Frequently Asked Questions

Answers to questions you may have about getting braces:

Do braces hurt?
Discomfort is subjective and varies from patient to patient. One can expect generalized soreness of the teeth up to several days after initial placement of the braces and after periodic adjustment appointments. Any discomfort can be easily managed with ibuprofen (Advil) or acetaminophen (Tylenol). For those individuals who are extremely sensitive, taking pain medication one hour before their scheduled appointment can be beneficial in minimizing any discomfort.
How long does it take to put the braces on my teeth?
Our office schedules 1 ½ hours for this appointment, however, it does not take us this long to put the braces on. Instructions in homecare, including proper brushing and flossing, need to be given and demonstrated.
How long will I have to wear braces?
Treatment time can vary from 12 months to 36 months, depending upon the severity of the patient’s problems. The average time in treatment is approximately 24 months. It is important that a patient is seen on a regular basis so their treatment can progress in a timely manner. If appointments are missed or rescheduled frequently, completion of treatment can be extended unnecessarily.
How much do braces cost?
Cost of treatment depends upon the severity of the patient’s problems and the length of time necessary to correct those problems. An initial examination is necessary to determine what problems exist and what treatment is best to correct these problems. During the initial appointment, the total cost of your treatment and financial options will be discussed. We do offer interest-free monthly payment plans and will file claims for any orthodontic insurance benefits you may have.

We are in-network providers for many insurance carriers. This means we abide by the insurance company’s fee schedule, not ours. So in addition to the orthodontic insurance benefit that you may have to help pay for your braces, you also get a preferred treatment fee instead of the usual and customary fee from an out-of-network orthodontist. Please see the list of insurance carriers we are in network with.

Please note: Most orthodontic benefits are designated as a “maximum lifetime benefit”, meaning the benefit amount is the most that can be received over one’s lifetime and is NOT a yearly benefit. Also, benefits are generally paid out over the estimated time in treatment and are NOT paid in a lump sum. If you change jobs or your company changes insurance carriers, benefit payments to us will stop and the entire benefit may not have been paid to us. You will be responsible for any estimated insurance left unpaid. Please remember that your insurance is a contract between you and your insurance carrier, not between us and them. We will make every effort to get the maximum orthodontic benefit you have coming from your insurance carrier.

When should I see the orthodontist about getting braces?
The American Association of Orthodontists recommends an evaluation as early as age 7. By this age, a number of permanent teeth have erupted and allows us to effectively assess the orthodontic condition of the patient. Growth and dental development problems can be identified and treated early before they become more serious. If early treatment is not indicated, the patient’s growth and dental development can be monitored on a periodic basis and orthodontic treatment can begin at the appropriate time as deemed ready by the orthodontist.

Some reasons for seeing an orthodontist include, but are not limited to: crowding, early loss of baby teeth, retention of baby teeth, extra teeth, overbite, under bite, protruding teeth, gaps between teeth, mouth breathing, thumb-sucking, open bite, teeth not erupting, and a bite that doesn’t feel right. Of course, any concerns you or your dentist may have can and should be evaluated. Please call our office to schedule a complementary evaluation appointment.

Some adult patients are reluctant to seek orthodontic treatment because they think they are too old for treatment. Nothing could be further from the truth. Many orthodontic practices are seeing an increase in the number of adults seeking treatment. Some adults had previous treatment as a teenager and now have a recurrent problem or new concerns. Others never had treatment because their parents couldn’t afford it or didn’t think having straight teeth was important. For those patients concerned about wearing metal braces, we have cosmetic options available such as ceramic or clear braces, InvisAlign, and Clear Correct. In our practice, we have treated many adult patients, giving them a beautiful smile and a new-found confidence.

When something goes wrong with my braces, is it an emergency? What can go wrong?
In general, there are very few orthodontic emergencies. A true emergency would be associated with severe pain, swelling, or uncontrolled bleeding. Most orthodontic problems are not of this nature.
Some orthodontic problems that may arise include: a loose brace, loose band, broken band, a wire that pokes, a broken wire, and broken or loose appliances. These problems can be managed with pain medication such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen if needed. Wax can be used to put over a poking wire or a loose brace that is rubbing the gums. If you call our office during the work week, we can generally see you and take care of the problem that same day. For some problems, such as a loose bracket, we can schedule an appointment to get it glued back on the tooth.
During orthodontic treatment, it is important to visit your dentist on a regular basis for an exam and cleaning. It is also very important to maintain excellent oral hygiene that includes daily tooth brushing and flossing to keep the gums and teeth healthy. Decalcification of the enamel, cavities, periodontal or gum problems can arise if optimal hygiene is not maintained.
How flexible are appointment times?
Our office hours are: Monday-Thursday; 8:00 AM-5:00 PM. We do NOT have appointments on Fridays or Saturdays. Appointments one hour or longer are scheduled in the mornings or early afternoon. Periodic adjustment appointments, which are 30 minutes or less, will be scheduled throughout the day. We will try to accommodate your schedule with ours as best we can. We cannot guarantee after-school appointments for every patient. There will be times when your child will miss some school, but we will try to minimize the time missed as best we can.

Please call us today for more information!