- What is an orthodontist?
- What is the appropriate age for a child to begin orthodontic treatment?
- Am I too old to have braces?
- How much do braces cost?
- Will insurance pay for orthodontic care?
- Do braces hurt?
- Can a retainer correct the alignment of my teeth?
- How long do I wear my retainers?
- Can I be assured that all instruments are sterilized and that there is adequate infection control?
- How long do I have to wear braces?
- What is Phase I treatment?
- What is Phase II orthodontic treatment?
1. 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. If the orthodontist is a member of the American Association of Orthodontists, you can be assured they have received the appropriate training.
2. 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 examination by age 7. Many severe problems can be prevented from fully developing by initiating early orthodontic treatment (age 7 to 9 years old). It is best to be seen by an orthodontist at or before age 7 to determine if they have orthodontic problems and when would be the appropriate time for the orthodontist to intervene with treatment of these problems.
3. Am I too old for braces?
Believe it or not, 25 percent of our patients are adults and the number is growing. Many patients think that teeth cannot be moved with adult patients. This is definitely not true. In fact, in many cases they move even better, because adults tend to be more cooperative than some of our younger patients.
4. How much do braces cost?
Costs for orthodontic treatment vary according to the severity of the problem and the length and complexity of treatment. Fees plus arrangements for payments are fully discussed at the consultation appointment.
5. Will insurance pay for orthodontic care?
Many patients have orthodontic benefits as part of their dental plan. Please check with your insurance or benefits manager as to the extent of your coverage. Not all patients with dental coverage have orthodontic coverage. Orthodontic insurance generally differs from regular dental insurance in that each insured individual usually has a lifetime maximum benefit for orthodontic services. This benefit is paid as a percentage of the orthodontic fee until the benefit maximum has been reached. Our office is glad to help you with your insurance needs.
6. Do braces hurt?
Dr. Mariani is using the most current technology for orthodontic movement of teeth. These latest technological advances have made treatment more comfortable for patients. These orthodontic braces are smaller and smoother, plus gentle wires provide continuous light forces over a longer period of time. Typically, the patient is not uncomfortable while in the office but will experience some discomfort for two to three days after each adjustment. Over-the-counter pain relievers can be taken for sore teeth.
7. Can a retainer correct the alignment of my teeth?
Retainers are designed primarily to “retain” teeth in the position they have been moved to following orthodontic treatment. It is possible to produce some slight movement of teeth with a retainer. When braces are removed, all patients receive a retainer to hold their teeth in position. The teeth tend to shift back towards the original problem when retainers are not worn.
8. How long do I wear my retainers?
Throughout life, your teeth are always moving, even if you have never had braces. It happens more in some people than others. For this reason, we recommend wearing retainers as long as you can. Usually, we have patients wear retainers full-time for 6 to 12 months and then on a night-time basis.
9. Can I be assured that all instruments are sterilized and that there is adequate infection control?
You will notice that the doctor and chairside assistants wear rubber gloves whenever treating patients. This is done for your protection and to minimize the risk of disease transmission. All instruments are full heat-sterilized between all patients. Our heat sterilizer is tested by an independent testing service to ensure that the equipment is functioning perfectly for all of our patients.
10. How long do I have to wear braces?
Many factors determine length of treatment, such as bite problem, response to treatment and cooperation on the part of the patient. You may be surprised to hear that age is not a major factor. Although some minor tooth movement can be resolved in less than a year, complex cases may need two to three years for completion.
11. What is Phase I treatment?
Interceptive or early orthodontic 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 can produce a more stable result. Phase I treatment is typically for 12 to 18 months, followed by retainers for several years until all permanent teeth erupt. Most patients require Phase II (full braces) at approximately age 12 to finish the correction of the bite problem.
12. What is Phase II orthodontic treatment?
Sixteen new permanent teeth will have erupted between the age of 10 to 12 years old. At approximately age 12, Dr. Mariani will recommend complete diagnostic records to determine the extent, method and costs of Phase II treatment. The extent of Phase II treatment can range from new retainers up to full braces for 1 to 2 years to finish correction of the bite problem.