FAQ

Do you charge for an initial visit?

No. As a courtesy to you and your family dentist, we will always discuss the feasibility of braces or tooth straightening without charging a fee for the initial consultation.

At what age do you start seeing patients?

As a rule of thumb, we like to evaluate young patients after the 6-year molars erupt and the front permanent teeth just start to appear. This is usually between the ages of 6 and 8. The American Association of Orthodontics recommends that all children be seen for the first time by age 7.

Why do you evaluate patients so young?

The purpose of early evaluation is to inform and observe, more than to start treatment. At this early age, the eventual needs may be identified and discussed. A small percentage of this young group may need some form of intervention. Habits are evaluated, medical issues are discussed and an observation schedule is arranged until the patient is ready to begin treatment.

How long will the first visit take?

The first visit can last anywhere between 30 minutes and 1 hour depending on how ready the patient is for treatment. We may just do a visual exam and explain the situation or we may suggest one or more X-rays and complete diagnostics including impressions of the teeth with photographs to document the current position.

Do you take patients transferring from out of town?

Yes we do. We handle a patient transferring into our office from another city just like a new patient. We gather complete diagnostic records to show the current status and propose treatment to complete the work that has been started.

Do you have any adult patients?

Absolutely. A growing percentage of our patients are adult. New, more cosmetic appliances are making adult treatment much more comfortable and convenient. Learn more here.

Will my teeth straighten out as I grow and get older?

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.

What is the difference between an orthodontist and a dentist?

An orthodontist is a general dentist that has had at least 2 more years of full-time training in orthodontics resulting in a nationally accepted specialty certificate. The orthodontist then limits their practice to straightening teeth and dentofacial orthopedics.

Can I make all my appointments in the afternoon after school and late in the day?

In order to have early and late appointments available for the majority of patient appointments, some procedures need to be accomplished during the hours of 9 and 3. We will do our best to work with your schedules and accommodate your family needs.

Can I drop my child off for an appointment?

Yes. We understand your schedule is busy, and we are happy to help you make the most of your time. On some occasions, we may request to speak with a parent when they return, so we ask that parents check-in with their patient manager before dropping off their child.

How long will it take to complete treatment?

Overall treatment time depends on each patient’s specific orthodontic problem(s). In general, treatment times range from 12 to 30 months. The “average” time-span a patient wears braces is approximately 22 months.

How often will I have an appointment?

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.

Do you see patients for emergencies?

Yes, our contact information for an emergency is posted on the website. Feel free to visit our emergency care page for more information.

Can we make payments?

Yes.  Whether or not you have insurance or a dental plan, we will structure a convenient payment plan that will allow you to pay for orthodontic services over a period of time that usually coincides with your treatment plan. Learn more here.

How do you handle insurance?

After verification of coverage, we will agree to bill and collect from an insurance carrier. However, we ask patients to understand that if coverage ceases or changes, the patient is still responsible for the agreed upon fee.

Do you take American Express, Master Card and/or Visa?

Yes, we accept all major credit cards.

Do you have direct debit?

Yes, we have arrangements for direct debit, charge card posting, as well as payments over the internet.

Do you charge interest?

No we do not.

Do you give family discounts?

We have special programs and fees for multiple patients from the same family.

Does wearing braces hurt?

Generally, braces do not “hurt.” After certain appointments, your teeth may be sore for a few days. In these situations, over-the-counter 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!”

Can I still play sports or play my instrument while wearing braces?

Yes! We recommend that patients wear mouthguards while playing sports. Musicians will likely experience an adjustment period until they are comfortable playing while wearing braces.

Do I need to see my general dentist while wearing braces?

Yes! Regular check-ups with your general dentist are important while in braces. Your dentist will determine the intervals between each cleaning appointment while you have your braces.

How often should I brush my teeth while I have braces?

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

Are there any foods I cannot eat while I have braces?

Yes. Once treatment begins, we will explain our complete instructions and provide you with a comprehensive list of foods to avoid. Some of those foods include ice, hard candy, raw vegetables and all sticky foods (i.e. caramel and taffy). You can avoid most repair appointments by carefully following our instructions!

Do I need to be pre-medicated for the dentist. Do I need to take my medicine for the orthodontist?

Yes.

Do retainers need to be worn after braces?

Yes, retainers are worn full-time for about 6 months followed by nighttime wear indefinitely.

Why do teeth get crooked after wearing braces or aligners?

Teeth move throughout life whether you have worn braces or not.  It is part of the natural aging process. This is why retainer wear is recommended indefinitely to maintain your orthodontic results over  lifetime.