IF YOU HAVE BEEN WAITING FOR A STRAIGHTER, MORE BEAUTIFUL SMILE OR A MORE FUNCTIONAL BITE ...WAIT NO LONGER!
Dr. Phillips has been practicing orthodontics as a family dentist in
Southern California for the past 28 years. He brings a vast range of orthodontic experience to our dental group, having treated children as young as 4 and adults through a wide range of maturity. He received his dental degree from Loyola University in Chicago, and his undergraduate degree in psychology from California State University at Long Beach. He and his wife of 24 years currently reside in Rancho Palos Verdes. His hobbies have included collecting vintage mystery novels, golf, softball competition, and chess competition. He teaches chess and is currently doing ground-breaking research for his first chess book.
He is a past president of Torrance Dental Health Association and a past member of the peer review panel for the Harbor Dental Society. He has been an American Dental Association and California Dental Association "lifetime" member, an honor which will be officially bestowed upon him in 2009. He has been practicing orthodontics exclusively for the past 10 years, and is eagerly expanding the service he can render to our community.
What is Orthodontics?
The science of proper tooth alignment: Orthodontists diagnose and treat patients who suffer from teeth and jaw abnormalities and/or irregularities. They prescribe and place corrective devices, such as braces or removable appliances, to align teeth and improve health and/or appearance.
When You May Need Braces
Proper diagnosis is necessary to determine if your bite is not properly aligned (malocclusion). Malocclusion may result from crowded teeth, missing teeth, extra teeth, or jaws that are out of alignment. In children, malocclusions can arise from hereditary influences, or can be the result of accidents, thumb sucking, early loss of baby teeth or other forces that impact tooth position and jaw development. An adult may have a malocclusion that was never corrected as a child and decide to correct it later in life. Malocclusions may also result from missing teeth or shifts in the bite that occur over long periods of time.
How Orthodontic Devices Correct Problems
The process that moves teeth is the same in everyone, child or adult. Steady pressure placed on the tooth puts pressure on the bone that holds the tooth, causing that bone to structurally soften, which then allows movement. Simultaneously, the tension created on the bone that is being “pulled” causes it to grow and fill in behind the moving tooth. Once the “active” appliances that move teeth are removed, retainers must be worn so that teeth stay in place and the bone around them becomes stable. However, the mouth is a dynamic environment. With forces applied daily from chewing, swallowing, etc., teeth may move over time and continued use of a retainer may be necessary in order to keep teeth in the same place indefinitely and prevent future shifting or relapse.
Use of Technology
Innovations in orthodontics make treatment esthetic and effective for children and adults alike. Recent advances in esthetics have made braces less noticeable and easier to clean than in the past. Brackets, which hold the wires that do most of the work, are bonded to the front of the teeth and can be metal, clear or tooth-colored. Newest in esthetic orthodontic treatment are “invisible” braces – clear, removable, molded plastic aligners that move your teeth into new positions.
Orthodontics for Children
Research shows that 90% of teenage children need some kind of orthodontic care and treatment. Thus, the American Association of Orthodontists suggests that every child should have an orthodontic evaluation during their pre-teen years.
Children should be evaluated by your dentist as their baby teeth are lost and their permanent teeth erupt. Early orthodontic intervention during childhood can prevent the need for larger corrections later in life as the child gets older.