Frequently Asked Questions
What do I do if I break or loosen my appliance?
Call our office as soon as possible if you break or loosen any of your appliances. Most patients accidentally loosen a bracket, a band, a wire or lose a separator. Don’t’ worry, it’s normal! If this happens, call us immediately to see when you can come in and have it taken care of. If it is a night or weekend, we have someone on standby 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
In most cases, we will advise you what to do until you can come into the office during normal business hours. In most cases cutting a wire with fingernail clippers that have been washed and sterilized in alcohol will do the trick until we can see you. Sometimes discomfort caused by a wire on your braces can be resolved by moving the wire away from the irritated area with a cotton swab or eraser.
During the first week after your braces are in place and routine adjustments are complete, you will likely feel some pain, soreness, or discomfort. You may take acetaminophen or other non-aspirin pain relievers while you adjust to your new braces. A warm wash cloth or heating pad may reduce the soreness in your jaws.
What is Orthodontics?
Orthodontics is the branch of dentistry that specializes in the diagnosis, prevention and treatment of dental and facial irregularities. The technical term for these problems is “malocclusion,” which means “bad bite.” The practice of orthodontics requires professional skill in the design, application and control of corrective appliances, such as braces, to bring teeth, lips and jaws into proper alignment and to achieve facial balance.
Is it too late to have braces if I am already an adult?
A surprising percentage of our patients are adults. In fact, 25% of all orthodontic patients are adults. Health, happiness, and self-esteem are vitally important to adults. No patient is “too old” to wear braces!
What age can people have orthodontic treatment?
Children and adults can both benefit from orthodontics because healthy teeth can be moved at almost any age. Because monitoring growth and development is crucial to managing some orthodontic problems, the American Association of Orthodontists recommends that all children have an orthodontic screening no later than age 7. Some orthodontic problems may be easier to correct if treated early. Waiting until all the permanent teeth have come in, or until facial growth is nearly complete, may make correction of some problems more difficult.
An orthodontic evaluation at any age is advisable if a parent, family dentist or the patient’s physician has noted a problem.
How do braces feel?
Most people have some discomfort after their braces are first put on or when adjusted during treatment. After the braces are on, teeth may become sore and may be tender to biting pressures for three to five days. Patients can usually manage this discomfort well with whatever pain medication they might commonly take for a headache. The orthodontist will advise patients or their parents what, if any, pain relievers to take. The lips, cheeks and tongue may also become irritated for one to two weeks as they toughen and become accustomed to the surface of the braces. Overall, orthodontic discomfort is short-lived and easily managed.
Do teeth with braces need special care?
Patients with braces must be careful to avoid hard and sticky foods. They must not chew on pens, pencils or fingernails because chewing on hard things can damage the braces. Damaged braces will almost always cause treatment to take longer, and will require extra trips to the orthodontist’s office.
Keeping the teeth and braces clean requires more precision and time, and must be done every day if the teeth and gums are to be healthy during and after orthodontic treatment. Patients who do not keep their teeth clean may require more frequent visits to the dentist for a professional cleaning.
What is interceptive orthodontic treatment and is it necessary?
The objective of interceptive orthodontic treatment is to make room in your child’s mouth for your child’s permanent teeth. Your orthodontist may expand your child’s palate, and try to start to correct overbites and underbites. As noted above, orthodontic problems arise because human teeth do not grow at the same rate as human mouths. Your children’s mouth will be growing a lot between ages 8 and 12. It is important to make sure that there is room for your children’s permanent teeth.
How do I schedule an appointment for an initial exam?
If you or your child can potentially benefit from orthodontic treatment, simply call our office, send us an e-mail, or request an appointment online. We will be happy to schedule an appointment for you. When you call to schedule your appointment, our front office staff will request some basic information from you.
What will happen at the initial examination appointment?
Upon arriving, each patient and parent will be seen by the staff and doctor who will familiarize you with our office and prepare for the initial exam. We will take the necessary photographs and x-rays to allow us to make a proper diagnosis. The doctor will then complete a brief, but thorough, exam.
How long will it take to complete treatment?
Treatment time obviously depends on each patient’s specific orthodontic problem. In general, treatment times range from 12 to 30 months. The “average” time frame a person is in braces is approximately 22 months.
What is an emergency appointment? How are those handled?
If your braces are causing extreme pain, or if something breaks, you should call our office. In most cases, we can address these issues over the telephone. If you require an emergency appointment, we will set aside time for you.
Can I still play sports?
Yes. We recommend a mouth guard for all sports.
How much does treatment cost?
The actual cost of treatment depends on several factors, including the severity of your problem and the treatment approach selected.
Do you accept insurance?
We accept the assignment of most insurance. For specific information please contact our main office at 214-528-6116.
Do you accept credit cards?
Yes, we accept Visa, Mastercard, American Express, Discover