Answers to Common Orthodontic Questions

1.  What is orthodontics and what are the benefits of orthodontics?

Orthodontics and Dental Facial Orthopedics is a field of dentistry which helps to prevent and treat dental and facial abnormalities such as crooked teeth, bad bites, facial imbalances.

Some of the possible benefits of orthodontic care include: 

  • A beautiful, straighter smile
  • More harmonious facial balance
  • More confidence in your appearance
  • Improved function of the teeth and bite
  • Better dental hygiene and dental health of the gums and teeth
  • Less wearing of the teeth
  • Decreasing the chance of injury to front teeth that protrude from the mouth

2.  What is an orthodontist?

An orthodontist is a dental specialist who is equipped with the skills necessary to move teeth into the correct positions and to enhance dental facial growth and development.  An orthodontist has finished an additional 2-3 years of full-time specialty training after completing dental school, focusing only on the study of orthodontics and dental facial orthopedics.  Before graduating from the residency, orthodontists had to demonstrate that they could successfully diagnose and treat many patients presenting with a wide range of orthodontic and dentofacial problems.  This differs from general dentists who "practices" orthodontics or "limit their practice" to orthodontics.  These general dentists often learn orthodontic from weekend lecture seminars before practicing on their patients.  While there are many "orthodontic" societies, organizations, and designations, only members of the American Association of Orthodontists (AAO) are specialists.  Furthermore, orthodontists who are Board Certified by the American Board of Orthodontics (ABO), have had to pass additional written and oral exams and have had to present several cases that meet rigorous criteria.   

3.  Do I Need Braces?

Some key signs that you may need braces include:

  • You have crowded and crooked teeth
  • You have gaps between your teeth
  • Your bite does not look or feel right
  • Your upper teeth are behind your lower teeth when you bite down
  • Your upper front teeth cover all of your lower teeth when you bite down
  • Your teeth do not meet when you close your mouth
  • You have missing or impacted teeth

 The list continues.  Please consult us if you have concerns.

4.  At what age will my child need braces?

It depends on the presenting problems. The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that children have an orthodontic consultation by age 7. The purpose of the consultation is to identify problems early on and advise patients as to future treatment options and appropriate timing. Some problems should be corrected at a young age, most orthodontic problems are ideally treated between the ages of 10 and 14, while some cases are best left until later. At Orthodontique, we offer complimentary no-obligation screenings as a courtesy to address all your questions.

5.  Can adult have braces?

Yes! Infact, about 25% of orthodontic patients in the U.S. are adults. At Orthodontique, we treat both adults and children. We also offer Clear Braces, Invisible (Lingual) braces, and Invisalign for patients that feel self-conscious with metal braces.

6.  Can children get Invisalign?

Yes, teenagers can.  (Invisalign is not ideal for very complex orthodontic cases however.)

7.  How much do braces cost?

The cost of orthodontic treatment depends on the complexity of the case, the materials used, and length of treatment.  Please schedule a complimentary consultation to get an estimate.  At Orthodontique, we offer In-House interest free payment plans to make the cost more manageable.  Insurance benefits or other employer-sponsored payment programs, such as Flex plans, often help to make the fees more affordable.  We are In-Network with many major PPO insurance plans which has already negotiated some savings for their participants. 

8.  What kind of insurance do you accept?

We accept most major PPO's, including Aetna, BCBS, Cigna, Delta, Guardian, Humana, Met Life, United Concordia, United Healthcare, etc.  Our fees are comparable to most other insurance-contracted fees so even if we are not In-Network with your insurance, your benefits will often be the same.  We will be happy to verify your insurance for you at the consultation appointment.

9.  How does orthodontic treatment work?

There are many different types of orthodontic appliances that can be used to move teeth.  The most common is braces, but more esthetic solutions such as Invisalign can also be used.  They all work on similar principles. The appliance places gentle and continuous pressure on your teeth, which stimulates your bone cells to remodel around the roots of teeth, allowing them to move slowly.  With proper force level and guidance, the teeth will shift into the right position and create a beautiful smile.  Other appliances can modify the growth of the jaws to help achieve better facial balance and a healthy bite.

10.  How long do I have to wear braces for?

The duration of the treatment varies from case to case.  Most cases take from one to three years, with an average of two years.  Variables include your attendance record, how well you take care of your teeth and braces, how well you follow instructions given, how your teeth and jaw respond to the treatment, and so on!