Is it required that I be referred by my family dentist to schedule an appointment?
No, it is not. Most of our patients are referred by their family dentist; however, many patients are concerned about their health and appearance, and take the initiative to schedule themselves for an examination to have their need for orthodontic care evaluated.
Why is orthodontics important?
An attractive smile and improved self-image is just one of the benefits of orthodontic treatment. Without treatment, orthodontic problems can lead to tooth decay, gum disease, bone destruction, chewing and digestive difficulties, speech impairments, tooth loss and other dental injuries.
What are the benefits of braces?
Having straight teeth that fit together properly improves function and your teeth and jaw joints can work more effectively. Straight teeth make it easier for you and your dental team to keep them clean. If you ever need a filling, crown or bridge, your dentist can usually do better restoration if the teeth are aligned properly. The appearance and teeth and face is improved. Having a pleasant smile improves self-esteem, confidence and a feeling of acceptance in our daily activities.
At what age should orthodontic treatment occur?
Often, orthodontic treatment is most efficiently completed as the adult teeth are coming into the mouth. However, many orthodontic problems are easier to correct if detected at any early age before jaw growth has slowed. Early treatment may mean that a patient can avoid surgery and more serious complications. The American Association of Orthodontists recommends an evaluation by age 7 to determine if any problems exist that require “early” attention. After the initial exam Dr. Gill will continue to follow the patient at no additional charge for future exams.
How do I schedule an appointment for an initial exam?
If you think you or your child would benefit from orthodontic treatment, simply call our office and we will be happy to schedule an appointment for you. When you call to schedule your appointment, our front office staff will request some very basic information concerning you and your child.
What will happen at the initial examination appointment?
Upon arriving, each patient and parent will be seen by our Treatment Coordinator who will take you on a tour of our office and take x-rays including a panelipse and a set of digital photographs of the patient’s face and teeth. A thorough exam will be completed by Dr. Gill.
For a detailed “look” at your first visit, please see our First Visit Page on this site.
What will I learn from the initial examination?
There are five important questions that will be answered during the initial examination:
- Is there an orthodontic problem and, if so, what is it?
- What must be done to correct the problem, and when is the best time to start treatment?
- Will any teeth need to be removed?
- How long will the treatment take to complete?
- How much will the treatment cost? How much will insurance pay? Payment Options?
Will I have to have any teeth removed for braces?
Removing teeth is sometimes needed to get the best orthodontic result. Straight teeth and a balanced facial profile are always the goal. However, because today’s technology has resulted in advanced orthodontic procedures, the need for removing teeth has been greatly reduced.
How long will it take to complete treatment?
Treatment time obviously depends on each patient’s specific orthodontic problem. In general, treatment times range from 12 to 30 months. An “average” time a person is in braces is approximately 20 months.
How much will braces cost? Are financing options available? How does my insurance work?
It is impossible to give an exact cost for treatment until Dr. Gill has actually examined you or your child. The exact cost and financial options will be discussed at the initial examination. We have many financing options available to meet most needs and we will be happy to review them with you. We file insurance on the patient’s behalf, and also offer a cash courtesy for fees paid in full at the beginning of treatment. Proper orthodontic treatment to correct a problem is often less costly than the additional dental care required to treat the more serious problems that can develop in later years.
How often will I have appointments?
Appointments are scheduled according to each individual patient’s needs. Most patients in braces will be seen every 4 to 8 weeks. If there are specific situations that require more or less frequent monitoring, appointments will be scheduled accordingly.
Can I schedule all of my appointments after school?
Unfortunately, we cannot schedule all appointments for students during after-school hours. Some of the longer appointments such as putting braces on or taking them off are only offered during normal school hours. However, because most appointments are scheduled 4 to 8 weeks apart, most patients will miss minimal school due to orthodontic treatments. We will make a sincere effort to meet your scheduling needs.
Can I drop my child off for an appointment?
Yes. We understand your busy schedule, and we are happy to help you make the most of your time. On some occasions, we may request to speak with a parent when they return to update you on their progress.
Do braces hurt?
Generally, braces do not “hurt”. After certain visits, teeth may be sore for a few days. In these situations, pain medications such as Advil or Tylenol will ease the discomfort. However, many of our patients report very little or no discomfort after most visits.
Can I return to school the day I receive my braces?
Yes. There is no reason to miss school because of an orthodontic appointment.
Will I still be able to play sports?
Yes. We recommend a mouth guard for all sports, and can provide you with one designed for use during orthodontic treatment.
Will braces interfere with playing musical instruments?
No. However, there may be an initial period of adjustment. Drums are especially easy to adapt to!
Do you give shots?
No. Shots are not necessary in orthodontic treatment.
Do you use recycled braces?
Absolutely not! It is our belief that each patient should be provided their own braces to achieve the best orthodontic result possible.
Do I need to see my family dentist while in braces?
Yes! Regular checkups with your family dentist are important while in braces. Your family dentist will determine the intervals between cleaning appointments while you are in braces.
Are there foods I cannot eat while I have braces?
Yes. Once treatment begins, we will explain the complete instructions and provide a comprehensive list of foods to avoid. Some of those foods include: ice, hard candy, raw vegetables and all sticky foods (i.e. caramel and taffy). You can avoid most emergency appointments to repair broken or damaged braces by carefully following our instructions.
How often should I brush and floss my teeth while in braces?
Patients should brush their teeth at least four times each day: after breakfast, lunch (or as soon as they get home from school), supper and before going to bed. We will show each patient how to brush and floss their teeth with braces on.
What is an emergency appointment? How are those handled?
If your braces are causing extreme pain, or if something breaks, you should call our office. In most cases we can address these issues over the telephone. If you require an emergency appointment, we will set aside time for you.
Can orthodontic correction occur while a child has baby teeth?
Yes. Some orthodontic problems are significant enough to require early intervention. However, if a patient is not yet ready for treatment, we will follow that patient’s growth and development until the time is right for treatment to begin. There is no charge for these follow-up visits to evaluate the patient’s “progress”.
What is Phase One (early) Treatment?
Phase One treatment, when needed, is usually initiated on children between the ages of 7 and 10. Phase One treatment usually takes about 12 months. There are several primary objectives for Phase One treatment which include:
- To address significant problems early to prevent them from becoming severe corrections later.
- To develop jaws for crowding concerns and modify jaw growth for an improved jaw relationship.
- To improve self-esteem and self-image, both very important during their formative years.
- To eliminate any situations that are causing damage to the teeth (traumatic bites).
Will my child need full braces if he/she has Phase One treatment?
It is best to assume that your child will need full braces even after Phase One treatment. The period following Phase One treatment is called the “transition period,” during which growth and tooth eruption are closely monitored. Throughout this period, parents and patients will be kept informed of future treatment recommendations. Transition exams are provided at no charge.
Is it too late to have braces if I am already an adult?
A surprising percentage of our patients are adults. In fact, 25% of all orthodontic patients are adults. Health, happiness, and self-esteem are vitally important to adults. No patient is “too old” to wear braces!
Can I wear braces even though I have crowns and missing teeth?
Yes. A tooth with a crown will move just like a tooth with a simple filling. When teeth are missing, orthodontic treatment will aid in the alignment of the remaining teeth.
Why should I choose an orthodontic specialist?
Teeth, and sometimes entire facial structures, are permanently changed by orthodontic treatment. It is important that the treatment be appropriate and properly completed. Orthodontic specialists, like Dr. Gill, have extensive and specialized training that enables them to provide their patients with professional and state of the art treatments.