Why are so many eight-year-olds in braces these days?

ORTHODONTIC TREATMENT FOR CHILDREN

One of the most commonly asked questions about orthodontics in the Castle Rock community is…

                      “Why do I see so many eight-year-olds in braces these days?

An excellent article published by the Wall Street Journal discusses the pros and cons. To summarize the article, early or “two phase” treatment is orthodontic treatment before all the permanent teeth have erupted.  This approach is used when waiting to treat would create a significantly more difficult treatment plan or less stable outcome.  The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that all children be evaluated at the age of 7.  With that being said, only a relatively small percentage of those children will need early treatment.  Orthodontists generally agree that the optimum time to treat a case is during the adolescent growth spurt.  In girls this is typically seen from ages 9 to 12, and in boys from ages 10-14.  There are exceptions due to individual variation in growth.

Lysle Johnston, one of the most prominent orthodontic educators of our day, has argued that a lot of early treatment is a “practice management decision” rather than a biologic imperativeIt is his way of kindly stating that much of it is done unnecessarily.

The fundamental questions Dr. Rejman asks when evaluating a patient for early treatment are as follows:

  •  If I don’t treat this patient now, will I miss a window of opportunity that will negatively affect his/her outcome?
  • If I do 2 phases on this patient, will I achieve a better and/or more stable outcome than treating with one phase?
  • Will the patient look/function any differently at 18 if I treat in 1 phase versus 2 phases?

If the answer to any of the above is “yes,” then early treatment may be indicated.  Typical orthodontic problems treated early include cross bites or narrow palates, open bites, and under bites.  Early treatment usually requires a second phase of orthodontic treatment when all the permanent teeth have erupted.  When possible, Dr. Rejman prefers to treat patients in a single phase of treatment.  Advantages of single phase treatment include less time in appliances (braces), less patient “burn out” and significantly less cost for families.

Dr. Rejman offers a complimentary exam to assess your child’s orthodontic needs.  If treatment is indicated, we’ll discuss why and what specifically is needed.  If orthodontic problems are evident but no early treatment is indicated, we will continue to periodically monitor your child’s teeth and jaw development at no fee until the time is appropriate for treatment.

Dr. Rejman is the owner of Meadows Orthodontics, a private practice in Castle Rock, Colorado.  Dr. Rejman is conservative about early or “two phase” treatment.  He is also one of the few Board Certified orthodontists in Douglas County and has treated over 4000 patients.  He has been voted a TOP ORTHODONTIST by 5280 magazine in both 2012 and 2013. 

Advice on entering the Dental/Orthodontic Profession

Have you or your child ever thought about becoming a dentist or orthodontist?  Throughout my years of practicing as both a general dentist and an orthodontist, many patients have expressed an interest in knowing more about my profession.  I thought that I’d write a blog letting readers know more about this fantastic career.

My first bit of advice that I would offer is that if your child expresses interest in dentistry to get them into a dental office as soon as possible.  They could be an intern or shadow a dental professional.  Don’t be afraid to ask a dentist that you know!  I love having young people around our orthodontic office in Castle Rock, especially when they are really interested in orthodontics.  If there is an opportunity to work in the mouth at all, take it.  People often asked me when I knew that I could work in mouths all day.  Well, before dental school I worked as a dental assistant  in Connecticut to make sure that I could work in the mouth.  I cannot emphasize the importance of this enough.  I remember several classmates in dental school who realized after school began that dentistry was not the career for them.

Some basics:

*  Take as many science classes as you can in high school and undergrad.  Math helps, too.

*  Dental School is a four year program and you must have a four-year undergraduate degree prior to applying to a Dental School.

*  In order to get into dental school you must have some basic sciences and you must take the DAT, or Dental Admission Test.  If you purchase  a guide to getting into dental school/the DAT, the book will give you a list of all of the dental schools and their contact information so that you can find out what they require for prerequisite classes.

*  Once you are in dental school, you might decide to specialize.  Specializing can take another several years AFTER dental school, depending on what route you take.  Some specialties include orthodontics (moving teeth, usually using braces and Invisalign), Pediatric Dentistry, Periodontal (gums), Endodontics (root canal specialist) or oral surgery.

All of this education sounds like a lot, but they were some of the best years of my and my family’s life.  My friends in dental and orthodontic school worked hard but had a lot of fun together and our families all became really close.

Don’t underestimate the importance of loving to work with people.  I love working with kids so orthodontics is great for me.  I also have to ease the fears of adults, not to mention educate them about what treatment is needed for their children.  Being good with people is really important in this profession.

Finally, choose to work in a place that you love.  The rest will come.  I love living and working in Castle Rock and going to work each day is a pleasure.  You should really love what you do so just be sure to pick a location that you enjoy, too.

I can’t imagine being anything else besides an orthodontist and I’m so glad that I chose this profession.

 

Dr. Rejman, Meadows Orthodontics, Castle Rock, CO  80109  (303) 660-0112    www.meadowsorthodontics.com

Dr. Rejman is a Board Certified Orthodontist who graduated from The University of Michigan’s School of Dentistry in 2003.  His practice, Meadows Orthodontics, is located in The Meadows in Castle Rock, Colorado.  

Meadows Orthodontics has a state-of-the-art facility to serve you.

Dan Rejman, orthodontist in The Meadows in Castle Rock, Colorado, built his own private orthodontic practice in 2013.

From Where I Sit

Watching Dan Rejman become an orthodontist

It has been a privilege watching Dan Rejman become an orthodontist.

I was 15 when I met him and I knew from the start that there was something really special about him.  He always stood out in a crowd, whether it was because of his practical jokes, unusually strong work ethic, artistic skills, or kindness to absolutely everyone.   It just felt good to be around him.

Nobody was surprised when he did well academically in our little town in Upstate, NY.  It was obvious that he was really smart.  He was from a big dairy farm and we all wondered what he’d end up doing as a career.  We all knew that he could be anything he wanted to be.   He was just that type of guy.

bikeAfter college he studied art at Parsons School of Design but had stopped to pursue something closer to his heart;  Dentistry.  He studied for 18 months.  He took prerequisite classes at 5 am and 10 pm.  He worked long hours for a dentist to make sure he enjoyed working with teeth.  He studied until 2 am every night.  He was warned that many don’t get in their first year, but an envelope arrived and he was accepted into dental school at The University of Michigan.  The Dean at Michigan wrote a handwritten note on his acceptance letter that he was a unique candidate and that she remembered his interview long after it was over.  We’re not sure they ever interviewed a dairy farmer before!

Dan worked harder than he ever had before at dental school.  It quickly became clear that he excelled in the field.  He won scholarships.  He won awards.  He was at the top of his class.  Yet, nobody knew.  He was the normal, down-to-earth guy he had always been.  He never talked about his grades or accomplishments to anyone.  Most people didn’t know how much he had excelled until his name was read over and over again at graduation.  Instead of standing on the stage while his name was read, he quickly walked down the stairs and found a man in the audience who gave him a scholarship so he could shake his hand.

Dan was a general dentist for two years but had fallen in love with orthodontics.  He decided to specialize in the field at Marquette University in Wisconsin.  He continued to work hard both during and after school, but his family was growing and he always made them his priority.  He has always been good at finding balance in his life.  He has always been good at keeping his career in perspective.

Over the years we have watched Dan Rejman use his humor and kindness to ease the worry of children in the dental chair, or gain the respect of parents who desperately crave honest feedback about orthodontics.  We have watched him become friends with such a diversity of human beings by admiring their character above anything else.  Most importantly, we watched him find orthodontics, the career he adores in and out.  He has a smile on his face most every night when he returns from work.

As his high school sweetheart and wife, I can’t help but admire his entire journey.  In fact, I have never admired anyone more.

It has been a privilege watching Dan Rejman become an orthodontist.

 

Julie Rejman has been married to Dr. Rejman for 15 years and is the office manager at Meadows Orthodontics.