Frequently Asked Orthodontic Questions

Learn More About Our Orthodontic Services

Brian D Miller, DMD provides and specializes in providing orthodontic care services for all ages. Dr. MIller is experienced and knowledgeable to handle all sorts of orthodontic complications and issues.

Given below are some of the common and frequently asked questions regarding orthodontic problems and treatments.

When Should I Bring in My Child for an Orthodontic Assessment?

The American Association of Orthodontists suggests that the ideal time to consider an orthodontic screening, or consultation, for your child occurs when the permanent front teeth and first molars erupt into the mouth (i.e., by age 7).

For some children, a timely screening may lead to immediate treatment since many orthodontic problems are easier to correct if detected early. This type of early intervention can help to minimize or simplify future treatment needs.

For others, whose treatment may be months or years away, a screening will help the family establish a relationship with our office and plan the personal and financial implications of treatment. An early screening may suggest that treatment is not indicated, which can help to put parents' minds at ease.

Does My Dentist Need to Make a Referral If I Want to Have an Orthodontic Assessment?

Your family dentist does not need to make a specific referral for you to come to our office. In fact, we welcome referrals from our other patients. Whichever way you may learn about our office, we would be pleased to meet with you for an orthodontic consultation to discuss your concerns and make recommendations.

However, we do require that all our patients see their dentist for regular checkup visits during the orthodontic treatment.
Happy children

Are Children Being Treated at a Younger Age Than in the Past?

No. Although some orthodontic problems have been shown to be treated more effectively at an early age, most orthodontic patients are still treated once all the primary teeth have fallen out.

When Is the Ideal Time to Start Treatment?

It is difficult to suggest an ideal time that would apply to everyone since every case is unique and not all orthodontic problems are treated in the same manner.

However, orthodontic treatment is most commonly initiated during adolescence when most, if not all, of the permanent teeth have erupted into the mouth.

It is perhaps during this stage of development, as children enter their teenage years that the psychological and social implications of orthodontics may be most beneficial. This gives children the confidence to express themselves and interact in a positive manner.
girl smiling

Can Adults Straighten Their Teeth?

It is never too late to pursue orthodontic treatment as an adult since healthy teeth can be moved at any age. In fact, adult orthodontic treatment has never been more popular.

Nearly 1 million adults are wearing braces today - twice as many as 10 years ago. Many adults who may not have had the opportunity to receive orthodontic treatment as children are deciding to correct that bothersome smile, or those crowded and difficult-to-clean teeth.

People should keep their teeth for a lifetime and orthodontics can play a key role in reaching this goal. Today, with the significant technological advances in the field of orthodontics, treatment can progress more easily and comfortably for patients, and in less time than in the past.

There are "braces to suit all faces," coming in silver, gold, clear, and even invisible braces. As a team, together with your dentist, we can achieve beautiful and healthy smiles that can last a lifetime.
white teeth

How Long Will It Take to Straighten My Teeth?

It is difficult to suggest a standard length of the treatment for an individual since every case is different. In general, the treatment time is determined by the complexity of the initial problem or malocclusion and the goals of the treatment.

An average orthodontic treatment will generally last 18-24 months. However, simpler orthodontic problems could be treated in as little as a few months. More complex cases could extend to more than 3 years.

At your initial consultation appointment, the estimated treatment time based on the specific case will be reviewed. One must keep in mind that patient cooperation is an important factor with respect to the treatment being completed on schedule.
happy patient

What Can I Eat While I Have Braces?

While wearing braces, you should avoid the following food items:
  • Gum or sticky food items: caramels, licorice, gummy bears, Tootsie Rolls®, Starburst®, and more
  • Hard food items: nuts, pizza crust, bagels, hard candy, apples, and carrots (unless cut into small pieces)
  • Try to minimize your sugar intake: Eat much less: candy, cookies, cake, pie, ice cream, food items with sugar. Drink much less: pop, drinks with sugar
Avoid chewing on pens, pencils, and fingernails! These actions do more harm to your braces.

What Are the Initial Exam Fees?

Your initial orthodontic exam is FREE.

At the initial exam, we will have a chance to get acquainted and to determine if there is a need for orthodontic treatment. Many of your questions can be answered at this time, and we encourage you to ask about any of your concerns.

There is no charge for your initial visit that includes providing information with regard to the patient’s medical/dental history, a clinical evaluation, and a brief consultation.

If treatment is recommended, the doctor may suggest diagnostic records to determine the best course of treatment.
happy familiy

If Dr. Miller Determines That I Am a Candidate for Orthodontic Treatment, What Is the Next Step?

Diagnostic records include study models of the teeth, photos of the patient's face and teeth, and X-rays. These are used to help design a treatment plan for the individual patient's needs and to track the progress of treatment during and at the completion of orthodontic care.

After review of your diagnostic records, a treatment plan will be discussed, as well as the length of treatment and your financial investment. Often, this can be determined at the time of the initial visit or the doctor may schedule a consultation appointment.
happy girls

What Determines My Financial Investment and How Much Will My Insurance Contribute?

Affordable Payment Plans
Since each patient has individual clinical needs, it is impossible to determine a treatment fee prior to seeing the patient. The financial investment is determined by the severity of the patient's problems and the desired goals to be achieved.

We offer affordable monthly (no interest) payment plans that may be modified to suit your individual needs. A 5% discount (with full treatment only) is offered if your total fee is paid in full at the start of treatment. If you have insurance, the discount applies only to your portion of the fee not covered by the insurance.

If we are not aware of special circumstances and your account becomes severely delinquent, we may be forced to discontinue treatment. Should you have an unexpected hardship, contact our financial coordinator to discuss your future treatment and perhaps a temporary payment plan.

For your convenience, we accept MasterCard, Visa, and Discover.

Insurance Plans
If you have orthodontic insurance, we will take care of all the necessary filings. Bring with you all your insurance information so that we can process the claim efficiently without any delays.

Our financial coordinator will be happy to assist you and to answer any questions you may have with reference to your payment plans and / or orthodontic insurance.
mother and daughter

What Is Your Policy Concerning Office Visits?

Patient / Parent Cooperation
In order to obtain the best possible results in orthodontic treatment, both patient and parent efforts are just as important as Dr. Miller's treatment. The doctor provides the treatment plan, nevertheless, in order to achieve that goal you have the responsibility for the following:

We respect your time and try to stay on schedule. We reserve a specific time for each patient and would appreciate that you arrive on time. If an appointment needs to be changed, please call, as soon as possible, in order to maintain your scheduled treatment plan.

Appointments during school:
At the request of our schools, long appointments (half hour or more) are to be scheduled in the early morning or early afternoon before 3:00 PM. In doing so, fewer students will need to be excused during the day, allowing us to treat shorter (15 minutes) appointments after 3:00 PM.

*Note that this policy has been approved by the Pennsylvania Dental Association and the Department of Public Instructions, Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. With the proper form, no student will be denied excusal from school. Ask our reception for a form to be filled out by the doctor / parent and approved by the school.
Call us today to schedule your child's orthodontic appointment.
For your convenience, we accept MasterCard, Visa, and Discover.
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