Do you have questions about orthodontics for you or your child? We know it can be overwhelming when your dentist mentions orthodontics during an appointment, so we decided to answer a handful of the most commonly asked orthodontics questions. Check it out!
What is included in a consult?
Every orthodontic journey begins with a consultation appointment. These are completely complimentary. We take care of everything in these consults, and they are entirely free to you. During the consult, we’ll take a few photos and x-rays, which will help us develop a treatment plan, which we will share with you. You’ll also meet with our treatment coordinator, who will discuss finances and any costs associated with this phase of orthodontics. This would include braces, retainers, and everything else from beginning to end, including all the appointments in between.
Lastly, we want to remind you that it’s important for your child to have an orthodontic consult around the age of seven. Starting early only means we can create a better outcome for you or your child!
What is an observation phase?
During your consult, your orthodontist might recommend putting your child into the observation phase. This means that the orthodontist may not think your child is ready to start the orthodontic process immediately, but wants to keep a close eye on their situation. We will start seeing them every six months for complimentary consultations to monitor their growth. Then, when we feel they are ready to start the orthodontic process, we will review treatment plans and finances.
How much is orthodontics going to cost?
We understand that orthodontics is an investment in your or your child’s future, and that can be very stressful, so we try to take all of the guesswork out of the situation. When the treatment coordinator gives you the financial information, they will include every payment option that we have, including pay-in-full options and insurance benefits you may be entitled to through your coverage.
Some insurances are considered in-network with orthodontists, and others are considered out-of-network. In most cases, the status of in-network vs. out-of-network insurance doesn’t have a significant impact, because your orthodontic maximum that is included in your insurance is the maximum whether it’s in-network or not. Depending on the pricing of the treatment options, there may be a very small discount for your insurance plan, but this is fairly rare. Please do not let in-network vs. out-of-network deter you from going to see the orthodontist you want to see.
Once we’ve taken your insurance into account, we’ll discuss payment plans. We have options for monthly auto-pay, which is drafted directly from your checking account, so it’s super easy and convenient for you. We ask for a small down payment upfront, but the larger your down payment is, the smaller your monthly payments will be.
We also have a dedicated financial coordinator at both of our offices to help you take care of any financial questions or issues that might arise during treatment.
What type of appliance will my child need?
This will vary depending on what the photos and x-rays taken during the consult reveal. Possible treatment plans could include traditional braces, which we can do with metal or clear ceramic brackets for the same cost.
Your child might need an appliance to adjust their jaws or palate, which could include an RPE, or a rapid palate expander. RPEs expand the palate in small increments, aligning the teeth and correcting the bite. We also have appliances known as a Herbst, which helps correct alignment in the lower jaw.
We also offer retainers and aligners, including Invisalign and several other aligner options.
What will regular appointments look like?
The very first appointment after signing the contract will likely be the longest, as it is when you or your child will have the appliance installed. From that point on, appointments will be relatively quick depending on what needs to be taken care of. Typically, after having the appliance installed, you’ll return every six to eight weeks for the orthodontist to check brackets, adjust wires, repair any broken elements, etc.
What do I do if something breaks?
We are here for you! Just give our office a call and we can help assess the situation and create a plan. If it’s after hours or on the weekend, our phones are still open. Just select the option for a dental or orthodontic emergency and leave us a message—someone will return your call or text you with help. Typically, we can get patients in on the next business day, but if it’s on a weekend, we’ll have an assistant call you and walk you through it. If it is something that cannot be fixed over the phone, we’ll bring you in and get everything fixed up. We don’t want our patients to go through any pain or discomfort when it can be avoided.
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