Ask The Experts: Bryn Mawr Orthodontics

Dr. Karen Conn and Dr. Ross Segal of Bryn Mawr Orthodontics Answer Your Questions


Q: Will orthodontic treatment do more than just straighten my teeth?

A: Yes! The key to giving patients life-changing outcomes is understanding how patients’ facial features and smile fit together.  A “perfect” smile perfectly complements the face and every face is unique. Whether you choose braces or Invisalign, orthodontists have the ability to use 3D scans and advanced cone beam technology to pre-plan the movement of every tooth. The result is more than just straight teeth; it is a healthy, beautiful smile that takes into account your entire face. This includes your facial structure, the contours of your lips, the visibility of your gums, and your profile from different angles.

Bryn Mawr Orthodontics
The reception area at Bryn Mawr Orthodontics.

Q: When should a  child get braces or Invisalign?

A: There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question, as the best age to get braces or Invisalign treatment will vary depending on your individual needs and circumstances.  The American Association of Orthodontists (AAO) recommends that all children have a screening with an orthodontic specialist no later than age 7. However, in general, most orthodontists recommend starting orthodontic treatment between the ages of 7 and 14.   During this age range, most permanent teeth have erupted and the jaw is still growing, which allows for more predictable and effective results. The best way to determine the best age for a child to get braces or Invisalign treatment is to consult with an orthodontist. Most orthodontists offer consultations for FREE!

Q: Can anyone be treated with Invisalign?

A: Yes!  The technology behind Invisalign has drastically improved in recent years. With an experienced orthodontist and a committed patient, Invisalign can be used to correct almost any bite and improve any smile. Sometimes other techniques are paired with Invisalign for better and quicker outcomes, but even the most complicated cases can be treated with Invisalign. To easily find an orthodontist that has the expertise to treat your case, you can go directly to the Invisalign website, put in your zip code, and find data on how many cases each doctor has treated, from fewest (Bronze) to most cases treated (Diamond Plus and Top 1%). 

Bryn Mawr Orthopedics
Bryn Mawr Orthodontics’ patient areas feature state-of-the-art technology.

Q: What treatment technique is better/faster – braces or Invisalign?

A: It depends – and that is why many orthodontists offer free consultations to prepare and present you with your options! During an initial consult, orthodontists typically review the pros/cons of each treatment modality with patients so that they can make the best choice for themselves.  Treatment time will vary depending on the severity of a case. Some cases are faster with braces, while others are faster with Invisalign. Overall though, treatment time is generally shorter than it was a decade ago. Average treatment time nationwide is approximately 30 months, but practices that use the latest technology are often able to reduce that time. For example, the average treatment time in our office is 18 months.

Q: How often will I have to go into the office for an orthodontic appointment?

A:  Modern and state-of-the-art offices that offer digital orthodontics typically see patients every 8-12 weeks. (Warning: At less tech-forward offices, many orthodontists still see their patients every 4 weeks.) Using the latest technology, whether you choose braces or Invisalign, an orthodontist can better and more precisely predict how teeth will move, which results in less frequent appointments and takes away the burden of having to schedule time away from school, work, and other activities. We also find that less frequent appointments means that patients can pick the best orthodontist for them, rather than the closest.

Bryn Mawr Orthodontics
Bryn Mawr Orthodontics is conveniently located on Lancaster Ave. in Bryn Mawr.

Q: What can I say to my children if they are nervous about seeing the orthodontist or about getting orthodontic treatment?

A: Our advice is to choose an orthodontist that you and your child feel comfortable with. This should be easy to determine during your first consultation visit. 

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