August 5, 2011 at 6:53 AM
MADISON, NJ – Dr. Jason Rothenberg considers himself an artist, with people’s teeth as his blank canvas.
“There’s a tremendous amount of art in dentistry in general,” said Rothenberg, an orthodontist with offices in Madison and West Caldwell.
Orthodontics is art with a purpose. Rothenberg said he takes a “comprehensive approach” in his work. “What that means is we’re not only trained to get the best aesthetic result possible, but making sure we have a healthy, functional bite,” he said.
Rothenberg, who entered practice with a partner in 2004 and became sole owner in 2008, said that one of the biggest differences he’s seen in orthodontics is the “cool” factor. “Kids are excited to get braces,” he said. “It’s not like it used to be where the orthodontist was dreaded. Nowadays it’s fun, it’s exciting and it’s much easier.”
The technology has changed, too. Rothenberg said the braces are much smaller, and the types of wires used make it easier for the patient.
“Wires are much lighter, more flexible, much longer-acting,” he said.
The challenge of fitting braces is one of the things that drew him to specialize in orthodontics, Rothenberg said. “I like building things, I like doing things with my hands, and it’s one of those things – when I started bending wires, it just clicked,” he said.
Some of his work involves alternatives to braces. He is certified to fit the Invisalign system of retainers. Rothenberg explained the patient wears a retainer for two weeks, 24 hours a day, and then exchanges it for the next one in the set. “Each set pushes the teeth further along to where we want them to go,” he said.
The Invisalign system is popular with adults, but he said that they are not an appropriate treatment for everyone.
While he sees both adults and children in his practice, the majority of his patients are the kids.
Rothenberg said that children generally would start seeing an orthodontist at age 7 or 8. Many patients are referred by their dentists, while others come to him through word of mouth, according to Rothenberg.
And it’s the relationship with his patients that Rothenberg said he values most. “We’ve developed relationships with people where they almost become like second families,” he said. “I have families where we treat seven or eight kids; you’re together a very long time with some families. It’s nice that way. We all know each other.
Rothenberg and his family, wife Jennifer and sons Ian, 5, and Jordan, 11 months, live in Livingston.
For more information: http://www.rothenbergortho.com/index.php