FAQs

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1. Is a referral from my family dentist necessary in order to schedule an initial consultation?

No, it is not. Many of our patients are referred by their dentist, family, and friends, yet other patients take the initiative to schedule a consultation themselves.

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2. At what age should I schedule an appointment for an orthodontic screening?

If you want to improve the look and feel of your smile, then any age can be a great age to see the orthodontist. The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that children first visit an orthodontist around the age of 7; however, orthodontic treatment is not exclusive to children and teens. About one in every five orthodontic patients is over the age of 21. Remember, no referral is necessary and the initial consultation is free.

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3. Why should I choose an orthodontist specialist?

Orthodontists have extensive and specialized training that enables them to provide their patients with professional, personalized treatments.

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4. What is Phase I and Phase II treatment?

Phase 1 or Early Interceptive Treatment Overview Phase 1 or early interceptive treatment is orthodontic treatment that is done before all the permanent teeth have erupted and often is done between the ages of six and ten. This early phase of treatment is usually used when there is a moderate or severe orthodontic problem that should not wait until later to treat.

Many orthodontic problems are caused by growth-related issues such as narrow jaws or one jaw developing too quickly or too slowly. These types of problems are best treated during the younger years before all the permanent teeth come in. Orthodontic appliances, retainer-like devices or partial braces can be used during Phase 1 treatment to prevent a problem from occurring, to correct a current problem or to help modify the child's growth and dental development. There are numerous problems with tooth alignment, crowding & spacing and jaw & facial development that can be dealt with with Phase 1 treatment.

Some of this phase of treatment is to develop the child's jaw, make room for the eruption of the permanent teeth and to improve the relationship of the upper and lower jaws. This early correction can prevent dental trauma, the need for removing healthy teeth later on and can shorten the time the patient has to spend in braces during Phase 2 treatment. Generally speaking, Phase 1 treatment takes between 6 to 12 months to complete.

Phase 2 Treatment Overview
Phase 2 treatment generally refers to the normal orthodontic treatment that may follow Phase 1 treatment. This usually involves placing braces on both the upper and lower teeth once all the permanent teeth have erupted. Because Phase 1 treatment doesn't correct all tooth and bite-related problems, it's often necessary for a braces to be worn following early, interceptive treatment.

The goal of Phase 2 orthodontic treatment is to position all the permanent teeth to maximize their appearance and function. This is best accomplished with full braces or Invisalign that can take between 12 and 24 months. After completing Phase II treatment you will be in the retention phase . Retention Phase is one of the following retainers. Bonded retainer ( retainers behind your teeth) , or removable retainer such as; invisible or hawley retainers. It is extremely important to wear your retainers for the rest of your life so your teeth do not shift.

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5. Will I need to have teeth extracted for braces?

Straight teeth and a balanced facial profile are the goal of orthodontics. Sometimes removing teeth is required to achieve the best orthodontic result. However, because new technology has provided advanced orthodontic procedures, removing teeth is not always necessary for orthodontic treatment.

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6. How long will it take to complete treatment?

The amount of time spent in braces can vary, depending on the individual patient. Every patient has individual orthodontic issues that respond differently to treatment. Treatment times can take anywhere between 6 to 30 months, depending on the severity of the case. However, most standard treatments take about 20 to 22 months to complete.

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7. How often will I have appointments?

Appointments are scheduled according to each patient’s needs. While in braces, patients will routinely be seen every eight to ten weeks, every four to six when trying to complete your braces, and 12-18 weeks during the retention part of treatment. Patients placed on “growth and development” will be seen every six to eight months.

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8. Can I schedule an appointment after school?

We understand your busy schedule, and we are happy to make the most of your time by making a sincere effort to meet your scheduling needs. We offer afternoon appointments for shorter routine adjustments. Long appointments are typically scheduled in the morning.

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

Yes!! In fact, it’s even more important that patients receiving orthodontic treatment visit their dentist regularly. Your dentist will work closely with the orthodontist to make sure your teeth stay clean and healthy while wearing braces.

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

Yes, you can!! A tooth with a crown on it will move no differently from a tooth without any restorations. When teeth are missing, orthodontic treatment will aid in the alignment of the remaining teeth.

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11. Do braces hurt?

When your braces are being placed, you will only feel the doctor touching your teeth. However, after your braces are placed and the teeth begin to move (approximately five to six hours after) you will most likely experience some mild discomfort. It is like having a headache in your teeth, and if you take some Ibuprofen or Tylenol, and eat soft foods, the discomfort will be minimized. The achiness that you experience after your appointment will last approximately two to three days, and then will disappear.

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12. Can I still play sports, play an instrument, or sing with braces?

Playing an instrument or a contact sport may require some adjustment when you first get your braces, but wearing braces will not stop you from participating in any of your normal activities. If you play a contact sport, it is recommended that you wear a mouthguard to protect your braces or appliance.

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13. 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 consultation. We will review your dental insurance, help you to maximize your available orthodontic insurance benefit, and file your insurance claims.

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