Why should I go to an Orthodontist for braces and not my general dentist?

In the dental field, there are specialists, much like there are in medicine. An orthodontist is a specialist in the correct movement and alignment of teeth and jaw growth. A dentist returns to school for a postgraduate study lasting 2-3 years to achieve an advanced degree in orthodontics. Orthodontists strive to maintain knowledge of current orthodontic practices and take numerous continuing education classes focusing on orthodontics and dentofacial orthopedics.

Does my dentist have to refer me?

No. While a dentist often makes a referral, anyone wanting to correct or change their smile may make a consultation appointment!

Can I just have a retainer to move my teeth?

Retainers are great for their specific purpose — maintaining and retaining the current position of teeth after treatment. To actually reposition and align teeth, braces or Invisalign are necessary.

Can I still play sports?

Yes! We ask that you use a mouth guard, to help protect your teeth and braces. You can use the type you pick up at a sports store or from the dental section in stores. These are guards you can mold to your current mouth size and shape. There are also custom mouth guards available from many general dentists.

Can I send in my friends for a consultation?

Absolutely! In fact, we love having friends of patients come into our office!

Do I still need to see my dentist during orthodontic treatment?

Yes. Your dentist is a very important part of your treatment team. They will continue to do exams and cleanings, and, if necessary fillings, crowns, bridges, and implants.

Will insurance cover everything?

Insurance coverage for orthodontic treatment varies by dental plan. Typically, insurance will not cover the total treatment fee. However, many dental insurance plans cover at least a portion of the treatment fee. We review your estimated insurance coverage at the consultation appointment.

Do you bill insurance?

Absolutely and we accept direct payment also. It is a service we are pleased to offer our patients.

Do you offer payment plans/options?

We offer multiple payment options, including non-interest payment plans that work with most budgets. These options are available regardless of insurance coverage and are typically explained during the initial consultation.

When should I schedule an appointment?

Children > The American Association of Orthodontics recommends that children should have an evaluation by age 7. This doesn’t always mean that treatment automatically begins at age 7. But if indicated, it can prevent more complex treatments in the future.

Adults > Any time! If you want to have your teeth straightened, aren’t happy with your smile, need orthodontic movement of teeth for implants or cosmetic dentistry, or if you need surgically assisted orthodontic correction, come in for a consultation.

Won’t my child’s teeth automatically grow into a straight position?

Generally, they don’t. Heredity, finger habits such as thumb sucking, allergies, breathing problems, and enlarged tonsils and adenoids affect how teeth erupt in children while developing. An orthodontic consultation while they are still developing allows the orthodontist to intervene, if necessary, at the correct time to assist growth and create space for naturally crowded teeth.

Will the braces hurt?

Braces can make your teeth feel sore temporarily. We compare it to exercising and how your muscles can feel sore after a strenuous work-out. Getting back to a normal diet as soon as possible after adjustments assists in minimizing the soreness in teeth after adjustment. If you find that your teeth are sore, we advise taking some Tylenol or whatever your physician recommends for general discomfort, just prior to your appointment.

Orthodontic treatment today is completely different than years ago. We strive to incorporate the latest technology, which greatly reduces the amount of discomfort experienced after adjustments. It is our goal to give you the most comfortable and successful treatment possible.

Do you give shots?

We do not. They are not necessary for routine orthodontic treatment.

How long is treatment?

Anywhere from 6-30 months. The length of treatment depends on your unique treatment needs and is typically reviewed during the initial consultation.

Do I need to have teeth removed?

Each orthodontic treatment case is different. Some people do not need to have teeth removed while others, who may have extensive crowding, will benefit from the removal of teeth. This is another question that is addressed during the initial consultation. But, less than 10% of patients in our practice require tooth removals due to the diagnosis and technology that our orthodontists use.

Scheduling appointments for myself or my child?

There are a select number of appointments that are scheduled in the morning only — these generally include appliance placement, braces placement, and repositioning or replacement of a bracket or band that a patient breaks off. These appointments are longer and more intensive, and need more time t o complete. This leaves the afternoon appointments, when most students prefer to be seen, for the regular adjustments. We offer early morning appointments staring at 7:30 AM for those wanting to come in before work or before classes and see patients until 6 PM Mon — Thur (5 pm on Friday).

Can I or my child return to work or school following placement of appliances, braces, or regular orthodontic appointments?

Definitely! You or your child may have sore teeth following any of the above appointments, but it generally is not enough to prevent returning to work or school.

How often are appointments?

Typically every 6-10 weeks for adjustments, or your regular appointment. Your next appointment is scheduled before you leave the office after every visit.

Can I still have braces if I have crowns, missing teeth, or still have baby teeth even though I’m an adult?

Yes! Each of these concerns will be addressed during your consultation.