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

No, it is not. Most of our patients call and schedule their own appointments. We will send your family dentist a letter after your exam so that we can work together to get you the best possible results.

2. At what age should I schedule an 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, allowing us to effectively evaluate your orthodontic condition.

3. 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 people, after the permanent molars erupt, the space available for the front teeth decreases with age.

4. How do I schedule an appointment for an initial exam?

We are always accepting new patients! If you or your child can potentially benefit from orthodontic treatment, simply call our office, send us an e-mail or fill out our appointment request form online through our website.

5. What will happen at the initial examination appointment?

We love meeting new people! During your first visit, you will meet our Team, Dr. Tara or Dr. Jerry, and receive a complimentary evaluation. Dr. Jerry or Dr. Tara will outline treatment recommendations and how long the treatment will last and you will have any opportunity to ask any questions. We want you to be comfortable with your decision and will give you any information you need.

To read more about your first visit, see our First Visit page.

6. What will I learn from the initial examination?

There are five essential questions that we will cover during the initial examination:

  • Is there an orthodontic problem, and if so, what is it?
  • What must be done to correct the problem?
  • Will any teeth need to be removed?
  • How long will the treatment take to complete?
  • How much will the treatment cost?

7. Will I need to have teeth extracted for braces?

In most cases, Dr. Jerry and Dr. Tara try to do all correction without removing teeth. However, in some isolated situations if teeth removal is the only option to resolve the crowding, then Dr. Jerry and Dr. Tara will work alongside your oral surgeon and general dentist to come up with a comprehensive plan to give the best results possible.

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 22 months.

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

It is impossible to give an exact cost for treatment until we have examined you. All of our patients are given the option of a payment plan with flexible down payment options. During your New Patient Exam, we will confirm insurance benefits and explain how the billing process will work.

10. How often will I have appointments?

Appointments are scheduled according to each patient's needs. Most patients in braces will be seen every five to 10 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. However, because most appointments are scheduled five to 10 weeks apart, most patients miss minimal school due to their orthodontic treatments. We will, however, make a sincere effort to meet your scheduling needs.

We have intentionally constructed a schedule that gives many different options. We try to make it work for everyone by varying our lunch hour and varying our administrative days so that when school must be missed it can be at a time that is the least detrimental to the patient.

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. We do like to talk to parents about how the treatment is progressing so if you are available to come in for check out that is a convenient time to touch base.

13. Do braces hurt?

Generally, braces do not "hurt." After certain visits, teeth may be sore for a few days. In these situations, pain medications such as Advil or Tylenol will ease the discomfort. However, 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 of an orthodontic appointment.

15. Do you give shots?

No. Shots are not necessary in orthodontic treatment.

16. Do you use recycled braces?

Absolutely not! It is our belief that each patient should be provided with their own braces to achieve the best orthodontic result possible.

17. Can I still play sports?

Yes. We recommend a mouthguard 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 braces. We really work together with your family dentist to get the best possible results.

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

Yes. Once treatment begins, we will explain the complete instructions and provide a comprehensive list of foods to avoid. Some of those foods include: ice, hard candy, raw vegetables and all sticky foods (i.e. caramel and taffy). 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 brush their teeth at least four times each day - after each meal and before going to bed. We will show each patient how to floss their teeth with braces and may also provide a prescription for a special fluoride, if necessary.

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 make you an appointment. We also have an emergency after hours phone number that you can call should you need to speak to Dr. Tara or Dr. Jerry.

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 for treatment to begin.

23. What is Phase One (early) treatment?

Phase One treatment, if necessary, is usually initiated on children between the ages of 7 and 10. This phase of treatment is shorter than regular treatment and is designed to address significant problems to prevent them from becoming more severe.

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

It is best to assume that your child will need full braces even after Phase One treatment. The period following Phase One treatment is called the "resting period," during which growth and tooth eruption are closely monitored. Throughout this period, parents and patients will be kept informed of future treatment recommendations.

25. Will my child need an expander?

This is something that is evaluated at your New Patient exam.

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

A surprising percentage of our patients are adults. In fact, 25 percent of all orthodontic patients are adults. Health, happiness and self-esteem are vitally important to adults. No patient is "too old" to wear braces!

27. 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.

28. Why should I choose an orthodontist rather than a general dentist?

Orthodontists have gone to 2-3 years of specialized training after completing dental school. Their specialized knowledge in facial structure, tooth and jaw movement and alignment makes them qualified and able to give you the very best result.

Cash Family Orthodontics

  • Cash Family Orthodontics - 2844 S. Ingram Mill Rd., Springfield, MO 65804 Phone: 417-881-7512 Fax: 417-881-3603

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