You Have Questions? We Have Answers.
With Invisalign, esthetic braces, and accelerated treatment options, orthodontics is easier today than ever, but if you choose braces, there are some helpful guidelines to make your time in treatment smooth and easy. Here are answers to some commonly asked questions.
Is it required that my family dentist refer me for an appointment with Dr. Mastaj?
No, it is not. Many of our patients are referred by their family dentist, but many other patients take the initiative to schedule an initial consultation themselves.
At what age should I schedule an appointment for an orthodontic screening?
The American Association of Orthodontists recommends an orthodontic screening between the ages of 7 and 9. By this age, several permanent teeth in most children have erupted, allowing us to effectively evaluate your orthodontic condition.
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 cases, after the permanent molars erupt, the space available for the front teeth decreases with age.
How do I schedule an appointment for an initial consultation?
When you’re ready to schedule a consultation for yourself or one of your children, give us a call, send us an e-mail or fill out our Appointment Request form online.
What will happen at the first visit?
Upon arriving, each patient and parent will be seen by Dr. Mastaj and various members of our team. We will take photographs and, if needed, a digital scan to allow us to make a proper diagnosis.
What will I learn at my first visit?
There are four essential questions that we will cover during the initial consultation:
- Is there an orthodontic problem, and if so, what is it?
- What must be done to correct the problem and when is the best time to treat this problem?
- Approximately how long will the treatment take to complete?
- How much will the investment be?
Will I need to have teeth extracted for braces?
Dr. Mastaj treats each case individually and will determine a customized treatment plan for each individual. It isn't very often that teeth need to be extracted.
How long will it take to complete treatment?
Treatment time depends on each patient's specific orthodontic needs. That is the primary reason we offer a complimentary initial consultation. In general, treatment times range from 12 to 30 months.
How much will braces cost? Are financing options available? Can I use insurance?
We will explain the cost and available payment options during the initial consultation. We have a number of flexible payment options and will discuss all the options during your initial consultation. We provide you with the necessary information to take to your health insurance company to ensure that you receive the maximum benefit available.
How often will I have appointments?
Appointments are scheduled according to each patient's needs. Most patients in braces will be seen once every 6 to 10 weeks. If there are specific situations that require more frequent monitoring, we will schedule appointments accordingly.
Can I schedule all of my child’s appointments after school?
Unfortunately, we cannot schedule all appointments for students before and after-school hours. Our longer appointments, i.e. initial examinations and putting braces on, are usually scheduled during school hours. Once you are in treatment we do try to schedule your adjustment appointments before and after school and we make every effort to meet your scheduling needs.
Can I drop my child off for an appointment?
Yes. We understand you might have a 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 and if you are not present, our Assistants will phone you to discuss any aspect of your child’s treatment that may require attention.
Do braces hurt?
Sometimes patients experience some discomfort after certain visits. Typically, discomfort will subside within a few days. However, if required you can take the medication that you would normally take for a headache, for example, Ibuprofen or Acetaminophen. CAUTION: Some Asthmatics cannot take Ibuprofen.
Can I return to school/work the day I get braces?
Yes. The “bonding” appointment usually only takes about an hour and a half.
Can I still play sports?
Yes. We recommend a mouth guard for all contact sports. We are able to make individualized mouth guards for our patients upon request for a nominal fee.
Do I need to see my family dentist while in braces?
Yes! Regular checkups with your family dentist are important while in braces. Your family dentist will determine the intervals between cleaning appointments while you are in braces.
Are there foods I cannot eat while I have braces?
Yes. Once treatment begins, we will explain the complete instructions and provide a list of foods to avoid. Some of those foods include:
- Hard candy
- Raw vegetables
- All sticky foods (i.e. caramel and taffy)
You can avoid most breakage appointments to repair broken or damaged braces by carefully following our instructions. With Invisalign® you take your aligners out to eat so there are no restrictions.
How often should I brush my teeth while in braces?
Patients should brush their teeth after eating. We will show you how to floss with braces. With Invisalign® you can eat, brush and floss normally.
What is an emergency appointment? How are those handled?
True orthodontic emergencies are very rare, but when they do occur we can help. You should call the office if you experience a breakage or discomfort which can’t be controlled using medication and/or wax. We'll see you as soon as possible to resolve the problem.
If you experience a problem outside of our normal office hours, you can call our office phone to obtain our after-hours contact phone number.
You might be surprised to learn that you may be able to temporarily solve many problems yourself until you schedule an appointment with our office. After alleviating your discomfort, it is very important that you still call our office as soon as possible to schedule a time to professionally repair the problem. Allowing your appliance to remain damaged for an extended period of time may result in disruptions in your treatment plan.
What is Phase One (Early) treatment?
Phase one treatment, if necessary, usually applies to children between the ages of 5 and 10. In this phase, which we call the Growth Phase; treatment lasts about 6 - 12 months. The primary objective for Growth Phase treatment is to fix the problem completely or prevent problems from becoming more severe so that Phase 2 treatment (once all the adult teeth are in) is quicker and uncomplicated.
Is it too late to have braces if I am already an adult?
Our patients range in age from 5 years old to over 70! You’re never too old to wear braces or to have Invisalign®!
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 and help you maintain them for the rest of your life. In many cases, we can even close the space where teeth are missing or move them into a better position for future dental restoration.