- Is it required that my family dentist schedule my appointment with the orthodontist?
- At what age should I schedule an appointment for an orthodontic screening?
- Will my teeth straighten out as they grow?
- How do I schedule an appointment for an initial exam?
- What will happen at the initial examination appointment?
- What will I learn from the initial examination?
- Will I need to have teeth extracted for orthodontic treatment?
- How long will it take to complete treatment?
- How much will braces cost? Are financing options available? How does my insurance work?
- How often will I have appointments?
- Can I schedule all of my appointments after school?
- Can I drop my child off for an appointment?
- Do braces hurt?
- Can I return to school the day I receive my braces?
- Do you give shots?
- Do you use recycled braces?
- Can I still play sports?
- Do I need to see my family dentist while in braces?
- Are there foods I cannot eat while I have braces?
- How often should I brush my teeth while in braces?
- What is an emergency appointment? How are those handled?
- Can orthodontic correction occur while a child has baby teeth?
- What is Phase One (early) Treatment?
- Will my child need full braces if he/she has Phase One treatment?
- Will my child need an expander?
- Is it too late to have braces if I am already an adult?
- Can I wear braces even though I have crowns and missing teeth?
- Why should you choose an orthodontic specialist?
1. 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.
2. At what age should I schedule an appointment for an orthodontic screening?
The American Association of Orthodontists recommends an orthodontic screening at age 7. By this age, several permanent teeth in most children have erupted, allowing us to effectively evaluate your orthodontic condition.
3. Will my teeth straighten out as they grow?
No, they will not. The space available for the front teeth does not increase as you grow. In most people, after the permanent molars erupt, the space available for the front teeth decreases with age.
4. How do I schedule an appointment for an initial exam?
If you or your child can potentially benefit from orthodontic treatment, simply call our office, send us an e-mail or fill out or appointment request form online. We will be happy to schedule an appointment for you. When you call to schedule your appointment, our front office staff will request some basic information from you.
5. What will happen at the initial examination appointment?
Upon arriving, our staff will introduce you to our office and prepare for the initial exam. We will take the necessary photographs and X-rays to allow us to make a proper diagnosis. Dr. Olson will then complete a brief, but thorough, exam and clearly explain your diagnosis and treatment options, as well as the risk, benefits, and alternatives of treatment. Dr. Olson will provide an estimate of treatment time and gladly answer any questions you may have.
To read more about your first visit, see our First Visit page.
6. What will I learn from the initial examination?
There are five essential questions that we will cover during the initial examination:
- Is there an orthodontic problem, and if so, what is it?
- What must be done to correct the problem?
- What treatment options and alternatives are appropriate for your specific case?
- How long will the treatment take to complete?
- How much will the treatment cost?
7. Will I need to have teeth extracted for orthodontic treatment?
Straight teeth, a harmonious smile and a balanced facial profile are some of the primary goals of orthodontics. In certain cases, extracting teeth may have a negative impact on achieving these goals. Modern technology has enabled Dr. Olson and his staff to provide advanced orthodontic procedures and techniques, and as a result removing teeth is frequently not necessary for successful orthodontic treatment. Removing teeth in certain cases is sometimes required to achieve the best orthodontic result. Each case is unique, and Dr. Olson carefully takes into consideration your tooth position, bite, and facial profile in order to develop a treatment approach that will address your goals and best suit your orthodontic needs.
8. How long will it take to complete treatment?
Treatment time depends on numerous factors, some of which are in Dr. Olson's control, and some which are not. Orthodontic treatment requires both the patient and doctor to work together as a team. Without great compliance from the patient, treatment time may take longer than estimated. Each patient’s specific orthodontic problems impact the treatment time. In general, treatment time lasts from 8 months to 30 months. The "average" time frame a person is in orthodontic treatment is approximately 12-18 months.
We use the latest orthodontic technologies to offer our patients the most efficient treatment options possible, including the Acceledent device which has been shown to decrease both treatment time and discomfort. For more information on Acceledent, view the company website at www.acceledent.com
9. How much will braces cost? Are financing options available? How does my insurance work?
In order to provide an exact fee estimate, we need to conduct an examination and consultation with Dr. Olson. We will cover the exact cost and financial options during the initial consultation. We have several financing options available to accommodate your needs, and we will review these with you. We will also review your insurance policy and help to maximize your benefit and file your claims.
10. How often will I have appointments?
Appointments are scheduled according to each patient's needs and specific stage in treatment. We utilize technologically advanced appliances that efficiently and effectively move teeth without needing frequent adjustments - for our patients and parents this often means fewer total visits in less time than in comparable cases treated with traditional, older types of braces. Most patients in treatment will be seen every 6 to 8 weeks, with some visits at 4 week intervals. If there are specific situations that require more frequent monitoring, we will schedule appointments accordingly.
11. Can I schedule all of my appointments after school?
Your time is valuable to you, and to us! After-school/work appointments are in the greatest demand - we understand you have a life outside of our office! We do our best to accommodate an individual's scheduling needs; however, we cannot guarantee all appointments can be made after school/work. Certain procedures require longer appointment times, and these appointments are generally reserved earlier in the day. Because most appointments are scheduled 4-8 weeks apart, most patients will miss minimal school due to their orthodontic visits. Our goal is to provide the best care possible in the most efficient way - and for you that means fewer visits, less time in the dental chair, and more time smiling!
12. Can I drop my child off for an appointment?
Yes. We understand life can be busy, 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 he or she returns to our office, so we ask that parents check in with our front desk before dropping off their child.
13. 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, after most visits, patients do not feel any soreness at all! We often remind our patients, “It does not have to hurt to work!”
14. Can I return to school the day I receive my braces?
Yes. There is no reason to miss school because of an orthodontic appointment.
15. Do you give shots?
No. Shots are not necessary in orthodontic treatment.
16. Do you use recycled braces?
Absolutely not! It is our belief that each patient should be provided with his or her own braces to achieve the best orthodontic result possible. We invest in the most advance braces available in order to provide our patients with the best results possible. Once an orthodontic bracket ('brace') has been used in a patient, it develops wear and tear that may decrease its effectiveness.
17. Can I still play sports?
Yes. We recommend a mouth guard for all sports.
18. Do I need to see my family dentist while in braces?
Yes! Regular checkups with your family dentist are critically important while in treatment. Clean, healthy teeth and gums help treatment go faster, while unhealthy, inflamed gums will slow treatment down and more importantly increase risk of gum disease, cavities and white spots. Your family dentist will determine the intervals between cleaning appointments while you are in braces.
19. 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. In general, really hard, sticky and chewy foods are to be avoided. 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.
20. How often should I brush my teeth while in braces?
Patients should brush their teeth at least four times each day - after each meal and before going to bed. We will show each patient how to floss their teeth with braces and may also provide a prescription for a special fluoride, if necessary.
21. 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.
22. 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.
23. What is Phase One (early) Treatment?
The primary objective for Phase One treatment is to address significant problems to prevent them from becoming more severe and to improve self-esteem and self-image. When properly addressed in Phase One, significant problems such as severe crowding, cross-bites, and under bites can be corrected or improved so that future treatment will take less time, will be less costly, and will not require possible permanent tooth extractions or surgical interventions. Phase One treatment, if necessary, is usually initiated on children between the ages of 7 and 10. Phase One treatment usually lasts about 12-18 months. Once completed, a patient's growth and development will be monitored until he or she is ready to evaluate timing to start Phase Two of treatment - usually around the age of 12 when the 2nd molars have erupted properly.
24. 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 "resting period," during which growth and tooth eruption are closely monitored. Throughout this period, parents and patients will be kept informed of future treatment recommendations.
25. Will my child need an expander?
The use of expanders in Dr. Olson's practice is limited to a very small percentage of young children. Following the initial exam, the need for an expander, if any, will be discussed. With the use of technologically advanced low-friction, self-ligating braces, we are often able to correct cross-bites without the need for palatal expanders - which means less material in the patient's mouth and often less discomfort as well.
26. Is it too late to have braces if I am already an adult?
A surprising percentage of our patients are adults. In fact, nearly 50 percent of all our patients are adults. Health, happiness and self-esteem are vitally important to adults. No patient is "too old" to wear braces!
27. 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.
28. Why should you 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 have years of extensive and specialized training beyond dental school that enables them to provide their patients with professional, personalized treatments.