Treatment Stages

Early Treatment (age 7-10)

Orthodontic screening at age 7

While Drs. Heetland and Heetland can improve smiles at age, there is usually a best point in development to begin treatment to achieve maximum improvement with a minimum amount of time and expense.

The American Association of Orthodontists (AAO) recommends that a child's first visit to an orthodontist take place when an orthodontic problem is first detected. In all cases, the AAO recommends that every child visit an orthodontist by age 7. We provide this initial exam at no charge.

There are often many things that could be treated and very few that require treatment while baby teeth are still present. When early treatment is necessary, limited, interceptive orthopedic and orthodontic care provides significant benefits, especially for children with jaw irregularities, destructive bites, harmful habits, or social (self-esteem) issues.

Goals of interceptive (i.e. early or phase I) care:
  • REDUCE the need for removal of permanent teeth

  • Influence jaw growth in a positive manner

  • Minimize or prevent future surgical procedures

  • Guide permanent teeth into more favorable positions

  • Reduce likelihood of impacted permanent teeth

  • Decrease trauma to protruded front teeth or front teeth in crossbite (scissor-bite)

  • Correct / eliminate harmful habits

  • Improve the way lips meet improving oral and systemic health

  • Improve some speech problems

  • Improve appearance and self-esteem

Our approach & considerations for interceptive treatment:
  • Patient should get braces once if possible

  • Less than 15% of patients we examine at age 7 receive early treatment (85% join our kids club!)

  • Treating your child during their early growth stages allows us to guide growth and achieve results that may not be possible once the face and jaw bones have developed

  • Interceptive treatment can usually be accomplished in 4-12 months, and can prevent the need for extractions of permanent teeth, eliminate or minimize future surgical procedures, or prevent irreversible damage to teeth and related jaw structures

Resting / Observation Period

For those who do get interceptive treatment, after treatment is completed, all appliances are removed and the eruption of your child's permanent teeth will be monitored during visits every four to six months. Retainers may or may not be recommended during this observation period. 99% of children who have interceptive treatment have a second phase of treatment upon eruption of all permanent teeth.

Second Phase Treatment

It is important to understand that at the end of the first phase of treatment, the teeth are not in their final position. This will be accomplished in the corrective, second phase of treatment.

Each tooth has an exact location in the mouth where it is in harmony with the lips, cheeks, jaw joints and other teeth. When this equilibrium is established, the teeth will function together properly. Here, they will remain healthy and look the most attractive. This is the goal of the second phase of treatment.

Some clues that may indicate the need for early orthodontic attention:
  • Early or late loss of baby teeth

  • Difficulty in chewing or biting

  • Breathing through the mouth

  • Thumb-sucking

  • Crowded, misplaced or blocked-out teeth

  • Jaws that are too far forward or back

  • Biting the cheek or biting into the roof of the mouth

  • Protruding teeth

  • Upper and lower teeth that don’t meet, or meet in a destructive way

  • An unbalanced facial appearance

  • Grinding or clenching of the teeth

Adolescent Treatment (age 11-17)

Why do most patients have orthodontic treatment during adolescence?

During adolescence, orthodontic treatment benefits the total oral health of your growing child. Usually when a teenage patient undergoes treatment and achieves a healthy, beautiful, straight smile, he or she has a self-esteem boost! As teens grow into adulthood, changes occur to the gum tissues and the bones that support the teeth. By treating during adolescence, while a person's jaws are still growing, our doctors achieve results that may not be possible once the face and jaw bones have fully developed. Additionally, teens often gain psychological benefits from experiencing orthodontics at the same time as many of their peers.

Our approach

Timing of treatment greatly affects the efficiency of treatment, quality of the result and the cost. At Heetland Orthodontics, one of our main goals is to treat patient's orthodontic problems to the highest standard of excellence as efficiently as possible for the following benefits:

  • Decrease the time in braces

  • Decrease the cost of treatment

  • Reduce time missed from school

  • Minimize dental problems that can be seen with braces (cavities, etc.)

  • Keep patients motivated throughout treatment

Throughout treatment, numerous advanced procedures are used to correct your bite, ensure its stability and unveil the potential of your smile.

Timing & treatment time

Girls typically develop dentally earlier than boys. However, every parent knows their child is unique and grows and develops different from others. Growth and development of the jaws, teeth and face is no exception which is why there is no specific age that is best to begin treatment. Our orthodontists are trained to supervise growth and development and determine the best time start treatment in order to fix crooked teeth, gaps and bad bites as efficiently as possible. Treatment usually requires a full set of braces or invisalign teen and will last approximately 14 - 28 months depending on the complexity of the problems and the timing of treatment.

The bottom line

Orthodontic treatment is an investment that will last a lifetime. We understand the importance of choosing the right orthodontist and we are committed to delivering individualized quality treatment that will result in a beautiful smile and long-term dental health. We do not want finances to prevent you from getting the smile of your dreams. We accept most insurances and offer flexible, 0% interest finance plans. Schedule your complementary exam today!

All of our adolescent patients are eligible to participate in our Rewards Program.

Adult Treatment (age 18 and up)

More and more adults today are seeking orthodontic treatment to improve their smile.

Tooth alignment can be changed at any age if your gums and bone structure are healthy. We offer a variety of treatments that are designed for different adults in different age groups. As an adult patient at Heetland Orthodontics, you will be in good company, as many of our current patients are between the ages of 18 and 88. The doctors at Heetland Orthodontics know that orthodontic treatment for adults is a decision of many factors, but with great benefits and significant outcomes. Although the process for adult tooth movement is very similar to that of childhood orthodontics, the adult orthodontics patient is treated specially, due to the differences in the adult gum tissue and the bones that support adult teeth. We will work closely with your general dentist to develop a treatment plan that best addresses your specific needs. Heetland orthodontics are leaders in new technology, materials and treatment options which have resulted in treatments that are hardly noticeable, easy to wear, more comfortable and faster than ever. The new appliances we use greatly reduce discomfort levels, decrease the frequency of visits, and shorten treatment time. During the initial examination, which is provided at no charge, we will be able to determine the best possible treatment for your individual needs. Adults are also eligible for participation in our rewards program.