While kids may still be a little anxious about a trip to the orthodontist, the staff at Cichetti & DelliGatti will put their fears to rest. With almost four decades of experience in the business, Cichetti & DelliGatti Orthodontics P.C., are the nationally recognized experts in orthodontics that families in the Philadelphia region have grown to know and trust.
Patients Come First
Since the practice’s start in 1975, its core philosophy has remained unchanged. “Take care of patients the best that you possibly can” is a belief that the practice partners and staff take to heart. “It’s been the key to our success,” says Michael A. Cichetti, D.M.D., who joined the practice’s original partners in 1979. “I’m now treating the children of some of my original patients, and that’s a nice compliment because it means they not only had a good experience when they were kids, but that they trust our expertise enough to bring their own children here. That says a lot.”
That top-notch treatment is reflected by all of the staff, many of whom have been with the practice for years. “Parents really appreciate that we have a fantastic staff,” says Dr. Cichetti. “They are great people who have become like family and treat our patients like family, too.”
The practice is also known for early intervention, which can help make the braces experience easier down the road. “We call it Phase One treatment and it means working with kids that don’t need braces yet but that have some issues that we can correct early on,” says Steve A. DelliGatti, D.M.D. “Doing something for that child now will make it easier down the road. We can take a severe problem and make it into a much smaller problem, preventing further complications and also making things easier on the child when it does come time for braces.”
Phase One treatment works with children as young as 7 years old. “You can always tell a patient they’re not ready yet and to come back later, but if you miss that opportunity to do something [before it becomes something big] you can’t get it back,” says Dr. Cichetti. “My feeling has always been that it’s beneficial to see patients [while they’re young] so that you have the opportunity to catch something … and make things easier on them down the road.”
If parents notice a habit such as thumb sucking or tongue thrusting, starting treatment right away may be quite beneficial. “These habits often start at birth and can cause problems as time goes on so it’s best to take care of them [right away],” says Dr. Cichetti. “We can also take care of [premature] tooth decay or baby teeth that were lost early. With teeth that are lost [this way], it’s important to maintain that space before the adult teeth come in or else all of the teeth may shift and make treatment much more difficult,” he says. “While it’s almost impossible to prevent needing braces, you can certainly lessen the duration that braces will be needed and make the treatment easier if you recognize problems [quickly] and take steps to prevent them.”
Invisalign Teen is also available through the practice for young patients that want the more discreet mouthwear over braces and can handle the responsibility of the retainers that come with the system. “Teenagers can be self-conscious and really appreciate the opportunity to use Invisalign,” says Dr. DelliGatti. “And while our practice really is geared primarily toward kids, we do occasionally see adults such as the parent of a young patient.”
Putting Fears to Rest
A trip to the orthodontist may seem like a scary experience for kids, but the staff at Cichetti & DelliGatti works hard to make the visit as comfortable as possible. The office is designed for kids with video games and even an open-bay exam area. “While adults prefer the privacy of closed exam rooms, we’ve actually found that kids prefer to be with each other and that a big open room with other kids in it is a lot less intimidating for them,” says Dr. Cichetti.
“We really cater to kids and we know how to make them feel more at ease,” adds Dr. DelliGatti. “We use a ‘Tell, Show, Do’ approach so that kids know exactly what we’re doing and there are no surprises. We also have impression material that works really fast as we know kids can’t tolerate having that material in their mouths for long. We also offer an expander that doesn’t require a key to turn it and that’s easier for parents and kids. It’s a lot more pain-free and therefore less intimidating.”
Dr. Cichetti says he knows that young patients might be scared about what to expect but says that the feeling of braces and orthodontic work is quite similar to having “popcorn stuck between your teeth.”
“It can be a little uncomfortable at times but it’s not painful,” he says. “That analogy is a good way for kids to understand what it will feel like. There are no needles and no drilling. And if a patient goes home and feels that they have a problem, we always encourage the parents to call us. We’re never more than a phone call away for help and we can either tell you if it’s a normal reaction or we need to get the patient in to fix something,” says Dr. Cichetti. “We’re always available to help.”
Cichetti & DelliGatti Orthodontics P.C. has offices at 6404 Roosevelt Blvd., Philadelphia (215-743-3700); Whitemarsh Corporate Center, 7 East Skippack Pike, Suite 105, Ambler, PA 19002 (215-283-2440); and 928 Jaymor Road, Suite 130A, Southampton, PA (215-942-7300). For more information, visit www.weknowchoppers.com.