Q. At what age should my child be seen?

Ans: Children should be seen for orthodontic evaluation around the age of 7. At this age, the first permanent molars and all of the permanent incisors usually are present. The position of these teeth can help determine if and when your child will need treatment.

Q. What is “Phase I” Treatment?

Ans:If your child has both permanent and baby teeth and needs early orthodontic intervention, this treatment would be considered “Phase I.” It usually lasts 12 – 18 months and is done to correct or modify a malocclusion that would be more difficult to correct at a later age. Only 20% of patients require early treatment alone. This means that 80% will require some form of orthodontic intervention once all of the permanent teeth have erupted. This second phase of the treatment usually lasts an additional 12 – 18 months.

Q. Will retainers be necessary after the braces?

Ans:Most definitely, and everyone receives retainers for both their top and bottom teeth. Retainers hold the teeth in the corrected position until the bone around your teeth permanently settles. This usually means wearing retainers part time for approximately 2 years, then keeping them as a “check” for yourself until your wisdom teeth erupt or are extracted.

Q. Can adults get braces too?

Ans:YES. Over 40% of our patient population consists of adults. You are never too old for braces.

Q. How often would I need to come in for appointments?

Ans:Getting started with your braces usually requires several appointments a week or two apart, but once the appliances are placed, the wires we use remain active for months and we only need to see you for an appointment approximately every 10 – 12 weeks.

Q. Will I be seen on time for my appointment?

Ans:Our goal is to see each patient at their scheduled time. While we can’t always be right on time, we do everything possible to see you without delay. Arriving late for an appointment may mean that patients scheduled after you have to be seen late. Honoring our patients’ appointment time is important to us. Occasionally, if you arrive late, we may have to ask you to reschedule. We know your time is valuable and we do all we can to keep right on time.

Q. I would like to have an appointment after 3 P.M. Can that be arranged?

Ans:We must be candid and state that during the course of treatment it will be necessary for every patient to schedule some mid-day appointments. The longer, more complicated appointments are scheduled during these times. We will try to schedule as many before or after school / work appointments as is possible.

Q. What if I am unable to keep my appointment?

Ans: We require 24 hours notice to change or cancel an appointment. Please call the office and leave a message on our 24 hour voicemail if you are unable to keep your appointment. There will be a $50 charge for any appointments that are missed without prior notification.

Q. What should I do if something comes loose or gets broken?

Ans: Call us right away! We don’t want you to wait until your next scheduled appointment. Repairing broken or damaged appliances may require more time than your next scheduled appointment allows. We are never more than a phone call away… your comfort is very important to us, and we want you to know that we are always here when you need us.

Q. During orthodontic treatment, do I continue to get my teeth cleaned at my general dentist’s office?

Ans: YES. It is very important to get your teeth cleaned during orthodontic treatment because food and plaque are easily trapped around the braces. We occasionally recommend more frequent visits to your dentist during your time in braces. On the day you are scheduled for a cleaning, it will be necessary to have your arch wires removed so that hygienist can thoroughly clean your teeth. After this appointment, you will need to return to our office within one day to have your wires replaced.

Q. How much do braces cost?

Ans:The cost of braces varies, depending upon the patient’s age and the estimated treatment time. We offer many payment methods and suggest that anyone interested, come in for a complimentary exam and consultation. At this appointment, the cost, duration, and payment method will be discussed, as well as answering all other questions you may have. We accept a wide variety of insurances, credit cards, and cash.

Q. What does your fee include?

Ans:Our fee includes diagnostic records (photos, panoramic x-ray, and study models), the braces themselves, two retainers (one for the top and one for the bottom), and follow-up treatment for 12 months. If we decide to use a new or different appliance for you, or if your treatment time runs longer than expected, there is NO additional charge. In rare cases charges may be added for excess breakage of appliances or an excess of appointments that were missed or cancelled with less than 24 hours notice.

Q. What is TMJ?

Ans: TMJ is an abbreviation for the Temporo-Mandibular Joint, where the upper jaw and lower jaw come together i.e., the temporal bone of the skull, (Temporo) with the lower jaw or mandible, (mandibular). It is the most complex joint in the human body, and when this joint is not functioning properly, it can cause a host of problems. These problems include but are not limited to headaches, facial pain, jaw pain, ear pain, ear stuffiness, ringing in the ears, and jaw clicking and popping. Facial and/or head trauma, whiplash, and stress are three of the main causes of TMJ problems, although there are many other things that can trigger these symptoms.

Q. What types of treatment do you offer for TMJ disorders?

Ans:We have been conservatively treating TMJ since 1986. Our treatment consists primarily of splint therapy and neuromuscular massage therapy. A splint can protect the teeth and joint if there is clenching or grinding, which eases the muscle tension and takes pressure off of the joint. Neuromuscular massage relaxes the muscle around the head, neck, and jaw. We have a licensed massage therapist on staff, so the massages are performed in the office for your convenience . A massage helps to relax the head, neck, jaw and shoulders. (MA6833; MM14511)