Orthodontic Basics

What is Orthodontics?

Orthodontics is the branch of dentistry that specializes in the diagnosis, prevention and treatment of dental and facial irregularities. The practice of orthodontics requires professional skill in the design, application and control of corrective appliances (braces) to bring teeth, lips and jaws into proper alignment and achieve facial balance.

Why Should I consider Orthodontic Treatment?

You already know that braces straighten teeth. But what you may not know is that a beautiful smile is just one of the benefits orthodontics has to offer. Bringing teeth, lips and jaws into proper alignment, not only produces a great smile, but a healthy one as well. Straight teeth function better and are easier to clean. And last, but not least, is the increased confidence and self-esteem that a healthy smile provides. This psychological benefit can be a significant factor in the decision to undergo treatment and is often listed as a patient’s #1 treatment goal. A beautiful smile is a pleasure to own and a pleasure to see.

How are Orthodontists different from Dentists?

Orthodontists are dentists who have completed, on average, three years of additional specialized training in how to diagnose, prevent and treat dental and facial irregularities. Advanced and ongoing training enables Orthodontists to provide their patients with the highest standard of treatment, leading to the best results.

Do I need a dentist to refer me to an orthodontist?

No referral is necessary to initiate a consultation or treatment with an Orthodontist.

Who can benefit from orthodontics?

At one time, most people believed braces were “just for kids”. The fact is, that of the patients now in orthodontic treatment, more than 1 in 4 is over 21. Because the basic process involved in moving teeth is the same in adults as in children, orthodontic treatment can usually be successful at any age. The health of the teeth, the gums and the supporting bones will also determine the prospects for improvement.

When should my child first see an orthodontic specialist?

The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that every child see an orthodontic specialist no later than age 7. Many orthodontic problems are easier to correct if detected early, rather than waiting until jaw growth has slowed. Early treatment may mean a patient will avoid surgery or other more serious corrections later in life.

Is it ever too late for a person to get braces?

No. As long as the bone and gum tissue around the teeth are healthy, age is not a factor. About 25% of orthodontic patients are adults. Orthodontic specialists regularly treat patients in their 50’s, 60’s and older!

How much does treatment cost?

It’s important to balance the lifetime benefit of a beautiful, healthy smile when considering the cost of treatment. As you would expect, the cost of treatment is totally dependent upon the type of treatment, the length of treatment, and the severity of the problem being treated. Your orthodontic specialist will be happy to discuss fees with you.

Will my private insurance plan cover Orthodontic treatment?

Many insurance plans now include Orthodontic treatment. You should check with your provider to see if you have coverage.

How can I find a qualified Orthodontic specialist?

The resources page on this website offers a number of links to various Professional Orthodontic Associations around the world. Such websites often contain a list of names and addresses of qualified orthodontic specialists. Visit our Resources Page</font></a> for more information.