Is it required that my family dentist schedule my appointment with the orthodontist?
At what age should I schedule an appointment for an orthodontic screening?
Will my teeth straighten out as they grow?
How do I schedule an appointment for an initial exam?
What will happen at the initial examination appointment?
What will I learn from the initial examination?
Will I need to have teeth extracted for braces?
How long will it take to complete treatment?
How much will braces cost? Are financing options available? How does my insurance work?
How often will I have appointments?
Can I schedule all of my appointments after school?
Can I drop my child off for an appointment?
Do braces hurt?
Can I return to school the day I receive my braces?
Do you give shots?
Do you use recycled braces?
Can I still play sports?
Do I need to see my family dentist while in braces?
Are there foods I cannot eat while I have braces?
How often should I brush my teeth while in braces?
What is an emergency appointment? How are those handled?
Can orthodontic correction occur while a child has baby teeth?
What is Phase One (early) Treatment?
Will my child need full braces if he/she has Phase One treatment?
Will my child need an expander?
Is it too late to have braces if I am already an adult?
Can I wear braces even though I have crowns and missing teeth?
Why should you choose an orthodontic specialist?
1. 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.
2. 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.
3. 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.
4. 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. 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.
5. 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.
6. What will I learn from the initial examination?
There are five essential questions that we will cover during the initial examination:
· Is there an orthodontic problem, and 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?
7. 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 goal of orthodontics. However, because new technology has provided advanced orthodontic procedures, removing teeth is not always necessary for orthodontic treatment.
8. How long will it take to complete treatment?
Treatment time obviously depends on each patient’s specific orthodontic problem. In general, treatment time lasts from 8 months to 30 months. The “average” time frame a person is in braces is approximately 18-24 months.
9. 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 several 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.
10. How often will I have appointments?
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.
11. Can I schedule all of my appointments after school?
Unfortunately, we cannot schedule all appointments for students during after-school hours. However, because most appointments are scheduled 5 to 10 weeks apart, most patients will miss minimal school due to their orthodontic treatments. We will, however, make a sincere effort to meet your scheduling needs.
12. 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 that parents check in with their patient manager before dropping off their child.
13. Do braces hurt?
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!”
14. Can I return to school the day I receive my braces?
Yes. There is no reason to miss school because of an orthodontic appointment.
15. Do you give shots?
No. Shots are not necessary in orthodontic treatment.
16. Do you use recycled braces?
Absolutely not! It is our belief that each patient should be provided with their own braces to achieve the best orthodontic result possible.
17. Can I still play sports?
Yes. We recommend a mouth guard for all sports.
18. Do I need to see my family dentist while in 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.
19. 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.
20. 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 provide a prescription for a special fluoride, if necessary.
21. 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.
22. 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.
23. 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 usually lasts about 16-21 months. The primary objective for Phase One treatment is to address significant problems to prevent them from becoming more severe and to improve self-esteem and self-image.
24. 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.
25. Will my child need an expander?
At the completion of the initial examination, we will determine whether a patient will need an expander.
26. Is it 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!
27. 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.
28. Why should you choose an orthodontic specialist?
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.
Looking for an alternative to metal braces?
ClearCorrect is the clear and simple choice. No wires. No brackets. Just clear, convenient comfort—every reason to smile. With ClearCorrect, your teeth can be straightened using a series of clear, custom, removable aligners. Each aligner moves your teeth just a little bit at a time until you eventually get straight teeth.
How does it work? We will evaluate your teeth and talk about any problems or goals you have for your smile. Once we establish ClearCorrect is the right treatment option for you, we will take impressions, photos, and x-rays of your teeth that ClearCorrect uses in manufacturing your custom aligners. A prescription for your custom aligners will then be sent to ClearCorrect.
What can it do? ClearCorrect can treat a wide variety of issues that keep people from achieving their ideal smiles. Straighter teeth don’t just look better; they work better too. Poorly-aligned teeth can interfere with bite function, wear out quicker, and are more prone to cavities.
Ask us how ClearCorrect can help you.
Modern Dental Materials:
Improvements in dental materials in the past several years have given us some truly fantastic alternatives to older metal containing restorations.
Adhesive bonding: Tooth colored composite resins for direct restorations and tooth colored ceramic and porcelain materials for indirect restorations allow us to restore your teeth to the natural feeling and appearance you deserve. Bonding in dentistry involves the use of special techniques and adhesives which allow us to restore teeth with composite resins, ceramics and porcelain forming a complete seal where the restoration meets the tooth. The advantage to bonding is strengthening and holding together the damaged tooth.
Without a solid foundation of supporting bone and gum tissue, your teeth would be in great jeopardy. Periodontal disease involves the infection and destruction of the gum attachment and underlying bone. This disease progresses in various stages and like many other diseases can be controlled. Basically it begins as a gum infection caused by accumulated bacteria on the teeth at the gum line. Bleeding gums and bad breath usually indicate the infection is in progress. If the infection is localized to just the gum tissue it is called “gingivitis”. If undetected and untreated, the infection progresses from the gum to the bone that anchors your teeth. At this point the disease is called “periodontitis”. Classified as mild, moderate or severe, periodontitis requires more extensive treatment. Treatments for periodontal disease may range from multiple visit scaling and root planning (deep cleaning) to surgical procedures. Your first line of defense against periodontal disease starts with good home care. A thorough periodontal evaluation with necessary x-rays is part of our comprehensive examination.
Direct & Indirect Restorations:
When a tooth needs repaired, whether due to decay, trauma or a failing mercury/silver (amalgam) filling, a decision as to the type of replacement must be made in regard to two main factors-the size of the area to be restored and the location of the defect.
Direct Restorations: If the restoration will be small and not located on a functional or biting area of the tooth, a direct restoration may be used. This means after the tooth is shaped and cleaned, the restoration is placed directly in the prepared area and finished. One appointment is needed.
Indirect Restorations: If the restoration will be large or cover a functional biting surface of the tooth, an indirect restoration should be used. The tooth may need an inlay, onlay or crown. Inlays and onlays are fillings which restore weakened parts of the tooth and are usually made with porcelain. Porcelain crowns or caps offer full coverage of damaged teeth. With the E4D Dentist laser cad-cam system, these procedures can now be completed in just a single appointment. The advantages of indirect restorations are added strength, durability, a perfect fit and an excellent color match to your other teeth.
Teeth whitening is a process which can lighten the color of your teeth. In most cases, teeth can be lightened several shades. Teeth that are dark yellow or yellow-brown will whiten more than those that are bluish-gray or gray. Teeth are whitened by exposing them to specially formulated whitening gels. When performed properly, whitening procedures will not harm teeth or gums; however, some degree of tooth sensitivity or gum irritation may occur. These conditions usually resolve in a few hours or a couple of days. There are two types of teeth whitening:
One-Hour Whitening: As you might guess, this procedure takes about an hour and is usually done in one appointment in the dental office. Occasionally, more than one appointment is needed in cases with very dark or multi-colored teeth. After gum protection is applied, the teeth to be whitened are covered with a whitening gel and a special light is positioned over the teeth to enhance the effectiveness of the gel. The advantage to One-Hour Whitening is the procedure is accomplished in one visit and all the work is done for you. It just requires enough patience to sit for an hour while the gel performs its magic.
Take-Home Whitening: The main advantage to this form of whitening is it can done anytime and anywhere at your convenience. Custom fit whitening trays are made from molds of your teeth and, after dispensing the whitening gel into the trays, they are worn daily for about two hours for each whitening session. Used as directed, good results are usually achieved in two to four weeks.
Here you will be able to find answers to some of the most often asked questions.
What is Orthodontics?
What is an orthodontist?
Who should wear braces?
How long will my orthodontic treatment last?
What kind of braces are available?
How much do braces cost?
Do braces hurt?
Will braces affect playing sports?
Why are retainers so important?
Where can I learn more?
Q: What is an orthodontist?
A: An orthodontist is a dentist who has attended a specialty education program for a continual training period of 2-3 years. All members of the American Association of Orthodontists have received the appropriate training.
Q: Who should wear braces?
A: Braces are worn by both children and adults, not only to improve the attractiveness of your smile, but also because braces correct improper alignment of teeth that can lead to gum disease and early tooth loss. Properly aligned teeth also make it easier to chew all types of food and eliminate the headaches and pain caused by uneven chewing.
Q: How long will my orthodontic treatment last?
A: We expect your treatment to last from 18 to 30 months, though this will vary depending on your individual case. Your cooperation in keeping scheduled orthodontic appointments, maintaining proper hygiene, and taking care of your braces may allow us to finish your orthodontic treatment early.
Q: What kind of braces are available?
A: In the past, there was only one type of braces available, and it wasn’t designed for looks. Modern technology gives you choices for braces, including traditional stainless steel braces, clear ceramic braces, and the latest in orthodontic technology, Invisalign. For more information on Invisalign, please check their website, at http://www.invisalign.com/.
Q: How much do braces cost?
A: Orthodontic fees depend on the complexity of the case, the age of the patient, the type of appliances used, and the estimated length of treatment. Since every case is different, a visit to our office for a complimentary examination will allow us to give you an idea of the fee.
Q: Do braces hurt?
A: There have been some fantastic advances in the way we do things now in orthodontics to make treatment more comfortable for our patients. These include smaller, smoother brackets, and gentler wires which provide a continuous small force over a long period of time rather than a strong force for only a short period. Typically there is some discomfort two to three days after each adjustment that over-the-counter pain relievers can take care of.
Q: Will braces affect playing sports?
A: You should be able to play just about any sport or activity. Although we do highly recommend wearing a mouth guard in contact sports or any sport where there is a chance you can get hit in the face.
Q: Why are retainers so important?
A: Retainers help to retain your teeth in the proper position at the completion of treatment. If they are not worn as instructed, your teeth will move, or tend to relapse. Retainers are EXTREMELY important right after the braces are removed while the teeth stabilize.
Q: Where can I learn more?
A: You can contact us, we will be happy to answer any questions you may have.
Along with the American Association of Orthodontist, we recommend that a child receive their first orthodontic screening by the age 7. By starting treatment early, we are able to recognize potential problems early and correct them before they become more serious. This not only saves you and your child time, but also money.
Early interceptive orthodontic treatment has proven to be beneficial for the overall desired result. Because a young child’s permanent teeth have not finished erupting, we are able to thoroughly evaluate the front-to-back and side-to-side tooth relationships and address any impending problems at its earliest stage.
During your child’s initial evaluation we will first determine if there are any problems that need to be addressed, such as potential crowding, open bite, overbite or gummy smiles. It is possible that immediate treatment is not necessary at the time or even at all. However, if treatment is indicated, we will create a personalized treatment plan for your child that will prove to be the most beneficial for his/her specific case.
Early orthodontic treatment varies between patients, but may include removable or fixed appliances that can provide more room for crowded, erupting teeth; preserve space for un-erupted teeth; create facial symmetry through manipulating jaw growth; reduce the possibility of tooth extraction; and reduce overall treatment time in braces.
To find out if your child is a candidate for early interceptive treatment, contact us today to schedule a complimentary consultation.
Types of Braces Offered
Metal braces are the most common type. They are made of high-grade stainless steel. Today’s metal braces are smaller, more comfortable and more attractive.
Many patients enjoy the combination of ceramic and metal because it is simultaneously attractive and sturdy. In fact, these braces are so sturdy that many doctors will recommend them to their patients who play sports. Patients are allowed to engage in most everyday activities without fear of delaying or impeding their progress. Also, because they have a semi-transparent color that will not stain, patients can proceed with necessary orthodontic treatment without having to feel self-conscious. These features are designed for patients regardless of age.
Now teens don’t have to worry about embarrassing metal braces in their yearbook photos or Facebook profiles – introducing Invisalign® Teen! Invisalign® Teen is the clear way to straighten teeth without metal braces, using aligners. Aligners are removable and virtually invisible, which means you can straighten your teeth without anyone knowing; and you can still eat and drink what you want. Also, you can brush and floss normally to maintain healthy gums and teeth; and there are no wires, metal or brackets to cause mouth abrasions.
We went to leading orthodontists, parents and teens themselves to custom-design an Invisalign® system just right for the dental needs of teenagers. With blue-to-clear color-changing aligners to show how long each aligner has been worn, six free replacement aligners in case some are lost or broken, and other changes designed to accommodate growing mouths, Invisalign® Teen is the perfect teeth-straightening system for today’s teens’ busy lifestyles!
What is Invisalign® Teen?
Invisible way to straighten your teeth without braces.
Series of clear, removable, custom-made aligners.
Uses no metal wires or brackets.
Custom-made for comfort.
How does Invisalign® Teen work?
Wear each set of aligners for about two weeks.
Remove only to eat, drink, brush and floss.
Your teeth will move gradually each week.
Visit us every 8-10 weeks.
Total treatment time averages 6-15 months.
Average number of aligners is between 18 and 30.