- What is so important about orthodontics?
- What is a malocclusion, and why should it be treated?
- What is an orthodontist?
- By what age should my child see an orthodontist?
- Do adults wear braces?
- How long will treatment take?
- Does it hurt to have braces?
- Will braces interfere with playing a musical instrument?
- How often will I need to come for office visits?
- Should I continue to see my pediatric or family dentist while I'm in braces?
- Do braces cause cavities?
- What is the cost of treatment?
- Will insurance pay for my treatment?
- What are retainers all about?
Whether you know it or not, your smile is the cornerstone of your social and professional interactions. A beautiful, healthy, sensational smile, an improved self-image, and a boost in self-confidence are just some of the possible benefits to orthodontic treatment. But, benefits go beyond being purely cosmetic. back to top
A malocclusion or "bad bite" is the term for teeth that do not fit together and function properly. Many times, malocclusions are inherited. In some instances, they result from habits or functional problems like a tongue thrust. Cavities and early loss of baby teeth can also lead to malocclusions.
According to studies by the American Association of Orthodontists, untreated malocclusions can result in a variety of problems. Crowded teeth are more difficult to brush and floss properly, which may contribute to tooth decay and/or gum disease. Protruding teeth are more susceptible to accidental chipping. Crossbites can result in unfavorable growth and uneven tooth wear. Openbites can result in tongue-thrusting habits and speech problems. Moreover, the drifting and shifting of teeth that occurs when another tooth is missing may preclude an optimal outcome for the replacement option your general dentist is recommending.
By correcting malocclusions, orthodontics does more than create a pretty smile – it creates a healthier you! back to top
An orthodontist is a dentist, who completed a DDS or DMD degree, and then decided to specialize with an additional 2 to 3 years of formal training beyond dental school in order to learn the advanced skills required to recognize abnormalities of the teeth and jaws, manage tooth movement, and guide facial development. back to top
The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that your child be evaluated no later than age 7. An early examination allows the orthodontist to determine how and when a child's particular problem(s) should be treated for maximum improvement and the best result. Sometimes early intervention (also called Phase I treatment) can be invaluable to a successful outcome. back to top
YES. We particularly enjoy treating adults because it is wonderful to be able to give someone the smile they have always wanted but never had the opportunity to get as a child. Nationally, nearly one-third (30%) of all orthodontic patients are adults, including those who are 60+ years of age. Often adults can be treated much more quickly than children. In some instances, braces need only be worn for 6 months to achieve a great result and the satisfaction of a beautiful smile. Dr. Akkaway also treats many adults without braces. Let us evaluate you to determine if your problem qualifies for Invisalign® treatment. Additionally, many families are deciding to seek treatment together. As a courtesy, we offer discounts and special payment arrangements for multiple family members. back to top
Treatment times vary greatly, depending on the severity of your case. But, with modern orthodontic technology overall treatment times have decreased substantially. At your initial examination appointment, you will be given an estimate of total treatment time. Remember, this is only an estimate. Patients also grow at different rates, and consequently also respond in different ways to treatment.
That said, the single best predictor of finishing orthodontic treatment on time is patient cooperation and motivation. It has been shown that patients who take care of their appliances, keep their teeth very clean, do not miss their appointments, and who cooperate with instructions (such as for wearing rubber bands) will see the fastest results. In many instances, those patients who are great helpers find that their braces actually come off early! back to top
Braces do not have to hurt. Some pressure is normal because the teeth are slowly moving through bone to their new positions. The new miniature brackets and "space-age" wires we use provide some of the gentlest forces available, so your soreness is minimized and you can quickly forget you're even wearing braces. back to top
No. Following an initial period of adjustment, it should be easy to go back to playing just as you were before your braces were put on. back to top
Routine office visits for braces adjustments can be made much more infrequently today, the vast majority of visits occurring every 6 to 10 weeks. In fact, due to advanced technologies, even the total number of times adjustments need to be made can be reduced. back to top
YES. While you have braces, it is more important than ever to continue to see your regular dentist for frequent cleanings, exams, and check-ups. We also take great pride in communicating effectively with your dentist about your progress, so they will always know where you are at with your treatment.
If you are currently looking for a dentist, ask us for a referral. We know many great dentists in the area, and will make sure you are taken care of. back to top
No, braces do not cause cavities. Cavities are caused by plaque, an accumulation of bacteria that forms when food is left on teeth. Braces can sometimes make it more difficult to keep teeth clean, and therefore it is important that extra special care be taken when brushing and flossing. With proper brushing, flossing, diet and the use of a daily fluoride rinse, cavities and white spots (which are the initial stages of a cavity, and every bit as permanent) can certainly be prevented.
We are very proud of our cavity prevention program. When we first place braces, we thoroughly review exactly how to keep your teeth super clean. Hygiene is closely monitored at each appointment, and feedback is always given. We want our patients to finish with not only straight teeth but straight, healthy teeth. back to top
Costs vary with the treatment required. We value the benefits of a beautiful, healthy smile, and do not want financial concerns to be an obstacle to great care. Therefore, we are pleased to offer a variety of payment and no interest financing options. All costs will be discussed with you up-front, during your complimentary examination. Today, orthodontics is more affordable than ever, and dollar for dollar, one of the best investments you will ever make. back to top
Today, many insurance plans provide some type of orthodontic benefit. Our knowledgeable staff will work with you to maximize your benefit, so that financial concerns are not a barrier. back to top
Teeth are in bone, not in stone. Like all parts of the body, teeth are constantly changing and adapting. For this reason, following active orthodontic treatment, custom-designed retainers are given to each patient. Retainers are specially designed appliances that help prevent teeth from drifting or moving once the braces are removed. back to top