Q: What is orthodontics?
A: Orthodontics is a specialty branch of dentistry that deals with the diagnosis, prevention and treatment of dental and facial irregularities. Braces are appliances normally used to correct these problems. (Back to Top)

Q: Why is orthodontics important?
A: An attractive smile and improved self-image is just one of the benefits of orthodontic treatment. Without treatment, orthodontic problems can lead to tooth decay, gum disease, bone destruction, chewing and digestive difficulties, speech impairments, tooth loss and other dental injuries.(Back to Top)

Q: What are the benefits of braces?
A: Having straight teeth that fit together properly improves function and your teeth and jaw joints can work more effectively. Straight teeth make it easier for you and your dental team to keep them clean. If you ever need a filling, crown or bridge, your dentist can usually do better restoration if the teeth are aligned properly. The appearance of teeth and face is improved. Having a pleasing smile improves self-esteem, confidence and a feeling of acceptance in our daily activities.(Back to Top)

Q: At what age should orthodontic treatment occur?
A: 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 7 or earlier if a problem is detected by parents, the family dentist or the child’s physician.(Back to Top)

Q: What is a malocclusion?
A: Malocclusion literally means bad bite. Most malocclusions are inherited, however, it is possible to acquire a bad bite from habits such as tongue thrusting and thumb sucking. The premature loss of baby teeth or the extraction of adult teeth can also cause the development of malocclusion.(Back to Top)

Q: What are some early warning signs of a bite problem?
A: Early or late loss of primary teeth, Difficulty in chewing or biting, Mouth breathing, Finger sucking or other oral habits beyond age 5, Overlapped, misplaced or blocked-out teeth, Protruding teeth, Biting the cheek or into the roof of the mouth, Teeth that meet in an abnormal manner or do not meet at all, Jaws that shift or make sounds, Jaws that protrude, retrude or contribute to facial imbalance, Speech difficulty.(Back to Top)

Q: What can I eat with braces?
A: Most foods can be enjoyed just as before you got your braces. Hard, crunchy and sticky foods can damage braces and should be avoided.(Back to Top)

Q: Why do baby teeth sometimes need to be pulled?
A: Pulling baby teeth may be necessary to allow severely crowded permanent teeth to come in at a normal time in a normal location. If the teeth are severely crowded, some permanent teeth will either remain impacted (teeth that should have come in, but have not), or come in to an undesirable position. To allow severely crowded teeth to move on their own into much more desirable positions, sequential removal of baby teeth and permanent teeth (usually first premolars) can dramatically improve a severe crowding problem. This sequential extraction of teeth, called serial extraction, is typically followed by comprehensive orthodontic treatment after tooth eruption has improved as much as it can on its own.(Back to Top)

Q: What about the wisdom teeth (third molars), should they be removed?
A: In about three out of four cases where teeth have not been removed during orthodontic treatment, there are good reasons to have the wisdom teeth removed, usually when a person reaches his or her mid- to late- teen years. Your orthodontist, in consultation with your family dentist, can determine what is right for you.(Back to Top)

Q: How long will I have to undergo orthodontic treatment?
A: It will vary for each patient and always depends on how much your jaw needs to change and how far your teeth must move.(Back to Top)

Q: Will I still be able to play sports?
A: Yes. It is recommended, however, that patients protect their smiles by wearing a mouth guard when participating in any sporting activity. Mouth guards are inexpensive, comfortable, and come in a variety of colors and patterns.(Back to Top)

Q: Will braces interfere with playing musical instruments?
A: No. However, there may be an initial period of adjustment. In addition, brace covers can be provided to prevent discomfort.(Back to Top)

Q: Can you be too old for braces?
A: No. Age is not a factor, however, there are advantages to treating young people while they are still growing. About 25% of orthodontic patients in the United States are adults. If you are an adult considering orthodontic work, that treatment has changed a great deal in the last few years. Braces are more comfortable and more effective today. You can get braces in the tradition silver color, or with much less visible clear brackets.(Back to Top)

Q: Why are retainers needed after orthodontic treatment?
A: After braces are removed, teeth can shift out of position if they are not stabilized. Retainers provide that stabilization and are designed to hold teeth in their corrected, ideal positions until the bones and gums adapt to the treatment changes. Wearing retainers exactly as instructed is the best insurance that the treatment improvements last for a lifetime.(Back to Top)

Q: Is orthodontic care expensive?
A: Orthodontic fees have not increased as fast as many other consumer products. When orthodontic treatment is implemented at the proper time, treatment is often less costly than the dental care required to treat the more serious problems that can develop years later. After examining you or your child, we will review the costs involved with treatment. Financing is usually available and our office offers customized-flexible payment programs that will meet your needs. In addition, many insurance plans now include orthodontics.(Back to Top)

Q: How long does the average treatment take?
A: Utilizing the newest technologies we now anticipate total treatment times averaging less than two years from start to finish. Obviously some more demanding cases can take longer and more basic cases can finish sooner, but we complete most of our cases in less than two years.(Back to Top)

Q: Is orthodontic treatment painful?
A: Most of our patients tell us that their teeth are sore for the first three days. Simple over-the-counter pain medication usually is all that is needed. In addition we provide soft wax to place on any rough areas of your braces to minimize mouth irritations. Warm, salty water is also a good home remedy for oral discomfort.(Back to Top)

Q: How often will appointments be?
A: We average 6-8 weeks between visits. In the beginning of treatment some patients need to be seen quite frequently, others have long (10-12 weeks) intervals between appointments. The closer to the end of treatment a patient gets the more frequent the visits tend to be. When we factor all visits together we average about 6 weeks between appointments.(Back to Top)

Q: How long is an average visit in the office?
A: Most visits are under 20 minutes in length. Appointments which require the application of any braces, either initial of during treatment can be longer. Most of these brace application visits are performed during the morning hours as they tend to take longer and require more direct contact between doctor and patient. The initial banding (i.e. the day braces are first placed) usually take 2-2 1/2 hours.(Back to Top)

Q: Does the office accept insurance?
A: Most major dental insurances are accepted by our office. These include those for the military, government workers, teachers and most major industries. Our office will be glad to assist in filing insurance forms and in many cases will allow direct assignment of benefits to our office.(Back to Top)

Q: What happens when treatment is complete?
A: All of our patients enter a one year retention program following completion of fixed orthodontic treatment. Retainers are delivered at the end of treatment. Follow up visits are scheduled to assure the beautiful result achieved with braces will last for a life time.(Back to Top)

Q: What happens if a patient is not ready for treatment?
A: We place all patients who are not ready for treatment in our “Orthodontic Guidance Program”. This allows patients to be recalled to the office periodically in order to assess their status in terms of orthodontic development. It is our goal to not start any patient until it is the most opportune time to treat them. By waiting for this time, a treatment plan which is the most efficient and economical can be delivered. In a sense we wait until we can do the best care, at the best time, for the best value!(Back to Top)

Q: What colors are available for braces?
A: Every color imaginable!! We have collected orthodontic ties with every color of the rainbow which we make available to our patients. Even those patients with the new Damon brackets, which do not require ties to hold the wires in place, are given the choice of colors if they so desire. Patients with clear braces can place clear ties on their braces or can have colors as well. We like our patients to enjoy their treatment with us and we do what we can to make it fun.(Back to Top)

Q: What happens if an appointment must be missed or canceled?
A: We request our patients to call us as soon as possible if a change in schedules arise. If the office is closed you may leave a message to cancel your appointment on our answering machine. You may then call back to reschedule or request the office to call you at your convenience. If appointments are canceled in adequate time, patients requesting sooner visits can often be accommodated. The sooner an appointment is rescheduled, the sooner a new appointment can be made which will keep treatment progress at the rate necessary for a speedy finish. One of the largest causes for extended treatment times is missing appointments. Delaying rescheduling delays progress even further. So if an appointment must be missed please call to cancel and reschedule as soon as possible.(Back to Top)

Q: What should be done in an emergency situation?
A: If an orthodontic emergency arises (broken braces, something cutting or preventing closure of the mouth) call our office number, (501) 821-5859. Instructions concerning contacting our paging system will be given. Call our pager and someone will return your call as soon as possible. Obviously, if an emergency is of a life threatening nature it is advised to call 911 of immediately visit the nearest emergency room.(Back to Top)

Q: What do I do to get started?
A: Call us as at (501) 821-5859 as soon as possible for a complementary evaluation appointment. When your appointment is made we will send a patient health information package which we request you fill out prior to your visit. When you come for the first appointment you will be met by one of the treatment coordinators who will brief you about the visit. Then one of the doctors will examine you (or your child) and determine the best course of treatment. If necessary, diagnostic records (digital photos, X-Rays and impressions) will be taken to evaluate. If the diagnostic records are indicated, there will be a charge for this service.(Back to Top)