- What is an Orthodontist?
- Why should I see an orthodontic specialist?
- At what age should an orthodontist see my child?
- Can orthodontic correction occur while a child still has some baby teeth?
- How do I know if my child is in need of orthodontic treatment?
- Is one ever too old for orthodontics?
- Is there a difference in adult treatment?
- Is orthodontic treatment only to improve a smile?
- What will I learn from the initial examination?
- What is Phase I treatment?
- What is Phase II treatment?
- Will my child need full braces if he/she has phase one treatment?
- Will I have to have any teeth removed for braces?
- Are strong and weak lower jaws inherited?
- Do habits like thumb-sucking cause a problem?
- How long will it take to complete treatment?
- Do braces hurt?
- Do you give shots?
- How much do braces cost? Are financing options available?
- Will insurance pay for orthodontic care?
- What is surgical orthodontics (orthognathic surgery)?
- How often will I have appointments?
- Can I have all of my appointments after school?
- Can materials other than metal be used for braces?
- Are braces the only option?
- Are there foods I cannot eat while I have braces?
- Do I need to see my family dentist while in braces?
- Do I need a referral from my dentist to be seen by Dr. Beim?
- What if my general dentist does his own orthodontics?
- What if my general dentist isn't aware of whether a bad bite exists or if there is a growth problem?
- Can I still play sports while in braces?
- Can I still play musical instruments while in braces?
- Will I have to wear retainers?
- How long do I wear my retainers?
- Can a retainer correct the alignment of my teeth?
- What type of sterilization procedures does your office use?
- How do I schedule an appointment for an initial exam?
An Orthodontist is a highly trained specialist who has completed two to three years of training after graduating from dental school. An orthodontist not only straightens teeth but also is interested in the bite, facial profile, and oral growth. Treatment of TMJ dysfunction, cleft lip and palate, craniofacial anomaly and surgical orthodontic patients are an active part of some practices. If the orthodontist is a member of the American Association of Orthodontists you can be assured that they have received the appropriate training.
Orthodontist has two or three years of highly specialized training above and beyond that of a general dentist in correcting jaw and bite irregularities. An orthodontic specialist does only orthodontics. Other types of dentists can legally offer braces to their patients, but lack the intensive training and specialized experience of an orthodontist. A pediatric dentist has specialized knowledge of how to do fillings and crowns for children. An oral surgeon has specialized knowledge of how to do complex surgical and anesthetic procedures. A general dentist lacks specialized training in bite correction and jaw irregularities. Just as we seek the opinions of medical specialists, such as cardiologists and dermatologists, for specific medical problems, it is important to choose the proper dental specialists for bite corrections. Dr. Beim is a member of the American Association of Orthodontists, the only organization of orthodontists recognized by the American Dental Association, and has successfully provided orthodontic treatment to several thousand patients since opening his practice in 1990.
The American Association of Orthodontists and the American Dental Association recommend that a child be evaluated by age seven. Early detection of some orthodontic problems is important in order to take early corrective action and avoid more difficult treatment later. Most patients, however, are treated during adolescence between the ages of 10-12.
Yes. However, we do not require braces for every patient who visits our office. 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.
It is usually difficult for you to determine if treatment is necessary because there are many problems that can occur even though the front teeth look straight. Also, there are some problems that look intimidating and complex which will resolve on their own. Asking your general dentist is a good place to start, but we are your best resource since orthodontics is a specialty and it is all that we do. The following are just a few of the early indications that an orthodontic problem may be present.
- Crowded teeth
- Early loss of teeth
- Mouth breathing
- Thumb and finger habits
- Missing teeth
- Protrusion of front teeth
- Speech difficulties
- Poor facial profile
- Low self-esteem from teeth misalignment
Believe it or not, 30 percent of our patients are adults and the number is growing. As long as adults have healthy teeth and supporting structures, orthodontics can be done at any age. There are even specialized orthodontic methods for adults only, that don't require braces. It is never too late to go straight! See the technology section.
Adults can offer more complex problems than children can. Often other dental professionals must be involved in their treatment. At your initial consultation Dr. Beim can explain what is necessary and he would be happy to meet with the other doctors that may be on your treatment team.
Orthodontics will not only improve the smile but will improve the alignment and the fit of the teeth. Crooked teeth can lead to cavities or gum disease and a bad bite can lead to chewing problems and possible muscle soreness and jaw joint discomfort.
There are five important questions that will be answered 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 permanent or baby teeth need to be removed?
- How long will the treatment take to complete?
- How much will the treatment cost?
In addition to these, Dr. Beim will take the time to answer any other questions a patient or parent may have.
Phase One treatment is usually initiated for children between the ages of 7 and 10, and it is not for every child. These children usually have several baby teeth remaining and treatment is usually 12 to 18 months in length and is followed by a "resting phase." The objectives of Phase One treatment are to treat those problems that are better to be treated earlier rather than later, and to make a difficult future single-phase treatment (when all permanent teeth are present) easier on the child. These are some of the benefits of early treatment or intervention:
- Improve self-confidence and self-esteem
- Influence growth of the jaws to improve tooth relationship
- Increase the width of the dental arches
- Reduce the need for extractions
- Reduce the likelihood of future jaw surgery
- Reduce the risk of trauma to protruded front teeth
- Eliminate harmful oral habits
- Reduce the treatment time of future orthodontics
- Improve speech development
- Guide the permanent teeth into a more favorable position
- Improve lip closure
- Gain space for erupting permanent teeth.
- Better cooperation before teenage years
- To prevent unbalanced or asymmetric facial growth
Children who have had early treatment generally will need to wear braces again when all of their permanent teeth are in. This second and final phase of treatment (called Phase Two treatment) with full braces is generally shorter and far easier than treatment would have been if the child had not had the benefit of early intervention. More importantly, we are able to achieve the best end result for these children.
It is best to assume that your child will need full braces even after Phase One treatment. The period of time following Phase One treatment is called the "resting period," during which growth and tooth eruption is closely monitored. Throughout this period, parents and patients will be kept informed as to any future treatment recommendations.
Removing teeth is sometimes needed to get the best orthodontic result. Straight teeth and a balanced facial profile are always the goal. However, because today's technology has resulted in advanced orthodontic procedures, the need for removing teeth has been greatly reduced.
The growth pattern of a child's jaw is definitely related to the genetic make-up of the parents. If either parent has a strong or weak lower jaw, the child should be observed by an orthodontist for growth guidance to redirect the growth pattern as much into a normal pattern as possible. However, if the patient is seen later in life, orthognathic surgical corrections (jaw surgery) may need to be considered to correct the supporting bone discrepancy.
Prolonged habits can indeed affect the way the teeth grow in and will ultimately affect the bite. Other habits such as open mouth breathing, finger sucking, or lip biting can also cause complications. Early examination by an orthodontist will determine if treatment will aid in getting habits stopped.
Treatment may take between 6 months to 30 months, or longer, depending on the age of the patient, the severity of the problem, the patient's cooperation, and the degree of movement possible. Treatment time obviously depends on each patient's specific orthodontic problem. An "average" time a person is in braces is approximately 24 months.
Dr. Beim is using he most current technology for orthodontic movement of teeth. These latest technological advances have made treatment more comfortable for patients. The orthodontic braces are smaller and smoother, plus gentle wires provide continuous light forces over a longer period of time. Typically the patient is not uncomfortable while in the office but teeth may be sore for two to three days after each adjustment. Over the counter pain relievers can be taken for sore teeth. However, after some visits, patients do not feel any soreness at all.
No. No shots are necessary in orthodontic treatment.
It is impossible to give an exact cost for treatment until Dr. Beim has actually examined you or your child. Costs for orthodontic treatment vary according to the severity of the problem and length and complexity of treatment. The exact cost and financial options will be discussed at the initial examination. We have several financing options available to meet most needs and will be happy to review them with you. Proper orthodontic treatment to correct a problem is often less costly than the additional dental care required to treat the more serious problems that can develop in later years.
Many patients have orthodontic benefits as part of their dental plan. You may check with your insurance or benefits manager as to the extent of your coverage. Not all patients with dental coverage have orthodontic coverage. This is dependent on the employer's decision as to the extent of dental coverage they wish to purchase. Orthodontic insurance generally differs from regular dental insurance in that each insured individual usually has a lifetime maximum benefit for orthodontic services. This benefit is paid as a percentage of the orthodontic fee until the benefit maximum has been reached. Our office is glad to help you with your insurance needs. We can confirm your eligibility for benefits, file for the insurance on your behalf, and in most cases accept assignment of benefits.
Surgical orthodontics is recommended for adult patients and some teenagers with severe skeletal deformities. Sometimes the jaw position is so far off from normal that conventional orthodontic care cannot correct the skeletal deformity. Surgical orthodontics is done in combination with full orthodontic care. Surgery of the jaw structure usually occurs during the middle of comprehensive orthodontic treatment approximately one or more years after the braces are applied to the teeth.
Appointments are scheduled according to each individual patient's needs. Most patients in braces will be seen every eight to ten (8-10) weeks. If there are specific situations that require more frequent monitoring, appointments may be scheduled more often.
Unfortunately, we cannot schedule all appointments for all student patients for after school hours. However, because most appointments are scheduled six to eight weeks apart, most patients miss very little school because of orthodontic appointments. We reference all area school calendars, and try very hard to help in all possible ways to meet the scheduling needs of our patients.
Clear braces can be used to reduce the amount of metal on the front teeth and enhance the appearance of the appearance of the patient while he or she is wearing orthodontic appliances. The decision to use metal or ceramic braces is a decision to be made by the patient in consultation with the orthodontist, and is discussed at the time of treatment.
Not necessarily. For those whose teeth are fully erupted, we feature the Invisalign System. This is a sequence of clear plastic "aligners" which are designed by computer imaging. These aligners are removable, but best of all; they are completely invisible in the mouth. Visit the Invisalign page for more information.
Yes. Once treatment begins, very complete instructions and a comprehensive list will be provided regarding foods to avoid. Some of those foods include: ice, hard candy, raw hard vegetables and all sticky foods, i.e. "Snickers", caramel and taffy. Many emergency appointments to repair broken or damaged braces can be avoided by carefully following instructions regarding foods. Broken things will slow down your treatment. Remember, braces are not super-glued to the teeth - we want to be able to remove them at the end of treatment!
Yes. Regular check-ups with your family dentist are very important while in braces. Your family dentist will assist in determining how often you should be seen for cleaning appointments while you are in braces.
No. You or your child can have an orthodontic evaluation at any time you wish. Many of our patients are referred by their family dentist, and an equally large number of our patients are concerned about their health and appearance and take the initiative to schedule themselves for an orthodontic examination. Dr. Beim will be happy to furnish your family dentist with a report of his orthodontic findings and recommendations. A close working relationship usually already exists between our office and that of your dentist.
Many general dentists are doing advanced orthodontic treatment without benefit of years of specialty training as required by the American Dental Association. Some general dentists do some limited aspects of orthodontic treatment in conjunction with an orthodontist. If you have any doubt that your case may require the expertise of a specialist, you should not hesitate to request an orthodontic evaluation.
30. What if my general dentist isn't aware of whether a bad bite exists or if there is a growth problem?
If you feel that your general dentist is not aware of, or cannot handle, a growth problem that may exist, you should not hesitate to request the advice of an orthodontist. The caring, sophisticated general dentist will understand your needs and be more than willing to assist you in making the first appointment with an orthodontist. However, if you do not receive the desired assistance, you should feel free to contact an orthodontist on your own for he will welcome the opportunity to assist you and give you an orthodontic evaluation.
You should be able to play just about any sport or activity. We highly recommend wearing a mouth guard in contact sports or any sports where there is a chance that you could be hit in the face. We have mouth guards available in our office that will work well with braces.
If you play an instrument such as a trumpet, we will provide you with a "lip protector" that works very well to cushion your lips from your braces.
Orthodontics is a process of moving teeth through the bone into their new positions. Once the teeth have been moved into their desired positions, retainers will be placed to maintain the correction. Once stabilization occurs, we encourage our patients to continue to wear their retainers on a nightly basis to maintain their beautiful smile.
Throughout life your teeth are always moving, even if you have never had braces. It happens more in some people than others. For this reason, we recommend wearing retainers as long as you can. Usually we have patients wear their retainers full time for one to two weeks and then on a nightly basis.
Retainers are designed primarily to "retain" teeth in the position they have been moved to following orthodontic treatment. It is possible to produce some slight movement of teeth with a retainer. When braces are removed all patients receive a retainer to hold their teeth in position. The teeth may try to shift back towards the original problem without wearing retainers.
Sterilization is a high priority in our office. All of the sterilization standards of the American Dental Association are met or exceeded. Heat sterilization of instruments is utilized and tested by an independent testing service. Disposable items are used whenever possible. You will notice that we wear gloves and masks when ever treating patients. We value the trust you place in us regarding sterility and would be happy to discuss our procedures with you.
If you think you or your child would benefit from orthodontic treatment, simply call our office at 407.323.0600 and we will be happy to schedule an appointment for you. During the call to schedule your appointment, our administrative staff will gather some very basic information regarding you or your child.