FAQs about Orthodontics
Teeth, and sometimes, entire facial structures, are permanently changed by orthodontic treatment. It is important that the treatment be appropriate and properly completed. Orthodontic specialists have extensive and specialized training that enables them to provide their patients with professional, personalized treatments.
The American Association of Orthodontists recommends an orthodontic screening at age 7. By this age, several permanent teeth in most children have erupted, allowing us to effectively evaluate your orthodontic condition.
No, they will not. The space available for the front teeth does not increase as you grow. In most people, after the permanent molars erupt, the space available for the front teeth decreases with age.
Yes. Some orthodontic problems are significant enough to require early intervention. However, if a patient is not yet ready for treatment, we will follow that patient’s growth and development until the time is right for treatment to begin.
Interceptive Care, if necessary, is usually initiated on children between the ages of 7 and 10. Interceptive Care rarely extends longer than 12 months. The primary objective for Interceptive Care is to address significant problems to prevent them from becoming more severe and to improve self-esteem and self-image. For more information see Interceptive Care: A special way to care for your child.
It is best to assume that your child will need full braces even after Interceptive Care. The period following Interceptive Care is called the “resting period,” during which growth and tooth eruption are closely monitored. Throughout this period, parents and patients will be kept informed of future treatment recommendations.
FAQs about the Initial Exam
No, it is not. Many of our patients are referred by their family dentist, yet many other patients take the initiative to schedule an examination themselves.
If you or your child can potentially benefit from orthodontic treatment, simply call our office, send us an e-mail or fill out our New Patient Appointment Request Form online. We will be happy to schedule an appointment for you. When you call to schedule your appointment, our front office staff will request some basic information from you.
Upon arriving, you will be welcomed by our scheduling staff at the front desk. You will receive a tour of the office by our treatment coordinator. Digital photographs and a digital X-ray will be taken so the doctor can evaluate your orthodontic case. Treatment options will be explained, and all of your questions will be answered. This visit, including radiographs and photos, is complimentary.
There are five essential questions that we will cover during the initial examination: 1. Is there an orthodontic problem? 2. If so, what is it? 3. What must be done to correct the problem? 4. How long will the treatment take to complete? 5. How much will the treatment cost?
Removing teeth is sometimes required to achieve the best orthodontic result. Straight teeth and a balanced facial profile are the goal of orthodontics. However, because new technology has provided advanced orthodontic procedures, removing teeth is not always necessary for orthodontic treatment.
Treatment time obviously depends on each patient’s specific orthodontic problem. In general, treatment times range from 12 to 30 months.
FAQs about Adult treatment
A surprising percentage of our patients are adults. In fact, 25% of all orthodontic patients are adults. Health, happiness and self-esteem are vitally important to adults. No patient is “too old” to wear braces! For more information see Adult treatment.
Yes. A tooth with a crown will move just like a tooth with a simple filling. When teeth are missing, orthodontic treatment will aid in the alignment of the remaining teeth.
FAQs about Scheduling and Billing
Appointments are scheduled according to each patient’s needs. Most patients in braces will be seen every 5 to 10 weeks. If there are specific situations that require more frequent monitoring, we will schedule appointments accordingly.
In most cases, yes. We understand your busy schedule, and we are happy to help you make the most of your time. On some occasions, longer appointments will be scheduled in the morning. This allows the doctors and staff the necessary time to properly complete the procedure.
Yes. On some occasions, we may request to speak with a parent when they return, so we ask that parents check in with the orthodontic assistant before leaving the office.
It is impossible to give an exact cost for treatment until we have examined you. We will cover the exact cost and financial options during the initial examination. We have many financing options available to accommodate your needs, and we will review these with you. We will also review your insurance policy and help to maximize your benefit and file your claims.
Yes. You can login on our website from home or anywhere, any time, any day, to view your appointment, account, and treatment information. You can also receive appointment reminders and information via email. You will receive your password and user name at your initial appointment. To register, select the link titled my account at the top of our website, next to the smiley face. Click on Register Now and follow the instructions. Or click here to be taken to the login page.
FAQs about Braces
Yes! Regular checkups with your family dentist are important while in braces. Your family dentist will determine the intervals between cleaning appointments while you are in braces. As a courtesy to you and your general dentist, we will coordinate appointments for the removal of your arch wires to allow for a more thorough cleaning and examination.
Yes. Once treatment begins, we will explain the complete instructions and provide a comprehensive list of foods to avoid. Some of those foods include: ice, hard candy, raw vegetables and all sticky foods (i.e. caramel and taffy). You can avoid most emergency appointments to repair broken or damaged braces by carefully following our instructions.
Patients should brush their teeth at least four times each day: after each meal and before going to bed. We will show each patient how to floss his or her teeth with braces and may also provide a prescription for a special fluoride, if necessary.
Generally, braces do not “hurt.” After certain visits, teeth may be sore for a few days. In these situations, pain medications such as Advil or Tylenol will ease the discomfort. However, after most visits, patients do not feel any soreness at all! We often remind our patients, “It does not have to hurt to work!”
Yes. There is no reason to miss school because of an orthodontic appointment.
No. Shots are not necessary in orthodontic treatment.
Absolutely not! All appliances are new and sterilized. Nothing in our office is recycled. Ever.
Yes. We recommend a mouth guard for all sports.
If your braces are causing extreme pain or if something breaks, you should call our office. In most cases we can address these issues over the telephone. If you require a repair appointment, we will set aside time for you. Please see “in need of repair?” for more detailed information.