General FAQ’s

General FAQ’s

The following are general questions we get asked by our patients.

How do I know if braces are really needed?

Patients generally seek orthodontic treatment for three different reasons.
  1. They do not like the development, formation or appearance of the teeth.
  2. The bite may be incorrect and causing damage to the gums, teeth, or joints.
  3. The dentist recommends orthodontic treatment before any other dental work can be started. Only the opinion of an orthodontic specialist will be able to answer the question of whether or not braces are needed.

Why should I see an orthodontic specialist?

Teeth, and often entire facial structures, are permanently changed by orthodontic treatment. It is important that the treatment be appropriate and properly completed by an educated, competant professional. Orthodontic specialists have extensive and specialized training over and above that of a general dentist, which enables them to provide their patients with professional, personalized treatments.

How do I choose an orthodontic specialist?

There are many factors you should consider when deciding on an orthodontic specialist. Honesty, integrity, education, experience, ease of communication, up-to-date facilities and office cleanliness are probably the major areas to look at. Since you will be visiting their office at regular intervals throughout treatment for an extended period of time, make sure that you choose an office where you feel comfortable. You should know what is involved with each aspect of your treatment before you start and should feel comfortable asking questions. Dr. Staples truly cares about each and every patient and will make every effort to insure their acceptance and comfort throughout treatment.

For children, what age should orthodontic treatment start?

According to the American Association of Orthodontics, every child should have an orthodontic evaluation at age seven. At this age, jaw relationships have formed and some permanent teeth have erupted. Dr. Staples can give you an idea of what to expect in the future and if there are any concerns, he may suggest early treatment.

Why are so many young children in braces today?

When needed, Dr. Staples will initiate early, or interceptive, treatment in children who do not yet have all of their permanent teeth. Starting early enables him to take advantage of their growth in order to achieve a better long-term result. Not all children need interceptive treatment and Dr. Staples will suggest waiting, unless a cosmetic improvement is desired by the parents. Some common goals of early treatment include creating enough space for all of the permanent teeth to erupt, and correcting an imbalance in growth between the upper and lower jaws.

Are we ever too old for braces?

As long as adults have healthy teeth and supporting structures, orthodontic treatment can be done at any age. Although treatment times do increase with age, it is never too late to go straight!

Is adult treatment any different than with children?

Commonly, adults have more complex problems than children have. Because of this, other dental professional services may be necessary and the overall treatment times are generally longer, due to the mature nature of the jaw structures. At your initial examination, Dr. Staples can explain what may be necessary and he is always happy to meet with any other Doctors that may be on your treatment team.

If I have crowns and missing teeth, can I wear braces?

Yes. A tooth with a crown will move just like a tooth with a simple filling. And missing teeth will not hinder your orthodontic treatment either. Dr. Staples will evaluate your dental condition and offer treatment alternatives if necessary. Today's dentistry is changing at a very fast pace and our treatment options are simply getting better and better.

Will I need to have any permanent teeth removed when I get braces?

Dr. Staples definitely prefers to treat patients without removing any permanent teeth if at all possible. However, if the teeth are excessively crowded and are protruding, removing teeth may sometimes be unavoidable. Typically, if extractions are needed, most orthodontists choose to extract two upper back teeth (bicuspids) and two lower back teeth (bicuspids) to relieve crowding and enhance the profile. Fortunately, recent orthodontic advances have given us a new way to deal with extraction cases. Temporary anchorage devices (TADs) are the latest innovation that Dr. Staples uses in order to reduce the need for extractions. Ask us about this new technology.

Do I need to have jaw surgery?

Jaw surgery is necessary only when we find a very severe bite problem in a patient who is no longer growing. If either jaw is too large, too small, or too narrow, surgery may be necessary. When teeth need to be moved to new positions, they need to have supporting bone underneath them. Sometimes, jaw surgery is the only way to ensure a healthy outcome.

What is TMJ?

TMJ stands for Temporo-mandibular Joint, which is the name of the jaw joint associated with chewing. Dr. Staples uses various splints and even braces in order to relieve problems associated with the jaw joints. Even though patients have had problems with their TMJ, that should not stop them from seeking orthodontic care.

What are examples of orthodontic problems?

  • Crossbites: Upper teeth that fit inside of the lower teeth.
  • Severe Overjet: Upper teeth that protrude horizontally beyond the lower teeth
  • Severe Overbites: Upper front teeth that overlap excessively over the lower front teeth
  • Under bites: Upper front teeth that fit behind the lower front teeth
  • Severe Crowding: Lack of space for permanent teeth to align into their proper position
  • Severe Spacing: Teeth spaced so much that they block the position or eruption of other teeth

How long does orthodontic treatment take?

The length of treatment varies from 3 months to 3 years depending on the complexity of the problem. Our average full treatment case takes about 18 months. Before you start treatment, Dr. Staples will let you know the approximate length of time your treatment should take. Keep in mind that tooth movement varies from individual to individual, so establishing an exact finishing date is very difficult.

What is the cost of orthodontic treatment?

Our fees are based on the difficulty of your case and the amount of time needed to correct the problem, so each case is different. Due to the established nature of our practice, we are able to keep our fees affordable for you. And, you will find that our orthodontic fee is all inclusive, meaning that most everything we do in our office will require no extra fee.

Will my dental insurance cover the cost of braces?

We are members of many insurance plans and are happy to work with you in any way to make sure that braces will fit into your budget. Generally, insurance plans will assist with only a portion of the fee. If you would like to call our office with your insurance information, we will be happy to call your company and let you know what your policy covers.

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