What is orthodontics?

Orthodontics is the branch of dentistry that specializes in the diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of dental and facial irregularities.

What is an orthodontist?

An orthodontist is a specialist who has completed an advanced education program following dental school, to learn the special skills required to manage tooth movement and guide facial development.

What are some possible benefits of orthodontics?

  • A more attractive smile
  • Reduced appearance-consciousness during critical development years
  • Better function of the teeth
  • Possible increase in self-confidence
  • Increased ability to clean the teeth
  • Improved force distribution and wear patterns of the teeth
  • Better long term health of teeth and gums
  • Guide permanent teeth into more favorable positions
  • Reduce the risk of injury to protruded front teeth
  • Aid in optimizing other dental treatment

What are some signs that braces may be needed?

  • Upper front teeth protrude excessively over the lower teeth, or are bucked
  • Upper front teeth cover the majority of the lower teeth when biting together (deep bite)
  • Upper front teeth are behind or inside the lower front teeth (underbite)
  • The upper and lower front teeth do not touch when biting together (open bite)
  • Crowded or overlapped teeth The center of the upper and lower teeth do not line up
  • Finger or thumb sucking habits which continue after six or seven years old
  • Difficulty chewing
  • Teeth wearing unevenly or excessively
  • The lower jaw shifts to one side or the other when biting together
  • Spaces between the teeth

At what age should I schedule an appointment for orthodontic screening?

The American Association of Orthodontics recommends that every child should be screened no later than the age of 7. By that time, the six-year molars and several permanent teeth in most children have erupted and problems can be detected.

What will happen at the first visit?

Upon arriving each patient is asked to complete an information sheet that includes some personal as well as medical history. Dr. Marie will conduct a brief but thorough examination of the mouth to determine the need for treatment. If needed, a complimentary panoramic x-ray will be taken to assist in diagnosis and an estimate of fee and length of time will be given.

What is Phase I and Phase II treatment?

Phase I, or early interceptive treatment, is limited orthodontic treatment (i.e. expander or partial braces) before all of the permanent teeth have erupted. Such treatment can occur between the ages of six and ten. This treatment is sometimes recommended to make more space for developing teeth, correction of crossbites, overbites, underbites, or harmful oral habits. Phase II treatment is also called comprehensive treatment, because it involves full braces when all of the permanent teeth have erupted, usually between the ages of eleven and thirteen.

Would an adult patient benefit from orthodontics?

Orthodontic treatment can be successful at any age. Everyone wants a beautiful and healthy smile. Twenty to twenty five percent of orthodontic patients today are adults.

How does orthodontic treatment work?

Braces use steady gentle pressure to gradually move teeth into their proper positions. The brackets that are placed on your teeth and the archwire that connects them are the main components. When the archwire is placed into the brackets, it tries to return to its original shape. As it does so, it applies pressure to move your teeth to their new, more ideal positions.

How long does orthodontic treatment take?

Treatment times vary on a case-by-case basis, but the average time is from one to two years. Actual treatment time can be affected by rate of growth and severity of the correction necessary. Treatment length is also dependent upon patient compliance. Maintaining good oral hygiene and keeping regular appointments are important in keeping treatment time on schedule.

How much will it cost? How will I pay for the services?

The estimated cost is based on the time in months needed to complete treatment. Most adolescents take 18-24 months to complete. Adults sometimes take as long as 24-36 months. Our office has flexible payment options and no interest financing is available.

How often do I have to come for appointments and can I have them after school or work?

Appointments are scheduled according to each individual needs. Most patients in braces are seen every 6 to 8 weeks. Sometimes appointments are scheduled more often if specific needs arise during treatment. Unfortunately all appointments cannot be scheduled after school or work but we do try very hard to assist our patients with scheduling. Because of the time between appointments, very little school or work is missed.

Do braces hurt?

The placement of bands and brackets on your teeth does not hurt. Once your braces are placed and connected with the archwires you may feel some soreness of your teeth for one to four days. Your lips and cheeks may need one to two weeks to get used to the braces on your teeth.

Will teeth need to be removed for braces?

Non-extraction treatment is normally planned; however, balanced facial profiles sometimes demand the removal of teeth. Our goal is to render a service that is cosmetically pleasing and functionally acceptable.

Can I still play sports and/or musical instruments while in braces?

Absolutely! We can even provide you with a mouth guard for sports you play. We will assist you with a "lip protector" should you need one for playing certain instruments such as the trumpet. Please inform us of your needs.

Should I see my general dentist while I have braces?

Yes, you should continue to see your general dentist every six months for cleanings and dental checkups.

Can my teeth be straightened without wearing braces?

You may be a candidate for invisible braces called Invisalign. Dr. Marie has certification to do either form of treatment. She will be happy to discuss this option with you should you have an interest.

Why should I choose Central Orthodontics for my braces?

We are simply the most caring and friendly office in Glendale. Our service is genuinely excellent. Our commitment to cutting edge technology and clinical expertise in orthodontics is a source of pride for us. Dr. Marie and staff strive to make the experience of wearing braces pleasant and fun. We are all one big family and we welcome you to join us!!