Frequently Asked Questions
Is a referral from my family dentist required to schedule an appointment for an orthodontic consultation?
No it is not. Many of our patients are referred by their family dentist, but most are referred by family and friends.
How do I schedule an appointment for an initial consultation?
Simply contact us or call 815.344.2840
Is it too late to have braces if I am already an adult?
More and more adults today are seeking the benefits of a beautiful, healthy smile. In our practice 30% of all orthodontic patients are over the age of 21. Health, happiness and self-esteem are vitally important at any age. It’s never too late!
What will I learn from the initial consultation?
There are four essential questions that the doctor will answer during the consultation:
- Is there an orthodontic concern, and if so, what is it?
- What must be done to correct the problem?
- How long will the treatment take to complete?
- How much will the treatment cost?
Will I need to have permanent teeth extracted for braces?
We use the latest orthodontic technology which greatly reduces the need for extraction of permanent teeth.
How long will my treatment take to complete?
Treatment time depends on each patient’s specific orthodontic needs. A minor correction could take 4-6 months, whereas a more involved correction could take 20-26 months.
Do braces hurt?
Generally, braces do not “hurt” but they do feel foreign at first and take about a week to get used to. Dr. Thompson utilizes the latest orthodontic technology: After certain visits, teeth may be sore for a few days and an over-the-counter pain reliever such as ibuprofen will provide relief.
How much will braces cost? Are financing options available? How does my insurance work?
Orthodontic fees depend on the complexity of the correction. We will explain the exact cost and financial options during the initial consultation. We have many financing options available to accommodate your needs, and we will review each of these with you. We will review your insurance information, help to maximize your benefit and file your claims for you.
How often will I have appointments?
Appointments are scheduled according to each patient’s needs. Dr. Thompson and Dr. Conlon utilize the latest orthodontic technology to allow your appointments to be spaced farther apart. Most patients are seen every 6 to 10 weeks.
Do I continue to see my family dentist while in braces?
Yes! We recommend seeing your family dentist at least every 6 months for a thorough cleaning and examination while undergoing orthodontic treatment.
Are there foods I cannot eat while I have braces?
Yes, once your treatment begins, we will provide you with complete diet instructions and a list of foods to avoid. These include the chewy, crunchy, and sticky items such as ice, hard candy, caramel, nuts, taffy, etc. that can distort or break your braces. You can avoid extra repair appointments and reduce your time in braces by carefully following these instructions.
How often should I brush my teeth while in braces?
Excellent oral hygiene is a must with braces. Patients should thoroughly brush at least 3-4 times each day; after each meal and before going to bed. Once your treatment begins, we will provide special toothbrushes, flossing aids, toothpaste and mouth rinses to help you achieve a beautiful, healthy smile.
Why should I choose an orthodontic specialist?
An orthodontist is a specialist in the diagnosis, prevention and treatment of dental and facial irregularities. All orthodontists are dentists, but only about 6% of dentists take the extra education to become an orthodontist. Admission to an orthodontic postgraduate program is extremely competitive and selective.
It takes many years to become an orthodontist and the educational requirements are demanding. An orthodontist must complete college requirements before starting a four-year graduate program at a dental school accredited by the American Dental Association (ADA). After dental school, at least two or three academic years of advanced specialty education in an ADA-accredited orthodontic program are required to be an orthodontist. The program includes advanced education in biomedical, behavioral and basic sciences. The orthodontic student learns the complex skills required to manage tooth movement (orthodontics) and guide facial development (dentofacial orthopedics). Only dentists who have successfully completed these advanced specialty education programs may call themselves orthodontists.