Orthodontic FAQ’s from Our Oklahoma City Clients
No, it is not. Many of our patients are referred by their family dentist, but many patients are referred by family and friends.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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. 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.
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 than at other times. On average we will see you every six weeks until you reach the retention stage of your treatment.
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.
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.
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.
Yes. There is no reason to miss school because of an orthodontic appointment.
No. Shots are not necessary in orthodontic treatment.
Absolutely not! It is our belief that each patient should be provided with their own braces to achieve the best orthodontic result possible.
Yes. We recommend a mouthguard for all sports.
Yes! Regular check-ups with your family dentist are important while in braces. Your family dentist will determine the intervals between cleaning appointments while you are in 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.
Patients should brush their teeth at least four times each day. We suggest you brush after each meal and before bedtime. 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.
If your braces are causing extreme pain or if 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.
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.
Phase One treatment is usually initiated between the ages of 7 and 10 and lasts 12-21 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.
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.
An expander is an appliance that widens the upper jaw. Expanders are typically used when a narrow upper jaw causes crowding or crossbites. In some cases mouth breathing is eliminated and normal nasal breathing is restored.
A surprising percentage of our patients are adults. In fact, 25% of all orthodontic patients are adults. Health, happiness and self-esteem are vitally important to adults. No patient is “too old” to wear braces!
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.
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.
We recommend you contact either an insurance agent or your employer.
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.
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.
There are many different variables that can determine benefits, such as lifetime maximums, the percentage of coverage, age limits, and most importantly the coordination of benefits. Prior to your appointment 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 liaison between you and your insurance company and they ultimately will be in control of the payments.
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.