1. Why should I choose an orthodontic specialist?
Teeth, and sometimes entire facial structures, are permanently changed by orthodontic treatment. It is important that the treatment be appropriate and properly completed. Orthodontic specialists have extensive and specialized training that enables them to provide their patients with professional, personalized treatments.
2. Do I need a referral from my family dentist to schedule an appointment with the orthodontist?
No, you do not. Many of our patients are referred by their family dentist, yet many other patients take the initiative to schedule an examination themselves.
3. At what age should I schedule an appointment for an orthodontic screening for my child?
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.
4. 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 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.
5. What will happen at the initial appointment?
Upon arriving, each patient and parent will be greeted by the staff and escorted into our consultation room. Dr. Simi will review the patient’s medical history and then examine his or her teeth, discussing the patient’s potential need for treatment, appropriate timing of treatment and approximate cost. Check out our “First Visit” page for more information!
6. How long will it take to complete treatment?
Treatment time depends on each patient’s specific orthodontic problem, as well as his or her cooperation in meeting treatment objectives. In general, treatment times for full orthodontic treatment range from 24-36 months
7. How much will braces cost? Are financing options available? How does my insurance work
Before giving you an estimate of the cost for treatment, Dr. Simi needs to first examine you. We have financing options available to accommodate your needs and we will review these with you. We will also review your insurance plan and help to determine your orthodontic benefit, filing claims on your behalf. More information on these topics are found on our finance page.
8. How often will I have orthodontic appointments?
Appointments are scheduled according to each patient’s needs. Most patients in braces will be seen every 5-6 weeks. If there are specific situations that require more frequent monitoring, we will schedule appointments accordingly.
9. Can I schedule all of my appointments after school?
All appointments to place braces and appliances, as well as remove them, are made during school time hours. This allows us to schedule ongoing appointments after school. Because most ongoing appointments are scheduled 5-6 weeks apart, most patients will miss minimal school due to their orthodontic treatment.
10. Do braces hurt?
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!”
11. Can I return to school the day I receive my braces?
Yes. Discomfort should not be so extreme as to prevent you from returning to school.
12. Do you use recycled braces?
Absolutely not! It is our belief that each patient should be provided with their own braces to achieve the best orthodontic result possible.
13. Can I play sports while I undergo orthodontic treatment?
Yes. We recommend an orthodontic mouth guard for all sports.
14. Do I need to see my family dentist while in braces?
Yes! Regular checkups with your family dentist are important while in braces. Your family dentist will determine the intervals between cleaning appointments while you are in braces.
15. Are there foods I cannot eat while I have 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.
16. How often should I brush my teeth while in braces?
Patients should brush their teeth at least three times each day: after each meal and any sugary snacks. We will show each patient how to brush and floss their teeth with braces and provide special tools to help. We will also recommend a special fluoride as necessary.
17. 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.
18. Can orthodontic correction occur while a child has baby teeth?
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.
19. What is Phase One or “Early Treatment?”
Phase One treatment, if necessary, is usually initiated on children between the ages of 7-10 years. Phase One treatment lasts about 12 months. The primary objective of Phase One treatment is to address significant problems to prevent them from becoming more severe.
20. Will my child need full braces if they have undergone Phase One treatment?
It is best to assume that your child will need full braces even after Phase One treatment.
21. What is the purpose of a Palate Expander?
A palate expander is an appliance used to create more space in a child’s mouth by gradually widening the upper jaw. Although this may sound scary, it’s really quite easy — both to do and to tolerate. That’s because the upper jaw actually develops as two separate halves that don’t completely fuse together until sometime after puberty. Before that happens, the two bones can gently be separated and stabilized over a period of several months.
22. Is it too late to have braces as an adult?
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!
23. Can I wear braces even though I have crowns and missing teeth?
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.