Frequently Asked Questions
What is an orthodontist?
An orthodontist is a dentist who has attended a specialty educational program for advanced dental specialty training for a period of two or three years. This additional training gives us a thorough understanding of growth and development, and of the fundamentals of orthodontic treatment planning.
What is the appropriate age for a child to begin orthodontic treatment?
The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that all patients be seen for an orthodontic evaluation by age 7. Many severe problems can be prevented from fully developing by initiating early orthodontic treatment (age 7-9 years old).
What happens if a patient is not ready for treatment?
We place all patients who are not ready into our “Orthodontic Guidance Program.” This allows patients to be recalled to our office periodically in order to assess their status in terms of orthodontic development.
What is Phase I Treatment?
Interceptive or early treatment is initiated at 7 to 9 years of age for severe bite problems. Some problems must be treated at a younger age to produce the best orthodontic result. If a severe problem is delayed to a later age, a complete correction may not be possible. Early orthodontic treatment can sometimes avoid extractions of permanent teeth and may produce a more stable result. Phase I treatment typically lasts for about 12 months followed by retainers for several years until all permanent teeth erupt. Most patients require comprehensive treatment at approximately age 12 to finish the correction of the bite problem.
How long do I have to wear braces?
Many factors determine the length of treatment, such as the severity of the bite problem, the patient’s response to treatment and the patient’s cooperation during treatment. You may be surprised to hear that age is not a major factor. Although some minor problems may be resolved in less than a year, most orthodontic cases require approximately two years for completion.
Do braces hurt?
Technological advances in orthodontic care have made treatment more comfortable for our patients. The orthodontic braces are smaller and smoother, plus gentle wires provide continuous light forces over a long period of time. Typically, you will not experience any discomfort while you are in our office, but will experience some discomfort for two or three days after each adjustment. Over-the-counter pain relievers can be taken for sore teeth.
How long do I have to wear my retainers?
Throughout your life your teeth are always moving, even if you never had braces. It happens more in some people than in others. For this reason, we usually recommend wearing retainers for as long as you can. Usually we have our patients wear retainers full-time for six to twelve months and then on a night-time basis.
Can a retainer correct the alignment of my teeth?
Retainers are used most commonly to hold teeth in place following orthodontic treatment. In cases of mild tooth malpositions, removable retainers can be used to align the teeth. We will determine if you are a candidate for a retainer treatment at your initial consultation.
My dentist said that she can do Invisalign for me - why should I come to see you?
Whether you're considering clear aligners or traditional braces, our orthodontists have the training, experience and treatment options to make sure you get your best smile. Dr. Weintraub and Dr. Eltink have several years of additional education and training beyond dental school to treat all of our patients to the very best orthodontic results. More information about the differences between a dentist and an orthodontist can be found here: https://www.aaoinfo.org/
Am I too old to have braces?
Absolutely not! Over 15% of our patients are adults, and that percentage is growing. Many people think that teeth cannot be moved in adult patients. This is definitely not true. In fact, in many cases they move even better, as adults tend to be more cooperative than some of our younger patients.
How much will treatment cost?
Costs for orthodontic treatment vary according to the severity of the problem and the length and complexity of the treatment. All treatment fees as well as the payment options will be explained thoroughly at the initial consultation appointment.
Will insurance pay for orthodontic treatment?
Many patients have orthodontic benefits as a part of their dental plan. Orthodontic insurance generally differs form regular dental insurance in that each insured individual usually has a lifetime maximum benefit for orthodontic treatment. We will be happy to help you with your insurance needs.
What are your infection control policies?
You will notice that our doctors and staff members wear protective gloves and face masks while treating patients. This is done for your protection and to minimize the risk of disease transmission. All of our instruments are fully heat sterilized between all patients. Our heat sterilizers are tested weekly by an independent testing service to assure that the equipment is functioning correctly.