1. At what age should I schedule an appointment for an orthodontic screening?
The American Association of Orthodontists recommends an orthodontic screening at age 7. By this age, several permanent teeth in most children have erupted, allowing us to effectively evaluate your orthodontic condition.
2. What will happen at the initial examination appointment?
At your first appointment you will be greeted by our New Patient Coordinator who will give you a tour of our state of the art office. Following the tour and getting acquainted our Records Technician will take a set of digital diagnostic records for Dr Walkow to use during the examination and discussion of potential treatment options. This important visit will address your orthodontic needs to determine if this is the proper time to begin treatment. We will provide a complete clinical diagnosis regarding the nature of the problem, a written summary of the finding and a detailed plan that outlines your treatment, goals and estimated fees.
3. How long will it take to complete treatment?
Treatment time depends on each patient's specific orthodontic problem. In general, treatment times range from 12 to 30 months. The "average" time frame a person is in braces is approximately 18 to 24 months.
4. How much will braces cost? Are financing options available? How does my insurance work?
We will cover the exact cost and financial options during the initial examination. We have many financing options available to accommodate your needs, and we will review these with you. We will also review your insurance policy and help to maximize your benefit and file your claims.
5. How often will I have appointments?
Appointments are scheduled according to each patient's needs. Most patients in braces will be seen every eight weeks. If there are specific situations that require more frequent monitoring, we will schedule appointments accordingly.
6. Do braces hurt?
Generally, braces do not "hurt." After certain visits, teeth may be sore for a few days. In these situations, pain medications such as Advil or Tylenol will ease the discomfort. However, after most visits, patients do not feel any soreness at all! We often remind our patients, "it does not have to hurt to work!"
7. Are there foods I cannot eat while I have braces?
Yes. At the initial bonding appointment our clinical assistants will provide you with a comprehensive list of foods to avoid. Some of those foods include: ice, hard candy, raw vegetables and all sticky foods (i.e. caramel and taffy). You can avoid most emergency appointments to repair broken or damaged braces by carefully following our instructions.
8. How often should I brush my teeth while in braces?
Patients should brush their teeth at least three times each day & after each meal and before going to bed. Our clinical assistants give each new patient detailed home care instructions and reinforce them at every appointment. We also give you a list of recommended home care products to provide optimal dental health.
9. What is an emergency appointment? How are those handled?
If your braces are causing extreme pain or if something breaks, you should call our office. In most cases, we can address these issues over the telephone. If you require an emergency appointment, we will set aside time for you.
10. Is it too late to have braces if I am already an adult?
A surprising percentage of our patients are adults. In fact, last year over 35 percent of our new patients were adults. There have been many studies demonstrating a strong correlation between periodontal health, TMJ, and a functional bite. Health, happiness and self esteem are vitally important to adults. No patient is "too old" to wear braces!