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MN Orthodontist Stresses Importance of Early Orthodontic Treatment
December 19, 2008- ST. PAUL AND MINNEAPOLIS, MINNESOTA – It saddens MN Orthodontist Dr. Jennifer Eisenhuth to see a patient for the first time as a teenager and determine that they are on a surgical path that could have been prevented by early orthodontic treatment.
Advancements in orthodontics have made it possible to correct many problems early on, often eliminating the need for surgery in some cases and reducing future orthodontic treatment time in others.
By age 7, most children have a mixture of baby and adult teeth. At that time, several common orthodontic problems can be detected, according to the American Association of Orthodontics.(http://www.braces.org/beautifulsmile/children/) For that reason, the AAO recommends that children visit an orthodontist for an initial examination by age 7.
“An orthodontist can identify problems with erupting teeth and jaw growth even while some baby teeth remain,” Eisenhuth said. “It frequently is easier to correct these problems when they are detected and treated early because the child still is growing.”
For example, crowded teeth can be spaced and the palate can be widened to accommodate adult teeth as they erupt.
“When parents wait until all of their child’s permanent teeth are in, facial growth for that child often is nearing completion,” Eisenhuth said. “When that happens, correcting some malocclusions can be difficult without extractions or orthognathic surgery.”
One early intervention product Eisenhuth uses in her practice to prevent permanent tooth extraction in patients when they’re older is the Carriere Distilizer, manufactured by Class One Orthodontics.
This device corrects overjet, which is when the patient’s bite is a full tooth ahead.
“This is a great device to start addressing this issue before putting braces on the patient,” Eisenhuth said. “This is about a four-month process that can decrease the time the patient is in braces and can completely take them out of the extraction category.”
Prior to devices such as this, the common method of treatment would have been extraction of permanent teeth. In some cases, a patient may have more teeth than their jaws can support and extraction actually is beneficial to the long-term orthodontic results.
Eisenhuth’s goal is to identify each patient and treat them individually. Although extraction may be beneficial in some cases, orthodontists have access to appliances to correct many orthodontic issues through early intervention.
“If the patient is past his or her growth spurt, there’s not a lot you can do to correct the situation,” she said. “So this goes back to interceptive treatment. In extreme cases, we can actually prevent surgery.”
The priority, provided it doesn’t negatively impact the profile of the patient, is to preserve and maintain all of the permanent teeth.
Permanent tooth extraction can have long-term consequences that don’t appear until well into adulthood. Eisenhuth cited the work of Orthodontist Dr. David Sarver as proof.
Sarver conducted several years of research to determine that tooth extraction can affect a patient’s lips and profile later in life. As people age, their lips become thinner. Removing permanent teeth creates slight changes in the way a patient’s lips are supported, Sarver found. Namely, it moves the lips inward ever so slightly and decreases the level of support for the lips. Less support of this soft tissue can result in a person’s smile actually looking older at a younger age because the foundation of the soft tissue has been altered.
“Your orthodontist does have an impact on your profile,” Eisenhuth said. “That is one of the reasons we strive to spread the message that we are an advanced office that uses advanced, proven techniques that create a beautiful smile now and preserve it for years to come.”
If you would like to learn more about MN Orthodontist Dr. Jennifer Eisenhuth’s advanced techniques or you would like to schedule a consultation with her, please call: (651) 406-8100 or visit her Web site: www.doctorjennifer.com.
About Dr. Jennifer Eisenhuth
Dr. Eisenhuth attended the University of Minnesota Dental School and graduated in the top of her class. She earned the Minnesota Association of Orthodontic Achievement Award and several academic achievement awards. She entered her orthodontic residency at the University of Minnesota and earned a certificate in orthodontics and a Master of Science degree.
Dr. Eisenhuth is a Diplomate of the American Board of Orthodontics.
She takes pride in caring for the orthodontic needs of residents in the Twin Cities- St. Paul and Minneapolis, and their surrounding regions, including Apple Valley and Eagan, Minnesota.
Her office is located at 3340 Sherman Court, Eagan, Minn., 55121.
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