Frequently Asked Questions About Orthodontics
What Is An Orthodontist?
An orthodontist is a dentist who has gone through additional schooling on helping patients with dental alignment and bite problems, as well as training on fitting patients with corrective braces and other orthodontic appliances. If you need orthodontic treatment, you should always choose an experienced orthodontist, not a general dentist.
What Is Orthodontics?
Orthodontics is a specialized area of dentistry that focuses on treating irregularities in alignment and occlusion (bite) of the teeth and jaws, often incorporating appliances such as braces to shift them into a more ideal position.
Why Should I Choose An Orthodontic Specialist?
Orthodontic treatment makes permanent changes to your teeth and sometimes even the shape of your face, so it’s crucial that only an orthodontist addresses these changes. They have the education, training, and experience to provide their patients with the right results.
Do I Have To Schedule My First Orthodontic Appointment Through My Dentist?
While general dentists often refer their patients to a trusted orthodontist, you do not need a dentist referral in order to schedule your initial consultation with us!
What Happens At An Initial Consultation?
An initial orthodontic consultation is a fact-finding appointment. You will fill out some light paperwork to help us understand your oral health history and get a good idea of your treatment goals. Our team will take x-rays to get a complete picture of what’s going on in the patient’s mouth unless the patient can provide recent x-rays from the general dentist. We will then perform an examination of the mouth to see how the teeth align and perform.
Once all the information has been gathered, it will be time to start discussing treatment options, including an estimation of how long the treatment will take and a quote of the cost of treatment. If the appointment is for a minor child, a parent or legal guardian must be present.
Won’t My Teeth Straighten Out Over Time?
Unfortunately, no. In fact, teeth tend to grow more crooked with age, not less. Biting down with poorly aligned teeth can encourage them to shift even farther from their ideal position.
How Long Does Orthodontic Treatment Last?
The length of treatment depends on each patient’s orthodontic problems, but it will typically range from eight months to two and a half years. The best way to have the shortest possible treatment time is to follow your orthodontist’s instructions exactly.
How Often Will I Have Appointments?
Appointments vary depending on the patient’s needs, but most patients with braces will come every eight to ten weeks.
Am I Too Old For Orthodontic Treatment?
No patient is too old to wear braces! In fact, a quarter of all orthodontic patients are out of their teens, so don’t feel like you missed your chance for straight teeth just because you didn’t get braces in high school!
When Should My Child Be Seen By An Orthodontist?
The American Association of Orthodontists (AAO) recommends a child’s first orthodontist appointment should be at the age of 7. For a vast majority of patients, this isn’t the beginning of treatment but it does allow us to set a baseline to monitor growth and development and plan for the absolute best time to begin treatment (if needed). We believe in a conservative approach to treatment and maintain an Age Appropriate Treatment philosophy that most patients’ orthodontic care can be completed in one stage at adolescence.
Our 7andUp Kids Club allows our younger patients a chance to participate in all the special events, prize giveaways, and promotions being offered. Our doctors are able to monitor the development and growth of the child while providing a fun and comfortable environment for each patient. The best part of our 7andUp Kids Club is that each appointment for monitoring their development is completely complimentary! Costs are only incurred when orthodontic treatment begins.
What Happens If A Bracket Breaks?
If a bracket breaks, you should call our office right away to schedule an emergency appointment. We can usually find time to reattach or replace the bracket quickly. Do not wait until your next regular appointment to do something about a broken bracket, as this could have a negative effect on your treatment.