1. Is it required that my family dentist schedule my appointment with the orthodontist?
2. At what age should I schedule an appointment for an orthodontic screening?
3. Will my teeth straighten out as they grow?
4. How do I schedule an appointment for an initial exam?
5. What will happen at the initial examination appointment?
6. What will I learn from the initial examination?
7. Will I need to have teeth extracted for braces?
8. How long will it take to complete treatment?
9. How much will braces cost? Are financing options available? How does my insurance work?
10. How often will I have appointments?
11. Can I schedule all of my appointments after school?
12. Can I drop my child off for an appointment?
13. Do braces hurt?
14. Can I return to school the day I receive my braces?
15. Do you give shots?
16. Do you use recycled braces?
17. Can I still play sports?
18. Do I need to see my family dentist while in braces?
19. Are there foods I cannot eat while I have braces?
20. How often should I brush my teeth while in braces?
21. What is an emergency appointment? How are those handled?
22. Can orthodontic correction occur while a child has baby teeth?
23. What is Phase I (early) Treatment?
24. Will my child need full braces if he/she has Phase I treatment?
25. Will my child need an expander?
26. Is it too late to have braces if I am already an adult?
27. Can I wear braces even though I have crowns and missing teeth?
28. Why should you 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.
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2. 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.
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3. Will my teeth straighten out as they grow?
No, they will generally not, especially when there is any degree of crowding. The space available for the front teeth typically decreases with age after the permanent molars erupt. As additional teeth erupt the crowding and irregularity will increase in most cases.
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4. How do I schedule an appointment for an initial exam?
If you or your child can potentially benefit from orthodontic treatment, simply call our office at 263-5390. We will be happy to schedule an appointment for you. When you call to schedule your appointment we will request some basic information from you. We will also send you a medical history and questionnaire for you to bring to your appointment.
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5. What will happen at the initial examination appointment?
Our Treatment Coordinator, Joyce, will introduce each patient and parent to our office and prepare for the initial exam. If appropriate we will take a panoramic x-ray to allow us to evaluate the dental development. Our Planmeca Promax x-ray unit is a fully digital model that produces panoramic and cephalometric radiographs with superior clinical quality with minimum exposure. Dr. Grey will then complete a thorough exam and be prepared to discuss treatment options.

To read more about your first visit, see our First Visit Page.
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6. What will I learn from the initial examination?
There are five essential questions that we will cover during the initial examination:

· 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?
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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. Removing teeth is not always necessary for orthodontic treatment. In fact, technological advances and the evolution of treatment philosophy have made the removal of permanent teeth less common.
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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. Most treatments fit in the 18-24 month range.
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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 cover the exact cost and payment options during the initial examination. Financing options are 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.
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10. How often will I have appointments?
Appointments are scheduled according to each patient's needs. Most patients in braces will be seen every 5 to 6 weeks. If there are specific situations that require more frequent monitoring, we will schedule appointments accordingly.
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11. Can I schedule all of my appointments after school?
Unfortunately, we cannot schedule all appointments for students during after-school hours. Because of the interval between appointments most patients will miss minimal school due to their orthodontic treatments. Some longer appointments will need to be scheduled earlier in the day so that we can accommodate a greater number of appointments during the after school hours. We will, however, make a sincere effort to meet your scheduling needs.
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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.
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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. 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!”
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14. Can I return to school the day I receive my braces?
Yes. There generally should be no problem returning to school because of an orthodontic appointment.
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15. Do you give shots?
No. Shots are not necessary in orthodontic treatment.
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16. Do you use recycled braces?
Absolutely not! It is our belief that each patient should be provided with their own braces to achieve the best orthodontic result possible.
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17. Can I still play sports?
Yes. However, we recommend a mouth guard for all sports where contact is a possibility. When we put your braces on let us know that you participate in sports. We will give you an appropriate mouth guard.
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18. Do I need to see my family dentist while in braces?
Yes! 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.
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19. Are there foods I cannot eat while I have braces?
Yes. Once treatment begins we will explain what foods are to be avoided. 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.
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20. How often should I brush my teeth while in braces?
Patients should brush their teeth at least four times each day: after each meal and before going to bed. We will demonstrate how to floss with braces and will also provide a fluoride rinse to use after the final brushing before going to bed.
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21. 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.
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22. Can orthodontic correction occur while a child has baby teeth?
Yes. Some orthodontic problems are significant enough to require early intervention. However, if a patient is not yet ready for treatment, we will follow that patient's growth and development until the time is right for treatment to begin.
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23. What is Phase I (early) Treatment?
Phase I treatment, if necessary, is usually initiated on children between the ages of 7 and 9. Phase I treatment generally lasts about 12-15 months and is generally for more sever bite discrepancies. that may not be possible to correct in the older child if uncorrected at an early age. The primary objective for Phase One treatment is to address significant problems to prevent them from becoming more severe, and to improve self-esteem and self-image.
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24. Will my child need full braces if he/she has Phase I treatment?
It is best to assume that your child will need a second phase of treatment. The period following Phase I treatment is called supervision during which growth and tooth eruption are closely monitored. Once the remaining adult teeth erupt the second phase can begin. The more successful the first phase of treatment is the more limited the treatment may be for Phase II.
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25. Will my child need an expander?
At the completion of the initial examination, we will discuss treatment options. There are a variety of expansion appliances that we use to address bites where the one or more of the upper back teeth are narrower or inside of the lower back teeth.
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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% of all orthodontic patients are adults. Health, happiness, and self-esteem are vitally important to adults. No patient is "too old" to wear braces!
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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. A tooth that has had a successful root canal can also be moved. When teeth are missing, orthodontic treatment will aid in the alignment of the remaining teeth.
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28. Why should you choose an orthodontic specialist?
Teeth, and sometimes entire facial structures, are permanently changed by orthodontic treatment. It is important that the treatment be appropriate and properly completed. Orthodontic specialists have extensive and specialized training that enables them to provide their patients with professional, personalized treatments.
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