An overview of Bandeen Orthodontics of Kalamazoo
In 2016, Bandeen Orthodontics began in Kalamazoo with the former doctor, Dr. Souers of Michigan Orthodontic Specialists, and his team. Dr. Souers officially retired in May of 2017 from the new Bandeen Orthodontics offices in Kalamazoo & Three Rivers. Since that time, Dr. Roger Bandeen has briefly returned to Bandeen Orthodontics to help with the transition of the new practice locations. Dr. Tim Bandeen has also been helping set the new tone for our practice in Kalamazoo and Three Rivers, and we are welcoming other new doctors to the Kalamazoo and Three Rivers locations. Both Dr. Emily Bandeen and Dr. Tim Bandeen can still be found in Battle Creek.
We believe in efficient treatment. By waiting to start treatment until the “right time” we can accomplish more treatment with less effort (and often less cost). This means that, when possible, we will wait until all baby teeth are gone and the adult teeth have erupted; however, specifics of treatment will depend upon the individual patient and each person’s unique set of teeth.
While everyone is different and treatment times vary, average treatment times at our office are only 12-18 months. Only about 20% of our patients are in treatment longer than 18 months. To achieve these low treatment times, we use Damon™ System braces and Insignia™ Advanced Smile Design™. We don’t rush treatment; we just plan really well and use effective technology.
Of course, providing quality is more important than the speed. Insignia™ is a system where we use computers to visualize our end goals for treatment and then reverse engineer the process to create a truly unique and superior treatment result – with great efficiency. Through Insignia™, we are able to use computer modeling to place the braces virtually and make customized wires. Technically, we are doing your treatment first in the computer to see how it should go before we start treatment with your actual teeth.
Stable, comfortable expansion without rapid palatal expanders
The Damon™ System Braces makes the use of palatal expanders unnecessary. This is not to say that we don’t provide expansion of the dental arches when necessary, but it is to say that our doctors feel that there is better way to expand than the outdated technology of the rapid palatal expander. If you have been told that palatal expansion is what you need, please call us so that we can show you how expansion can be achieved without an expander. In our opinion, the Damon™ System Braces allow us to achieve a healthy, stable expansion equal to or better than that which is achieved with palatal expanders, correcting crossbites and/or crowding without uncomfortable, bulky, and difficult to clean palatal expanders.
The use of The Damon™ System Braces also allows us to provide non-surgical treatment for many adult patients. If you are an adult and you have been told that your treatment would require surgical expansion, please call us for a second opinion because there may be other options available. Expansion was often considered to be limited to treatment of children. That is no longer the case. Expansion in adults with The Damon™ System Braces is not a compromise with a lesser result. Expansion in adult patients with The Damon™ System Braces is a valid treatment option that has been shown to be an excellent treatment option for many patients.
Early orthodontic treatment when it matters, not just to be a busier office
We limit early treatment to situations where it truly matters and where it can truly make an actual difference in the long term. The question is not whether early treatment will make things look better in the short term, rather, the question is whether or not early treatment will result in a better result in the long term… and then let you decide what is best for your family.
Certainly, we will provide early treatment in circumstances where patients are self-conscious, an emergency circumstance requires action, or in the rare scenario where such treatment will actually make a difference to long term results. With that said, only about 7% of our patients have early treatment with retainers and only about 3% of our patients have early braces. That means only 10% of our total practice has “early treatment” because most parents, when given the options, realize that waiting for a single phase of treatment is okay. We feel that we are different for offering early treatment as an option rather than an obligation, and we will have an honest discussion with you about those options.
In the past, orthodontists used to believe that early treatment was the only way to provide nice overall treatment results. Expanders, lip bumpers, and other appliances were used on nearly every patient. Patients were subjected to extensive treatment at early ages only to be asked to go through more treatment later. While arguments can be made that such treatments are not harmful, it is a stronger argument to say that such methods are simply not necessary for most patients. Fortunately, there are newer treatment methods which make most early treatment unnecessary. Exhibiting patience and waiting for the right time and with the use of The Damon™ System Braces and Insignia™, we are able to postpone treatment until the adult teeth have erupted to provide treatment when it really matters. While we will suggest early treatment when it is necessary, we don’t want to take advantage of our patients by providing treatment that is not necessary.
It is important to recognize that waiting can sometimes result in a positive change without interference from an impatient orthodontist. There are times when the natural process of growth and development will result in positive changes without orthodontic treatment. Waiting for the “right time” can often simplify the problems. The baby molars are actually bigger than the adult teeth that replace them. So, sometimes as baby molars are lost naturally, the crowding is reduced without orthodontic intervention.
When we do provide early treatment, we strive to limit that early treatment to situations where it will reduce future orthodontic treatment in a meaningful way, accomplish treatment goals that cannot otherwise be accomplished, or potentially take away future orthodontic problems to the degree that future orthodontics may not even be necessary. Early treatment should be reserved for circumstances that cannot otherwise be adequately corrected by a single phase of treatment. Early treatment should not be simply for the purpose of early expansion in situations of mild to moderate dental crowding as such an idea is outdated and has been shown to be clinically unnecessary. While there are some patients who have extreme orthodontic needs, you will not regularly see large groups of 6, 7, and 8 year old patients in braces and/or retainers at our office.
New braces for every patient
Every patient who comes to our office and who starts treatment gets their own new set of braces. There are some offices who use recycled braces. We feel that the fine tolerances of braces require a new set for each patient. Most of our patients have personalized braces which have been custom made for them with the use of Insignia™. In fact, at the conclusion of treatment, we offer each patient the opportunity to keep his/her braces because each set is otherwise discarded.
Surgery in combination with orthodontics can sometimes offer excellent treatment results, but surgery is not necessary for everyone (nor should it be for everyone), and we strive to provide non-surgical treatment to our patients whenever possible. Very few patients have conditions serious enough to warrant surgical intervention in addition to orthodontics; however, if there is an extreme change that can only be accomplished through surgery, we will talk to you about treatment options respecting the fact that surgery is a serious situation. We do not take presentation of a surgical treatment plan lightly.
Why choose us?
There are many things that set our office apart from other orthodontists in Kalamazoo, including:
- You get to see and talk to your doctor at your first visit
- Our doctors see every single patient in our office
- Our doctors plan where each brace is placed
- We encourage questions and take pride in educating our patients
- We use the Damon System™ and Insignia™
- We do not use headgear or palatal expanders
- We offer flexible financing and payment options
- We help you with your insurance paperwork
- We use smart retainers and do not take impressions
- We are constantly improving and updating our equipment and technology