YOUR FIRST VISIT
Our orthodontic consultations are complimentary – we look forward to meeting you! Our objective is to make sure your visit with us is pleasant and informative. During your initial consultation you’ll meet with the Orthodontist to discuss your primary concerns. The visit will consist of a brief clinical exam and a discussion of potential treatment options.
Please assist us by providing the following information at the time of your first visit:
- Any x-rays (if applicable)
- A list of medications you are presently taking
- Medical or Dental insurance information (if applicable)
- Complete & print online patient registration forms on this site.
After the completion of your initial consultation & records visits, you can expect the following steps.
At this appointment, you’ll meet with the Orthodontist to review your diagnostic findings & to confirm your individualized orthodontic treatment plan.
Active Treatment Visits
Periodic orthodontic visits are generally every 4-6 weeks. During these visits, we’ll check your progress, work on hygiene and make adjustments to your braces or appliances as needed.
Please continue to practice excellent oral hygiene & maintain a healthy diet low in refined sugars. Please also continue to visit your dentist regularly (every 4-6 months) for your check-up & cleaning.
After finishing your orthodontic treatment, you’ll receive a pair of retainers to ensure that your teeth stay straight. Wearing your retainers is just as important as the active treatment stage.
We encourage that you wear your retainers close to full-time for the first few months after the braces come off (depending on your treatment plan), then only at nighttime thereafter.
The Orthodontist and our team believe in providing you with consistently excellent and compassionate orthodontic care with the highest degree of professionalism. The Orthodontist prioritizes creating a detailed custom treatment plan for each of her patients. Along with delivering personalized, conservative and comprehensive orthodontic care, our team emphasis preventive dental care habits and diet to ensure the health and longevity of your beautiful smile.
We’re committed to selectively utilizing only the best in orthodontic and dental technology to help increase the safety and efficiency of your treatment. We believe in always using premium quality materials to ensure comfort and optimal results.
Our relationships with each of our patients is our priority – we consider each of our patients as a part of our practice family for the long-term. Our staff lives this philosophy each day, and we hope that you can sense this from your first visit with us to the day you see your beautiful finished smile.
Standard Metal Braces
Metal brackets are still a standard in orthodontic care, due to their superior control of tooth movement & treatment efficiency of mechanics. Our low-profile metal braces utilize the latest in technology from American Orthodontics – these low profile metal brackets much smaller and sleeker in shape – increasing comfort and aesthetics for our patients. Metal braces are typically easier to maintain and keep clean – with less breakage than clear braces – both function similiarly in terms of treatment efficiency and tooth movement.
Clear Ceramic Braces
Clear braces work in the same way that metal braces work. Both Clear & Metal Braces use constant, gentle pressure, which over time, move teeth into their proper positions. Our translucent ceramic brackets are a great choice for those who desire the efficiency & control of a bonded appliance, along with a higher degree of aesthetics during their orthodontic treatment.
We use American Orthodontics Radiance Cosmetic Brackets as they offer the dual benefits of superior translucence (crystal clear vs. the opaque ceramic seen with other clear brackets) along with improved bracket strength- and are manufactured here in the United States.
Lingual braces are a revolutionary new way to straighten your teeth with optimal aesthetics. These braces are bonded to the back (lingual) surfaces of your teeth- allowing us to align your teeth with optimal mechanics, without any visibly bonded appliances or aligners. The Orthodontist will determine if you are a candidate for lingual braces after your consultation visit.
Lingual braces are placed on back of the front 8-10 teeth to correct mild crowding, spacing or alignment issues. Retainers are also included as a part of your treatment and are delivered at the end of treatment.
Depending on your case, we offer Invisalign as an option for aesthetic orthodontic treatment. Invisalign treatment involves a series of clear aligners (made of medical grade durable plastic) worn for 2 weeks each, which at the end of your treatment period, incrementally straightens your smile – without the inconvenience of any bonded brackets or wires.
A series of individualized trays are custom-designed for your specific case, each made to precisely fit and straighten your teeth incrementally. Each tray is worn continuously (except for when you eat or brush your teeth) for about 2 weeks and progressively moves your teeth about a 1/4 mm towards your final result. The number of trays you’ll require will vary depending on the complexity of your treatment. Your Invisalign trays are custom-made through a combination of The Orthodontist’s clinical treatment planning via Invisalign’s computor software program and 3-D computer imaging technology.
Invisalign: What to Expect
- Each set of trays are worn for 2 weeks, removing them only to eat, drink, brush, and floss.
- As you replace each tray with the next in your custom set, your teeth will gradually move- until they have straightened to the final position. The Orthodontist has prescribed into the program.
- You’ll visit the Orthodontist about once every 4-8 weeks to ensure that your treatment is progressing as planned and to make any adjustments as indicated
- Total treatment time varies depending on the complexity of your case.
- Generally if you have moderate-severe crowding, your Invisalign treatment will typically include Interproximal Reduction (IPR).
- Read more about IPR from the American Association of Orthodontics.
- Read more about Invisalign here.
Retainers (Standard Hawley / Clear)
Standard Hawley Retainers
Hawleys are still our standard retainers, and a great option for the majority of our patients. They last a life-time if they are well maintained and taken care of. The front metal bow is adjustable, allowing the orthodontist to make small corrections to the alignment of your front teeth if needed. They are easy to wear and remove, and our patients enjoy that they can custom design the color, pattern and text on their own personalized retainers.
Clear retainers may be worn instead of standard Hawley retainers for patients either desiring a more invisible retainer option, or for patients who tend to clench or grind at night – as they can protect your enamel from further wear.
While clear retainers are generally more aesthetic – they often need to be replaced after anywhere from a few months, to up to 5-7 years – depending on any habits you may have, and your diligence with maintaining proper care of your retainers.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Why an Orthodontist?
An Orthodontist has 2-3 years of additional education after completing dental school.
After graduating from four years of dental school (upon completing four years of college) and receiving their Doctorate in Dental Surgery degree – orthodontists go on to complete two or more years of education just in orthodontics at an accredited orthodontic residency program – only after this formal education can one be called an orthodontist.
Like medical specialists who study their specialty areas after their general medical education, orthodontists devote additional years of study to orthodontics after they graduate from dental school. And like their medical counterparts-orthodontists limit their practices soley to their specialty area.
How long will treatment take?
Your time in orthodontic treatment will vary depending on your specific case. Very simple cases can take as little 6-12 months, most mild cases vary from 12-18 months, moderate cases (the majority of our patients) average 18-24 months, and more severe problems can take 24+ months. Treatment times vary depending on the unique conditions of each patient as well as the hygiene and compliance during treatment.
Read more about Orthodontics from the American Association of Orthodontists.
With advancements in technology, why can’t my teeth straighten faster?
It takes about 6 weeks for the bone in our jaws to remodel around your teeth as they move to their new position – and about 6 more months for the gums to remodel around the new position of the bone/teeth – so nature will always dictate how fast we can move your teeth. Which is why regardless of any new technology, orthodontics requires slow & continuous movement for the health & stability of your teeth as they move to create your new beautiful smile.
When should I bring my child in for their first visit?
Generally for the first orthodontic exam we say that “7-8 is great and 9 is fine.” Most kids won’t need braces at this age. We evaluate that your child’s facial & dental development is within a normal range and not causing any problems. We generally start most of our patients around the age of 10-13 – when all the baby (primary) teeth have been lost. This is variable depending on the pattern and rate of growth & development of each child, which is why an initial exam is important to ensure that normal dental & skeletal development is not hindered.
My child already had treatment when he/she was younger (ages 7-9), why are braces necessary again?
In certain select cases, Phase I treatment (typically around the age of 7-9) will be recommended to address developmental problems of the jaws or teeth (even before the baby teeth have all been lost), in order to treat and prevent problems (best treated early) that could lead to a more severe malocclusion during adolescence. Most children who receive Phase I treatment, will need Phase II treatment during adolescence.
More likely if growth and development of your child’s teeth and jaws are within a normal range, they will simply receive a check-up by your orthodontist about every 6 months, until they are ready for full treatment around the age of 11-13.
Read more about Phase I and II Orthodontics from the American Association of Orthodontists.
Can I get Invisalign?
Depending on your specific case, we may offer Invisalign as an option. During your initial consultation The Orthodontist will discuss with you the pros and cons of standard braces vs. Invisalign as it applies to your specific case.
Do braces hurt?
Generally braces make your teeth sensitive for a few days – this can be relieved as needed with an over-the-counter pain reliever. Our metal braces are smaller and smoother (low profile) to minimize discomfort & treatment time.
What can I eat or drink during treatment?
We recommend a diet that avoids foods that are excessively hard, sticky, chewy or high in refined sugars. A healthy whole foods diet is recommended. Hard or crunchy foods such as carrots and apples can be enjoyed once cut into slices and chewed on the back teeth (rather than bitten into – which can break brackets).
How soon can I get started?
After your initial consultation, we’ll verify with your general dentist that you’ve had a check-up and cleaning within 6 months. We can get started as soon as we receive clearance from your general dentist, and verify that there are no other dental or medical problems that we need to address prior to getting started.
How long will my appointments take?
Your initial consultation will generally take about 45 minutes. Your records visit will be about 45 minutes- 1 hour. After the Orthodontist reviews your orthodontic records & creates your individual treatment plan, our office will call you to schedule your 1-1.5 hour start visit (usually banding & bonding the braces, or delivering any appliances). Every month we’ll see you for your orthodontic adjustments which take anywhere from 15-30 minutes.
For a complete list of orthodontic services: http://www.wholesmiles.com/services/
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