We are a state-of-the-art practice providing a full range of orthodontic services - including early orthodontic treatment, braces, adult orthodontics, Invisalign, and TMJ treatment.
Phase I (Early Treatment)
In orthodontics today, often times we see children much earlier than in years past to evaluate orthodontic needs. At this age, obviously they are not ready for comprehensive braces treatment because they still have a great number of baby teeth. However, by addressing certain problems early, the overall situation can be made simpler and healthier. Before the patient reaches the teen years, Phase I treatment is carried out to address limited issues. This may consist of expansion, crossbite correction, or alleviating a bite problem that is destructive. Phase I treatment does not align all the permanent teeth because at the time these teeth are not all in. Even when Phase I treatment is carried out, it is possible that Phase II (comprehensive braces) will be needed as a teen. However, by reducing or eliminating the limited issues identified in Phase I, the extent of treatment during Phase II can also be reduced. The ages for Phase I treatment are 6 to 11 years old. We recommend an exam at age 6 or 7 to take an evaluation of the situation. Braces, or Phase II treatment, is considered after all the permanent teeth are in, at an average age of 12 to 13 years old.
Phase II (Braces)
Phase II treatment - to include the use of braces - is usually started after a time that elapses between the two phases. During this time, all of the adult teeth emerge and adult growth occurs. If both Phase I and Phase II treatment are required, each Phase necessitates a separate set of x-rays, photos and models, as well as a separate treatment plan and fees.
Braces and TMD Treatment
TMD (temporomandibular disorder) problems are characterized by pain, popping, and clicking in the area of the temporomandibular joints, just in front of the ears. These joints serve as hinges between the lower jaw and the skull, allowing free movement for chewing, speech, etc. Problems with the TMJ can arise from stress, tooth grinding, and bad bites, and are most common in adult women. Without treatment, these problems often lead to deterioration of the joint tissues, chronic pain, and soreness in the muscles that make the joint work. Our treatment for such problems is based on an accurate diagnosis using state-of-the-art, computerized, diagnostic equipment. The treatment is non-invasive and typically involves neuromuscular positioning. This treatment modality is based on the use of customized mouthpieces (orthotics) to obtain a comfortable position for the lower jaw. Once this jaw position is found and the TMJ problem is under control, long-term stabilization can be accomplished with orthodontic treatment to allow the natural teeth to serve as an orthotic.
Your First Visit
At your first visit, an orthodontic "workup" will be completed. This workup consists of two diagnostic x-rays, a panoramic and cephalometric. Impressions of the upper and lower arch will be made to make study models of the teeth. Also, digital pictures will be taken of the profile and teeth. After these records are collected, a consultation will be the next step in beginning your orthodontic treatment. At that visit, the doctor will go over the treatment plan. An appointment can be scheduled to begin treatment at a later date or you may choose to begin that day.
An initial down payment of approximately 20% of the total fee is made when treatment starts. The remaining balance is paid in monthly installments. The balance must be paid in full before braces are removed. There is no finance charge with this plan. Fee estimates given at the exam are valid for 6 months. We accept all major credits cards.
We are happy to file the insurance forms necessary to see that you receive the full benefits of your company. However, we cannot guarantee any estimated coverage. Please note that you are responsible for any and all amounts that the insurance does not choose to cover.
Living with Braces
Eating with Braces
What can you eat? Let's talk about what you shouldn't eat! For the first day or so, stick to soft foods. Avoid tough meats, hard breads, and raw vegetables. Before long, you'll be able to bite a cucumber again. But you'll need to protect your orthodontic appliances when you eat for as long as you're wearing braces.
- Chewy foods: bagels, hard rolls, licorice
- Crunchy foods: popcorn, ice, chips
- Sticky foods: caramels, gum
- Hard foods: nuts, candy
- Foods you have to bite into: corn on the cob, apples, carrots
- Chewing on hard things (for example, pens, pencils or fingernails) can damage the braces
Damaged braces will cause treatment to take longer.
When you get your braces on, you may feel general soreness in your mouth and teeth may be tender to biting pressures for three to five days. This can be relieved by rinsing your mouth with a warm salt water mouthwash. If the tenderness is severe, take aspirin or whatever you normally take for headache or similar pain. The lips, cheeks and tongue may also become irritated for one to two weeks as they toughen and become accustomed to the surface of the braces. You can put wax on the braces to lessen this. We'll show you how!
Loosening of Teeth
This is to be expected throughout treatment. Don't worry! It's normal. Teeth must loosen first so they can be moved. The teeth will again become rigidly fixed in their new--corrected--positions.
Care of Appliance
To successfully complete the treatment plan, the patient must work together with the orthodontist. The teeth and jaws can only move toward their corrected positions if the patient consistently wears the rubber bands, headgear or other appliances as prescribed. Damaged appliances lengthen the treatment time.
It's more important than ever to brush and floss regularly when you have braces, so the teeth and gums are healthy after orthodontic treatment. Patients who do not keep their teeth clean may require more frequent visits to the dentist for a professional cleaning. Adults who have a history of gum disease should also see a periodontist during orthodontic treatment.
- Wear your retainers full time, until the doctor instructs otherwise.
- Take your retainers out when eating... and always put retainers in their case! (Most appliances are lost in school lunch rooms or restaurants.)
- Clean retainers thoroughly once a day with a toothbrush and toothpaste. Use warm but not hot water. Brushing retainers removes the plaque, and eliminates odors. Efferdent or other orthodontic appliance cleaners can be used, but do not take the place of brushing.
- When retainers are not in your mouth they should ALWAYS be in a retainer case. Pets love to chew on them!
- Initially, you may find it difficult to speak. Practice speaking, reading, or singing out loud to get used to them faster.
- Retainers are breakable, so treat them with care. If retainers are lost or broken call us immediately.
If you have any questions or concerns about your retainers, or your retainers need adjusting, call us. Do not try to adjust them yourself, always bring your retainers to your appointments. Retainer replacement is expensive... with proper care they will last for years! Keep retainers away from hot water, hot car dashboards, pockets, the washing machine, and napkins.
If you play sports, it's important that you consult us for special precautions. A protective mouthguard is advised for playing contact sports. In case of any accident involving the face, check your mouth and the appliances immediately. If teeth are loosened or the appliances damaged, phone at once for an appointment. In the meantime, treat your discomfort as you would treat any general soreness.
Loose Wire or Band
Don't be alarmed if a wire or band comes loose. This happens occasionally. If wire protrudes and is irritating, use a blunt instrument (back of spoon or the eraser end of a pencil) and carefully, gently push the irritating wire under the archwire. Simply get it out of the way. If irritation to the lips or mouth continues, place wax or wet cotton on the wire to reduce the annoyance. Call our office as soon as possible for an appointment to check and repair the appliances. If any piece comes off, save it and bring it with you to the office.
As a general rule, an emergency appointment may be made when there is severe pain, a loose band, a broken wire or something sticking out that you can't take care of. Most loose bands and brackets can be taken care of at your next monthly visit. Please call the office to report anything that's broken, so that more time is allowed at the next visit if necessary. It's important to know the names of the parts of your appliances. It will help, when you phone the office, to be able to identify what part is broken or out of place. (see below)
Parts of Braces
Many patients decline needed orthodontic work because of the time commitment. With a new orthodontic treatment called Accelerated Osteogenic Orthodontics (AOO), Wilckodontics, most orthodontic cases can be completed 3 to 4 times faster than with conventional orthodontics.
Because of the dense nature of bone, it changes very slowly. By performing a minor periodontal procedure, the dense bone is softened which accelerates the process. The softened bone then allows the teeth to move to their new position more quickly. Braces and specialized Wilckodontics appliances are required to move the teeth. Once in position, the teeth are held in place while the bone hardens around them.
During this procedure, a few small incisions are made, and an antibiotic saturated bone-grafting material is placed under the gums. The graft is placed over the areas where the bone needs to be softened. This allows for easy tooth movement. The newly formed supporting bone will aid in holding the straightened teeth.
For more information, please visit the Wilckodontics Website.