LAHAINA - According to William Arthur Ward, one of America's most quoted writers, "A warm smile is the universal language of kindness." However, many children and adults, embarrassed by their teeth, refrain from smiling.
At Kihei-Lahaina Orthodontics, Dr. Sujata Bhatia builds kindness one smile at a time.
"There have been amazing advancements made recently in our ability to offer a perfect smile that is fun, easy and affordable," said Dr. Bhatia. "Here at our Kihei and Lahaina offices, we are committed to keeping up with the latest treatments and providing our patients ages 6 to 80 with the best results possible."
Dr. Sujata Bhatia’s two chocolate Labrador Retrievers, Emma (right) and Micah, are trained therapy dogs who offer emotional support for children and adults alike. PHOTO BY CINDY SCHUMACHER.
"It's never too late for a beautiful smile," she added.
After completing her education as a dentist, Dr. Bhatia acquired a specialty degree in pediatric dentistry and then went on to get a specialty degree in orthodontics from Louisiana State University. Her broad education equips her to diagnose and treat cases that require early treatment and interceptive orthodontics.
"My journey to be an orthodontist started when I was a shy 14-year-old teenager with crooked teeth," said Dr. Bhatia. "I simply was afraid to smile."
Then Dr. Bhatia's mother took her to the local orthodontist.
"As my teeth got straighter, my confidence grew," she said. So, she told her orthodontist, "Someday I will be like you, helping to change lives by changing smiles."
Getting her braces off and receiving her orthodontic diploma were memorable times in Dr. Bhatia's life.
"I finally had the degrees to equip me to help others benefit from an orthopedic intervention before a corrective orthodontic phase," she said.
Dr. Bhatia offers a full range of treatment to meet the needs and desires of each individual patient. Services range from Invisalign for youth and adults to teeth whitening, stain removal, gum line sculpting, orthodontic mini-implants, parts of braces and more.
When a person's teeth or jaw structure do not fit together properly, orthodontic treatment may be necessary to straighten teeth and promote ideal function.
Common problems, such as bad bites, can cause speech difficulty, premature wear of the teeth and protective enamel, as well as increase the chance of injury to teeth and jaw joints if left untreated.
"Individual difficulties can be discussed with a complimentary first visit," Dr. Bhatia said.
Modern technology has provided a clear alternative to braces. Kihei-Lahaina Orthodontics offers Invisalign and Invisalign Teen, clear aligners to straighten smiles instead of the bulky metal braces of the past.
In fact, "we are an Elite Invisalign provider - a distinction only given to 1 percent of the practices in the nation," she said. "And we are an exclusive provider for Teen Invisalign in Maui County."
Having straight teeth is important not only for children, but for adults as well. As we get older, our teeth tend to grow inward, creating malocclusion, or crowding - a common problem for many adults.
"As a result, it may become difficult to keep teeth clean and healthy," Dr. Bhatia said.
Invisalign treatment is a breakthrough technique that straightens your teeth without braces using a series of clear, comfortable aligners that are custom-modeled to fit your teeth. The virtually invisible aligners gradually reposition your teeth into a smile to be proud of.
They are designed to move your teeth in small steps to the desired final position prescribed by Dr. Bhatia. Each aligner is precisely calibrated and manufactured to fit your mouth at each stage of the treatment.
"Invisalign is made to fit your lifestyle," said Dr. Bhatia. The removable aligners make it easy to eat, brush and floss.
About every two weeks, you graduate to a new set of aligners; progress is monitored with regular appointments.
"Treatment time varies depending on individual needs; however, it has been known to work in less than a year," she said.
A compassionate and well-trained staff, better known as the "Brace Girls," put an enormous emphasis on providing the very best customer service available to ensure effective and excellent outcome for all treatments.
"I really enjoy working with our patients, especially the children," said clinical coordinator Julia Savard, who received her radiology certificate from Tufts University.
"The most rewarding part of working with Dr. Bhatia is giving the patients the smile of a lifetime," she said.
Treatment Coordinator Jennifer Roth earned her Orthodontic Assisting Technique and Theory Certificate from the Academy of Orthodontic Assisting. "I love seeing the smiles of the patients after they have completed treatment and how happy they are to have that new beautiful smile," said Roth.
The quality and care at Kihei-Lahaina Orthodontics is evident. They use the latest proven technology that makes braces less noticeable, improves patient comfort and reduces frequency of appointments and treatment time. Especially important is the fact that these new techniques can possibly eliminate the need for extraction of permanent teeth and the need for future surgery in growing children.
Visit Dr. Bhatia and her two chocolate Labrador retrievers, Emma and Micah, trained therapy dogs who offer emotional support for children and adults alike.
"I'm looking forward to offering you a perfect smile," said Dr. Bhatia.
For more information, go to www.KiheiOrthodonticsMaui.com or call (808) 874-9229 or (808) 661-9229 for a complimentary consultation.