Anderson Office
110 Buford Ave. | Anderson, SC 29621
P: (864) 224-2526

FAQ

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  1. Why should I choose an orthodontic specialist?

    Teeth, and sometimes entire facial structures, are permanently changed by orthodontic and dentofacial-orthopedic treatment. It is important that the treatment be appropriate and properly administered. Orthodontic specialists have received extensive and specialized training that requires a minimum of two years in a full-time school-based residency program. The typical general dentist doing braces has taken a few weekend courses. Orthodontic specialists are also examined and licensed by state dental boards to determine if they have the educational requirements and are competent enough to call themselves orthodontic specialists.The typical general dentist doing braces has not. By state law, orthodontic specialists are only allowed to provide orthodontic care.  Our daily focus is orthodontics and our continuing education focus is orthodontics which over time results in an ever increasing advantage in experience and knowledge. General dentists doing braces do many different procedures and are not required to do any orthodontic continuing education.  Last but not least, orthodontic fees are typically competitive and often lower at an orthodontic specialist's office, so the question becomes why would you not choose an orthodontic specialist? 

  2. Is it required that my family dentist schedule my complimentary 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 a complimentary examination themselves.

  3. At what age should I schedule a complimentary 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.

  4. Will my teeth straighten out as they grow?

    No, they will 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.

  5. How do I schedule a complimentary appointment for an initial exam?

    If you or your child can potentially benefit from orthodontic treatment, simply call our office, send us an e-mail 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.

  6. What will happen at the complimentary 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 and X-rays to allow us to make a proper diagnosis. The doctor will then complete a brief, but thorough, exam.

    To read more about your first visit, see our First Visit Page.

  7. What will I learn from the complimentary initial examination?

    There are five essential questions that we will cover during the initial examination:

    1. Is there an orthodontic problem, and if so, what is it?
    2. What must be done to correct the problem?
    3. Will any teeth need to be removed?
    4. How long will the treatment take to complete?
    5. What will the approximate cost be?

  8. Why are permanent teeth sometimes extracted for braces?

    Removing permanent teeth is sometimes required to eliminate significant crowding or correct a bite discrepancy without moving the remaining teeth to unstable positions. This allows the Orthodontist to achieve ideal function and aesthetics while keeping the teeth where they want to be in the oral muscular neutral zone. Ideal function and straight teeth with stability and a balanced facial profile are the goal of orthodontics. The good news is that with the latest technology, addressing orthopedic issues and ideal treatment timing the need for permanent tooth extractions has been significantly reduced.

  9. How long will it take to complete treatment?

    Treatment time obviously depends on each patient's specific orthodontic problem and compliance. In general, a full treatment case lasts from 24 months to 30 months. The "average" time frame is approximately 24 to 30 months.

  10. 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 financial options during the initial examination. We have several 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.

  11. How often will I have appointments?

    Appointments are scheduled according to each patient's needs. Most patients in braces will be seen every 4 to 6 weeks. If there are specific situations that require more frequent monitoring, we will schedule appointments accordingly.

  12. 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 4 to 6 weeks apart, most patients will miss minimal school due to their orthodontic treatments. We will, however, make a sincere effort to meet your scheduling needs.

  13. 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.

  14. 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!"

  15. Can I return to school the day I receive my braces?

    Yes. There is no reason to miss school because of an orthodontic appointment.

  16. Do you give shots?

    No. Shots are not necessary in orthodontic treatment.

  17. Do you use recycled braces?

    Absolutely not! We will never use recycled braces, wires or appliances.  It is our belief that each patient should be provided with their own braces to achieve the best orthodontic result possible.

  18. Can I still play sports?

    Yes. We recommend a mouth guard for all sports.

  19. Do I need to see my family dentist while in braces?

    Yes! Regular check-ups with your family dentist are important while in braces. Your family dentist will determine the intervals between cleaning appointments while you are in braces.

  20. Are there foods I cannot eat while I have braces?

    Yes. Once treatment begins, we will explain the complete instructions and provide 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). Some good foods can be cut up and chewed on the back teeth. You can avoid most emergency appointments to repair broken or damaged braces by carefully following our instructions.

  21. How often should I brush my teeth while in braces?

    Patients should brush their teeth at least three times each day and use a water pic following breakfast and before going to bed. We will instruct each patient on how to maintain teeth with braces. We also recommend and provide a prescription for a high fluoride toothpaste.

  22. 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.

  23. 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.

  24. What is Phase One (early) Treatment?

    Phase One treatment, if necessary, is usually initiated on children between the ages of 7 and 10. Phase One treatment is usually indicated for childen with moderate to significant orthopedic (skeketal) problems and lasts about 16-21 months. The primary objective for Phase One treatment is to address significant problems to prevent them from becoming more severe over time and to improve self-esteem and self-image. Our experience and research has shown that routine Two Phase treatments for primary dental issues (just straightening front teeth) did not accomplish a significant difference from Phase One only treatment except that it costs more and took much longer. On the other hand, addressing significant orthopedic issues in an early phase can lead to a much easier time in braces down the road, reduce permanent tooth extractions, and possibly avoid the need for orthognathic (jaw) surgery while achieving an ideal result.

  25. Will my child need full braces if he/she has Phase One treatment?

    It is best to assume that your child will need full braces even after Phase One treatment. The period following Phase One treatment is called the "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.

  26. Will my child need an expander?

    An expander is a orthopedic appliance to correct a narrow upper jaw which is a skeletal issue. At our initial examination we will evaluate the patient and make a recommendation as to whether an expander is indicated.
     

  27. 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!

  28. 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.

 

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