Tuesday, April 25, 2017


One question parents often ask when their children begin their journey to a spectacular smile is whether it will be necessary to extract teeth. Our goal is to minimize the need to extract teeth, but it is worthwhile to understand the role of extraction in orthodontic treatment.

Dr. Gellerman, the orthodontist, is trained to look at the patient’s entire face and head, including the jaw, cheeks and chin. How do all of the parts of the face fit together? Are the proportions correct, both in terms of function and appearance? Just as every person is different, every person’s teeth, jaws and facial structures are unique. A careful examination by a skilled orthodontist like Dr. Gellerman will evaluate issues including crowding, tongue placement and the position of other facial structures.

Today, orthodontists are able to minimize teeth extraction because of the improvements to orthodontic technology.

For children under the age of 13, palate expansion, sometimes referred to as Rapid Palatal Expansion, is used to gain more space on the upper jaw and avoid having to extract teeth. The appliance gently widens the roof of the mouth, and treatment can take a few weeks or months.

The most common reason for extraction is known as “crowding.” Each person’s jaw has only so much space, and when there’s not enough room, teeth respond by moving out of alignment, overlapping or sticking out at awkward angles. Think of this like putting too much furniture into a small room: you can push furniture in, but no matter how strong the movers are, you won’t be able to open drawers if they are up against the bed! By removing teeth on a crowded jaw, the patient’s teeth have sufficient space to line up to create a straight and smooth surface.

If you have questions about whether or not your child’s teeth need to be extracted before orthodontic treatment can begin, call our office at 631-427-8444.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017


Did you know that children suffer from sleep apnea in the same way that adults do? Some children who have problems concentrating or staying focused in school are actually having trouble getting a good night’s sleep. Sleep apnea, when someone cannot breathe for a short period of time during sleep or snores heavily, is caused when certain structures in the mouth and throat block the airway necessary for regular breathing. Sometimes this happens because the muscles located in the back of the throat relax during sleep, and other times the position of the jaw itself pushes the soft tissue and muscles of the throat onto the airway.
There are ways to treat sleep apnea without the use of a breathing mask. 
Start with determining what is causing the sleep apnea. The use of a 3-D imaging study is very useful in examining patients to determine the cause of sleep apnea. We are able to tell what structures are blocking the airways, and this plays a key role in selecting the most effective treatment. The 3-D- imaging is also helpful to monitor the changes that occur over time, another means of evaluating the efficacy of the treatment.
A sleep study gives the ENT (ear, nose and throat doctor) an opportunity to determine whether or not you have sleep apnea, and start investigating treatments. Non-surgical appliances can be used to improve symptoms of sleep apnea through expanding the upper jaw and/or re-positioning the lower jaw forward and allowing airways to expand. 
Treating children is very different than treating adults because oral structures are still growing and changing. In some cases, tonsils and adenoids may be inflamed, causing a sleep apnea condition. In the past, tonsils and adenoids were routinely removed, but today we know that they are an important part of the lymphatic system and are only removed if they become a problem.  
Concerned about your child? Call our office at 631-427-8444.

Tuesday, April 4, 2017


A convenient location is important, but that’s just a small part of what to consider when deciding where to go for orthodontic treatment. 

Start by asking if the orthodontist is an American Board Certified Orthodontist.  Orthodontists who become Board Certified undertake a rigorous and voluntary examination process with The American Board of Orthodontics (ABO).  It’s not an easy credential to obtain and demonstrates a commitment to remaining at the forefront of proficiency and excellence.

Dr. Gellerman has always been a Board Certified orthodontist, and has continued to be certified as part of her commitment to maintaining the highest level of professional excellence.  The recertification program required her to present clinical examinations of difficult cases. Dr. Gellerman selected the most challenging cases to convey the quality of care and technical expertise provided to patients.  Her presentations were made before a panel of nationally-known peers in orthodontics who hold the highest standards for patient treatment and care. Her presentations were very well received, and members of the panel were very interested how her patients were treated.
Orthodontics is a highly specialized area that is always changing, and requires keeping up with new medical science and treatments. To ensure that you or your family member is getting the best possible orthodontic treatment, choose an orthodontist who de
monstrates their commitment to patient care by making ongoing education and certification a priority.

At Gellerman Orthodontics, we pursue excellence in patient treatment and care every day, and we are proud of this commitment to our patients and colleagues.