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Orthodontic FAQs

Below is a list of frequently asked questions regarding orthodontics and the various forms of treatments. If you have a question that is not addressed below, please feel free to contact us.

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General FAQs

What are the benefits of orthodontics?

  • A more attractive smile
  • Better function of the teeth
  • Increase in self-confidence
  • Reduced appearance-consciousness during critical development years
  • Increased ability to clean the teeth
  • Improved force distribution and wear patterns of the teeth
  • Better long-term health of teeth and gums
  • Guide permanent teeth into more favorable positions
  • Reduce the risk of injury to protruding front teeth
  • Aid in optimizing other dental treatment

What are some signs that braces may be needed?

  • Upper-front teeth protrude excessively over the lower teeth, or are bucked
  • Upper-front teeth cover the majority of the lower teeth when biting together (deep bite)
  • Upper-front teeth are behind or inside the lower-front teeth (underbite)
  • The upper and lower-front teeth do not touch when biting together (open bite)
  • Crowded or overlapped teeth
  • The center of the upper and lower teeth do not line up
  • Finger- or thumb-sucking habits which continue after six or seven years old
  • Difficulty chewing
  • Teeth wearing unevenly or excessively
  • The lower jaw shifts to one side or the other when biting together
  • Spaces between the teeth

Is it required that my family dentist schedule my appointment with the orthodontist?

No, it is not. Many of our patients are referred by their family dentist, yet many other patients take the initiative to schedule an examination themselves.

Should I see my general dentist while I have braces?

Yes, you should continue to see your general dentist every six months for cleanings and dental checkups.

At what age should orthodontic treatment occur?

Orthodontic treatment can be started at any age. Many orthodontic problems are easier to correct if detected at an 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 that every child first visit an orthodontist by age seven or earlier if a problem is detected by parents, the family dentist or the child’s physician.

Is it too late to have braces if I am already an adult?

A surprising percentage of our patients are adults. In fact, 25 percent of all orthodontic patients are over 18 years of age. Health, happiness and self-esteem are vitally important to adults. No patient is “too old” to wear braces!

How does orthodontic treatment work?

Braces use steady gentle pressure to gradually move teeth into their proper positions. The brackets that are placed on your teeth and the arch wire that connects them are the main components. When the arch wire is placed into the brackets, it tries to return to its original shape. As it does so, it applies pressure to move your teeth to their new, more ideal positions.

How long does orthodontic treatment take?

Treatment times vary on a case-by-case basis, but the average time is from one to two years. Actual treatment time can be affected by rate of growth, and severity of the correction necessary. Treatment length is also dependent upon patient compliance. Maintaining good oral hygiene and keeping regular appointments are important in keeping treatment time on schedule.

What is Phase I Treatment?

Phase I, or early interceptive treatment, is limited orthodontic treatment (i.e. expander or partial braces) before all of the permanent teeth have erupted. Such treatment can occur between the ages of six and ten. This treatment is sometimes recommended to make more space for developing teeth, correction of cross bites, overbites, under bites, or harmful oral habits and sometimes to reduce spacing. Phase II treatment is also called comprehensive treatment, because it involves full braces when all of the permanent teeth have erupted, usually between the ages of eleven and thirteen.

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 “growth and developmental phase” during which growth and tooth eruption are closely monitored. Throughout this period, parents and patients will be kept informed of future treatment recommendations.

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. Dr. Szymanowski has extensive and specialized training that enables him to provide professional, personalized treatments.

Early Treatment

Braces

Invisalign

Invisalign Teen

Adult Treatment

Incognito

Insignia

AcceleDent

What is Acceledent and how does it work?

AcceleDent utilizes micropulse technology to speed up the orthodontic process. By placing the mouthpiece, which has been formed to fit around your existing orthodontics, in your mouth and turning on the activator for 20 minutes a day, you can speed up the process of getting a beautiful smile by up to 50%, with the added bonus of making your treatment schedule more comfortable as well.

Is it safe?

Of course! AcceleDent has been demonstrated as safe and reliable in clinical trials in the U.S. It has been classified as a Class II medical device by the FDA and fully approved for use.

Will using Acceledent decrease my treatment time?

Clinical trials an research have shown that by augmenting your orthodontic treatment with AcceleDent, you can speed up your tooth movement time by 50%, drastically cutting down total treatment time as well as the number of appointments you’ll have to attend.

Can I wear it overnight?

No. You should NOT wear or try to use AcceleDent while sleeping.

When should I recharge my Acceledent unit?

Recharge your AcceleDent Activator every three days, or when the battery indicator lights are no longer visible.

Is this treatment eligible under my HSA?

Though AcceleDent may be eligible under your HSA, consult your HSA administrator to be sure.

Retention

Orthognathic Surgery