Thursday, July 23, 2009

Sorting Seeds, from Dr. Judith Okun

I watched Curious George on PBS Kids this morning while washing the dishes. (I don’t get many channels with my roof top antenna.) George, the monkey who always gets into trouble while investigating his world, has mixed all the packages of vegetable seeds together in one jar, and now has to figure out a way to re-label them. He sorts them by size and color, and then compares them to the seeds in cut vegetables. When the Man with the Yellow Hat comes home each pile of vegetable seeds has a name, and each kind of vegetable can be planted in the special way that can help it grow.

Sorting by characteristics is something we all do to make sense of the world. Orthodontists like me compile characteristics in order to make a diagnosis. We sort our patients by characteristics such as facial type, whether the upper jaw and teeth are in the correct forward-to-back relationship to the lower jaw and teeth, and whether the teeth are crowded or have spaces between them. For example, if we have a patient at Okun Orthodontics who has a square jaw/short face, upper teeth and jaw too far forward for the lower jaw and teeth, and crowded teeth, we would give this patient’s bite the name "Class II division 2 crowded malocclusion." Since orthodontists treat many bites of this kind, we know how to use braces to make this patient’s teeth bite properly and look their best.

If you want to know how I would name your bite, please call to schedule a consultation appointment at Okun Orthodontics. At your first visit I will look at your face and teeth and list their characteristics. Then I will tell you what your bite is called and what the problems are that need to be fixed. I’ll tell you how I would recommend fixing them, how long I think it will take, and approximately what it costs to fix these problems. I’ll even work out a payment plan with you so that you can start fixing your bite problems, and have your best smile, as soon as possible.

--Dr. Judith Okun

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