Common Orthodontic Treatment Questions Answered

Orthodontic Treatment related FAQ’s to help understand the process.

Orthodontic treatment helps ensure proper function and create healthy, beautiful smiles. Teeth that are misaligned are harder to clean and maintain as well as can cause abnormal wearing of tooth enamel which can lead to extensive and expensive dental procedures.

They are the dental professionals with the skills and experience to best treat orthodontic problems. Aligning teeth to function properly and look great, too, is what an orthodontic specialist does best.

Most problems are inherited – such as crowding, spacing, protrusion, extra or missing teeth and some jaw growth problems. Others can be a result of thumb- or finger-sucking, dental disease, accidents, the early or late loss of baby teeth or other causes.

You are a partner in the process. Keep appointments, maintain oral hygiene, follow care instructions and continue to see your primary dentist.

The best time for treatment is when an orthodontic problem arises, but as a general rule, age 7 is an ideal time to get an evaluation. There is usually an optimal time in your child’s life to achieve the best results, so you won’t regret getting an early consultation from an orthodontic specialist.

Age doesn’t matter. The key factor in determining a good candidate for treatment is the health of teeth and gums.

It depends on the complexity of the case and what the patient wants to achieve. A short-term touch up can be as little as several months while comprehensive treatment could last several years.

Orthodontic specialists customize both treatments and fees. After a face-to-face consultation, you can determine what type of treatment, appliances and results might work best for you. A flexible payment plan, which can include dental insurances, FSAs and HSAs, may be used to construct an affordable plan.


Orthodontists receive an additional two- to-three years of specialized education beyond dental school to learn the proper way to align teeth and correct bites. Only those who successfully complete this formal education may call themselves orthodontists, and only orthodontists can be members of the American Association of Orthodontists.

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