Do you charge for an initial visit?
No. As a courtesy to you and your family dentist, we will always discuss the feasibility of braces or Invisalign® without charging a fee.
At what age do you start seeing patients?
As a rule of thumb, we like to evaluate young patients after the 6-year molars erupt and the front permanent teeth just start to appear. This is usually between the ages of 6 and 8.
Why do you evaluate patients so young?
This is the ideal age to diagnose problems that are related to growth. Many dental problems are due to the skeletal relationships of the upper and lower jaws. They may be too narrow, or may not be growing at the same rate. Habits are evaluated, medical issues are discussed and early Phase 1 treatment options are discussed if appropriate. Each child is an individual and not all children benefit from early (Phase 1) treatment.
How long will the first visit take?
The first visit can last anywhere between 30 minutes and 1 hour depending on how complicated the problems are and how many questions you may have. We usually take diagnostic photographs and a digital (low radiation) X-ray to make a proper diagnosis and be able to discuss all treatment options with you.
Do you take patients transferring from out of town?
Yes we do. We handle a patient transferring into our office from another city just like a new patient. We gather complete diagnostic records to show the current status and propose treatment to complete the work that has been started.
Do you have any adult patients?
Absolutely. A large percentage of our patients are adults. Coolsmiles has been awarded “Elite” provider status by Invisalign® based on their many years of clinical experience and completed Invisalign® and Invisalign Teen® patients.
What is the difference between an orthodontist and a dentist?
There is a big difference. An orthodontist is a general dentist that has had at least 2 more years of full-time training in orthodontics resulting in a nationally accepted specialty certificate. The orthodontist then limits their practice to straightening teeth and dentofacial orthopedics.
Can I make all my appointments in the afternoon after school and late in the day?
In order to provide enough time to complete complex procedures like putting on braces or taking off braces, some procedures need to be accomplished during the hours of 10 and 3. We will do our best to work with your schedules and accommodate your family needs.
Do you see patients for emergencies?
Yes, our contact information for an emergency is posted on the website as well as the phone after hours answering machine.
Can we make payments?
Yes. Whether or not you have insurance or a dental plan, we will structure a convenient payment plan that will allow you to pay for necessary services over a period of time that usually coincides with your treatment plan.
How do you handle insurance?
After verification of coverage, we will agree to bill and collect from an insurance carrier. However, we ask patients to understand that if coverage ceases or changes, the patient is still responsible for the agreed upon fee.
Do you take American Express, Master Card and/or Visa?
Yes, we accept all major credit cards.
Do you have direct debit?
Yes, we have arrangements for direct debit, charge card posting, as well as payments over the internet.
Do you charge interest?
No we do not.
Do you give family discounts?
We have special programs and fees for multiple patients from the same family.
Types of Treatment
What is Phase 1 Treatment?
Phase 1 treatment is delivered early and before all permanent teeth have erupted. The purpose of this early care is to start correcting harmful malocclusions that may be more difficult or impossible to correct later. Phase 1 treatment does not eliminate the need for conventional orthodontics done during adolescence. Examples of phase 1 treatment include correcting individual tooth or jaw cross bites, narrow arches and severe underbites and overbites where function, esthetic or psychological concerns are identified.
What is phase 2 Treatment?
Phase 2 treatment finishes Phase 1 care with braces or Invisalign Teen®. It may start while the last baby teeth are falling out and continue until the 12 year molars have been evaluated or straightened. Patients that have had Phase 1 treatment usually have reduced treatment time as adolescents and usually are able to avoid extraction of healthy permanent teeth.
How do I know if Phase 1, 2 or both type of treatments are necessary?
An orthodontic evaluation at a young age enables the option of preventing many future problems. The American Association of Orthodontists suggests you bring your child at the age of 7.
Moving of teeth (Mechanics)
How long do braces take?
Complete treatment can usually be accomplished in about 2 years of active tooth movement. Sometimes, this active movement is divided into two or more periods of time with a rest of 6 to 18 months in between. (See phase 1 and 2 treatment above).
How do braces work?
Quite simply, crooked teeth are gradually moved into desired positions by taking shaped wires and attaching them to brackets on the teeth.
Do you use recycled braces?
Do retainers need to be worn after braces?
Yes, retainers are worn nighttime indefinitely in order to keep your teeth straight. Teeth have memory. Phase 1 treatment often will prevent many teeth from coming in crooked initially.
Why do teeth get crooked after wearing braces or aligners?
Teeth move throughout life whether you have worn braces or not. It is part of the natural aging process. This is why retainer wear is recommended indefinitely to maintain your orthodontic results over lifetime.
How about retainers glued to the backs of teeth?
For some patients, permanent retainers are attached to the back of lower teeth to keep them in place. This requires special hygiene procedures and regular recalls to the family dentist. Our preference is to use removable retainers so you can adequately clean your teeth.
Wisdom teeth (Third Molars)
Do wisdom teeth cause teeth to get crooked?
Research has shown this not to be true.
Why do wisdom teeth need to be removed?
Wisdom teeth do not cause crooked teeth but they can cause gum problems, swelling if impacted, and trap food below the gum tissue causing infection. It is much nicer to plan for their removal rather than have them removed under emergency conditions.
What are the health benefits of wearing braces?
Orthodontics helps to improve the comfort of the bite, make it easier to brush and floss your teeth for good dental health, and many times helps to balance the facial musculature. The positive self-esteem benefits are immeasurable.