- Questions relating to age to begin and growth
At what age should I schedule an appointment for an orthodontic screening?
The American Association of Orthodontics 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.
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's growth and development until the time is right for treatment to begin. Re-evaluation visits are complimentary until the patient is ready to begin active treatment.
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 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 examination, we will determine whether a patient will need an expander.
- Questions relating to setting up first appointment
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 patient take the initiative to schedule an examination themselves.
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, send us an e-mail or fill out our appointment request form online. We will be happy to schedule an appointment for you. When you call to schedule your appointment, our front office will request some basic information from you.
What will happen at the initial examination appointment?
Upon arriving for your first appointment, please check in at the front desk. The staff there will instruct you on how to use our computer sign in. They will ask you to provide any insurance information if you would like us to assist you in filing for any benefits you may have. They will also ask you to complete some paperwork if you haven't already done so. Feel free to participate in our contest for that month! See the contest page for details. The doctor will then look at the patient's bite, count teeth, check spacing and the TMJ. He will give his treatment recommendation, a cost for treatment and length of time he anticipates treatment will take to complete. He will also be able to answer any questions you may have. Our treatment coordinator can also explain our payment options and assist you in setting up future appointments if you would like to proceed.
- How long does treatment take?
How long does treatment take?
Treatment time obviously depends on each patient's specific orthodontic problem. In general, treatment times range from 12 to 30 months. The "average" time frame a person is in braces is approximately 22 months.
- Will I need to have teeth extracted for braces?
Will I need to have teeth extracted for braces?
Removing teeth is sometimes required to achieve the best orthodontic result. Straight teen 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.
- Questions relating to cost, financing, and insurance
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. Cost is determined by the length of time the doctor anticipates treatment will take to complete. One fee is quoted which includes the entire treatment from beginning, through braces, removal of braces, retainers and maintanence of retainers for approximately two years after braces are removed. We will cover the exact cost and financial options during the initial examination. We have many financing options available, including interest free options 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.
- Questions relating to appointments
How often will I have appointments?
Appointments are scheduled according to each patient's needs. Most patients in braces will be seen every four to eight 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?
We do have both before and after school appointments available. We begin seeing patients as early as 7am on Tuesdays, 7:30am on Wednesdays, 8am on Mondays and Thursdays. We are open until 5pm on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays. During our summer hours which are in effect from June through mid August, we begin at 7am on both Mondays and Tuesdays and see patients until 2pm. Wednesdays and Thursdays remain the same all year. We also have lunch hour appointments available. Unfortunately, we cannot schedule all patients during those before and after school hours. We ask as a courtesy, that patients alternate their appointments to allow everyone an opportunity to have a before or after school appointment. If you came before or after school, we ask that you come sometime during the school day for your next appointment. Because patients are seen on average every 6 weeks, and appointment will fall during the school day only once every 12 weeks or so. We do make a sincere effort to meet your scheduling needs.
What is an emergency appointment? How are those handled?
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 an emergency appointment, we will set aside time for you.
- Questions related to maintaining 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 most emergency appointments 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 also recommend some special mouthwash if necessary.
- Questions relating to braces for adults
Is is too late to have braces if I am already an adult?
A surprising percentage of our patients are adults. In fact, 25 percent of all orthodontic patients are adults. Health, happiness, and self-esteem are vitally important to adults. No patient is "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.
Do you have different braces for adults?
We have gold, silver, or clear brackets available for all ages. The clear brackets have been very popular with or adult patients. This offers a very subtle alternative to the traditional metal as they are virtually invisible.
- Questions relating to the doctor...M.S.D. vs. D.D.S.
Why should you choose an orthodontic specialist?
Teeth, and sometime entire facial structures, are permanently change 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.
A doctor who is an M.S.D. (Master of Science in Dentistry) vs. a D.D.S. (Doctor of Dental Surgery) has completed at least two additional years of specialized training in the field of orthodontics. We strongly recommend that you be treated for orthodontics by an M.S.D.