Below are some of the most frequently asked questions patients have about orthodontics or orthodontic issues. If you have any other questions, or would like to schedule an appointment, we would love to hear from you.
Q: What is the cost of orthdontic treatment?
A: The cost of orthodontic treatment will vary according to a patient’s needs. The out-of-pocket cost will also vary according to the patient’s insurance coverage. To receive the most accurate pricing, we offer free consultations for all new patients. The doctor will be able to assess the patient’s need at this appointment and tailor a treatment plan that best meets your chief concerns and needs. We will also give you an estimate for the cost of treatment and verify your insurance benefits at this initial visit.
Q: What insurance plans do you accept?
A: We accept all PPO plans and also a small number of DMO plans. We also offer special pricing for patients enrolled in the CHIPs program. Please contact our office and our friendly staff will help you to determine if we accept your insurance and schedule an appointment for you.
Q: What kind of payment options does your offfice offer?
A:We offer in-office interest free financing with no additional fees. All we require is a small initial deposit and the rest can be financed over the period of treatment. We will set this up as an automatic monthly credit/debit/bank draft. We offer several different monthly payment options or will customize to suit your needs.
We accept Mastercard, Visa, Discover, cash and personal checks. Patients may also take advantage of third party financing such as CareCredit.
Q: What is an FSA?
A: FSA, also known as a Flexible Spending Account, are offered through most employers. Employees are allowed to set aside an amount of pre-tax dollars into an account for use in paying qualifying medical/dental expenses. Paying through an FSA makes it possible to reduce out-of-pocket costs by nearly one third, because the money that goes into the FSA acouunt is untaxed. Our staff can help to determine exactly how much money to set aside for your orthodontic treatment, so that all available funds will be used by the end of the year. Please contact your Human Resources Department for more information.
Q: At what age should I start looking into braces for my child?
A: The American Association of Orthodontists (AAO) recommends to have your child evaluated by an orthodontist by age 7. We like to see children at this age to intercept any potential problems that may develop as the new adult teeth are pushing through (front teeth and first permanent molars). The majority of these patients will not require any treatment at this time, but it would be beneficial to be seen by the doctor in order to determine if early treatment is necessary or if treatment will be required in the future.
Q: How long will I have to wear braces?
A: Treatment time will vary depending on the individual needs of the patient and the complexity of the case. Minor cases can be corrected in as little as a few months, more complex cases can take up to 3 years. The average amount of time of orthodontic treatment is 1.5-2 years. The best way to determine your treatment needs is to schedule an appointment with our office for a free, complimentary consultation.
Q: Do braces hurt?
A: No! Braces do not hurt. The discomfort experienced during orthodontic treatment is comparable to muscle soreness. Patients can expect tenderness while eating for typically 2-3 days (up to 1-2 weeks) following initial placement and after adjustments. Soft tissues of the mouth (i.e. lips, tongue, cheeks, and gums) may also need to adjust to the brackets and bands (braces). More specific information on this can be found on our webpage under the “About Braces” tab.
Q: How long and how often will my appointments be?
A: The frequency of your appointments will vary. Typically, once the braces are placed, patients are seen every 4-8 weeks and these appointments will last anywhere from 10-30 minutes. Lengthier appointments are required when the braces are initially placed and when the braces are ultimately removed. These longer appointments are usually 1-2 hours in length.
Q: How often do I need to see my general dentist once my braces are on?
A: Patients should continue to see their general dentist throughout the course of their orthodontic treatment. We recommend regular check-ups every 6 months, if not more often, for periodic exams and cleanings. It is extremely important that you keep up with your regular visits to the general dentist to ensure no new cavities are developing and to help maintain healthy gums during your orthodontic treatment.
Q: How often should I brush and floss?
A: Brushing and flossing help control the plaque and bacteria that cause dental disease. You should brush your teeth at least twice a day, once in the morning when you wake-up and once before you go to sleep at night. We also recommend that you floss your teeth once a day. This will help eliminate plaque and help maintain healthy teeth and gums during your orthodontic treatment.
Plaque is a film of food debris, bacteria, and saliva that sticks to the teeth and gums. The bacteria in plaque convert certain food particles into acids that cause tooth decay. Also, if plaque is not removed, it turns into calculus (tartar). If plaque and calculus are not removed, they begin to destroy the gums and bone, causing periodontal (gum) disease.
Plaque formation and growth is continuous and can only be controlled by regular brushing, flossing, and the use of other dental aids. Please click on “About Braces” tab for more information about maintaining your orthodontic appliances.
Q: What foods can I eat once my braces are on?
A: We recommend patients avoid excessively hard, sticky, crunchy, and chewy foods. Food should be cut into smaller pieces and should be chewed with the molar teeth towards the back of the mouth. Patients should also avoid an excessive amount of carbonated and sugared beverages, because the risk of cavities increases during orthodontic treatment. Patients should avoid bad habits such as fingernail biting, chewing on pens, pencils, or anything else which may cause damage to or breakage of the brackets (braces).
Q: My child has a wire poking or a loose bracket/band. Should I bring them in?
A: In this situation, it is best to call the office and speak with a staff member to determine if it is necessary to come in right away or if a temporary fix can be done at home. If either of these is a result of an impact injury, it is important to be seen as soon as possible by us, your general dentist or another health professional.