Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Is it required that my family Dentist schedule my appointment with the orthodontist?
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.
At what age should I schedule an appointment for an orthodontic screening?
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.
Will my teeth straighten out as they grow?
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.
How do I schedule an appointment for an initial exam?
If you or your child can potentially benefit from orthodontic treatment, simply call our office or send us an email. 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.
What will happen at the initial examination appointment?
Upon arriving, each patient and parent will be seen by the staff and doctor who will acclimate you to our office and prepare for the initial exam. We will take the necessary photographs and x-rays to allow us to make a proper diagnosis. The doctor will then complete a brief, but thorough exam.
What will I learn from the initial examination?
There are five essential questions that we will cover during the exam.
- Is there an orthodontic problem? If so, what is it?
- What must be done to correct the problem?
- Will any teeth need to be removed?
- How long will the treatment take to complete?
- How much will the treatment cost?
Will I need to have teeth extracted for braces?
Removing teeth is sometimes required to achieve the best orthodontic result. Straight teeth and a balanced facial profile are the goals of orthodontics. However, because new technology has provided advanced orthodontic procedures, removing teeth is not always necessary for orthodontic treatment.
How long will it take to complete treatment?
Treatment time depends on each patient’s specific orthodontic problem. In general, treatment times range from 12-30 month. The “average” timeframe a person is in braces is approximately 22 months.
How much will braces cost? Are financing options available? How does my insurance work?
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.
How often will I have appointments?
Appointments are scheduled according to each patient’s needs. Most patients in braces will be seen every 5-10 weeks. If there are specific situations that require more frequent monitoring, we will schedule appointments accordingly.
Can I schedule all of my appointments after school?
Unfortunately we can not schedule all appointments for students during after school hours. However, because most appointments are scheduled 5-10 weeks apart, most patients will miss minimum school due to orthodontic treatments. We will, however, make a sincere effort to meet your scheduling needs.
Can I drop my child off for an appointment?
Yes. We understand your busy schedule and we are happy to help you make the most of your time. On some occasions, we may request to speak with a parent when they return, so we ask the parents to check-in with their patient manager before dropping off their child.
Do braces hurt?
Generally, braces do not hurt. After certain visits, teeth may be sore for a few days. In these situations, pain medicines 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!”
Can I return to school the day I receive my braces?
Yes. There is no reason to miss school because of an orthodontic appointment.
Do you give shots?
No. Shots are not necessary in orthodontic treatment.
Do you use recycled braces?
Absolutely not! It is our belief that each patient be provided with their own braces to achieve the best orthodontic result possible.
Can I still play sports?
Yes. We recommend a mouth guard for all sports.
Do I need to see my family dentist while in braces?
Yes. Regular check-ups with your family dentist are important while in braces. Your family dentist will determine the intervals between cleaning appointments while you are in braces.
Are there foods I cannot eat while I have braces?
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 emergency appointment by to repair broken or damaged braces by carefully following our instructions.
How often should I brush my teeth while in braces?
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 their teeth with braces and may provide a prescription for a special fluoride if necessary.
What is an emergency appointment? How are those handled?
If your braces causes extreme pain or something breaks you should call our office. In most cases we can address most issues over the telephone. If you require an emergency appointment we will set aside a time for you.
Can orthodontic correction occur while a child has baby teeth?
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 growth and development until the time is right treatment to begin.
What is Phase One (early) Treatment?
Phase One Treatment if necessary is usually initiated on children between the ages of 7 and 10. Phase One Treatment last about 12 to 21 months. The primary objective of Phase One treatment is to address significant problems to prevent them from being more severe and to improve self esteem and self image.
Will my child need full braces if he/she has Phase One Treatment?
It is best to assume that your child will need full braces even after Phase One Treatment. The period following the Phase One Treatment 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.
Will my child need an expander?
At the completion of the initial examinations we will determine whether if the patient will need and expander.
Is it too late to have braces if I am already an adult?
Is surprising percentage of our patients are adults. In fact 25% of all orthodontic patients are adults. Health happiness and self esteem are important to adults. No patient are too old to wear braces.
Can I wear braces even though I have crowns and missing teeth?
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.
Why should you choose an orthodontic specialist?
Teeth, and sometimes the entire facial structures are permanently change by orthodontic treatments. It is important that the treatment be appropriate and properly completed. Orthodontic specialist have extensive and specialized training that enable them to provide their patients with professional personalized treatment.