Orthodontic FAQ

Although the “ideal” age for orthodontic treatment would be considered to be between 10-13 years of age, it is very important that children be evaluated at their regular hygiene (cleaning) visits. A number of orthodontic problems can be prevented or corrected at an earlier age. A common example is the “cross bite” where one or more of the upper arch teeth falls to the “inside,” or tongue side, of the lower arch.

Great news! By using the most modern techniques available, treatment time can be reduced to months instead of years. Average treatment time in our office is 12-15 months for younger patients and 6-8 months for adults! We know your time is important and respecting that time means doing everything possible to achieve beautiful, stable results in as short a time as possible.

In the course of your lifetime? Probably. Only about 4% of adults have room for all of their 32 permanent teeth (including the “wisdom teeth”). Therefore, the all important question is which teeth may have to be removed. In the past, the most common answer to orthodontic crowding was extraction of 4 first or second premolars located just behind the cuspids or “eye” teeth. This has unfortunately led to a smaller arch form, a more “flattening” of the face and often resulted in a subsequent extraction of the third molars (wisdom teeth). A total loss of EIGHT permanent teeth is the result.

In our office, a typical fee range for full orthodontic treatment is between $3,800.00 and $5,200.00. This includes all orthodontic procedures including repair of broken wires, brackets and one set of retainers at the completion of treatment. There are no “surprise fees.” Financing is available with a 5% discount given for payment in full at start of treatment. We do not charge more for shorter treatment time.

Cosmetic Dentistry FAQ

Veneers are the most beautiful restorations available for chipped, slightly misaligned or permanently stained (due to aging or some antibiotics at an early age) teeth.  A custom made thin layer of lab fabricated porcelain is adhered to the front surface of the teeth which can change your smile dramatically, all in about 3 weeks!

Bonding and other composite (white) fillings have become a proven method of restoring decayed or broken teeth without the darkness of the silver type fillings. Chips and any slight misalignment on the front teeth can also be repaired by bonding.

Advantages: Lower initial cost than veneers; repair of gaps, chips, etc. at one appointment.

Disadvantages: Aesthetics are slightly superior with porcelain veneers; the average “lifespan” is 5-7 years on bonded teeth before they need replacement or repair, (15-20) years for veneers.

Absolutely! Translucent copings or coverings are placed over the prepared tooth which give the porcelain an underlying “strength” to resist chipping or breaking.

The fee for all porcelain crowns is slightly more than standard PFM (porcelain fused to metal) crowns due to a higher lab fee and the extra time it takes to prepare and cement the all porcelain crown. We will be happy to discuss fees at the consultation visit.

Huge improvements have been made in the last several years which allow the dentist to fill teeth with the most natural looking restoration available. No more dark fillings which can cause a graying of the entire tooth. Again, a picture is worth a thousand words.

Although amalgam “silver” fillings still have their place as a cost effective and “tried and true” alternative for the posterior or “back” teeth, “white” or composite fillings are now available for all the teeth.

Simple and effective bleaching of the teeth has become commonplace and very safe. However, one must remember that only a dentist can get your teeth their whitest. A customized, (and therefore easily worn) tray is made by using accurate impressions of the mouth. This custom “tray” is then used as a carrier to hold a mild bleaching agent which can correct a myriad of staining and darkening problems. Come and see what whitening can do for you!

Wisdom Teeth FAQ

Before your wisdom teeth are pulled, the teeth and the surrounding tissue will be numbed with a local anesthetic — the same injection with the same medication you would receive to numb a tooth prior to having a cavity filled. In addition to the local anesthetic to numb the pain, you and your dentist or oral surgeon may decide that a sedative is desired to control any anxiety.

Nitrous oxide (otherwise known as “laughing gas”), an oral sedative or an intravenous sedative (administered via an injection into your veins). If nitrous oxide is given, you will be able to drive yourself home. If any of the other medications are selected, you will need someone to drive you both to and from the appointment.

Dental Implants FAQ

(1) Replace one or more teeth without affecting bordering teeth.

(2) Support a bridge and eliminate the need for a removable partial denture.

(3) Provide support for a denture, making it more secure and comfortable.

As you know, your own teeth require conscientious at-home oral care and regular dental visits. Dental implants are like your own teeth and will require the same care. In order to keep your implant clean and plaque-free, brushing and flossing still apply! After treatment, your periodontist will work closely with you and your dentist to develop the best care plan for you. Periodic follow-up visits will be scheduled to monitor your implant, teeth and gums to make sure they are healthy.

The ideal candidate for a dental implant is in good general and oral health. Adequate bone in your jaw is needed to support the implant, and the best candidates have healthy gum tissues that are free of periodontal disease.

Dental implants are intimately connected with the gum tissues and underlying bone in the mouth.

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