Do others in your practice community embrace Early Treatment?
Is life tough?
Sure, sometimes it’s overwhelmingly so! Losing the love of my life (Walter), was more than overwhelming.
How could it be?
How could the person with whom I was supposed to grow old be gone? How to begin to live without him?
“Those who overcome great challenges will be changed, and often in unexpected ways. For our struggles enter our lives as unwelcome guests, but they bring valuable gifts. And once the pain subsides, the gifts remain. These gifts are life's true treasures, bought at great price, but cannot be acquired in any other way.” ~ Steve Goodier
Looking back now, I know he had to leave so I could become strong. There was no remedy for my love lost but to love more.
Grow. Learn. Shape. Become. Love more.
Truly, in love,
When you look at your life, notice how you’ve shaped your life, how you’ve shaped yourself.
Life is just that - your life school of learning, growing, shaping and becoming.
"Wha...?" you ask.
Yes - your choices determine your direction, your trajectory, your progress.
Your choice to have goals and make actions toward them.
Your choice not to get angry at others, NOR at yourself, but to accept and even celebrate the experiences of your life as opportunities to keep going, keep growing, keep learning, keep becoming.
This week, choose courage over fear. We all have the fears. It’s part of our “life-school” experience. And we can each and everyone, choose courage, each and everytime.
Change direction as you wish. It’s your choice.
Love you, my teacher - love you.
Looking back at a fantastic July 13-15 ELEMENTS Orthodontic Finishing Course in beautiful Longview, Texas
Dentists from New York to New Mexico attended the July 13-15 ELEMENTS Orthodontic Finishing course, taught by Dr Chris Baker. The course, which provided 20 hours of ADA CERP continuing education credit, used some of the latest and most effective methods and approaches in orthodontic finishing.
Some of the comments for the course include:
• "...the theme of having the finished case in mind at the beginning was excellent."
• "...clinical results backed up findamentals."
• "Dr Baker is extremely knowledgable. Everything flowed without a hitch."
• "Excellent review of diagnosis and information about new modalities of treatment."
• "Useful information presented in-depth. Well-presented. I will use this in my practice."
• "Not only clinical learning, but a resort-like setting."
• "I am 'wowed' by a completely new presentation with all new information!"
• "I am bringing home a new paradigm of case management."
• "Learned many principles that are essential to orthodontics."
The next ELEMENTS weekend is August 17-19: The Great 'Way Too' Weekend: Practice management techniques for financial independence and career happiness.
What is Early Treatment as You Practice It?
After all, “awesome” meant something that would induce an overwhelming feeling of awe, like seeing Michelangelo’s ‘David’, carved from one piece of stone, in all its detail, or seeing the immensity of the Grand Canyon.
Today, “awesome” is used to describe things that we like. Orthodontic treatment might be called awesome, when we mean pretty great, OR when we mean it induces true awe in its results.
At what age or stage of development do I recommend Early Orthodontic Treatment?
Not that many years ago, again, “Early” treatment meant treatment of a nine, or ten-year old patient. Now, “Early” treatment may mean treatment of a twelve-month old Class III patient.
As the evolution has occurred, of orthodontic treatment by generalists, the “gate-keepers” of comprehensive dental care, (including our modern terms, the “GP”, and the “Pediatric Dentist") the meaning of “Early Treatment” has broadened. This has meant a broadening of possibility for the child patient and for his or her parents.
This expansion of treatment possibilities provides opportunity for beauty and lifetime function that can only be called awesome - in every sense of the word. Now, Pediatric Orthodontics brings miraculous and amazing possibility to the child patient and his parents.
What are the benefits of providing Early Orthodontic Treatment?
A thumb-sucker who otherwise may suffer from a distorted maxilla and mandible, openbite and protruding tongue can be treated as soon as the two-year molars are erupted, not having to grow up as a FLK and have dental compensation treatment provided in the difficult middle school years.
A Class III infant can be treated at around age 12 months, and avoid being thought of as “tough”, as a “bully”, and not be teased.
A Class II child with severe protrusion can avoid having repetitive trauma to the protrusive incisors, with fractures, and need for root canal treatments, barely after the permanent incisors have erupted at age seven or so, and then future crowns being done and redone.
A child with crowded incisors can have much more stable alignment of those incisors when treatment is begun before the teeth have completely erupted and connective tissues formed to hold them in rotated and unattractive positions.
Can you imagine, less relapse? Can you imagine a child not being teased by other children, “Why do you have so many teeth? They are ugly!”
Traditional orthodontics at age 11 - 13 is “Late” treatment.
There are children who will need a second phase of treatment because of severely ectopic - out-of-place - erupting teeth, or because of adversities like tongue position, severe trauma, extra teeth or missing teeth. For those children, the Phase I treatment will reduce the length and complexity of Phase II treatment, will reduce the need for permanent teeth extractions, and will improve the view the child has of himself - and the view others - peers, teachers, coaches, and other parents - have of the child.
The Phase I treatment will reduce the need and risk of need for surgeries later. Phase I treatment provides more stability, and less need for compensation - moving teeth around to hide the FLK face. The Phase I treatment will reduce the need for the child to adapt to less-than-ideal growth, less-than-ideal bites, and less-than-ideal esthetics.
What would you say to a Pediatric Dentist who is reluctant to do Early Orthodontic Treatment?
Traditional orthodontics at age 11 - 13 is “Late” treatment.
Yet, let us not label "Late" treatment as negative, either. Let us expand our views of orthodontic and orthopedic treatment to celebrate Interception Orthodontics (iOrtho™) which transforms smiles and lives as early as possible.
Interception Orthodontics is available and prudent as early as possible, and feasible. Let us give our child patients a beautiful self-view, give their parents the most beautiful children, make it easier for the patient and parent because the younger a child, the better the compliance. Let us reduce the need for permanent teeth extractions and surgeries, provide more stability, have growth follow our treatment as guide, and help our patients need less compensation and less adaptation. And, let us create healthy occlusions for lifetimes.
What Early Treatment protocols do you routinely use?
Will I up-size my order? Will I add a large fries?
Will I do my workout this morning?
Will I take a few minutes to sit outside on a glorious summer morning and be silent, thinking how grateful I am, and for what I am grateful? Will I stay on social media for a while longer? Will I read “Twelve Pillars” by Jim Rohn, or another book that helps me improve?
Those tiny decisions.
Each is easy to do - and easy not to do.
And each has the potential to drive you toward -or away from - your desires, your goals.
Oh - and will I write down my goals and contemplate, image them and say thank you for them right now?
“To become more, you have to be more….more loving, more kind, more forgiving, more understanding, more driven, more passionate, more secure, more thoughtful.” ~ Brian Chewning
Easy to do. Tiny little decisions, each second of the day. Easy not to do.
“A good deal of frustration and unhappiness could be avoided if people would just do what they know they should do.” ~ Earl Nightingale
Easy to do.
Go for it.
You could decide that today you will go for every one of those little positive decisions that you can. See how you feel at the end of the day!!
Here’s to your great life!
We dentists start out to help people We may become technically excellent in our patient treatment -- But the business of dentistry becomes another challenge.
Dr Chris Baker
America's most-trusted teacher of orthodontic continuing education, Dr. Chris Baker has practiced and taught for more than 30 years, and is a current or former faculty member of three U.S. dental schools. She is a pediatric dentist, author, blogger, dental practice consultant, and mentor. Dr. Chris is also Past President and Senior Instructor of the American Orthodontic Society. She is based in Texas, USA, but lectures around the world.
© 2023 Dr Chris Baker