FAQ

Do you charge for an initial visit?

No. As a courtesy to you and your family dentist, we will always discuss the feasibility of braces or tooth straightening without charging a fee.

At what age do you start seeing patients?

As a rule of thumb, we like to evaluate young patients after the 6-year molars erupt and the front permanent teeth just start to appear. This is usually between the ages of 6 and 8.

Why do you evaluate patients so young?

The purpose of early evaluation is to inform and observe, more than to start treatment. At this early age, the eventual needs may be identified and discussed. A small percentage of this young group may need some form of intervention. Habits are evaluated, medical issues are discussed, and an observation schedule is arranged.

How long will the first visit take?

Plan on one hour for the initial exam.

Do you take patients transferring from out of town?

Yes, we typically do. We handle a patient transferring into our office from another city just like a new patient.

Do you have any adult patients?

Absolutely. Approximately 15 to 20 percent of our patients are adult. New, more cosmetic appliances are making adult treatment much more comfortable and convenient.

What is the difference between an orthodontist and a dentist?

An orthodontist is a specialist in orthodontics and dentofacial orthopedics.  Dr. Theroux and Dr. Barefoot both became general dentists first.  Then, they each completed a two year residency to specialize in orthodontics.  That is all they do–orthodontics.

Can I make all my appointments in the afternoon after school and late in the day?

In order to have early and late appointments available for the majority of patients, some procedures need to be accomplished between the hours of 9 and 3. We will do our best to work with your schedules and accommodate your family needs.  Our entire schedule is built around children missing as little school as possible.  However, not all appointments can be acommodated in the before and after school hours, so your child will need to miss some school for orthodontic appointments.  Even Dr. Theroux’s own children miss school occasionally for their appointments.

Do you see patients for emergencies?

Yes, our contact information for an emergency is posted on the website as well as on the phone answering machine.

 

Financial

Can we make payments?

Yes.  Whether or not you have insurance or a dental plan, we will structure a convenient payment plan that will allow you to pay for necessary services over a period of time that usually coincides with your treatment plan.

How do you handle insurance?

After verification of coverage, we will agree to bill and collect from an insurance carrier. However, we ask patients to understand that if coverage ceases or changes, the patient is still responsible for the agreed upon fee.

Do you take American Express, Master Card and/or Visa?

Yes, we accept all major credit cards.

Do you have direct debit?

Yes, we have arrangements for direct debit, charge card posting, as well as payments over the internet.

Do you charge interest?

No, we do not.

Do you give family discounts?

We have special programs and fees for multiple patients from the same family.

 

Types of Treatment

What is Phase 1 Treatment?

Phase 1 treatment is delivered early and before all permanent teeth have erupted. The purpose of this early care is to start correcting harmful malocclusions (bad bites) that may be more difficult or impossible to correct later. Phase 1 treatment does not eliminate the need for conventional orthodontics done during adolescence. Examples of phase 1 treatment include correcting individual tooth or jaw crossbites and severe underbites where function, esthetic or psychological concerns are identified.

What is phase 2 Treatment?

Phase 2 treatment is conventional orthodontic treatment. It may start while the last baby teeth are falling out and continue until the 12 year molars have been evaluated or straightened. This treatment usually lasts approximately 2 years.

Does early treatment ensure a better result?

Not always. Experience and research shows that early treatment achieves meaningful goals but the quality of the result is determined at the end of care. For this reason, we do not encourage early treatment unless significant benefits can be achieved.

How long do braces take?

The average treatment time for full braces at Total Orthodontics is 20 months.

How do braces work?

Quite simply, crooked teeth are gradually moved into desired positions by taking shaped wires and attaching them to brackets on the teeth.

Do you use recycled braces?

No.

 

Retainers

Do retainers need to be worn after braces?

Yes, retainers are worn full-time for about 3 months followed by nighttime wear indefinitely.

Why do teeth become crooked after wearing braces or aligners?

Teeth move throughout life whether you have worn braces or not.  It is part of the natural aging process. This is why retainer wear is recommended indefinitely to maintain orthodontic results over your lifetime.

How about retainers glued to the backs of teeth?

For some patients, permanent retainers are attached to the back of lower teeth to keep them in place. This requires special hygiene procedures and regular recalls to the family dentist.

 

Temporomandibular Disorders (TMJ)

Can braces or orthodontic treatment treat or cause TMJ problems?

Scientific literature has documented that there is not a direct link between orthodontic treatment or occlusion and TMJ. Problems with TMJ can be present or absent in the presence of all types of good and bad bites.

 

Health Impact

What are the health benefits of wearing braces?

Orthodontics helps to improve the comfort of the bite, making it easier to brush and floss your teeth for good dental health, and many times helps to balance the facial musculature. The positive self-esteem benefits are immeasurable.

How do enlarged adenoids and allergies affect braces?

Mouth breathing, as a result of enlarged adenoids, tonsils, or allergies, may cause your upper and lower jaws to grow apart and elongate facial form during growth, resulting in crowding and often narrow arches.

How does a tongue thrust, or low tongue posture affect braces?

The effects are similar to enlarged adenoids. In addition, the pressure on front teeth from the tongue thrusting can aggravate protrusion and spacing.