Frequently Asked Questions From New Patients

How can I judge the skill level of the orthodontist?
Not all orthodontic treatment is the same and not all dentists have the same amount of training in orthodontics. In fact, any general dentist can practice orthodontics; it’s perfectly legal. To become an orthodontic specialist, the American Dental Association requires two continuous years of full-time study in orthodontics after completion of dental school.

How do I know if my doctor is really a specialist?
Call the American Association of Orthodontists (1-314-993-1700). Membership in the AAO requires that advanced specialty training has been completed and that your doctor at least knows the basics of orthodontics.

How do I know if orthodontic treatment is needed?
A lot of children need to see an orthodontist long before they need braces. Bites which appear to be quite acceptable may be those which are going to cause problems in later life. Even if crowded teeth or overbites are not obvious, every child should have an orthodontic checkup at age seven. If you have questions, ask your dentist or call us directly. No referral is needed.

Can braces be placed on a child too early?
Early treatment can be more than just extracting teeth and waiting for later bracework. By using functional appliances, we can reduce or sometimes even eliminate future brace treatment. Early treatment also gives a child a boost in confidence before those critical teen years.

What if no treatment is done now?
Some bite problems will improve with time while others will become more complex. We are happy to advise you on treatment timing. Even if we delay treatment, we can almost always save a family money
by seeing problems a little bit “too early” than a little bit “too late.”

What will this cost?
The cost varies according to treatment needed. Remember – there is no charge for the initial consultation and fee estimate.