FAQ

  1. Do I need a referral from my family dentist to schedule my orthodontic appointment?
  2. At what age should I schedule an appointment for an orthodontic screening?
  3. Will my teeth get straighter as I 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 I (early) Treatment?
  24. Will my child need full braces if he/she has Phase I treatment?
  25. Will my child need an expander?
  26. Is it too late to have braces if I am an adult?
  27. Can I wear braces even though I have crowns and missing teeth?
  28. Why should I choose an orthodontic specialist?

1. Do I need a referral from my family dentist to schedule my orthodontic appointment?

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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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.

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3. Will my teeth get straighter as I 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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4. How do I schedule an appointment for an initial exam?

To schedule an appointment simply call our office, send us an e-mail or fill out our appointment request form online.

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5. What will happen at the initial examination appointment?

Upon arriving, you will meet the new patient coordinator who will acclimate you to our office and prepare for the initial exam. We will take the necessary records 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.

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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?
  • What is recommended to correct the problem?
  • When should treatment begin?
  • How long will the treatment take?
  • How much will the treatment cost?

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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 goals of orthodontics.

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8. How long will it take to complete treatment?

Treatment time 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.

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9. 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 completed the diagnosis and treatment planning process. We will provide an estimate of the cost and financial options during the initial examination. We have 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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10. How often will I have appointments?

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

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

We have evening appointments available. Our schedule is coordinated with "early release" days. Unfortunately, we cannot schedule all appointments during after-school hours. However, because most appointments are scheduled four to eight weeks apart, most patients will miss minimal school due to their orthodontic treatment. We will make a sincere effort to meet your scheduling needs.

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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, so we ask that you check at the front desk when you return to pick up your child.

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13. 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 Tylenol will ease the discomfort. However, after most visits patients do not feel any soreness at all.

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

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

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15. Do you give shots?

Shots are not necessary in orthodontic treatment.

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16. Do you use recycled braces?

Absolutely not! It is our belief that patients should be provided with their own braces.

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17. Can I still play sports?

Yes. We recommend a mouth guard for all contact sports.

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18. Do I need to see my family dentist while in braces?

Yes! Regular checkups with your family dentist are necessary. Your family dentist will determine the intervals between cleaning appointments while you are in braces.

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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, popcorn, hard candy 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.

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

Patients should brush their teeth at least four times each day - after each meal and before going to bed. We will show each patient how to floss their teeth with braces and may also provide a prescription for a special fluoride, if necessary.

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

If your braces are causing excessive pain or if something breaks, you should call our office. In most cases, we can address these issues over the telephone. If you require an emergency appointment we will set aside time for you.

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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.

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23. What is Phase I (early) treatment?

Phase I treatment, if necessary, is usually initiated on children between the ages of 7 and 10 and usually lasts about 8-12 months. The primary objective is to address significant problems to prevent them from becoming more severe and to improve self-esteem and self-image.

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24. Will my child need full braces if he/she has Phase I treatment?

It is best to assume that your child will need full braces even after Phase I treatment. The period following Phase I is called the "resting period," during which growth and tooth eruption are closely monitored. Throughout this period, parents and patients will be kept informed of future treatment recommendations.

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25. Will my child need an expander?

At the completion of the initial examination, we will determine whether a patient will need an expander.

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26. Is it too late to have braces if I am 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!

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

Yes. A tooth with a crown will move just like any other tooth. When teeth are missing, orthodontic treatment will aid in the alignment of the remaining teeth.

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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.

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