Here are answers to questions patients frequently ask… or should be asking!
Will I continue to see my general dentist while receiving orthodontic treatment?
Yes, it is advised you commit to seeing your general dentist and adhere to their instruction for daily oral hygiene during treatment.
How long are your office wait times?
We respect our patients’ time and pride ourselves on maintaining your appointments as scheduled! Be sure to do your part and let us know if you are going to miss your appointment. Good brushing techniques and taking proper care of your appliances will also make appointments run faster. Review the approximate duration of typical orthodontic appointments here.
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 examination. We have many 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.
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.
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! We often remind our patients, “It does not have to hurt to work!”
How long will it take to complete treatment?
Appointments are scheduled according to each patient’s needs. Most patients in braces will be seen every five to 10 weeks. If there are specific situations that require more frequent monitoring, we will schedule appointments accordingly. Treatment time obviously depends on each patient’s specific orthodontic problem. In general, treatment times range from 12 to 24 months. The “average” time frame a person is in braces is approximately 22 months.
What is a bite plate?
In situations where the teeth overlap to such a degree that the edges of the lower front teeth actually bite into the hard palate, orthodontists recommend the bite plate appliance, a removable device that looks like a conventional retainer in most cases. A bite plate appliance is worn full-time (except when eating and brushing) for six months to a year. Correcting a deep bite as early as possible will favorably affect long-term stability and eliminate unnecessary pain, discomfort, ulcers, etc. When growth is modified while a person is still growing, the change becomes more permanent. One of the first things to relapse in a finished orthodontic case is the overbite. Thus, correcting a severe overbite is one of the first important corrections that needs to be made while growth is still occurring.
How long will I have to wear my retainer?
When we remove your braces, we will begin the retention stage of your treatment. The retention phase lasts for a minimum of 24 months. Your final orthodontic result depends on your retainers, so follow through with the hard work you’ve put in so far. Remember to remove your retainer before brushing, and brush your retainer before placing it back in your mouth. Read more about retainers here.