Frequently Asked Questions about Braces
Is it required my family dentist refer me to an orthodontist?
No, it is not. While many of our patients are referred by their family dentist, many take the initiatives to contact our office directly.
What is orthodontics?
Orthodontics is a specialty within dentistry. Its focus is on the diagnosis, prevention and treatment of teeth and facial abnormalities.
What is the difference between an orthodontist and a dentist?
An orthodontist is a dentist that has received 2-3 more years of full-time training in orthodontics resulting in a nationally accepted specialty certificate. The orthodontist then limits and focuses his / her practice to straightening teeth and correcting jaw problems.
At what age should orthodontic treatment occur?
Orthodontic treatment can be started at any age. Many orthodontic problems are easier to correct if detected early and before pubertal growth slows down. The American Association of Orthodontists recommends an orthodontic screening at age 7 or earlier if a problem is detected by parents, family dentists or the child’s physician.
Would an adult benefit from orthodontic treatment?
Absolutely. A growing number of our patients are adult. Invisalign® and cosmetic appliances are making adult treatment more comfortable and popular.
Will my teeth straighten as they grow?
No, they will not. The room available for your front teeth does not increase as you grow. In most people, as permanent molars grow into the mouth, the room available becomes less.
What are some possible benefits of orthodontic treatment?
When teeth are straightened by orthodontic treatment, food is less likely to be trapped around teeth. It also makes brushing and flossing much easier, which improves the long-term health of the teeth and gum. The benefits of positive self-esteems are immeasurable.
What is Phase I (early) orthodontic treatment?
Phase I or early treatment is performed at an early age when there are still multiple baby teeth in the mouth to address and improve harmful bite problems. Examples of harmful bite problems that should be considered for early treatment are severe underbite, large overbite, crossbite and severely crowded teeth. Some patients who receive Phase I treatment do not require further treatment during adolescent years while others may benefit from further treatment in adolescent years.
What is Phase II treatment?
Phase II treatment is the conventional adolescent orthodontic treatment. It may start when the last baby teeth are falling out and continue until the 12 year adult molars have been evaluated and straightened. The average treatment length for Phase II lasts about 1.5 to 2 years.
How do dental braces work?
Braces use brackets and wires to place gentle and continuous pressure to gradually move teeth into their proper positions. The brackets are glued onto your teeth and when the wire is placed into the brackets, the wire tries to return to its original shape, thereby moving the teeth into more ideal position.
Do dental braces hurt?
When braces are placed on your teeth, it does not hurt. Once your braces are placed and connected by the wire, you may feel soreness around your teeth for 3-5 days. Your lips and cheeks may need one week to get used to the braces in your mouth.
How long does orthodontic treatment take?
Treatment times vary on a case by case basis. The average treatment time is from 1.5 to 2 years, with complex cases sometimes requiring 2.5 to 3 years. The treatment length is also affected by patient compliance and growth.
Should I continue seeing my family dentist while wearing dental braces?
Yes. You should continue seeing your family dentist for routine check-ups and cleaning.
Will dental braces interfere with playing sports?
No, it will not. It is recommended, however, patients protect their smile by wearing a mouth guard when participating in any sporting activity.
Will dental braces interfere with playing music instrument?
There would be an initial period of adjustment but braces do not interfere with playing music instrument.
How do I schedule my free orthodontic consultation?
If you or your child can potentially benefit from orthodontic treatment, please call our office at 403-984-9194. Alternatively, you can fill out the appointment request form online. We will be happy to schedule an appointment for you.