Your First Visit

What to Expect at Your First Visit

Dr. Mike offers a free, comprehensive exam. At your first visit, we will take complimentary photos and an x-ray. Dr. Mike will quickly assess your problems and tell you what you need, and how long it should take. You will then be told exactly how much it will cost, and how OrthoFi works to let you design your own payment plan. We are the only Downriver office that offers OrthoFi.

We want you to have a great experience. Dr. Mike will talk openly and honestly about your options, and at no time will you feel any obligation. You will know when you are ready to start, and you can move ahead at a pace the you are completely comfortable.


FAQs

  • What is orthodontics?
  • What is an orthodontist?
  • What are some possible benefits of orthodontics?
  • What are some signs that braces may be needed?
  • At what age should orthodontic treatment occur?
  • What is Phase I and Phase II treatment?
  • Would an adult patient benefit from orthodontics?

Orthodontics is the branch of dentistry that specializes in the diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of dental and facial irregularities.

An orthodontist is a specialist who has completed an advanced education program following dental school to learn the special skills required to manage tooth movement and guide facial development.

  • A more attractive smile
  • Reduced appearance-consciousness during critical development years
  • Better function of the teeth
  • Possible increase in self-confidence
  • Increased ability to clean the teeth
  • Improved force distribution and wear patterns of the teeth
  • Better long term health of teeth and gums
  • Guides permanent teeth into more favorable positions
  • Reduces the risk of injury to protruded front teeth
  • Aids in optimizing other dental treatment
  • Upper front teeth protrude excessively over the lower teeth, or are bucked
  • Upper front teeth cover the majority of the lower teeth when biting together (deep bite)
  • Upper front teeth are behind or inside the lower front teeth (underbite)
  • The upper and lower front teeth do not touch when biting together (open bite)
  • Crowded or overlapped teeth
  • The center of the upper and lower teeth do not line up
  • Finger or thumb sucking habits which continue after six or seven years old
  • Difficulty chewing
  • Teeth wearing unevenly or excessively
  • The lower jaw shifts to one side or the other when biting together
  • Spaces between the teeth

Orthodontic treatment can be started at any age. Many orthodontic problems are easier to correct if detected at an early age before jaw growth has slowed. Early treatment may mean that a patient can avoid surgery and more serious complications. The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that every child first visit an orthodontist by age 7 or earlier if a problem is detected by parents, the family dentist, or the child’s physician.

Phase I, or early interceptive treatment, is limited orthodontic treatment (i.e. expander or partial braces) before all of the permanent teeth have erupted. Such treatment can occur between the ages of six and ten. This treatment is sometimes recommended to make more space for developing teeth, correction of crossbites, overbites, and underbites, or harmful oral habits.

Phase II treatment is also called comprehensive treatment because it involves full braces when all of the permanent teeth have erupted, usually between the ages of eleven and thirteen.

Orthodontic treatment can be successful at any age. Everyone wants a beautiful and healthy smile. Twenty to twenty five percent of orthodontic patients today are adults.

  • How does orthodontics treatment work?
  • How long does orthodontic treatment take?
  • Do braces hurt?
  • Will braces interfere with playing sports?
  • Will braces interfere with playing musical instruments?
  • Should I see my general dentist while I have braces?

Braces use steady gentle pressure to gradually move teeth into their proper positions. The brackets that are placed on your teeth and the archwire that connects them are the main components. When the archwire is placed into the brackets, it tries to return to its original shape. As it does so, it applies pressure to move your teeth to their new, more ideal positions.

Treatment times vary on a case-by-case basis, but the average time is from one to two years. Actual treatment time can be affected by rate of growth and severity of the correction necessary. Treatment length is also dependent upon patient compliance. Maintaining good oral hygiene and keeping regular appointments are important in keeping treatment time on schedule.

The placement of bands and brackets on your teeth does not hurt. Once your braces are placed and connected with the archwires you may feel some soreness of your teeth for one to four days. Your lips and cheeks may need one to two weeks to get used to the braces on your teeth.

No. It is recommended, however, that patients protect their smiles by wearing a mouth guard when participating in any sporting activity. Mouth guards are inexpensive, comfortable, and come in a variety of colors and patterns.

No. However, there may be an initial period of adjustment. In addition, brace covers can be provided to prevent discomfort.

Yes, you should continue to see your general dentist every six months for cleanings and dental checkups.