Frequently Asked Questions

 

What is orthodontics?

Today, orthodontic treatment is simple, convenient and affordable for patients of all ages. And an attractive smile is just one of the benefits. Orthodontic treatment results in correctly aligned teeth that provide ideal jaw function, a properly aligned bite and a great smile! Additionally, your teeth are easier to clean. Allowing easier brushing and flossing to minimize, and be more resistant to, gum disease. Perhaps most importantly, orthodontic treatment almost always provides improved self-confidence.

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What are some common problems that can be corrected with orthodontics?

Problems to Watch For in Growing Children (.pdf)
(Open file above to see pictures of problems listed below.)

Upper Front Teeth Protrusion
The appearance and function of your teeth are impacted by this type of bite. It is characterized by the upper teeth extending too far forward or the lower teeth not extending far enough forward.

Overbite
The upper front teeth extend out over the lower front teeth, sometimes causing the lower front teeth to bite into the roof of the mouth.

Crossbite
The upper teeth sit inside the lower teeth, which may cause tooth stratification and misaligned jaw growth.

Openbite
Proper chewing is impacted by this type of bite, in which the upper and lower front teeth do not overlap. Openbite may cause a number of unwanted habits, such as tongue thrusting.

Crowding
Crowding occurs when teeth have insufficient room to erupt from the gum. Crowding can often be corrected by expansion, and many times, tooth removal can be avoided.

Spacing
Spacing problems may be caused by missing teeth, or they may only be a cosmetic or aesthetic issue.

Dental Midlines not Matched
This type of problem is caused when the back bite does not fit and match appropriately, which may negatively impact jaw and proper dental function.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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 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 staff will request some basic information from you.

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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. The doctor will then complete a brief, but thorough, exam.

To read more about your first visit, see our First Visit page.

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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?

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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.

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How long will it take to complete treatment?

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 24 months.

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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 many 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.

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How often will I have appointments?

Appointments are scheduled according to each patient's needs. Most patients in braces will be seen every four weeks or longer for Invisalign patients. If there are specific situations that require more frequent monitoring, we will schedule appointments accordingly.

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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 four 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.

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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 before dropping off their child.

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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 other anti-inflammatory medication 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!"

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Can I return to school the day I receive my braces?

Yes. There is no reason to miss school because of an orthodontic appointment.

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We are excited to meet you!