outlined. It is very important you understand the treatment goals and agree with the approach before orthodontics begins. Once all issues have been reviewed and agreed upon, treatment can begin immediately. Our goal is to maximize the communication with our patients. When patients know more about what we are doing and why, treatment often goes much faster.

It is critically important to maintain regular visits with your primary care dentist during orthodontic treatment for checkups, cleanings and any necessary dental work that comes up.

What's Next?

Active Treatment

Regular visits are necessary to progress efficiently through treatment. Adjustment appointments will generally be every 3-10 weeks. To complete treatment on time and with the best results our patients are on time to their scheduled appointments, practice excellent oral hygiene and wear their appliances and elastics as instructed. And they are rewarded with EXCELLENT smiles! They also continue their regular visits to their general dentist for cleanings and check-ups.


Once active treatment is complete, we fit our patients for custom, comfortable retainers. This stage is just as crucial as active treatment. Usually, Dr. Kelly & Dr. Shawna Heetland instruct our patients to wear their retainers at "night-time for lifetime."

Orthodontic treatment is an investment that will last a lifetime. We understand the importance of choosing the right orthodontist and are committed to delivering individualized quality treatment that will result in a beautiful smile and long-term dental health.