Dr Heim’s Philosophy
Dr. Heim’s philosophy revolves around appropriate, individualized orthodontic intervention, and not over-treatment. Dr. Heim understands that you value an accurate and honest assessment and recommendation regarding your child’s dental development or your own adult dental needs. When you schedule your complimentary consultation, Dr. Heim will take the time to explain you or your child’s orthodontic needs, if any, and when they should be appropriately addressed.
Child and Adolescent Treatment
Dr. Heim supports the American Association of Orthodontists’ (AAO) recommendation that all children be evaluated by an orthodontist at age 7. Most children will not need to begin treatment at this time. However, this initial evaluation remains important, as it allows for assessment of your child’s dental development and the detection of any early orthodontic problems. After your child’s initial exam, Dr. Heim will thoroughly explain his clinical findings and review your child’s individual needs and expectations for any future treatment.
Timing of Treatment
Each child’s orthodontic needs are different, but Dr. Heim feels the majority of patients are best treated with a single phase of full orthodontic treatment around age 12, when all the permanent adult teeth have erupted.
Some orthodontic problems may require early intervention, which has shown to occur in about 5-10% of patients. This may lead to early or interceptive treatment needs prior to your child losing all of his/her baby teeth. Early treatment, when necessary, can provide significant benefits to the patient, thus reinforcing the importance of the initial orthodontic screening. When early intervention is required, a second phase of full orthodontic can often be expected at a later time when all the adult teeth have erupted.
Dr. Heim, however, believes that most children do not need two phases of treatment or “early braces”. This has been supported with clinical research and is highly published in the American Journal of Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopedics. It has been shown that, in most cases, two phases of treatment is no more effective or efficient, results in far more appointments and expense over time, and achieves no better end result for the child than what would have been achieved with a well-timed single phase of treatment.
Dr. Heim believes that it is never too late for orthodontic treatment, as long as the teeth and supporting structures are in good health. Not only can adult treatment improve your smile and self-image, it can be beneficial to your overall dental health. Orthodontic treatment can make drastic differences in the way your teeth fit together and function, improve your gingival and periodontal health, and minimize the tooth-wearing patterns over time. Dr. Heim treats many adults and is realistic in working with you to achieve the improvements you desire.
Dr. Heim’s top priority is YOU – the patient. He always puts your best interest first and individualizes each and every treatment plan. In addition, being a single doctor orthodontic practice, Dr. Heim is the only one in charge of your treatment from start to finish. You will see Dr. Heim at every visit, as he is actively involved during each of your appointments. Ultimately this leads to better continuity of care, exceptional relationships with patients, and effective communication throughout your treatment.