FAQ about Braces
Here at Ottawa Braces, we get a lot of questions about orthodontic treatment. Below, we have taken the liberty of answering some of the most common questions for you. Of course, if you have any other questions you can call our office during business hours.
Listed below are some of the most common signs that orthodontics might be needed for you to have the best bite and most even smile of your life:
- Bucked upper teeth, or upper teeth that stick out excessively over the lower teeth.
- Upper teeth that cover most of the lower teeth when biting together. This is called a “deep bite.”
- Upper front teeth are behind or inside the lower front teeth. This is called an “under bite.”
- When the upper and lower front teeth do not touch when biting together. This is called an “open bite.”
- The centers of the upper and lower teeth do not line up.
- Finger or thumb-sucking habits that continue after six or seven years of age.
- Difficulty chewing.
- Teeth wearing down unevenly or excessively.
- When the lower jaw shifts to one side or the other when biting together.
- Excessive spaces between the teeth.
Braces function by applying force to the roots of the teeth with braces and wire. When this force is applied, the cells in the bone and tissues surrounding the tooth root are stimulated. Cells called Osteoblasts and Osteoclasts add and remove bone. Pressure caused at the bracket produces pressure and tension (like pulling) at the root of the tooth, which will cause the tooth to move and the bone to remodel itself.
The placement of the bands and brackets onto your teeth will not hurt. Once the braces are placed and connected with arch wires, there may be some tenderness in your teeth for one to four days. Your lips and cheeks might also require a week or two to get used to the new appliances on your teeth.
To move things along as quickly and as smoothly as possible, we ask that you bring with you to your first appointment:
- Your medical and dental history
- Your home address and telephone number
- Your work phone number
- Insurance information, including insurance card
- A list of your primary concerns about your teeth or oral health
- Any x-rays that have previously been taken
During your first orthodontic appointment, your orthodontist will start by getting acquainted with you, and learning about your medical and dental health history. Next, you will have your face, jaws and teeth examined. This will usually consist of x-rays and molds of your teeth being made. These items will serve as records for you and your orthodontist to track your progress, and help them to diagnose problems that might not be easy to detect with the naked eye.
The whole first appointment takes roughly about an hour. After this initial appointment, your orthodontist will study the records that they took during this appointment, and develop a treatment plan specifically for you.
Phase 1 treatment, also known as early interceptive treatment, is limited orthodontic treatment like expanders and partial braces that are applied before all of the permanent teeth have emerged. Usually children between six and ten undergo Phase 1 treatment, and it is sometimes recommended to make more space for developing teeth or the correction of the bite. This can also help with harmful oral habits.
Phase 2 treatment is also called comprehensive treatment and is usually given between the ages of eleven and thirteen. Comprehensive treatment involves full braces after all of the baby teeth are gone and fully replaced with permanent teeth.
The length of treatment varies on a case-by-case basis, with the average timeframe being between one and two years. The actual length of treatment can be affected by the rate of growth as well as the severity of the correction that you’re receiving this treatment for.
In many ways, it also depends on you and how well you maintain oral hygiene, keeping up with your appointments and making sure to always use good, strong elastics with your braces.
It may take several appointments at the beginning before your treatment gets underway. Once it has started, appointments are usually four to six weeks apart.
The overall cost of your treatment will vary depending on the complexity of the problem that you’re seeking to have corrected. More severe problems require additional time, and therefore additional costs than less complicated problems. Because of how hugely varied the problem may be, each case is evaluated individually.
Fees can be estimated during your first visit. During your consultation, our staff at Ottawa Braces will go over the fees in detail, and help to come up with a payment schedule that suits your needs.
Each insurance company works differently. If you have orthodontic insurance, you will need to bring the insurance information and card with you to your first appointment. With this information, we will help determine the coverage that you have, and direct bill your provider.
You should be aware that most insurance plans will not completely cover the cost of your orthodontic care. There may be deductible clauses, a dollar limit and excluded services that might have to be paid for out of pocket.