Early & Adult Orthodontics

Though an orthodontist can enhance a smile at any age, there is an optimal time period to begin treatment. Beginning treatment at this time ensures the greatest result and the least amount of time and expense. The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that the initial orthodontic evaluation should occur at the first sign of orthodontic problems or no later than age 7. At this early age, orthodontic treatment may not be necessary, but vigilant examination can anticipate the most advantageous time to begin treatment.

Early evaluation provides both timely detection of problems and greater opportunity for more effective treatment. Prudent intervention guides growth and development, preventing serious problems later. When orthodontic intervention is not necessary, an orthodontist can carefully monitor growth and development and begin treatment when it is ideal.

By the age of 7, the first adult molars erupt, establishing the back bite. During this time, an orthodontist can evaluate front-to-back and side-to-side tooth relationships. For example, the presence of erupting incisors can indicate possible overbite, open bite, crowding or gummy smiles. Timely screening increases the chances for an incredible smile.

Some of the most direct results of interceptive treatment are:

Creating room for crowded, erupting teeth
Creating facial symmetry through influencing jaw growth
Reducing the risk of trauma to protruding front teeth
Preserving space for unerupted teeth
Reducing the need for tooth removal
Reducing treatment time with braces
Orthodontics is not merely for improving the aesthetics of the smile; orthodontic treatment improves bad bites (malocclusions). Malocclusions occur as a result of tooth or jaw misalignment. Malocclusions affect the way you smile, chew, clean your teeth or feel about your smile.

According to studies by the American Association of Orthodontists, untreated malocclusions can result in a variety of problems. Crowded teeth are more difficult to properly brush and floss, which may contribute to tooth decay and/or gum disease. Protruding teeth are more susceptible to accidental chipping. Crossbites can result in unfavorable growth and uneven tooth wear. Openbites can result in tongue-thrusting habits and speech impediments. Ultimately, orthodontics does more than make a pretty smile—it creates a healthier you.

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Our Family has chosen Petrunic Orthodontics because of the overall care that is given to our children. Dr. Chris takes time to learn about each individual and their personality and lifestyle then tailors his plan of care to that child. He only recommended devices or procedures as they became necessary. Dr. Petrunic is also involved in the community supporting the various activities of his patients

Jennifer - Prattville, AL

Orthodontics FAQ

At Petrunic Orthodontics we are here to walk you through the entire process. From our free consultation to your desired end results, we make sure the process is as easy and seamless as possible.  We have created some FAQ to help you get started, but we would  also love to sit down with you in person and answer any and all of your questions.    

Is it required that my family dentist schedule my appointment with the orthodontist?

No, it is not. Many of our patients are referred by their family dentist, yet many other patients take the initiative to schedule an examination themselves.

At what age should I schedule an appointment for an orthodontic screening?

The American Association of Orthodontists recommends an orthodontic screening at age 7. By this age, several permanent teeth in most children have erupted, allowing us to effectively evaluate your orthodontic condition.

Will my teeth straighten out as they grow?

No, they will not. The space available for the front teeth does not increase as you grow. In most people, after the permanent molars erupt, the space available for the front teeth decreases with age.

How do I schedule an appointment for an initial exam?

If you or your child can potentially benefit from orthodontic treatment, simply call our office or send us an e-mail. We will be happy to schedule an appointment for you. When you call to schedule your appointment, our front office staff will request some basic information from you.

Chris Petrunic, DMD, MS

Braces Prattville, AL | Orthodontist Prattville, AL | Braces Millbrook, AL | Orthodontist Millbrook, AL

Seeing the joy and confidence on my patients' faces when they achieve the smiles of their dreams is the best part of being an orthodontist. Over the past eight years, I have met such wonderful people, and they've all taught me so much. I think people enjoy being around somebody who truly loves what he or she does, and that excitement becomes infectious. I hope that each and every patient I meet becomes as excited as I am about his or her orthodontic treatment.

I am a native of Prattville, AL, and proud to have been born and raised in such a great community. I live here with my wife, Ashley, and our two children. My free time is spent hunting, fishing, playing golf, or really just doing anything outside. I can also be found on my family’s farm. 

Being a part of the community where I practice is very important to me. I enjoy watching the children I treat grow up and thrive in the community that I call home. I see so many of my patients out around town at dinner, ballgames, church and community functions. I believe that a practicing doctor should know his patients as people and not just as a name on a chart. I want my patients to develop a sense of pride and bond with somebody they see as one of their own.

Testimonials

"Dr. Petrunic and his staff are extremely caring and professional. During every appointment and follow up visit , I always felt he was truly concerned about my satisfaction and always provided a comfortable and caring environment. Now that my daughter is a patient, I look forward to seeing him and his staff every month! I would highly recommend Dr. Petrunic for your orthodontic needs." read more 

"Our Family has chosen Petrunic Orthodontics because of the overall care that is given to our children. Dr. Chris takes time to learn about each individual and their personality and lifestyle then tailors his plan of care to that child. He only recommended devices or procedures as they became necessary. Dr. Petrunic is also involved in the community supporting the various activities of his patients..."  read more

"When it was time for my daughter to need braces, we consulted with a few different orthodontists regarding treatment. Since Dr. Petrunic was the third orthodontist we met with, I guess you could say the best was saved for last. My daughter felt at ease as soon as she met Dr. Petrunic. He and his staff have been wonderful to work with. Dr. Petrunic is very thorough in all aspects of the treatment..." read more

Don't Wait Any Longer for The Smile of Your Dreams!