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AAO Resource on How Orthodontic Treatment Works

July 23rd, 2018

Have you ever wondered how the magic of tooth movement happens?  Sure you've seen the before and after pictures, but how do they do it?

Well, in this week's edition of the American Association of Orthodontists resource, we're referring you to a fantastic page that discusses the "how" of orthodontic treatment.

This resource covers types of appliances that are used to move teeth.  (It's not just all "braces," folks!)  It also covers strategies like extracting primary or permanent teeth versus expansion.

This resource touches on so many topics that it's likely to raise even more questions than it answers, and that's what we're here for.  Please take a look at this website to begin learning, and as always, please feel free to contact our office with any additional questions you can think of.  We're here for you!!

AAO Guide: How Orthodontic Treatment Works

AAO Guide to Understanding Early Treatment

July 2nd, 2018

Last week I mentioned an important resource, the AAO Guide for Parents.  It discusses so many detailed aspects of orthodontic treatment and asks all the right questions.

This week and in coming weeks, I'm going to highlight specific sections from this guide.  Today I'd like to direct your attention to the topic of "Understanding Early Treatment."  Early orthodontic treatment is something that we get TONS of questions about.  Many parents remember having braces around age 11 or 12, and when the dentist recommends a visit to the orthodontist around age 7 or 8, their first thought is, "Isn't this a little early?"

The answer?  In some cases, yes.  However, in other cases, some level of orthodontic intervention at this age may reduce the risk of requiring more invasive treatment later and may facilitate a more successful result by influencing growth and development at just the right time.

If you have questions about early treatment, check out this amazing resource!

Understanding Early Check-Ups

What is Orchestrate?

April 23rd, 2018

It has become common practice to use the word "Invisalign" when referring all clear aligner treatment, but what many patients don't realize is that there are lots of companies who create clear aligners or the tools to make them, and they each have their own advantages and disadvantages.  As orthodontic specialists, we are pleased and proud to be able to offer a wide variety of these options so that we can best customize your treatment experience.

Today we want to share with you some information about a treatment option provided by a company called Orchestrate 3D.  Orchestrate offers tremendous flexibility which means that treatment with aligners can be within reach at a vast range of price points and timelines.  Many other companies have "minimum" price levels or entry points that make treatment cost-prohibitive for patients who need minimal intervention.  Sometimes for these patients, the perceived value of a minor touch-up isn't worth making a large investment.  Now, by using the services of a company like Orchestrate, we can provide service at a price that matches the value.

Another advantage we get to enjoy with Orchestrate is maximum flexibility in treatment planning.  As the doctors, we customize the movements that the teeth will go through and the speed at which they will move ourselves instead of delegating this part of the process to a technician as is the case with other competing aligner companies.  Since this is the case, we can use our experience and expertise to predict how and where each tooth needs to move and what attachments need to be placed in order to achieve the best results possible.

Finally, we're excited for what the future holds with a company like Orchestrate.  We hope to upgrade our in-office technology at some point to include a 3D printer.  These printers allow us to make models of the predicted movements of the teeth right there in the office on the SAME day that the digital impression is made!  What does this mean to you?  It means that instead of waiting days or weeks for your aligners to be fabricated and shipped back to us, your treatment could potentially begin almost immediately.  As we all know, once you've committed to making a change, sometimes you simply can't wait to get the ball rolling!

As I've mentioned, we're so excited to be able to offer Orchestrate treatment as well as many many other options to customize your personal plan.  Call our office or visit our website to learn more - we would be happy to see you for a complimentary consultation to help you learn what options might work best for you!

What to Expect at Your First Visit to the Orthodontist

February 26th, 2018

What to Expect at Your First Visit to the Orthodontist

Knowing what to expect at your first visit to the orthodontist can go a long way towards calming the anxiety of patients (children and adults) and even parents!  Young patients may not know what an orthodontist is or does.  They have often heard scary stories from friends about braces hurting or being "tightened," and they may be worried that they'll get braces right away and that the process will hurt.  Adult patients are often nervous because they're still not sure what options they'll have, and they're still wondering whether they want to wear braces as an adult.  "Why am I here? Am I really going to go through with this? Is it weird for an adult to wear braces?" (Spoiler alert - it's not!)  And parents are frequently nervous about having sticker shock because of their preconceived ideas about braces being expensive.

Rest assured that most of these concerns aren't worth the anxiety they cause, and I'm  hopeful that learning about the new patient process in our office will help!  When you attend your first orthodontic visit, here's what you can expect:

  • You'll be greeted by one of our staff members! One of our staff members will welcome you to the office and give you a tour.  We'll show you everything you need to know to feel comfortable in the office.  Once you've started treatment, often the orthodontist's office can start to feel like home!  Once you've gotten settled, we'll be sure that you have completed all the new patient paperwork necessary.  If you've printed this in advance or filled it out online, you may already be done!
  • Our treatment coordinator will take photographs and x-rays of your teeth.  We take a series of photographs of your teeth and face to be used by the doctor during diagnosis and also as a visual aid for you to use when discussing your treatment options.  Sometimes it's much easier for you to see and identify problems with your teeth in pictures when compared to simply viewing them in the mirror.  In addition, we always use a panoramic x-ray (one large view that shows all your teeth).
  • One of the doctors will examine your teeth and bite and discuss your treatment options with you. Dr. Bethany or Dr. Liz will sit down with you and discuss your treatment needs, answer questions, and give you options for treatment, explaining the pros and cons of each option and giving you time to decide what's right for you.
  • Our treatment coordinator will explain scheduling and financing treatment.  Our treatment coordinator is here to do exactly that - to help you coordinate the details involved in starting treatment!  She will review the total amount of your investment in treatment, help you understand how much your insurance will assist, and give you plenty of payment plan options.  We are extremely flexible when it comes to financing your treatment because we know that everyone's budget is different, and we don't want that to get in between you and the smile of your dreams!!  Next, she'll help you schedule any appointments needed to start your treatment.  Sometimes, if time permits, you may have the option to start your braces the same day!

One of our primary goals is to make your experience with orthodontic treatment comfortable and enjoyable!  We're here for you along the way and we're always available to answer questions.  We're looking forward to your first visit - and we hope you are too!!

Welcome to Our Blog

January 30th, 2018

Thank you for taking the time to visit our blog. Please check back often for weekly updates on fun and exciting events happening at our office, important and interesting information about orthodontics and the dental industry, and the latest news about our practice.

Feel free to leave a comment or question for our doctors and staff - we hope this will be a valuable resource for our patients, their families, and friends!

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