Our Orthodontic Philosophy

Philosophy - 1Dr. 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. Philosophy - 6To 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.

Think Stability
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.

Philosophy - 3

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).

Expansion - 3
Philosophy - 2Don’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.

Philosophy - 4

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.

Philosophy - 5Use High-Tech Memory Wires
We believe we should use all that technology has to offer to give the patient the most predictable, efficient and biologically sound treatment modalities available to us.

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.


Early Orthodontic Treatment

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.


Pam L. (Periodontal patient)
Jun 29, 2014


Due to the severity of my dental needs, my regular dentist referred me to Dr. Engen’s office. Being referred to a periodontal specialist is not something I would wish upon anyone, and it was difficult going to another dentist. However, from the minute I entered their office I was greeted by professional, friendly staff members who acknowledged me with a warm smile and a pleasant, cheerful welcome. The doctors and hygienists demonstrated a high level of expertise and technical competency by effectively communicating the options available to address my dental needs. Each and every staff member I encountered, from the receptionist, to the doctors are extremely dedicated to creating a long term relationship with each one of their patients, including taking the time to educate each patient about oral hygiene. The staff at your office works harmoniously, cooperatively and effectively as a team to make your time with them as productive as possible. I would highly recommend this office to anyone seeking resolution to any dental issues and be assured you will be pleasantly surprised with your time with them.

Carrie M.
Jun 29, 2014


You can tell the minute you walk in that everyone enjoys what they do and that everyone likes each other. You also know there is no revolving door on staff. This tells me that the dentist values his staff and must treat them well so they don’t leave. It is a huge positive to always return to the same people who never forget who you are either. Your office is the BEST!