Permanent teeth saved with 2-phase


Growing up in the 1980s, Tamryn Parker-Carver and her husband, Scott, both had braces, and they both remember the trauma of having permanent teeth pulled because there wasn’t enough room in their mouths.

It came as no surprise, then, when their family dentist told them children Sylvie and Joel both had extremely narrow palates. The kids were facing severe crowding issues and the possibility of future extraction of permanent teeth.

Fortunately, his recommendation was a familiar one: Go see Dr. Ralph.

While teaching piano lessons in Liberty Lake, Tamryn saw dozens of students file in and out of her house with braces. Normal small talk revealed the same thing time and again: They saw Dr. Scott Ralph of Liberty Lake Orthodontics, and they loved him.

Now, it was her kids’ turn. She took Sylvie to Dr. Ralph as a kindergartner, and Joel as a first-grader. Both entered into a two-phase treatment she only wishes would have been available when she was younger.

“I love his philosophy of two phases of braces because it makes so much sense to me,” said Tamryn, who now teaches music at Liberty Lake Elementary School. “It is to preserve ultimately healthy permanent teeth.”

In the first phase, both children’s palates were expanded. Tamryn said in Sylvie’s case, front teeth were pulled back together as part of the process of getting everything aligned for the arrival of permanent teeth. Using terms and details gained through many appointments, she described how the first phase dialed in both children’s bites as well.

“I’ve learned a lot about orthodontia from Dr. Ralph,” she said. “I’m not an orthodontist, but I can play one on TV.”

Earlier this year, Sylvie started her second phase, and Joel is on a similar trajectory to follow suit soon. Tamryn marveled how Sylvie was actually excited to get her braces and how both kids look forward to orthodontic appointments — “they do make it fun there.”

As the responsible parent, Tamryn added that she appreciates the clarity and manageability of the payment plans, all part of an overall practice experience she has grown to appreciate and trust.

“He’s just smart,” she said of Dr. Ralph. “He’s done a lot of research and knows a lot about the different kinds of methods for orthodontia, and he goes with what he truly believes in. Working on saving those healthy permanent teeth is so important. Why pull perfectly good, healthy teeth? There’s no reason for it.”

While Dr. Ralph sees many patients like Sylvie and Joel, Liberty Lake Orthodontics is a full-scope practice serving patients of all ages with braces and Invisalign options.

“My practice philosophy has always been to provide people with a common-sense approach to treatment that is safe, affordable, portrays the big-picture perspective — and maybe is a little fun along the way,” Dr. Ralph said.

NOTE: A version of this article first appeared in the 2020 Liberty Lake Yearbook.

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