Dr. Patrick Cuozzo emphasizes orthodontic evaluation for children to maintain a healthy smile
Lincroft, NJ – Dr. Patrick Cuozzo, a New Jersey orthodontist, offers young patients a variety of orthodontic options, including braces and other procedures, to ensure a straight set of teeth accompanied by a healthy smile as each child grows. However, Dr. Cuozzo emphasizes that, under normal circumstances, receiving an orthodontic evaluation is more important than receiving orthodontic treatment at an early age.
“The key word is evaluation, not treatment,” says Dr. Cuozzo.
At Cuozzo Orthodontic Specialists, his private practice, Dr. Cuozzo stands by his philosophy that braces started at the right time leads to less treatment time. He evaluates his patients on a case-by-case basis and only 15-20% of seven or eight year olds need orthodontic treatment. Dr. Cuozzo also highlights that receiving an early diagnosis is important for conditions such as:
- Facial asymmetry
- Blocked out teeth
- Extra teeth
- Missing teeth
Dr. Cuozzo notes that the biggest difference between an adult patient and a child patient is that the adult patient is no longer growing. With a child patient, the patient’s growth can be modified and corrected as the bone structure continues to develop. In the case of the child patient, significant improvements can be made with orthodontics alone. With adult patients, orthodontic problems are complicated by the challenges of restorative dentistry to fix worn down or chipped teeth or periodontics to manage bone levels.
The American Association of Orthodontics recommends that children are seen by an orthodontist at the age of seven to see if any urgent matter needs to be addressed. However, according to Dr. Cuozzo, about 85% of these young patients will not require orthodontics until they are older – if they need them at all. On the other hand, if a seven year old does need orthodontics, it is much easier to correct a problematic condition at an early age so that treatment can begin before the condition develops further and worsens.
When Dr. Cuozzo evaluates his young New Jersey orthodontics patients, he takes into account the patient’s “dental age” along with their chronological age. He stresses that orthodontic treatment plans for children need to take into account their unique stage of physical development – not simply their age. The timing of orthodontic treatment for children is critical.
Dr. Cuozzo strives to treat his young patients as he would his own children. For all his patients, regardless of age, Dr. Cuozzo wants the patient to undergo the least amount of orthodontic treatment necessary while yielding the highest-quality results.
About Patrick T. Cuozzo, DDS, PA
Dr. Patrick Cuozzo is a board-certified orthodontist who graduated from the University of
Maryland Dental School. His attention to detail and advocacy for the field of orthodontics has earned him repeated listings in the Guide to America’s Top Dentists. Dr. Cuozzo is trained in several orthodontics procedures, including Invisalign® and traditional braces. He is available for interview upon request.