Frequently Asked Questions

Q:

What is the usual cost of braces and will my insurance cover some the costs?

A:

There is no way to determine exactly how much the cost of ones orthodontic treatment will cost since every patient has individual problems that require different treatments. The cost and the various treatment options available to a patient are discussed during the consultation following the initial exam. We will always assist you in finding a solution that best fits your budget. We will also help you navigate through the benefits available to you through your insurance policy and make sure that receive the maximum benefit allowed by your policy.

Q:

Why should I choose an orthodontist?

A:

Orthodontic treatment can permanently change both teeth and the entire structure of ones face so it is vitally important that the treatment is chosen appropriately and performed correctly. An orthodontic specialist, because of their extensive specialized training is undoubtedly the most qualified health professional to complete this type treatment- one that can dramatically improve the quality of the patient’s life both physically and mentally.

Q:

Can I wear braces even though I have crowns and missing teeth?

A:

You absolutely can. A tooth with a crown will move no differently than a tooth with a filling. If teeth are missing, braces can actually help the alignment of the remaining teeth.

Q:

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

A:

Not at all. Self-esteem is an important part of overall health at any age and a significant percentage of orthodontic patients are in fact, adults. It is never too late to improve your appearance, self-image and oral health.

Q:

Will my child need an expander?

A:

This is determined on a case by case basis at the conclusion of the initial exam.

Q:

Will my child need full braces if he/she has Phase One treatment?

A:

In most cases the child will need full braces even after Phase One treatment. Depending on the development of the child’s teeth during the “resting period,” the time following the Phase One treatment, tooth growth and eruption are monitored closely. It is at this point that the orthodontist will determine what future treatment will be necessary. While there are cases when full braces are not needed it is best to assume that they will.

Q:

What is Phase One (early) treatment?

A:

Phase One treatment is typically administered to children aged 7-11 who have significant enough orthodontic conditions that it is imperative to intervene in order to prevent the problems from worsening.

Q:

Can orthodontic correction occur while a child has baby teeth?

A:

Occasionally, orthodontic problems can be serious enough that early intervention is required. This however, is only possible if the patient is ready for orthodontic treatment. In the case that the child is not yet a candidate for treatment, we will monitor the child’s development until the time is right to begin treatment.

Q:

What happens if I need an emergency visit?

A:

If a patient experiences severe pain or the braces somehow break or damage then an emergency appointment maybe necessary. Our office will ALWAYS accommodate a patient with an emergency no matter how booked we are with appointments on that particular day.

Q:

Are there foods I cannot eat while I have braces?

A:

Yes. Our office will provide a comprehensive guide to eating with braces and what foods patients must avoid for the duration of their treatment. Following these instructions can help avoid potentially painful conditions and emergency visits.

Q:

Does being in braces change how often it is necessary for me to brush my teeth?

A:

Yes. Patients in braces should increase the number of times they brush daily to at least 4 times a day, including after each meal and before bedtime. Our office will provide special instructions for patients on how to correctly brush and floss their teeth while wearing braces and may even prescribe special fluoride toothpaste.

Q:

Does having braces eliminate my need to visit my family dentist?

A:

No. It is still extremely important to regularly visit your family dentist while in braces. Your family dentist is the one who will decide when you need to schedule teeth cleanings while you are in braces.

Q:

Will braces prevent me from participating in any of my favorite activities such as sports?

A:

Absolutely not. Patients can continue playing sports though using a specially fitted mouth guard is always highly recommended.

Q:

Are shots given during orthodontic treatment?

A:

No. Shots are almost never given in orthodontic treatment and it would require an extremely special set of circumstances for a shot of any sort to be administered in orthodontic treatment.

Q:

Will I miss many days of school because of my braces?

A:

No, in fact most children are able to attend school the very next day after their braces are fitted. In general, children should miss a minimal amount of class time due to their orthodontic treatment.

Q:

Are braces painful?

A:

In most cases, braces do not hurt though this does in part depend on a patient’s tolerance for pain. Most patients do not report excessive pain but it is common after certain visits to feel discomfort or for teeth to feel sore for a few days. In most cases, over-the-counter pain relievers such as Tylenol are sufficient for easing the discomfort.

Q:

How often will I have to visit the orthodontist?

A:

This also depends on the patient’s specific orthodontic condition but typically patients are seen every 5 to 10 weeks. If the condition requires additional or more frequent monitoring than additional visits will be scheduled accordingly.

Q:

How long will it take to complete treatment?

A:

This depends on the patient’s individual orthodontic condition. Typically, the duration of the complete treatment ranges from a year to 30 or so, months. The average time that a patient lives with braces is a little less than 2 years.

Q:

Will I need to have teeth extracted for braces?

A:

This is decision is made on an individual basis depending on the patient’s specific orthodontic problem. It is sometimes necessary to remove teeth in order to achieve the optimal result. It is not however, a requirement for all orthodontic procedures.

Q:

What does the initial examination consist of?

A:

The initial exam involves a discussion with the patient, a brief oral exam and any necessary photographs and X-rays. Though brief, it allows us to properly diagnose any orthodontic problems and formulate all of the best possible treatment options.

Q:

What will happen during the first visit to our office?

A:

The first appointment is primarily an examination and consultation. The staff and doctor meet each patient (younger patients are given the opportunity to acclimate themselves to our office) before we conduct the initial examination. Following the initial exam, the doctor will discuss any discovered orthodontic problems and all of the various treatment options available.

Q:

Will my teeth straighten out as they grow?

A:

No, they will not. The space available for the front teeth does not increase as you grow. For most people, after the permanent molars erupt, the space available for the front teeth decreases with age.

Q:

Is it necessary for my orthodontic screening to be scheduled by my family dentist?

A:

It absolutely isn’t. While most of our patients are referred by their family dentist, a significant number of patients schedule an examination themselves.

Q:

At what age should I schedule an appointment for an orthodontic screening?

A:

In order to effectively evaluate a child’s orthodontic health it is necessary for at least a number of the child’s permanent teeth to erupt. This typically happens at the age of the 7. This is also the age recommended by the American Association of Orthodontists for a child’s first orthodontic screening.