Taking Care of Teeth: Kristo Orthodontics
Taking Care of Teeth
For 60 years, Kristo Orthodontics has been creating smiles – literally and figuratively – across the Chippewa Valley. While the technology of straightening teeth and correcting bites has changed dramatically over the course of six decades, the goals of Kristo Orthodontics haven’t: Ensuring kids and adults have a positive experience that results in teeth that function and look better.
“Me and my staff, day in and day out, get a great feeling from patients,” Dr. Steve Kristo said during an interview in his office at one of Kristo Orthodontics’ bustling clinics, 3902 Oakwood Hills Parkway. “We’ve got a great energy at our clinic.” Their days are filled with positive outcomes as Kristo and his staff see how improved smiles can boost the self-esteem of children and adults.
Dr. Kristo has been practicing orthodontics in Eau Claire since 1988, when he joined the business his father, Dr. Andrew Kristo, began in 1959. Orthodontics was a fairly new field in the late 1950s. Getting braces meant having uncomfortable stainless steel bands wrapped around your teeth. While the physiology of moving teeth hasn’t changed, the methods have. Now, braces typically involve brackets which are securely bonded to teeth and connected by nickel-titanium wires that retain their shape and require fewer office visits. Today, Dr. Kristo said, he rarely extracts teeth and never uses hated external headgears, instead relying on less cumbersome methods to correct bites.
Another major change in orthodontic treatment has been the invention of Invisalign, which uses clear, plastic trays to to move teeth incrementally. “Invisalign makes it acceptable for adult patients to do orthodontics in an inconspicuous and more comfortable way,” Dr. Kristo said. Invisalign has also become more common for younger patients as well. In fact, Dr. Kristo explained, his favorite demographic for Invisalign is teenage boys, who are prone to break traditional braces and less likely to brush well. “Hygiene’s not on top of a 13-year-old’s list yet,” he said with a grin.
Within a few years, Dr. Kristo said, about half of his patients will be wearing Invisalign. And while in some circumstances traditional braces are necessary, when it comes to cost, timeframe, and quality of outcome, in most cases Invisalign is preferable. “If you’re hearing from an orthodontist that Invisalign can’t do the trick, I’d get a second opinion,” he said.
In recent years, Kristo Orthodontics has opened offices in five regions across the Upper Midwest, including Green Bay, La Crosse, Wausau, the St. Croix Valley, and Minneapolis.
And while the business has grown, Dr. Kristo says his professional staff has allowed him to continue focusing on what he really loves: his clinical practice and helping families make the right decisions for their teeth. “We want to be the orthodontist of choice because we do it the best,” he says.
Taking Care of Teeth
Healthy Smiles for the whole family in the Chippewa Valley.
This article is part of our Taking Care of Teeth series.