Our Oakland, NJ Orthodontists Answer Your Common Questions

At our Oakland, NJ orthodontic practice, we always give patients the individualized attention they deserve. Whether we are helping patients with their orthodontic needs, answering their questions, or helping them understand our billing and insurance procedures, we want to ensure that they receive unparalleled service. We use advanced technology and a wealth of orthodontic expertise to help children, teens and adults throughout Oakland, Franklin Lakes and Wayne, NJ achieve confidence and self-esteem through beautiful, healthy smiles.

Below we have listed the most commonly asked questions that we hear from our patients and their families. If you do not find your question here, please do not hesitate to give us a call at (201) 337-3701 during our regular business hours. If we are unavailable, please leave a message or email us, and a member from our friendly staff will respond. And remember, you can always ask your questions during your next appointment with us! We are committed to assisting patients in Oakland, Wayne, Franklin Lakes and the greater Bergen and Passaic County areas and look forward to your next visit with us!

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  1. Why should I choose an orthodontic specialist?

    Teeth, and sometimes facial appearances, can be changed by orthodontic treatment. It is important that the problem(s) be properly diagnosed and treated by an orthodontic specialist (orthodontist). An orthodontist is a dentist who has also completed an intensive two- or three-year university or hospital-based accredited graduate program in orthodontics. The orthodontist devotes his or her entire professional career to orthodontics.

  2. Is it required that my family dentist schedule my complimentary appointment with the orthodontist?

    No, a referral from your general dentist is not required. Although many of our patients are referred by their dentists, many other patients take the initiative to schedule an examination themselves.

  3. At what age should I schedule a complimentary appointment for an orthodontic screening?

    The American Association of Orthodontists recommends an orthodontic screening at age 7. By this age, several permanent teeth in most children have erupted, and jaw growth patterns are established, allowing us to effectively evaluate an orthodontic problem if it exists. While some children are not ready for treatment at an early age, parents can be made aware of potential treatment possibilities, as well as the proper timing to begin.

  4. Will my teeth straighten out as they grow?

    Teeth may change positions with growth, but overall orthodontic problems generally remain unchanged.

  5. How do I request an appointment for an initial exam?

    Simply call our office and we will be happy to schedule an appointment for you. When you call to make your appointment, our front office staff will request some basic information from you and guide you appropriately for your initial exam.

  6. What will happen at the initial examination appointment?

    Upon arriving, each patient and parent will first be greeted by a team member, who will introduce you to our office and prepare you for the initial exam. The doctor will then complete a visual examination and discuss the preliminary findings with you. With your consent, the doctor may wish to take diagnostic records, including digital photos, digital X-rays and impressions of your teeth. To read more about your first visit, see our Getting Started page.

  7. Will I need to have teeth extracted?

    Removing teeth is sometimes required to achieve the best orthodontic result. Straight teeth and a balanced facial profile are the goal of orthodontics. However, because new technology has provided advanced orthodontic procedures, for the majority of patients, removing teeth is not always necessary for orthodontic treatment.

  8. How long will it take to complete treatment?

    Treatment time obviously depends on each patient's specific orthodontic problem. In general, treatment times range from 12 to 30 months. The "average" time frame a person is in braces is approximately 20 to 24 months.

  9. How much will treatment cost? Are financing options available? How does my insurance work?

    There is no fixed cost for orthodontic treatment. The fee is determined for each individual based on the severity of the problem, the appliances used and the length of treatment. Flexible financial options are available, as well as third-party financing. We will make every reasonable effort to accommodate your needs. Your insurance policy will also be reviewed to maximize your benefit, and we will submit your forms for you.

  10. How often will I have appointments?

    Appointments are scheduled according to each patient's needs. Most patients in braces will be seen every 5 to 8 weeks. If there are specific situations that require more frequent monitoring, we will schedule appointments accordingly.

  11. Can I schedule all of my appointments after school?

    Unfortunately, we cannot schedule all appointments for students during after-school hours. In general, only lengthy (braces on/off), emergency and repair appointments are scheduled during school hours, and should not occur more than twice in a school year. We will, however, make a sincere effort to meet your scheduling needs.

  12. Can I drop my child off for an appointment?

    Yes. We understand your 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 at the end of the appointment, so we ask that parents check in with their patient manager before dropping off their child.

  13. Do braces hurt?

    Putting on braces and periodic adjustment appointments are really quite pain-free. However, after certain visits, teeth may be somewhat achy for a short time. In these situations, pain medications such as Advil or Tylenol will ease the discomfort. But after most visits, patients do not feel any soreness at all!

  14. Can I return to school the day I receive my braces?

    Yes. There is no reason to miss school because braces were placed.

  15. Do you give shots?

    Anesthetic injections are not necessary in orthodontic treatment.

  16. Do you use recycled braces?

    Absolutely not!

  17. Can I still play sports?

    Yes. We recommend a mouth guard for all sports.

  18. Do I need to see my family dentist while in braces?

    Yes. Regular check-ups with your family dentist are important while in orthodontic treatment.

  19. Are there foods I cannot eat while I have braces?

    Yes. Once treatment begins, we will provide complete instructions including a comprehensive list of foods to avoid. These generally include anything very hard or very chewy. You can avoid most emergency appointments to repair broken or damaged braces by carefully following our instructions.

  20. How often should I brush my teeth while in braces?

    Patients should thoroughly brush their teeth a minimum of two minutes, twice daily. We show our patients how to brush their teeth with braces and will recommend a fluoride rinse.

  21. What is an emergency appointment? How are those handled?

    If your braces are causing extreme pain or if something breaks, you should call our office. In most cases, we can address these issues over the telephone. If you require an emergency appointment, we will set aside time for you.

  22. Can orthodontic correction occur while a child has baby teeth?

    Yes. Some orthodontic problems are significant enough to require early intervention. However, if a patient is not yet ready for treatment, we will follow that patient's growth and development until the time is right to begin treatment.

  23. What is Phase One (early) Treatment?

    Phase One treatment, if necessary, is usually initiated on children between the ages of 7 and 10. Phase One treatment lasts about 10-16 months. The primary objectives for Phase One treatment are to address jaw growth problems, harmful habits, and space-gaining to avoid extractions.

  24. Will my child need full braces if he/she has Phase One treatment?

    Phase One "sets the stage" for future treatment (Phase Two), if needed. So it is best to assume that your child will need full braces after Phase One treatment. At the conclusion of Phase One, patients have recall visits, during which growth and tooth eruption are closely monitored. Throughout this period, parents and patients will be kept informed of future treatment recommendations. Phase Two generally begins when all permanent teeth have erupted, and lasts an average of 12-18 months.

  25. Will my child need an expander?

    At the completion of the initial examination, we will determine whether a patient will need an expander.

  26. Is it too late to have orthodontic treatment if I am already an adult?

    A surprising percentage of our patients are adults. In fact, 25% of all orthodontic patients in our office are adults. Health, happiness and self-esteem are vitally important to adults. No patient is "too old" for orthodontics!

  27. Can I have orthodontic treatment 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.