Conventional Orthodontics is what most people think of as "braces". It sees crooked teeth as THE PROBLEM to be fixed.
Integrative Orthodontics sees crooked teeth as a symptom of another imbalance. By correcting the imbalance, the teeth begin to correct themselves.
See the comparison chart here
Depending on your age and condition, you may benefit from one or both of these approaches.
But almost always, you can choose among different approaches. The choice is made in collaboration with your orthodontist after a thorough study and review of the options. You, as the parent or patient, will (should) have a role in defining your goals and your treatment.
Now that I understand the difference, how do I go about choosing?
Take these steps:
- Do your research. Learn the difference between Integrative and Conventional Orthodontics by reviewing this website (get a cup of coffee and set a spell...). See a summary here.
- Define the problem. Look at this list of issues that may indicate an imbalance bigger than just crooked teeth. (the Signs and Symptoms checklist)
- Visit the office of your choice. Have one or more orthodontists do a screening exam, usually at no charge, to get an opinion. request an appointment.
- Pick your orthodontist. Then have full records done for a thorough diagnosis and treatment plan.
- Treatment conference. Make sure you get a thorough explanation of how your problem will be handled.
- Financial arrangements. Know what the financial and insurance arrangements are before you agree to the treatment.
- Your first visit. more
Some other things to consider...
- Some people will try to tell you that a specialist in orthodontics is superior to a general dentist who practices orthodontics. I don't believe that at all. The advantage a specialist should offer you, though, is a broader, more comprehensive choice of treatment alternatives to solve YOUR problem.
- Most people initially are driven to the orthodontic office for crooked teeth. Broaden your vision about your child to look at other health issues that could be behind the crooked teeth, like poor breathing, nutrition, posture and sleep symptoms and behaviors. We can help you with that, too.
- As with all modern maladies, the sooner you start, the more you can prevent. The later you start, the more you have to correct. We can start helping children grow better from 3-5 years of age if need be.