- Is it required that my family dentist schedule my appointment with the orthodontist?
- At what age should I schedule an appointment for an orthodontic screening?
- Will my teeth straighten out as they grow?
- How do I schedule an appointment for an initial exam?
- What will happen at the initial examination appointment?
- What will I learn from the initial examination?
- Will I need to have teeth extracted for braces?
- How long will it take to complete treatment?
- How much will braces cost? Are financing options available? How does my insurance work?
- How often will I have appointments?
- Can I schedule all of my appointments after school?
- Can I drop my child off for an appointment?
- Do braces hurt?
- Can I return to school the day I receive my braces?
- Can I still play sports?
- Do you give shots?
- Do you use recycled braces?
- Do I need to see my family dentist while in braces?
- Are there foods I cannot eat while I have braces?
- How often should I brush my teeth while in braces?
- What is an emergency appointment? How are those handled?
- Can orthodontic correction occur while a child has baby teeth?
- What is Phase One (early) Treatment?
- Will my child need full braces if he/she has Phase One treatment?
- Will my child need an expander?
- Is it too late to have braces if I am already an adult?
- Can I wear braces even though I have crowns and missing teeth?
- Why should I choose an orthodontic specialist?
1. Is it required that my family dentist schedule my appointment with the orthodontist?
No, it is not. Many of our patients are referred by their family dentist, yet many other patients take the initiative to schedule an examination themselves.
2. At what age should I schedule an appointment for an orthodontic screening?
The American Association of Orthodontists (AAO) recommends an orthodontic screening visit at age 7. By this age, several permanent teeth in most children have erupted, allowing us to effectively evaluate your orthodontic condition. Dr. Pollei supports the AAO recommendation for early screening. Even though most seven year-old patients may still be years away from the ideal age for treatment, early screening allows us to catch the rare cases where early treatment is indicated to modify jaw growth or severe bite problems.
3. Will my teeth straighten out as they grow?
Generally not. The space available for the front teeth does not increase as you grow. In most people, after the permanent molars erupt, the space available for the front teeth decreases with age.
4. How do I schedule an appointment for an initial exam?
Simply call our office or fill out our appointment request form online. We will be happy to schedule an appointment for you. When you call to schedule your appointment, our front office staff will request some basic information from you.
5. What will happen at the initial examination appointment?
Upon arriving, each patient and parent will be seen by the staff and doctor who will acclimate you to our office and prepare for the initial exam. We will take the necessary photographs or X-rays to allow us to make a proper diagnosis. Dr.Pollei will then complete a brief, but thorough, exam.
To read more about your first visit, see our First Visit Page.
6. What will I learn from the initial examination?
There are five essential questions that we will address during the initial examination (as appropriate):
- Is there an orthodontic problem, and if so, what is it?
- What must be done to correct the problem?
- Will any teeth need to be removed?
- How long will the treatment take to complete?
- How much will the treatment cost?
7. Will I need to have teeth extracted for braces?
Removing teeth is sometimes required to achieve the best orthodontic result. Straight teeth and a balanced facial profile are the goal of orthodontics. However, because new technology has provided advanced orthodontic procedures, removing teeth is not often necessary for orthodontic treatment.
8. How long will it take to complete treatment?
Treatment time obviously depends on each patient’s specific orthodontic problem. In general, treatment times range from 12 to 30 months. The “average” treatment time for Dr. Pollei’s patients is approximately 18 months.
9. How much will braces cost? Are financing options available? How does my insurance work?
It is impossible to give an exact cost for treatment until we have examined you. We will review the exact cost and financial options during the initial examination if treatment is indicated. 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.
10. How often will I have appointments?
Appointments are scheduled according to each patient’s treatment needs. Most patients in braces will be seen every 5-8 weeks. If there are specific situations where more frequent monitoring is indicated, we will schedule appointments accordingly.
11. Can I schedule all of my appointments after school?
Unfortunately, we cannot schedule all appointments for students during after-school hours. However, because most appointments are scheduled 5-8 weeks apart and are generally only 10-15 minutes in length, most patients will miss minimal school due to their orthodontic treatments. We will, however, make a sincere effort to meet your scheduling needs.
12. Can I drop my child off for an appointment?
Yes. We understand your busy schedule, and we are happy to help you make the most of your time. On some occasions, we may request to speak with a parent when they return, so we ask that parents check in with their patient manager before dropping off their child.
13. 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. But after most visits, patients do not feel any soreness at all.
14. Can I return to school the day I receive my braces?
Yes. There is no reason to miss school once your orthodontic appointment has concluded.
15. Can I still play sports?
Yes, though we recommend that you wear a mouth guard for all sports.
16. Do you give shots?
No. Shots are not necessary in orthodontic treatment.
17. Do you use recycled braces?
Never. It is our belief that each patient should be provided with their own braces to achieve the best orthodontic result possible.
18. Do I need to see my family dentist while in braces?
Definitely! Regular checkups with your family dentist are important while in braces. Your family dentist will determine the intervals between cleaning appointments while you are in braces.
19. Are there foods I cannot eat while I have braces?
Yes. Once treatment begins, we will explain the complete instructions and provide a comprehensive “no-no” 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.
20. How often should I brush my teeth while in braces?
Patients should brush their teeth multiple times each day – after meals and before going to bed. We will show each patient how to properly floss with braces and we may also provide a prescription for a special fluoride, if necessary.
21. What is an emergency appointment? How are those handled?
If your braces are causing great discomfort or if something breaks, please call our office. Often we can address these issues over the telephone for your convenience, thus saving you an extra trip into our office. If an emergency appointment is needed, we will set aside time for you. Dr.Pollei will always be available to talk to you about any concerns that you may have.
22. Can orthodontic correction occur while a child has baby teeth?
Yes – but only if indicated. A few orthodontic problems are significant enough to require early intervention. This determination is made during the initial or follow-up examinations. Most often though, orthodontic treatment is not indicated when patients have a number of baby teeth remaining. If a patient is not yet at an ideal time for treatment, we will follow that patient’s growth and development until the time is right for treatment to begin.
23. What is Phase One (early) treatment?
The primary objective for Phase One treatment is to address a specific problem or problems with the goal of preventing them from becoming more severe. Early treatment (if indicated) is usually initiated on children between the ages of 7 and 10, and lasts on average from 6-12 months. Because research has shown that most orthodontic bite problems can effectively be treated in a single later phase, we will only suggest an option of phase one treatment in certain specific situations.
24. Will my child need full braces if he/she has Phase One treatment?
Generally children will benefit from full treatment even after a Phase One treatment because phase one treatment is focused on a specific problem, not on the entire bite. The period following Phase One treatment is a “resting period,” during which growth and tooth eruption are closely monitored. Throughout this period, parents and patients will be kept informed of future treatment recommendations.
25. Will my child need an expander?
During the initial examination, we will determine if an expander would be a benefit to your child.
26. Is it too late to have braces if I am already an adult?
A surprising percentage of our patients are adults. In fact, 25 percent of all orthodontic patients are adults. Health, happiness and self-esteem are vitally important to adults. No patient is “too old” to wear braces!
27. Can I wear braces even though I have crowns and missing teeth?
Yes. A tooth with a crown will move just like a tooth with a simple filling. When teeth are missing, orthodontic treatment will aid in the alignment of the remaining teeth.
28. Why should I choose an orthodontic specialist?
Teeth and facial structures are permanently changed by orthodontic treatment. For that reason it is recommended for an orthodontist – who has an additional 2-3 years of specialty residency training in addition to 4 years of dental school – to supervise orthodontic care. It is important that treatment is appropriately and properly managed. Orthodontic specialists extensive specialized training enables them to provide their patients with professional, efficient, personalized treatment.