FAQ

  1. Is it required that my family dentist schedule my appointment with the orthodontist?
  2. At what age should I schedule an appointment for an orthodontic screening?
  3. Will my teeth straighten out as they grow?
  4. How do I schedule an appointment for an initial exam?
  5. What will happen at the initial examination appointment?
  6. What will I learn from the initial examination?
  7. Will I need to have teeth extracted for braces?
  8. How long will it take to complete treatment?
  9. How much will braces cost? Are financing options available? How does my insurance work?
  10. How often will I have appointments?
  11. Can I schedule all of my appointments after school?
  12. Can I drop my child off for an appointment?
  13. Do braces hurt?
  14. Can I return to school the day I receive my braces?
  15. Do you give shots?
  16. Do you use recycled braces?
  17. Can I still play sports?
  18. Do I need to see my family dentist while in braces?
  19. Are there foods I cannot eat while I have braces?
  20. How often should I brush my teeth while in braces?
  21. What is an emergency appointment? How are those handled?
  22. Can orthodontic correction occur while a child has baby teeth?
  23. What is Phase One (early) Treatment?
  24. Will my child need full braces if he/she has Phase One treatment?
  25. Will my child need an expander?
  26. Is it too late to have braces if I am already an adult?
  27. Can I wear braces even though I have crowns and missing teeth?
  28. Why should I choose an orthodontic specialist?

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

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

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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, some permanent teeth in most children have erupted, allowing us to effectively evaluate your orthodontic condition.

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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.

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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 our 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.

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5. What will happen at the initial examination appointment?

To read more about your first visit, see our First Visit Page.

Upon arriving, each patient and parent will be greeted by a staff member and the doctor.  We will acclimate you to our office and prepare for the initial exam. The doctor will then complete a brief, but thorough, exam. We will take the necessary digital photographs and X-rays to enable Dr. Martines to make a proper diagnosis.

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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?
  • Will any teeth need to be removed?
  • How long will the treatment take to complete?
  • How much will the treatment cost?

To read more about your first visit, see our First Visit Page.

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7. Will I need to have teeth extracted for braces?

Removing teeth is sometimes required to achieve a healthy and stable orthodontic result. Straight teeth and a balanced facial profile are the goals of orthodontics. However, because new technology has provided advanced orthodontic procedures, removing teeth is not always necessary for orthodontic treatment.

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8. 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. The "average" time frame a person is in braces in our office is approximately 22 months.

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9. How much will braces cost? Are financing options available? How does my insurance work?

The cost of Orthodontic Treatment varies accordingly based on the severity of each particular case and, on the amount of time required to complete the case. The best way to determine the fee is to make an appointment for an Orthodontic Consultation in our office. At that time, your particular situation will be properly evaluated and the fee for your particular situation will be discussed.  We will cover the exact cost and financial options during the initial examination. We have many 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.

One note of importance in discussing the cost of treatment in our office is that all of our fees reflect the total cost of treatment from the initial records to the placement of retainers to complete your case.

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10. How often will I have appointments?

Appointments are scheduled according to each patient's needs. Most patients in braces will be seen every 4 to 8 weeks. If there are specific situations that require more frequent monitoring, we will schedule appointments accordingly.

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11. Can I schedule all of my appointments after school?

Unfortunately, we cannot schedule all appointments during after-school hours. However, because most appointments are scheduled 4 to 8 weeks apart, most patients will miss minimal school due to their orthodontic adjustments. We will, however, make a sincere effort to meet your scheduling needs.

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12. 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, so we ask that parents check in with their patient manager before dropping off their child.

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13. Do braces hurt?

Generally, braces do not "hurt." After certain visits, teeth may be sore for a few days, much like when you get a bruise on your arm or leg. In these situations, over-the-counter pain medications such as Advil or Tylenol will ease the discomfort. After most visits, however, patients do not feel any soreness at all! We often remind our patients: “It does not have to hurt to work!”

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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.

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15. Do you give shots?

No. Shots are not necessary in orthodontic treatment.

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16. Do you use recycled braces?

Absolutely not! It is our belief that each patient should be provided with their own personalized braces to achieve the best orthodontic result possible.

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17. Can I still play sports?

Yes. We recommend a mouth guard for all sports.

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18. 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.

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19. Are there foods I cannot eat while I have braces?

Once treatment begins, we will give you all necessary instructions and provide a list of foods to avoid. Some of those foods include hard candy and chips, nuts, sticky foods (i.e. caramel and taffy).

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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 especially before going to bed. We will show each patient how to floss their teeth while in braces. A prescription for a special fluoride will be provided if necessary.

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21. What is an emergency appointment? How are those handled?

If one of the components of your braces or appliance is loose, poking or causing unusual discomfort, please call our office. In most cases we can address these issues over the telephone. Should you, however, require an emergency appointment, we will set time aside to see you.

Following the instructions of the doctor and our staff as well as exercising good oral hygiene and staying away from the foods to be avoided will help you minimize most emergency appointments to repair broken or damaged braces and make sure your treatment is completed timely.

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22. Can orthodontic correction occur while a child has baby teeth?

Yes. Some specific bite issues should be corrected or improved when some baby teeth are still present in order to reduce or eliminate their unwanted functional and esthetic consequences in the full permanent dentition.

Situations that usually lend themselves to early treatment include growth imbalances ("overbites" and "underbites"), lack of space for eruption of all permanent teeth, crossbites and problems caused by paranormal habits such as finger or thumbsucking, mouth breathing and tongue thrusts. Early care simplifies or reduces (but not necessarily eliminates) the need for future comprehensive orthodontic treatment.

While some orthodontic problems require early intervention, 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.

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23. What is Phase One (early) treatment?

The primary objective for Phase One treatment is to address bite problems during the mixed dentition years (when a child has both permanent and baby teeth) preventing them from becoming more severe and to improve self-esteem and self-image.

Early orthodontic treatment usually lasts between 6-18 months and consists of placing orthodontic appliances on permanent teeth to address specific bite issues should be corrected or improved when some baby teeth are still present. Such intervention will reduce or eliminate unwanted functional and esthetic consequences in the full permanent dentition. Sometimes Phase One treatment is what allows a case to be treated without removal of permanent teeth when all of them are erupted.

 

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24. Will my child need full braces if he/she has Phase One treatment?

Early care (Phase One treatment) reduces or eliminates bite problems and mitigates their unwanted functional and esthetic consequences in the full permanent dentition. Sometimes it allows treatment of a bad bite without removal of permanent teeth.

Phase One treatment simplifies or reduces (but not necessarily eliminates) the need for future comprehensive orthodontic 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.

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25. Will my child need an expander?

At the completion of the initial examination, we will determine whether a patient will need an expander or any other orthodontic appliance.

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26. 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 adults. Health, happiness and self-esteem are vitally important to adults. Although no adult is "too old" to wear braces, we do offer esthetic alternatives as well, such as transparent braces and Invisalign®.

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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.

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28. Why should I choose an orthodontic specialist?

An orthodontist has 2-3 years of specialized training beyond dental school on the science and mechanics of moving teeth through bone and facial growth modification. This special training makes him/her a specialist at straightening teeth and insuring proper form and function.

Orthodontists recognize the difference between a simple case and a complex one. And when a case is challenging, orthodontists know what to do. It is important that a comprehensive orthodontic treatment be appropriate and properly completed.

A dentist may see a handful of cases a year. An orthodontist only practices orthodontics and treats hundreds of patients. Teeth and entire facial structures are permanently changed during orthodontic treatment.

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