MARION -- A smile is known as the universal language. Orthodontic treatment can give people the confidence to smile more. Callie Carroll learns all about orthodontics in this week's Callie On The Job.
"You're never fully dressed without a smile." The movie Annie says it best, but southern Illinois orthodontist Kevin Cook just helps make your best smile a reality.
"We take a smile that is good, but we make it that much better by getting the teeth where they need to be, in alignment, and it makes a big difference for people's smile, confidence," Cook says.
Dr. Cook has used treatment on patients ranging in age from three years old to 78 years old.
Cook says, "Orthodontics is all about moving the teeth, so whether we use braces or Invisalign, different things like that, I mean, it's not just about braces like it used to be back in the day."
Regardless of what treatment plan you decide on, all first time visits start the same way: with pictures.
Pictures and x-rays are used post-treatment, but they're also used at the beginning of the process to see what's going on inside your mouth. Dr. Cook's office even has a machine that can scan teeth and show what the smile will look like in the future after your treatment.
Once a treatment plan is chosen, then Dr. Cook and his assistants specialize each visit based on what the patient needs, with metal braces that can include gluing on the brackets, changing the lace or putting in new wire.
For the patients who choose to use Invisalign their appointments are more like fittings. They're given several different sets to progress the movement of their teeth from home.
Although orthodontics is no funny business, Dr, Cook tries to make the experience fun. His office uses things such as a "good news gong," a candy room and they even give away gift cards and free sets of braces with their car magnet contests.
"Orthodontics is definitely a team sport, and what I mean by that is it's teamwork between the orthodontic team and the patient. It's all up to you. What you put into it is what you're going to get out of it in many cases," Cook said.