About the Expert
Dr. Kirat Sodhi is passionate about providing exceptional care with outstanding results to bring out your best smile. She graduated from one of India’s best dental schools and trained in the U.S. to specialize in orthodontics. She loves providing fulfilling smiles for adults, teens, and kids. She practices airway-conscious orthodontics employing the latest technology and state-of-the-art equipment for exceptional care with compassion and excellence.
How has orthodontics changed over the past few years?
It might be easier to tell you how it hasn’t changed. We have better diagnostic tools now, highly precise technology like cone-beam computed tomography (CBCT). No more bulky trays or gooey impressions Treatment times are faster and more accurate with fewer and shorter appointments. We even have 3D printers and 3D-printed appliances.
What about the braces themselves?
Braces have changed quite a bit, too. We now have custom braces available. The material doesn’t attract as much plaque, so they’re easier to keep clean. We don’t have to tighten them as often, so treatment times are shorter with fewer in between visits. And there are many esthetic options available like aligners and braces hidden behind the teeth. Orthodontists can now treat complicated cases — even surgical cases — with aligners. Or, you can get lingual braces on the back of your teeth, so no one even knows you’re wearing braces.
What are some good treatment options for adults?
More and more adults are now seeking orthodontic care. At my office, we see 50% adults. That includes those who had braces as a kid, didn’t wear their retainer, and relapsed and those who always wanted the perfect smiles but never got the opportunity. Aligners are a great option for them because they’re less noticeable and they can be removed for special occasions. Lingual braces are also popular with adults and older teens. No matter what age you are though, you’ll need to wear a retainer afterward — for life.
At what age should my child see an orthodontist?
The American Association of Orthodontists recommends a child see an orthodontist for evaluation no later than age seven. If you notice issues with your child’s dentition like crossbites or narrow jaws, an orthodontist should be consulted. If your child is still wetting the bed after age seven, is sleepy during the day or restless during the night (with nightmares or night terrors), or is mouth breathing or teeth grinding, those are all signs they may have obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). Your orthodontist can work with other medical professionals such as pediatrician, ENT, and myofunctional therapists to get to the root of their problem and collaborate on a multidisciplinary approach to address it.
What about sleep apnea in adults?
We begin with a sleep study to diagnose. If OSA is diagnosed, we can use expanders with the help of mini screws to expand the palate and allow for proper nose breathing. Basically, the roof of the mouth is the floor of the nose. If we can expand that, we can enable you to breathe properly. Some cases require surgical interventions but ideally mini-screw-assisted rapid palatal expansion (MARPE) can provide a permanent solution non-surgically. And you’ll no longer be tied to the CPAP machine. Your orthodontist will work with an oral surgeon and should begin with the least-invasive treatment options and advance, if they need to.