FAQ

  1. Is it required that my family dentist schedule my appointment with the orthodontist?
  2. At what age should I schedule an appointment for an orthodontic screening?
  3. Will my teeth straighten out as they grow?
  4. How do I schedule an appointment for an initial exam?
  5. What will happen at the initial examination appointment?
  6. What will I learn from the initial examination?
  7. Will I need to have teeth extracted for braces?
  8. How long will it take to complete treatment?
  9. How much will braces cost? Are financing options available? How does my insurance work?
  10. How often will I have appointments?
  11. Can I schedule all of my appointments after school?
  12. Can I drop my child off for an appointment?
  13. Do braces hurt?
  14. Can I return to school the day I receive my braces?
  15. Do you give shots?
  16. Do you use recycled braces?
  17. Can I still play sports?
  18. Do I need to see my family dentist while in braces?
  19. Are there foods I cannot eat while I have braces?
  20. How often should I brush my teeth while in braces?
  21. What is an emergency appointment? How are those handled?
  22. Can orthodontic correction occur while a child has baby teeth?
  23. What is Phase One (early) Treatment?
  24. Will my child need full braces if he/she has Phase One treatment?
  25. Will my child need an expander?
  26. Is it too late to have braces if I am already an adult?
  27. Can I wear braces even though I have crowns and missing teeth?
  28. Why should I choose an orthodontic specialist?
  29. Can you help me purchase orthodontic insurance?
  30. Can I drop my orthodontic insurance coverage after the braces are placed?
  31. Do you have to be a provider on my insurance plan?
  32. We have more than one dental policy and they both offer orthodontic benefits, how will I get the full benefit on both policies?
  33. What happens if my employer changes insurance carriers?

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.

Back to Top

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.

Back to Top

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.

Back to Top

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, send us an e-mail 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.

Back to Top

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 familiarize you with 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.

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

Back to Top

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?

Back to Top

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.

Back to Top

8. 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 22 months.

Back to Top

9. How much will braces cost? Are financing options available? How does my insurance work?

It is impossible to give an exact cost of treatment until we have examined you. We will cover the exact cost and financial options during the initial examination. The cost quoted is comprehensive, and will cover the orthodontic work up (records), the orthodontic treatment and the first set of retainers. While orthodontic treatment is an excellent investment in the well being of children and adults we realize that you may have different financial needs. We are proud to offer in- office financial arrangements that are almost always flexible enough to allow our patients or their parents to be able to afford orthodontic care.

We are also pleased to be able to accept most insurance carriers, and are in-network with Delta and United Concordia. This allows our patients to make financial arrangements with our office on the uninsured portion of their orthodontic fee. You may call our office and speak with our Financial or Treatment Coordinator to discuss any concerns you may have regarding treatment fees and insurance.

Back to Top

10. How often will I have appointments?

We schedule each patient’s appointments according to their individual needs. Occasionally there are specific reasons a patient may need to be monitored more frequently then at other times. On average we will see you every six weeks until you reach the retention stage of your treatment.

Back to Top

11. Can I schedule all of my appointments after school?

Unfortunately, we cannot schedule all appointments for students after school. However, because most appointments are usually scheduled six weeks apart, patients should miss minimal school due to their orthodontic treatment.

Back to Top

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.

Back to Top

13. Do braces hurt?

During the first week after your braces are placed and after routine adjustments are complete, you will probably feel some discomfort and possibly some soreness. Chewing sugarless gum for a few minutes a few times a day will get the blood flowing around the roots of your teeth helping the discomfort or soreness to diminish. You may also take acetaminophen or other non-aspirin pain relievers while you adjust to your braces.

Back to Top

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.

Back to Top

15. Do you give shots?

No. Shots are not necessary in orthodontic treatment.

Back to Top

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.

Back to Top

17. Can I still play sports?

Yes. We recommend a mouth guard for all sports.

Back to Top

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.

Back to Top

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.

Back to Top

20. How often should I brush my teeth while in braces?

Patients should brush their teeth at least 3 times a day. We suggest you brush after each meal if you are able to. That will help you to dislodge any food that might be stuck in your braces and on your teeth. We will go over brushing and flossing instructions at the banding appointment and any other time that we feel it is necessary for the health and wellness of our patients. We provide our patients with a regular toothbrush and a travel toothbrush so you are never without one when it is needed. The travel toothbrush easily fits into your pocket or a bag for your convenience.

Back to Top

21. What is an emergency appointment? How are those handled?

 If your braces are causing extreme pain or something breaks, you should call our office as soon as you can. Some issues we can resolve over the phone. If not, we will set aside time for you to be seen. If it is the weekend your call will be returned and proper arrangements will be made.

Back to Top

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.

Back to Top

23. What is Phase One (early) treatment?

Phase One treatment is usually initiated between the ages of 7 and 10 and lasts 12 to 21 months. The primary objective for this kind of treatment is to address significant problems to prevent them from becoming more severe. Phase One treatment may include widening the upper jaw when it is narrow, straightening misaligned teeth or providing space for crowded teeth to erupt.

Back to Top

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 and guided. Throughout this period, parents and patients will be kept informed of future treatment recommendations. Full treatment aligns the teeth and addresses the positions and relationships of the twelve year molars to help eliminate future TMJ issues.

Back to Top

25. Will my child need an expander?

An expander is an appliance that widens the upper jaw. Expanders are typically used when a narrow upper jaw causes crowding or cross bites. In some cases an observed positive effect is eliminating mouth breathing by widening the nasal passages.

Back to Top

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!

Back to Top

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.

Back to Top

28. Why should I 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.

Back to Top

29. Can you help me purchase orthodontic insurance?

We recommend you contact either an insurance agent or your employer.

Back to Top

30. Can I drop my orthodontic insurance coverage after the braces are placed?

We do not advise this since the benefits will be paid throughout the entire course of treatment, if the policy is cancelled you may not receive your full benefit.

Back to Top

31. Do you have to be a provider on my insurance plan?

No, we do not have to be a provider. However we do recommend we verify your benefits for you prior to your complementary initial exam.

Back to Top

32. We have more than one dental policy and they both offer orthodontic benefits, how will I get the full benefit on both policies?

There are many different variables that can determine benefits, such as lifetime maximums, the percentage of coverage, age limits, and most importantlythe coordination of benefits. Prior to your appoinment we will call and confirm your benefits to get an estimate. However, please note that any information regarding your insurance is not a guarantee of payment. We are the liason between you and your insurance company and they ultimately will be in control of the payments.

Back to Top

33. What happens if my employer changes insurance carriers?

Please notify the insurance coordinator of any changes regarding your insurance during your active treatment. There are many factors that can determine whether or not more benefits will be payable with the new insurance.

Back to Top