Orthodontic Services in Palos Heights, IL

When it comes to orthodontic treatment, the earlier some problems are addressed, the better your results. This is why Dr. Richard Facko, our pediatric dentist in Palos Heights, IL, focuses on prevention. Early orthodontic intervention can prevent or simplify treatment later, saving parents money and cutting treatment time.

At Palos Pediatric Dentistry, our dentist and his entire team care deeply about your child’s oral health—this includes smile wellness and smile appeal.

At our Palos Heights pediatric dental office, we place a high value on education and prevention, too. Dr. Facko is skilled in identifying early orthodontic conditions and recommending a treatment plan based on your child’s unique dental needs.

A decade ago, it was common for junior high and high school kids to have braces to address orthodontic concerns with their secondary (adult) teeth. Today, dentists know that significant advantages exist in getting started much younger. By the age of six, permanent molars have begun to emerge. It is now widely accepted that your child’s first orthodontic evaluation should be at or before this time.

Dr. Richard Facko is uniquely qualified and can evaluate your child’s orthodontic needs throughout childhood and begin early treatment right in our dental office. When he sees a potential issue, he will recommend treatment that may save you time, money, and hassle in the future.

If you would like your child evaluated for orthodontics, contact our dental office today to schedule an exam. Also, read on to learn more about orthodontics and our philosophies for excellent pediatric dentistry.

Why is early intervention better?

When the jaws and teeth are still growing, it is much easier to move the teeth into their correct positions. Dr. Facko’s expertise can guide your child’s permanent teeth into a more optimal arrangement as they erupt (emerge from the gums). Even if braces are needed later, the treatment time will likely be shorter and less complicated.

What conditions are treated with early orthodontics?

A wide variety of bite issues benefit from early orthodontic intervention in Palos Heights, IL:

Dental crossbite is a condition where the upper teeth close inside the lower teeth. While some children may be more prone to this condition than others, the risk for crossbite increases in children who have oral habits (pacifier, thumb, or finger sucking) that last beyond the third birthday. Crossbite can be treated with early orthodontics by using a palatal expander to gently and gradually widen your child’s upper arch. This treatment is effective when young jaws are still developing. Waiting to treat crossbite may mean more invasive treatment down the line, such as extractions and oral surgery.

Another commonly treated childhood issue is overcrowding. Overcrowding means that your child’s jaw is too small for all of his or her teeth. When left untreated, teeth may erupt crooked and can cause additional dental and jaw problems. In some situations, we prevent crowding by preserving space, such as the case of a baby tooth that is lost prematurely. A space maintainer, fabricated at our dental office, will help to maintain the space for the permanent teeth and may help avoid orthodontic problems in the future.

Can you provide orthodontics for my special needs child?

Our Palos Heights, IL pediatric dentist wants to help all children realize their best smiles. If your differently-abled child requires orthodontics, Dr. Facko is here to help.

All orthodontics starts with an evaluation, and we invite you to schedule an exam with our dental office. At Palos Pediatric Dentistry, we work hard to accommodate all children. Let a member of our team know what we can do to make your child feel more comfortable in our dental office.

How can you keep my child comfortable?

Our numbing process ensures that many children aren't even aware that they received a shot of local anesthetic, so we don't bother to tell them!  We use child-friendly words like "sleepy juice" to avoid lying and abusing your child's trust, while not being entirely up-front with what we are doing. We ask that you leave this discussion to us rather than preparing your child at home. After all, we do it every day! 

Our process may include:

Topical anesthetic - which is applied to numb the cheek before injection, and we give it plenty of time to work
Distraction -which gets your child to think about something else instead of what is actually happening
Slow numbing - the slower we go, the easier it is, and since we don't double-book we have plenty of time to keep your child comfortable
Nitrous oxide, or laughing gas, for more anxious children

We have a variety of amenities to help your child feel more welcome at our office. This includes children's books and toys in the waiting room, as well as a DVD player in the treatment area. Feel free to bring your child's favorite movie to watch – we get tired of watching our movies!  But we're also modest; there's no 12-foot-tall two-story treehouse in our waiting room. We do our best to provide child-friendly care at a reasonable cost to you. And we know you won't be in the waiting room long!

For anxious children, young children, or those with extensive dental needs, we offer different levels of sedation for dental care.  This can range from medicine that can be taken in our office to help your child relax to general anesthesia, where your child is completely asleep and all dental care is completed in one visit. No matter which option you choose, our friendly staff is committed to keeping your child safe and comfortable throughout their visit with us.

Do you ever do referrals?

For children with complex orthodontic needs, we will be able to recommend an orthodontist close to your house. We routinely work with orthodontists in Palos Heights, Palos Park, Homer Glen, Oak Lawn, Tinley Park, and Orland Park. The benefit of finding an orthodontist close to your house is that braces typically require more frequent visits, usually every four to six weeks. It is convenient to find someone close to home to minimize the amount of time missed from school and other activities.

Does insurance cover orthodontics, or do you offer any payment plans?

Insurance coverage—including the amount of coverage—varies by plan. A member of our team can go through your policy to learn whether orthodontics is covered.

Our Palos Heights, IL pediatric dentist accepts most PPO plans and offers a four-installment payment plan for a procedure that costs more than $500 and a 36-month payment plan for a procedure that meets or exceeds $1000. Ask a member of our team for more details.  

Call Now for an Early Orthodontic Evaluation

We know your child is number one in your heart, and that why is our team here at Palos Pediatric Dentistry treats them that way. Dr. Facko and his support team possess the skill and expertise to help your child achieve optimal dental health.

Call us to schedule an early orthodontic evaluation and learn how to minimize future treatment.