What is the difference between a Dentist and Orthodontist?
A dentist is similar to your family doctor-great for check-ups and filling cavities. An orthodontist is a specialist who has two to three years of additional education and is an expert in straightening your teeth and choosing the treatment option that’s best for you. Although it is legal for a dentist to provide Invisalign or braces, people should research the qualifications of their doctor before starting any type of orthodontic treatment to make sure they will receive the outcome they deserve.
What is the best age to see an orthodontist?
If you want to improve the look and feel of your smile, then any age can be a great age to see the orthodontist. The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that children first visit an orthodontist around the age of seven; however, orthodontic treatment is not exclusive to children and teens, with about one in every four orthodontic patients being over the age of 21. Whether you’re considering treatment for yourself or for a child, any time is a good time to visit the orthodontist.
Why should a child have an initial orthodontic check-up?
The AAO recommends that your child get an orthodontic check-up no later than age 7. By this age, Dr Petra can spot problems with jaw growth and emerging teeth while some baby teeth are still present. That’s important because some orthodontic problems are most easily corrected while the child is still growing. If these problems are found early and treated, we could eliminate the possible need for extractions or surgery in the future. Most orthodontic patients begin active treatment between ages 9 and 14.
Do I need a referral from my dentist to schedule my appointment?
No! While many of our patients are referred by their family dentist, equally as many of our patients take the initiative to schedule an examination or check-up themselves.
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.
What will happen at the initial examination appointment?
Upon arriving, each patient and parent will be seen by Dr Petra. We will take the necessary photographs and X-rays to allow us to make a proper diagnosis. Doctor Petra will then complete a brief, but thorough, exam. If you are ready we would be happy to make every effort to get you started right away!
How long will I be in braces?
Treatment time obviously depends on each patient’s specific orthodontic needs. In general, treatment time lasts from 6 months to 30 months and varies based on individual treatment complexity, needs, and personal treatment goals.
Will braces hurt?
Orthodontic treatment has come a long way in recent years. New technology allows us to use lighter forces to move the teeth over a much shorter amount of time. You can expect the braces to make your teeth sore for a few days after they are placed and after each adjustment. These adjustments will make you more conscious of your teeth, but they should not be painful. This annoyance can be relieved with an over-the-counter pain reliever (use as directed). Today’s braces are smaller, more comfortable and use technology that reduces the discomfort. We use the latest in technology in order to reduce discomfort and treatment time.
How do I know if my child needs orthodontic treatment?
It is usually difficult for you to determine if treatment is necessary because there are many problems that can occur even though the front teeth look straight. Also, there are some problems that look intimidating and complex which will resolve on their own. Asking your general dentist is a good reference, but we are your best resource since orthodontics is all we do.
How much does treatment cost?
The cost of orthodontic treatment will depend on many factors, including the severity of the problem, its complexity and length of treatment. Patients are finding that braces are more affordable today than ever.
Why is treatment so important?
Crooked and crowded teeth are hard to clean and maintain. A bad bite can also cause abnormal wear of tooth surfaces, difficulty in chewing and/or speaking, and excess stress on supporting bone and gum tissue. Without treatment, many problems become worse and can require additional dental care later in life.
How long do I have to wear retainers after treatment?
Dr Petra will recommend how long to continue wearing your retainers, whether they are removable (the kind you put in and take out) or fixed (bonded behind your teeth). Wearing your retainers as prescribed is the best way to keep your teeth from moving after your orthodontic treatment. There are many reasons teeth may move following orthodontic treatment. Teeth are not set in concrete, they are set in bone. The bone around your teeth is continually changing (breaking down and rebuilding), and this could mean your teeth will shift after your braces are removed. By wearing your retainers, your teeth are more likely to remain where Dr. Petra has placed them.
Will my braces interfere with my school activities like sports, playing an instrument, or singing?
Playing an instrument or a contact sport may require some adjustment when you first get your braces, but wearing braces will not stop you from participating in any of your school activities. If you play a contact sport, it is recommended that you wear a mouth guard to protect your braces or appliance.
Do I need to see my 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.