Is it required that my family dentist make a referral for me or my child for treatment? No, it is not. Many of our patients are referred by their family dentist, yet many others take the initiative to schedule an examination on their own. Some dentists are under the misconception they must wait until all the permanent teeth are in to make an orthodontic referral. It is quite the opposite with today’s techniques, the sooner the better! Since Dr. Shah is a specialist in growth and development, the decision of when to start treatment is best placed in his hands. At what age should I schedule my child's first orthodontic appointment? Dr. Shah and The American Association of Orthodontists recommend a screening at the age of 7. By this age, the upper arch is developed enough allowing the doctors to assess whether the permanent teeth have enough room to fit properly. The ideal age is 7, but it is never too late to schedule a complimentary evaluation with Dr. Shah. How long will it take to complete orthodontic treatment? Every orthodontic case is different in degree of difficulty and treatment time. A child’s growth and development are the primary focus of our treatment plans, so the best way to know is to let Dr. Shah personally evaluate your child. If you are an adult considering treatment, the answer to that question is a little easier: most adults are finished with treatment in about 12 - 18 months. How much does orthodontic treatment cost? The cost of orthodontic treatment will vary depending on your individual needs, we will be happy to discuss treatment and fees at the complimentary evaluation. Can functional orthodontics expand the upper arch and reposition the lower jaw of an adult? Yes, We have successfully treated adults for issues ranging from cosmetic concerns to complicated dental and functional conditions. We can often offer non-surgical solutions where no other options were presented. How often will I have appointments? Appointments are scheduled according to each patient’s needs and treatment. Most patients are seen every 4-6 weeks. Each appointment will vary depending on what will be accomplished, but range from 15-minute adjustment visits to an hour when the braces are removed. Do braces hurt? Placing the braces and removing them does not hurt at all. Patients sometimes report some discomfort or tenderness the first day or after an adjustment, so we recommend eating soft foods if the teeth are tender and taking a little Advil or Tylenol if necessary. Do you give shots? No, shots are not a necessary part of orthodontic treatment. Am I too old for orthodontic treatment? Are you too old for a beautiful smile or to feel good? Of course not! There's no age limit to looking and feeling your best. With the wide range of orthodontic options we have available, there's a great option for everyone to have the smile they want. What comes first, orthodontic treatment or restorative dentistry (implants, bridgework, etc.)? Anyone considering restorative dentistry would be wise to have an orthodontic evaluation done first. There is no sense in replacing teeth or dental work in an environment that is not aligned correctly. It is best to undergo orthodontic treatment before or in conjunction with restorative work. Dr. Shah will work closely with your dentist to coordinate treatment. Do I need to see my family dentist while I'm in orthodontic treatment? Yes! Good dental hygiene is critical before, during and after orthodontic treatment. It is extremely important that you continue to see your family dentist for check-ups and cleanings on a regular basis. Dr. Shah and the team will keep you informed if they have any concerns about hygiene during treatment and will communicate with your dentist should any issues arise during treatment. Can I still play sports while in orthodontic treatment? Yes, braces or Invisalign can easily fit into your active lifestyle! It will be important to follow the specific instructions during each part of treatment regarding the use of a mouth guard. We will provide a special mouth guard while you are in braces and they even come in a variety of colors to match your favorite team.