92 Timber Creek & 2670 Union Ext'd


Orthodontic Therapy – Memphis, TN


Orthodontic Therapy (Braces)Types of Braces & Treatment Glossary  |  TMJ Therapy



In over 25 years of practice as a Memphis orthodontist, Dr. Piper has treated every type of malocclusion. Depending upon the severity of the bite relationship, comprehensive orthodontic therapy (braces) may take 12, 18 or 24 months of treatment.

When is the best time to begin orthodontics?

Though an orthodontist can enhance a smile at any age, there IS an optimal time period to begin treatment. 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.

What are the benefits of early orthodontic evaluation?

Early evaluation provides both timely detection of problems and greater opportunity for more effective treatment. Dr. Piper can monitor growth and development, preventing serious problems later.

Why is age 7 considered the optimal time for screening?

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 takes advantage of the patient’s own growth and saves money in the long run.

What are the advantages of interceptive treatment?

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

Are you a candidate for orthodontic treatment?

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.

Why should malocclusions be treated?

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 self.


Sometimes braces for kids work better in conjunction with extraction (removal of certain teeth). If the dental malocclusion is significant and most of the patient’s growth has taken place, orthodontic therapy with the extraction of permanent teeth may be recommended.


Corrective jaw surgery (orthognathic surgery) treats and corrects abnormalities of the facial bones, specifically the jaws and the teeth. Often, these abnormalities cause difficulty associated with chewing, talking, sleeping and other routine activities. Orthognathic surgery corrects these problems and, in conjunction with orthodontic treatment, will improve the overall appearance of the facial profile.

In an orthognathic case, Dr. Piper works closely with an oral and maxillofacial surgeon who uses state-of-the-art materials as titanium plates and miniature screws to provide stability, strength and predictability to your treatment. These advances in technology, procedures and equipment reduce post-surgical recovery time, thus allowing patients to return to their normal routines soon after the surgery.

If orthodontic treatment alone cannot correct the problem, surgery may be necessary. With the latest advances in orthodontics, this is sometimes the case. We will determine if orthognathic surgery is the correct treatment option for you.


The two-phase technique is used to address dental and skeletal discrepancies in two treatment periods, each about 12 months in duration. This approach is particularly effective in young children when introduced in the elementary school years. Dr. Piper resumes their treatment in adolescence and personally guides their case to a permanent result.


Whether Dr. Piper provides braces for your kids or braces for adults, retention is the final stage of your treatment. The retention phase lasts for a minimum of 12 months. Your final orthodontic result depends on your retainers, so follow through with the hard work you’ve put in so far. Remember to remove your retainer before brushing, and brush your retainer before placing it back in your mouth.