Your Questions

What Is Orthodontics? 

Orthodontics is the branch of dentistry that specializes in the diagnosis, prevention and treatment of dental and facial irregularities. Braces and other similar treatments are appliances used to make these corrections.

Is A Referral Necessary?

No, a referral isn’t necessary. We highly encourage you to come in on your own for a consultation or at the recommendation of your dentist.

I Got A Seond Opinion And The Two Orthodontists Suggested Different Treatments…Why?

One of the most confusing things about getting more than one orthodontic consultation (a second opinion) is that two seemingly qualified doctors can offer such different approaches to the same problem. Not only are their treatment plans different, but many times they even disagree about the best time to start treatment. Why this disagreement and what should you do with your child? Many approaches may be taken to correct a malocclusion. Some treatments involve an early stage or interceptive stage of treatment to attempt to prevent the problem from worsening. Two-phase early treatment as opposed to one-phase comprehensive treatment is often presented as options.

Having treated thousands of patients over more than 20 years, our typical orthodontic patient will usually have braces on 12 to 24 months (depending upon complexity). Very few problems require longer than this. Extended treatment times not only frustrate patients and their parents, and they are also bad for the teeth.

Every patient is different, and each orthodontist has unique training, experience, and treatment goals. There is nothing wrong with questioning your doctor’s rationale, especially when it comes to treatment timing. If you receive different opinions from two doctors about the same patient, ask them each to explain their recommendations. The appropriate treatment, provided at the appropriate time, is the best recipe for a happy patient.

Will MY Child’s Mouth Change With Grwoth And Interfere With The Orthodontic Treatment?

The jaws do not increase in actual space for permanent teeth past the age of eight. In a normal growth pattern the upper and lower jaws grow forward as a unit (growth center at the joint). As long as the upper teeth overlap enough, the upper jaw will naturally grow forward with the lower jaw. Crowded teeth may only become more crowded over time.

Should Wisdom Teeth (Third Molar) Be Removed?

Your orthodontist in consultation with your family dentist can determine what is right for you. Often, yes, the wisdom teeth need to be removed, but it usually has little to do with orthodontic treatment and more just to do with the natural growth of the mouth. Orthodontic treatment does not increase the incidence to keep or remove wisdom teeth.

How Can I Tell If My Child Needs Orthodontic Treatment? 

It is usually pretty hard for you to determine if treatment is necessary because there are lots of problems that can happen even though the front teeth look straight. On the other hand, there are some problems that look intimidating and complex which will resolve on their own. It always makes the most sense to go into an orthodontist and ask for a consultation.

Can You Be Too Old For Braces?

No, age is not a factor, only the health of your gums and bone which support your teeth. About 25% of our orthodontic patients are adults and that number is still growing!

How Long Would I Have To Wear Braces?

That depends a lot on you and how bad your bite is to begin with. The better you are about wearing and taking care of your braces, the sooner your teeth will improve.

What Are The Early Symptoms Of Orthodontic Problems?

Although determining if treatment is necessary is difficult for you to assess, the following symptoms may help in prompting you to seek our orthodontic advice:

Ask your child to open their mouth, and let you look at their teeth. If you see any signs of crooked teeth, gaps between your child’s teeth or overlapping teeth, your child may need orthodontic treatment.

Ask your child to bite all the way down, but keeping their lips open so you can see their teeth. Do the front top teeth line up with the bottom? Do the top teeth protrude out away from the bottom teeth? Do the top front teeth cover more than 50% of the bottom teeth? Are the top teeth behind the bottom teeth?

Look at the alignment of your child’s jaw. Does the jaw shift off center when your child bites down? If you are unsure about any of the answers to these questions, you should bring your child to an orthodontist for a consultation.

At What Age Should My Child Be Seen By An Orthodontist?

Orthodontists recommend that your child be evaluated by age seven. Early detection of some orthodontic problems is important in order to take early corrective action and avoid more difficult treatment later.

Will It Hurt?

Orthodontic treatment has improved dramatically. As a rule, braces make your teeth sore for a few days, but it is not painful. This discomfort can be relieved with an over-the-counter pain reliever.