Our Orthodontic Philosophy
Dr. Engen is one of only 20 dentists in the United States trained in both Orthodontics and Periodontics. As such his Orthodontic treatment is very much influenced by his Periodontal background. There are a number of guiding principles used in our office which we feel makes us unique, and that we have something special to offer to our patients.
Every Patient is Unique
No two individuals are the same. Everybody is unique. To try to fit every person to the same arch form is not biologically sound. Teeth should be moved within bone so they are stable, healthy and esthetic. Every patient should have their custom arch form dictated by their individual jaw relationship.
Teeth should be moved into a position where stability of position and of the bite are assured. Teeth should not be blown out of the bone where they are susceptible to recession, mobility and possible tooth loss.
Treat Faces First
Getting the teeth straight is easy. But that is only half the battle. Facial esthetics must also be preserved and enhanced to give a complete orthodontic result. Dr. Engen likes full thickness of the lips and a strong chin. Strong facial esthetics give the patient confidence in their appearance and ultimately in the way they feel about themselves.
When Expanding, Do it Early
If palatal expansion is done, it should be done at a younger age when the bones are more pliable and less skeletally mature.Performing expansion at a younger age ensures true skeletal expansion (stability) and less dental expansion (instability).
Don’t Over Expand
You cannot expand your way out of all problems. There exists a physiologic balance between cheek pressure and tongue pressure, which will dictate the ultimate width of the arches. To over expand runs the risk of blowing the teeth outside the bone, gingival recession, relapse tendencies and periodontal disease.
Use Small Brackets
Our main orthodontic bracket system is the MicroArch bracket, which is the smallest bracket system on the market. We use this intentionally because the MicroArch is more comfortable, and is also easier to keep clean.
The majority of the time we are able to finish the case without having to remove teeth. Sometimes, for reasons of positioning or crowding, selective teeth may need to be removed. When extractions are done, we keep in mind the principles of facial esthetics and stability. Non-extraction is a treatment modality, not a treatment goal.
Phase I – Phase II
Early treatment is done if there is an underlying skeletal problem. When we do intervene, we will do it quickly, efficiently and get out. We will then watch your child grow up until the optimal time to initiate braces.