This is not your father's orthodontist office
By Kathy A. Conrad
You know a smile is special when a child's toothy grin can bring an even bigger smile to your face. Some smiles, however, need professional intervention - orthodontic treatment.
Creating healthy smiles is what orthodontist Christopher Sierk, DDS and his incredible team do best. From his state-of-the-art equipped West Linn Central Village office Sierk has put a new face (and smile) on going to the orthodontist.
Changes in orthodontic assessment and treatment over the past 30 years only make that once dreaded trip to the orthodontist far more enjoyable, but in many instance reduce the amount of time wearing braces.
Parental awareness has also played a major role in early orthodontic assessment and treatment. Education by way of written material, television or internet has provided parents greater knowledge than their predecessors.
"Overbite, and crowding are easily recognized by an alert parent," states Dr. Sierk.
Many children could benefit from early interceptive orthodontic treatment. This treatment is less invasive, may reduce the need for extractions and is shorter in overall duration. Interceptive treatment typically starts before a child's permanent teeth have erupted at between age seven to 10.
"At this age a child's teeth and bones are still growing making them more compliant - easier to align," offers Dr. Sierk.
Comprehensive orthodontic treatment - full braces - is required once a child's permanent teeth have erupted, usually around age 12.
Braces, also known as brackets, are no longer looked upon as barbed wire or tooth tinsel. Technology has resulted in smaller, more comfortable and more efficient, hygienic brackets.
Additionally, nickel titanium wires (memory wires) move teeth more rapidly with less discomfort and with fewer adjustments. Headgear is seldom used and a rainbow of colors is available to choose from at each adjustment appointment. All these things combined are designed to make your orthodontic experience more comfortable and enjoyable.
"Advances in orthodontics have changed the way we think of braces," explains Dr. Sierk. "In short, these aren't your father's braces anymore."
Enjoyment begins the moment you enter Dr. Sierk's office. The reception area comes complete with PLAYSTATION®3, Nintendo® hand-held games and two flat screen televisions. The treatment area's open floor plan is big and welcoming, and allows for parents to watch their child being treated, possibly even help them choose their colors.
"It means a great deal to us," states Dr. Sierk, "for our patients to arrive with a smile and leave with a smile."
The man behind the smile
Dr. Christopher R. Sierk graduated first from the University of Iowa Dental School in 1996. Then in 2000, he earned a certificate for specialized training from the research-driven Oregon Health Sciences University. In 2000 he opened his first practice in Tigard, and in 2007 his second practice in West Linn Central Village. Dr. Sierk, his wife Polly and two children live in West Linn. "The weather in Oregon is great," smiles Dr. Sierk. "West Linn has become the perfect home for me and my family.