Frequently Asked Questions For The Orthodontist
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Do I need a referral to see an orthodontist?

No, not at all.  Many of our patients are referred by their family dentist,  however many other patients take the initiative to schedule a complimentary consultation themselves or have been recommended to us by friends and/or family members.

When should a child see an orthodontist?

The american association of orthodontists recommends an orthodontic screening around age 7.  Typically by this age, some permanent teeth have erupted, allowing us to effectively evaluate your orthodontic condition. Even if treatment isn't recommended at the time, the orthodontist can monitor growth and development over time and plan for any future needs.

How do I schedule my complimentary consultation?

If you or your child are interested in scheduling a consultation, you can either call, email or simply fill out the form online and one of our team members will be happy to set something up for you. 

What will happen at the initial examination appointment?

Your first visit will be with the treatment coordinator who will introduce you to our office and prepare you for the initial exam.  Rest assured, you will always have your orthodontic examination completed by one of the orthodontists.  Once your examination is complete, the orthodontist will review all the findings and discuss any recommended treatment options with you.  The treatment coordinator will prepare an estimate for you as well as a pre-authorization for your insurance provider, if necessary.  Appointments may be scheduled with you at this time as well.

What will I learn from the initial examination?

There are five essential questions that we will answer during the initial examination:

1)  Is  there an orthodontic concern and if so, what is it?

2)   How can it be corrected?   

3)  Will any teeth need to be removed?

4)   How long will the treatment take to complete?

5)   How much will the treatment cost?

How long will my consultation take?

Your initial consultation will be scheduled for one hour.  We want to ensure there is ample time to do the diagnostic records, have your comprehensive exam, review and discuss the findings thoroughly with you.  The orthodontist, together with the treatment coordinator will discuss your options with you and answer any questions you may have.  Rest assured, you will always see one of our orthodontists at your consultation!

How long will it take to complete treatment?

There are many factors that are taken into consideration when planning the length of your      treatment; the function of your bite, age, anticipating how your teeth will respond to treatment and patient compliance with following instructions and wearing appliances.

In general, treatment times can range from  12 - 30 months with an average of approximately 24 months. 

How much will braces cost? Are financing options available?

In order to give you an accurate estimate of fees, a complete examination would need to be done   by the orthodontist first.  We appreciate the investment and commitment you are making when you begin orthodontic treatment with us and we will ensure you are fully informed and comfortable with your decision.  We will go over all financial information with you, answer any questions you may have and do our best to accomodate your needs.  We offer a number of flexible payment options as well.  If you have an insurance provider, we will review your plan and help you to maximize your benefits.

 

 

How often will I have appointments?

Appointments are scheduled according to each patients individual needs.  Typically most patients are seen every 6 - 8 weeks although some may require more frequent visits.  We do our very best to accomodate your apppointment time requests however it's important to note that if you have to reschedule a visit, it may limit availability times.

 

Can I drop my child off for an appointment when they are in treatment?

Yes. We understand how busy life is these days and we want to help you make the most of your time.  We do ask that when you check your child in to let us know if you plan to leave the office during the appointment.  We like to provide you with progress updates after every visit to keep you informed of how treatment is going.  As always, please feel free to ask any questions you may have as well.

Do braces hurt?

It is common to experience some soreness and minor discomfort after having braces placed. This can last for a few days. In these situations, pain medications such as advil or tylenol will ease the discomfort. After most adjustment 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 or work the day I receive my braces?

Yes. There is no reason to miss school or work after having your braces placed.  As mentioned, it is normal to experience minor discomfort, but nothing that can't be managed with your regular pain reliever, if necessary.

Can I still play sports while wearing braces?

Absolutely!  We want you to carry on with your regular acitivities and wouldn't want you to miss out.  We recommend wearing a mouth guard for some sports; if you aren't sure if you should wear one,  just ask!

 

 

Do I need to see my family dentist while in braces?

Yes! Regular checkups and cleanings with your family dentist are crucial in maintaining good oral hygiene while you are in treatment.  

 

 

 

Should I avoid certain foods while in braces?

Once treatment begins, we will give you instructions and also provide a comprehensive list of foods to avoid while you are in braces.   In order to avoid breaking or damaging the braces, the general rule is no hard candy and stay away from all sticky food. (caramel, fruit snacks)

 

How often should I brush my teeth while in braces?

It's important to brush and  floss your teeth regularly while in braces.   Ideally brushing three times a day - after each meal and before going to bed.  Flossing can be a little tricky with braces so we'll show you how and give you some tips too.

What is an emergency appointment? How are those handled?

If your braces are causing you significant pain or if something breaks, please call the office.  In some cases we are able to assist you over the phone however if you require a visit to the office, we will set up a time for you.  If you happen to have an emergency after hours, please call the office and follow the directions to reach the orthodontist on call.

 

Can orthodontic correction occur while a child has baby teeth?

Yes. Some orthodontic concerns do require early intervention and treatment while baby teeth are still present.  If treatment is not yet required, we will monitor their growth and development  once or twice a year.

 

 

 

What is phase one (early) treatment?

Phase one treatment, if necessary, is usually initiated on children between the ages of 7 and 10. The primary objective for phase one treatment is to address any immediate concerns and try to prevent them from becoming more severe. 

 

Will my child need full braces if he/she has phase one treatment?

There is a good chance your child may need full braces after completing phase one treatment.  Once phase one is complete, your child will be placed into an observation period during which growth and tooth eruption are closely monitored.  During this period, the orthodontist will determine if another phase of treatment is recommended.

Will my child need an expander?

Every patient is unique and their orthodontic needs are as well.  After the initial orthodontic exam has been done, the orthodontist would be able to advise you if an expander is necessary.

Is it too late to have braces if I am already an adult?

It's never too late and no patient is "too old" to wear braces!  Today, more than one in every four patients is over the age of 21.  Health, happiness and self-esteem are important no matter what age you are!

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 I choose an orthodontic specialist?

Teeth, and often times the entire facial structures, are permanently changed by orthodontic treatment. It is important that the treatment be appropriate and properly completed. Orthodontic specialists study for a minimum of three years after the completion of dental school and have extensive and specialized training that enables them to provide their patients with comprehensive orthodontic treatment.