If you are looking into orthodontic treatment, you probably have some questions. Here are some answers to some of the most frequently asked questions to help get you started on your research. Our office staff is available to answer any additional questions you may have.
Is There A Difference Between A Dentist And An Orthodontist?
Yes! Every orthodontist is also a dentist, but not every dentist is an orthodontist. Orthodontics is one of the specialties of dentistry that requires additional education and training after dental school. This additional work provides the orthodontist with additional training on the science behind moving teeth and provides practical knowledge to provide the best care for future patients.
When Should My Child First See An Orthodontist?
While most people picture teens in braces, the ideal time to see an orthodontist is actually the age of seven. This is because at this age there should be a mix of baby teeth and permanent teeth, and the orthodontist can see how the smile is taking shape. We can examine jaw growth and look for any inconsistencies that may require intervention. However, orthodontic treatment can be completed at any age, so whether you are seven or 57, we can provide you with the smile of your dreams.
What Are My Treatment Options?
The treatment options that will be right for you will be determined after a comprehensive exam, paired with X-rays and digital images. We offer cutting-edge treatment options that include:
- Clear braces
- Traditional metal braces
- Self-ligating braces
- Lingual braces
How Long Will I Be in Treatment?
Unfortunately, there is no cut-and-dry answer to this question. Treatment times vary based on the age you are when you begin treatment, the type of treatment you choose, as well as the severity of your issue. Different people respond to treatment differently, so we can provide an estimate of how long we expect treatment to take at your initial consultation.
Does Orthodontic Treatment Hurt?
Your teeth are guided to their new locations, which leads to some sensitivity comparable to mild exercise soreness. It will take a few days for your mouth to get used to your braces, but knowing what to expect can help. We take every step we can to ease our patients into treatment and our patients report being accustomed to treatment within a few days. Warm salt water rinses and over-the-counter pain medications can help ease any discomfort or sensitivity. You can also use orthodontic wax to help while your mouth gets used to your appliance.
Do I Still Need To See My Dentist While I’m in Treatment?
Yes, you still need to maintain all general dentistry appointments. Caring for your smile is important, and never more so than while in orthodontic treatment. Healthy teeth and gums are an important component to your treatment, so continue to see your general dentist for regular cleanings and checkups.
Will Braces Tmpact My Life?
Braces will certainly play a new role in your life, but in no time, you’ll be a pro. The level of impact is dependent on the treatment you choose. Invisalign requires the highest degree of patient compliance because the aligners are removable. It’s important to follow all instructions provided by your orthodontist to keep your treatment on track. Once you’ve gotten your rhythm down, it will seem like your treatment has always been a part of your life. And then in no time, you’ll be finished and ready to enjoy your new smile!
Aren’t Braces Only Cosmetic?
You may think you don’t need a straight smile, so, therefore, can skip orthodontic treatment. But, our treatment goes much beyond just the cosmetic. Malocclusions (unhealthy bites) don’t just cause misaligned teeth – they also can lead to other dental issues such as decay and gum disease. That’s because crowded and misaligned teeth can be harder to keep clean, making you more susceptible to cavities and gingivitis. Additionally, a bad bite can lead to teeth that chip, crack or break from uneven amounts of pressure when you bite down, not to mention jaw pain in some cases and headaches. Orthodontic treatment can prevent and improve oral health in a number of ways.