Common Questions

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COMMON QUESTIONS

WHAT IS ORTHODONTICS?

Orthodontics is a field of dentistry that specializes in diagnosing, preventing, and treating irregularities in the teeth (such as alignment and occlusions) and jaws. It comes from the Greek words “ortho” meaning straight and “odontos” for teeth.

AM I TOO OLD FOR AN ORTHODONTIC TREATMENT?

It is never too late, and you are never too old to improve your dental condition with orthodontics. Even though the majority of our patients are children or adolescents, we have served patients of over 67 years of age. At Ivanov Orthodontic Experts we are aware that every patient is unique and therefore treatments may vary. We have the most advanced technology in our practice, which makes treatment more efficient, accessible and comfortable for all of our patients.

CAN CROOKED TEETH FIX THEMSELVES OVER TIME?

No. For most people, once their permanent molars have grown, the available space for the anterior teeth will not increase. In fact, the space will actually decrease over the years and the situation can get worse.

CAN GROWTH OR WAITING CORRECT MY ORTHODONTIC PROBLEM?

No, this is very unlikely to happen. Using orthodontic and orthopedic appliances during treatment allows orthodontists to optimally utilize the growth potential to try to obtain better relationships of the jaw. There are cases where additional growth can actually worsen the problem. An example is someone who’s lower teeth bite in front of their upper teeth. In cases like this it is very important that the problem is evaluated early and treated by an orthodontist.

WILL I NEED A “HEADGEAR”?

A headgear is an orthodontic appliance used to produce a force aimed at pushing back the upper teeth. It is strapped around your head and attached to the upper teeth. At Ivanov Orthodontic Experts we use the most advanced methods and techniques, allowing us to obtain the desired results without the need to have our patients ever use a headgear.

MUST I WAIT TO BE REFERRED BY MY DENTIST FOR AN ORTHODONTIC CONSULTATION?

No, a referral is not necessary. Even though some of our patients are referred by their pediatric dentist or general dentist, many people decide to consult on their own in order to find out if their children need braces at an early age. Most likely your visit to the orthodontist will be an exam only.

WHAT HAPPENS AT THE FIRST ORTHODONTIC CONSULTATION?

The purpose of the first orthodontic consultation is to evaluate your child’s or your dental condition and make recommendations, if needed, on how orthodontics can prevent, intercept and/or correct areas that can turn into bigger orthodontic problems.

IF I HAVE MISSING TEETH OR CROWNS AND BRIDGES, CAN I GET BRACES?

Yes, you can. As long as the tooth’s roots and surrounding tissue are healthy, a tooth with a crown can be moved just like any other tooth. In the case of missing teeth, orthodontics can improve the alignment of the remaining teeth by partially or completely closing spaces left by the missing teeth. Another benefit is that orthodontics can improve the alignment of your teeth and make it possible for better tooth replacement options for your dentist.

DO ORTHODONTISTS REPLACE MISSING TEETH IF THERE ARE REMAINING SPACES AFTER TREATMENT?

No, orthodontists do not replace missing teeth. This is normally done by your general dentist who is better equipped and qualified to do this kind of work. However, if the missing teeth are located in the anterior area, where esthetics can be problematic, a prosthetic tooth will be included in our retention appliance(s) as a temporary solution. This will give you time to plan with your dentist a more permanent solution.

SHOULD MY DENTAL WORK BE DONE BEFORE ORTHODONTICS?

Every patient is different. In cases where teeth repair is needed, we will consult your dentist to evaluate whether it is essential to have the restorations made before or after the orthodontic treatment. Usually, if it’s an esthetic restoration, repair is recommended after the orthodontic corrections. This will ensure that the final restorations are matching as close as possible with the surrounding teeth in their new corrected position. For defective restorations, cavities or important tooth defects repair is recommended before orthodontics.

WHEN IS THE BEST TIME FOR TOOTH WHITENING?

Tooth whitening can be done before, during or after orthodontic treatment. If you are considering braces treatment, we recommend that you discuss this with us at your consultation appointment.

DO YOU GIVE INJECTIONS (SHOTS)?

At Ivanov Orthodontic Experts we do not do restorative procedures that require anesthesia with needles or shots, such as fillings, crowns, root canals, tooth extractions or other dental surgeries. If such a procedure is necessary, we will refer you to your dentist or the proper dental specialist familiar with these procedures.

DOES GETTING BRACES HURT?

Normally, having braces doesn’t hurt, but when braces are first put on the teeth or when major adjustments are made, some teeth become sensitive for a few days. A light analgesic such as Tylenol, Advil or whatever you usually take for headaches may help relieve the discomfort.

DO I NEED TO CONTINUE MY DENTAL CLEANINGS AND REGULAR DENTAL CHECK-UPS DURING ORTHODONTIC TREATMENT?

Yes, it is very important that you see your dentist regularly throughout your orthodontic treatment as per his or her recommendation. Your dentist can do regular check-ups and cleanings while your child or you are wearing braces or other orthodontic appliances. If necessary, we will be glad to remove any part of your appliance to allow your dentist to work more efficiently on your teeth.

DO I NEED TO PROTECT MY TEETH WHILE PLAYING SPORTS?

Yes, absolutely. It is always recommended that you protect your teeth, no matter what. Wearing braces or most orthodontic appliances should not be a reason not to play sports. If your child practices a contact sport where there are risks of injuries, it is highly recommended that they wear a mouth guard. Mouth guards, if worn properly, can not only protect your teeth but they can minimize the chances of having more serious jaw and head injuries following heavy sport contacts.

IN CASE OF EMERGENCY, WHAT DO I DO?

Emergencies that require immediate attention are not common in orthodontics. Frequently, home remedies resolve the concern until your next visit with us. If your braces or other orthodontic appliances are causing you severe pain or discomfort, or if they are broken, please give us a call. Most of the time we can solve problems by phone, but if necessary we will schedule an emergency appointment.

WHAT IS ORTHODONTIC RETENTION?

Orthodontic retention refers to the period of time immediately following the removal of braces or other orthodontic appliances. Your child or you will be provided with retainers to stabilize the results obtained during the orthodontic treatment. This period may vary.

WHAT IS SURGICAL ORTHODONTICS?

In most cases, orthodontics can be carried out without the need for surgery. However, in some more severe cases, there are surgical options that can offer dramatic results. If you suffer from jaw bone or bite abnormalities or malocclusion then there are surgical solutions available. Surgical orthodontics is also known as orthognathic surgery.

Ivanov Orthodontic Experts does not specialize in orthognathic surgery, in the case that you may need it we will do our best to answer your questions.

WHO IS A CANDIDATE FOR ORTHOGNATHIC SURGERY?

Surgical orthodontics can have a dramatic effect on aesthetics and function if your jaw does not line up properly or you have a misaligned bite. Normally, to be considered for orthognathic surgery your jaw will need to have stopped growing. This means that, normally, surgical orthodontics is only performed on adults over the age of 18. Surgery is usually only performed in severe cases and is the last resort.

WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF HAVING ORTHOGNATHIC SURGERY?

Undergoing orthognathic surgery is a major decision; however, the benefits can far outweigh the risks for many people. The results can be dramatic, not only helping you to achieve a beautiful new smile but also helping with confidence and enhancing your appearance in general.

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