1. What is orthodontics?
Orthodontics is much more than simply “straightening crooked teeth.” It’s a specialized area of dentistry that corrects your bite, skeletal and dental relationships, facial aesthetics and function. As a specialist, an orthodontist works closely with your general dentist and other dental specialists to provide you with comprehensive dental care.
2. Why should I choose an orthodontic specialist?
An orthodontist is a dentist with at least two continuous years of specialized training in orthodontics at an accredited university after graduating from dental school. While some general dentists perform orthodontic treatment, it is often very limited and only for a few patients. Practicing orthodontics exclusively allows Dr. Matt and his staff to become experts in orthodontics through treating hundreds of cases.
3. Why should I see an orthodontist?
Most people see an orthodontist because they are dissatisfied with the appearance of their teeth or they have a bite discrepancy. Studies show that an attractive smile increases self-confidence and directly influences success in one’s personal and professional life. If you’re dissatisfied with your smile or if your dentist recommends correcting your bite, then orthodontics is the answer.
4. When should I take my child in for an orthodontic screening?
Age 7, according to the American Association of Orthodontists, is the ideal age for a child to be seen by an orthodontist. By this age, several permanent teeth in most children have erupted, allowing us to effectively evaluate your orthodontic condition. Dr. Matt will be able to advise you on the best course of treatment.
Many significant orthodontic problems are best treated early while the baby teeth are present, taking advantage of growth potential of the jaws. Rest assured that we always do what is best for our patients. After examining your child, we will monitor his/her growth and development until they are ready for treatment. We do this by seeing your child periodically for complimentary development check appointments.
5. Will teeth straighten out as my child grows?
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.
6. Is it too late to get braces if I’m an adult or adolescent?
No. Many of our patients are adults and adolescents. We have patients from age 7 to 70! In fact, 25% of all orthodontic patients are adults. No one is “too old” to create a beautiful, confident smile that lasts a lifetime.
7. What types of braces are available? Can you provide Invisalign or clear braces?
We offer the latest in orthodontic technology including Invisalign technology (orthodontics without braces), clear (ceramic) braces, and of course, the popular metal braces. At your complimentary examination, Dr. Matt will review all of your options for orthodontic care.
8. Can I wear braces even though I have crowns and missing teeth?
Yes. Teeth with crowns or fillings will move just like any other teeth. When teeth are missing, Dr. Matt will advise you on the best course of treatment. Treatment options may include implants in conjunction with orthodontic treatment, or closing up space with orthodontic treatment alone.
9. Do I need to be referred to an orthodontist by my general dentist?
No, it is not necessary to be referred to us by your dentist. Many of our patients took initiative and scheduled a complimentary examination for orthodontic treatment. Unlike many medical insurance policies, dental insurance policies generally don’t require a general dentist’s referral to see an orthodontist in order to receive your orthodontic benefit.
10. How much will braces cost? Are financing options available?
It is impossible to project an exact cost for treatment until we have conducted an examination. The cost of orthodontic treatment varies depending on the course of treatment. We will inform you of the exact costs for your treatment and financing options at your initial examination. Additionally, we will review your insurance policy, help you maximize your benefit and file your claims. Click here for more financial information.
11. Do you take my insurance?
Chances are YES. We take most insurance plans. Simply call our office at (480) 812-1500 to confirm that we take yours!
12. Will my insurance cover orthodontic treatment?
Maybe. We will gladly check on your orthodontic insurance coverage prior to your complimentary exam. We will go over the applicable costs and insurance benefits for orthodontic treatment at your complimentary exam.
13. How do I schedule an appointment for a complimentary exam?
Simply call our office at (480) 812-1500, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or fill out our appointment request form online. We look forward to meeting you.
14. What will happen at my complimentary exam?
On your first visit, you will be introduced to our staff and given a brief tour of our office. Next, we will take digital x-rays that allow Dr. Matt to make a proper diagnosis. Following your x-rays, Dr. Matt will conduct a comprehensive exam. He will review your x-rays with you, explain the goals for orthodontic treatment and answer all of your questions.
Upon completion of your exam, our patient coordinator will go over the costs of orthodontic treatment and your insurance benefit (if applicable). She will also review our flexible financing options so you leave with a clear and complete understanding of everything involved with receiving orthodontic care. That’s it. There is no obligation.
15. How long will it take to complete orthodontic treatment?
Treatment time naturally depends upon each patient’s diagnosis and compliance with treatment. A patient needing minor adjustments can complete treatment in 6 months, while a more complex case might require 30 months. In general, treatment times range from 12 to 30 months. We aim to give you a perfect smile as quickly as possible and we show you how you can expedite your own treatment!
16. What can I do to expedite my treatment time?
- Attend your appointments
- Maintain good oral hygiene
- Avoid foods and sodas that can harm your braces
- Wear your rubber bands and headgear as directed
- Follow through with recommended treatment
17. What is our commitment to you?
We are committed to giving you a beautiful smile that lasts a lifetime. To achieve this, we must align the bite as well as straighten the teeth, and provide you with a plan for retention post treatment. Once we have achieved a beautiful smile and perfectly functioning bite, your braces will be removed. At that time you will be given a retainer and advised how to wear your retainer to retain the results of orthodontic treatment for the rest of your life.
18. Why do some adults have crooked teeth when they had braces as children?
Sadly, most of us know adults who spent years in braces as children, concluded treatment with “straight teeth” then over time their teeth became “crooked” again. Teeth, just like any other part of our anatomy, are dynamic, changing at a cellular level as we age. Tooth positions are particularly affected by fluctuating hormone levels experienced during pregnancy and menopause.
19. Can I be assured that I will retain my treatment results for the rest of my life?
Yes! Dr. Matt will empower you to retain your smile throughout the aging process. You are not simply a patient while you are in braces. Because post-treatment care is imperative, we will provide you with continued care indefinitely. When your braces are removed, you will receive a retainer to hold your new smile in place. Once Dr. Matt is confident that your teeth have settled in to their new position he will prescribe wearing your retainer while you sleep, as needed, for the rest of your life. You can rest assured that you will not lose your smile or your investment as you age.
20. How often will I have appointments?
Appointments are scheduled according to each patient’s needs. Most patients in braces will be seen for a short appointment every four to six weeks once the braces are placed. Here’s the general flow of appointments:
|Appointment type ||What is done at the appointment? ||Approx. length ||Time required before your next appointment |
|Complimentary Exam ||Comprehensive examination and personal consultation with Dr. Matt ||45 minutes ||None. You can start immediately if you wish. |
|Initial Records ||We take more x-rays, photos and impressions. Spacers are placed if necessary. ||45 minutes ||3 – 7 days |
|Banding ||“Part 1” of placing your braces, we place bands around certain teeth. ||45 minutes ||None. You can schedule banding and bonding back to back if you wish. |
|Bonding ||“Part 2” of placing your braces. We bond the brackets onto teeth. ||60 minutes ||You braces are on! We’ll be seeing you for adjustments every 4-6 weeks. |
|Adjustments ||Adjust orthodontic treatment according to your needs. ||10 – 30 minutes ||You are now in the “routine” of braces. We will see you every 4-6 weeks until we achieve a beautiful smile and functional bite! |
|Debanding and Final Records ||Smile! This is the day you get your braces removed– more photos and impressions are taken for your retainer. ||45 minutes ||Dr. Matt will put you on a customized retention plan to ensure that your beautiful smile remains intact for your lifetime! |
21. Can I schedule my appointments before and after school?
Yes! We start seeing patients at 7:00am. Because our early morning and afternoon appointment times are most desirable, we reserve them for your short, adjustment appointments. The majority of your appointments will be “short” adjustments lasting approximately 15 minutes. For example, in the course of 22 months of treatment you will have approximately 16 short appointments.
Throughout your course of treatment, you will have four longer appointments that last approximately 45 minutes. We strive to schedule these longer appointments around peak appointment times. Doing this allows us to accommodate more patients during our peak appointment times. Additionally, scheduling your longer appointments around peak hours enables us to give you our undivided attention when you need it most.
22. Can I drop off my child for an appointment?
Yes! We understand your busy schedule and we are happy to help you make the most of your time. In some cases, we may ask that you check-in your child with our Patient Coordinator.
23. 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!
24. Can I return to school the day I receive my braces?
Yes! There is no reason to miss school because of an orthodontic appointment.
25. Do you recycle braces?
Absolutely not! It is our belief that each patient should be provided with their own braces to achieve the best orthodontic result possible.
26. Can I still play sports?
Yes! We recommend a mouth guard for all sports.
27. Do I still need to see my general dentist while in braces?
Yes! Regular checkups and professional cleanings are important throughout orthodontic treatment.
28. What foods should avoid while I have braces?
For most situations, common sense will tell you what to avoid. Hard foods, sticky foods and foods high in sugar must be avoided. Hard foods can break or damage wires and brackets. Sticky foods can get caught between brackets and wires. Minimize sugary foods; they cause tooth decay and related problems. Nail biting, pencil and pen chewing and chewing on foreign objects should be avoided.
29. How are emergencies handled?
If your braces are causing you extreme pain or if something breaks, you should call our office. You may call after hours if needed. Most problems can be resolved over the phone, however if need to be seen, we will set aside time for you.