Early Treatment

The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that young children have their first orthodontic evaluation around age 7. That’s one of the reasons we offer a complimentary initial exam. It’s a great way to find out if your child has biological, functional or spacing issues with their teeth and jaw so that their treatment plan can be the least invasive. 20-30 years ago, extraction rates were as high as 90%, and in today's world the extraction rate has been reduced to as low as 20%. There are many reasons for this, but one of the major reasons is because of early treatment and the interception of crowding problems before they can even occur. Dr. Sarver usually doesn’t recommend treatment until the child has all of his or her adult teeth (around age 12), but in some instances, early treatment can have a positive impact. Even kids who aren’t ready for treatment will receive an annual appointment to check their growth and make sure that, if treatment is needed, they’ll get started at the optimal time.

If you’ve been told your child should start treatment before they have all of their adult teeth, be sure to find out what Dr. Sarver would do before you make a decision. Dr. Sarver only recommends this when there is a clear indication that it is the best approach. For younger patients who have a clear need for treatment, this presents an opportunity to:

  • Utilize spacing in the "transitional dentition" to minimize the chance of extraction of permanent teeth.
  • Influence jaw growth in a positive manner.
  • Harmonize width of the dental arches.
  • Improve tooth eruption patterns.
  • Lower risk of trauma to protruded upper incisors.
  • Correct harmful oral habits.
  • Improve esthetics and self-esteem.
  • Simplify and/or shorten treatment time for later orthodontics.
  • Reduce likelihood of impacted permanent teeth.
  • Improve some speech problems.
  • Preserve or gain space for erupting permanent teeth.


More and more adults today are seeking orthodontic treatment to improve their smile. In fact, about 25 percent of our patients are adults! We offer a full range of treatments specifically designed for adults – leaving you with a dramatically different smile and healthier bite.

Orthodontic treatment is not only designed to improve the appearance of your smile, but improve the health of your teeth and gums as well. By seeking orthodontic treatment as an adult you can possibly avoid severe tooth decay, gum and bone loss, irregular wear of the tooth enamel, and TMJ/TMD pain.

Because adults are highly motivated to complete their orthodontic treatment they are usually more compliant with the instructions for wear and care of orthodontic appliances. This can result in treatment time that’s less than that for a teenager, with the same great results.

We offer a wide selection of braces to meet the individual needs and desires of each of our adult patients. From traditional metal braces, clear ceramic braces and lingual braces to clear aligners that can be worn to improve mild cases of misaligned teeth, we are confident we can help you achieve and maintain the beautiful, healthy smile you’ve always dreamed about.

Dr. Sarver’s New Book “Dentofacial Esthetics:
From Macro to Micro"