Q: Why should I visit a Certified Specialist in Orthodontics to straighten my teeth?

A: A Certified Specialist in Orthodontics has the training and education to prevent, diagnose and treat a misaligned bite and straighten the teeth with braces, Invisalign, dentofacial orthopedics, surgical orthodontics and other techniques. Because the teeth, and sometimes the entire facial structure, are permanently changed by orthodontic treatment, it’s essential that you receive the correct treatment and that it’s completed properly. Visiting a general dentist for orthodontic treatment is a little like seeing your family doctor for a surgical procedure. A qualified orthodontist can offer professional, personalized care for the best results.

Q: What is malocclusion?

A: Malocclusion is a big word for an improper bite that doesn’t align correctly because of the teeth or jaws. Openbites, overbites, underbites, crowding, spacing and crossbites are types of malocclusions. Dr. Sturgill will discover the underlying cause of your bite problems and then recommend a course of treatment.

Q: Why should I have my teeth straightened?

A: The obvious benefit of having your teeth straightened is achieving a stunning smile. This leads to a boost in self-esteem and confidence. The perks don’t end there, however. Straightening your teeth can have a positive impact on your overall health. Here’s how:

  • Straight teeth are easier to clean, which decreases your risk of tooth decay and gum disease.
    Crooked teeth and jaw issues can make chewing more difficult and lead to nutritional deficiencies.
  • Straightening your teeth and positioning the jaws correctly distributes bite forces evenly so that you’re not straining the bones or damaging the gums, which can eventually cause tooth loss.
  • Protruding teeth are more susceptible to getting knocked out or damaged.
  • Certain kinds of malocclusion, like crossbites, cause people to compensate by moving their jaw forward or to one side and this can lead to permanent changes in skeletal growth and facial asymmetry.
  • Crooked teeth often experience uneven wear and erosion of the tooth enamel.
  • Jaw misalignment and imbalances in bite forces are associated with headaches, migraines, neck and shoulder pain and TMD.

Q: What kind of training does Dr. Sturgill have?

A: Dr. Sturgill is a Certified Specialists in Orthodontics, meaning he completed dental school, as well as an orthodontic residency program to learn how to perfect patients’ smiles.

Dr. Sturgill attended dental school at Arizona School of Dentistry and Oral Health where he finished a dual degree program for Doctor of Dental Medicine (DMD) and Master of Public Health (MPH) degrees. He then went on for postgraduate training at an Orthodontic and Dentofacial Orthopedics Program. He graduated with a specialty certificate in orthodontics and a doctorate in health education (DHed). He topped off his training by serving as chief resident for his program and completing rotations at St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center – Barrow Neurological Institute Cleft and Craniofacial Center.

Q: When should I schedule my child’s first orthodontist appointment?

A: The American Association of Orthodontists recommends children receive their first orthodontic screening by the age of seven. This lets us take a preventative and proactive approach and catch red flags early so that your child can avoid complicated treatment, surgery and extractions down the line.

Q: Will my teeth straighten out as I get older?

A: Unfortunately, no they won’t. The space available for the teeth doesn’t increase with age. In fact, usually when the permanent molars come in, the space for the front teeth decreases.

Q: What happens if I put off treatment?

A: While it’s never too late to seek out orthodontic treatment, the earlier we can address certain problems, the easier and faster the process will be. In some cases, waiting too long will mean surgery or extractions are necessary to get the results you want.

Q: Do I need a referral to see Dr. Sturgill?

A: Nope. Come one, come all! While we certainly accept referrals from your doctor or dentist, you don’t need one to schedule your complimentary consultation.

Q: What happens at my first consultation?

A: You’ll get to meet the friendly, attentive Sturgill Orthodontics team. We’ll take x-rays, pictures and impressions so we can see what we’re working with. You’ll meet with Dr. Sturgill who will give you your diagnosis and discuss possible treatment options while also addressing your questions, concerns and goals.

Q: Can I drop my child off for an appointment?

A: Sure. We understand you have a busy schedule and we’re happy to help out. On some occasions, we may request to speak with a parent or guardian after the visit, so we ask that you check-in with your patient manager before dropping your child off.

Q: What is a board certified orthodontist?

A: A board certified orthodontist is a certified specialist in orthodontics who voluntarily goes through hundreds of extra hours of preparation to demonstrate their judgment, skills and knowledge when it comes to providing the highest level of patient care. They not only must pass the American Board of Orthodontics’ written exam but they must also submit a case for the clinical portion of the exam, undergo peer review and renew their certification every 10 years to show a continued commitment to excellence.