No, it is not. Many of our patients are referred by their family dentist, yet many other patients take the initiative to schedule an examination themselves.
The American Association of Orthodontists recommends an orthodontic screening at age 7. By this age, several permanent teeth in most children have erupted, allowing us to effectively evaluate your orthodontic condition.
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.
If you or your child can potentially benefit from orthodontic treatment, simply call our office, send us an e-mail or fill out our appointment request form 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.
Upon arriving, each patient and parent will be seen by the staff and doctor who will acclimate you to 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.
To read more about your first visit, see our First Visit page.
There are five essential questions that we will cover during the initial examination:
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.
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.
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.
Appointments are scheduled according to each patient's needs. Most patients in braces will be seen every 4 to 6 weeks. If there are specific situations that require more frequent monitoring, we will schedule appointments accordingly.
Our longer banding appointments are normally scheduled before 2:30 p.m.; however, because most visits are scheduled 4 to 6 weeks apart, our patients will miss minimal school due to their orthodontic treatments. We will make a sincere effort to meet your scheduling needs.
Yes. We understand your busy schedule, 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 the front desk before dropping off their child.
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!”
Yes. There is no reason to miss school because of an orthodontic appointment.
No. Shots are not necessary in orthodontic treatment.
Absolutely not! It is our belief that each patient should be provided with their own braces to achieve the best orthodontic result possible.
Yes. We recommend a mouth guard for all sports. Our doctors provide our patients complimentary mouth guards upon request.
Yes! Regular check-ups with your family dentist are important while in braces. Your family dentist will determine the intervals between cleaning appointments while you are in braces.
Yes. Once treatment begins, we will explain the complete instructions and provide 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 emergency appointments to repair broken or damaged braces by carefully following our instructions.
To read more about food choices, see our Foods to Avoid page.
Patients should brush their teeth at least four times each day – after each meal and before going to bed. We will show each patient how to floss their teeth with braces and may also provide a prescription for a special fluoride, if necessary.
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.
See our Emergency Info page to determine if the situation can be solved at home.
Yes. Some orthodontic problems are significant enough to require early intervention. However, if a patient is not yet ready for treatment, we will follow that patient's growth and development until the time is right for treatment to begin.
Phase One treatment, if necessary, is usually initiated on children between the ages of 7 and 10. Phase One treatment lasts until all the adult teeth have erupted, usually around the age of 12. The primary objective for Phase One treatment is to address significant problems to prevent them from becoming more severe and to closely monitor growth and tooth eruption.
Your child may need a second phase after all the adult teeth have erupted, depending on your child's growth pattern.
At the completion of the initial examination, we will determine whether a patient will need an expander.
A surprising percentage of our patients are adults. In fact, 25 percent of all orthodontic patients are adults. Health, happiness and self-esteem are vitally important to adults. No patient is "too old" to wear braces!
Yes. A tooth with a crown will move just like a tooth with a simple filling. When teeth are missing, orthodontic treatment will aid in the alignment of the remaining teeth.
Orthodontists are specialized dentists who work with patients to straighten teeth. It is a type of dentistry that requires specialized training. All orthodontists must be a licensed dentist in order to practice. It takes many years to become an orthodontic specialist. Orthodontists complete two to four years of undergraduate education, three to five years of dental school for their DDS or DMD degree, and then continue on for at least two years of a post-doctorate orthodontics program. Drs. Gast, Bongiovanni and Nielsen are orthodontic specialists and have the extensive and specialized training that enables them to provide their patients with professional, personalized treatments.