Orthodontic Associates Answers Questions
New to braces? Dr. Patel can help.
Get answers to the most common orthodontic questions in Shelby.
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Answers to Common Questions
You’ll receive better care and better results. That’s why selecting an orthodontist in Shelby who can help you achieve your smile dreams is essential.
Orthodontists are dental specialists who diagnose, prevent and treat dental and facial irregularities.
They're better qualified to give you the smile of your dreams than you could get from aligners in the mail.
Orthodontists have learned the proper way to align and straighten teeth through an additional two to three years of specialized education after dental school.
Only those with this formal education may call themselves “orthodontists.” Only orthodontists may be members of the American Association of Orthodontists (AAO).
Dr. Patel from Orthodontic Associates has achieved this specialization and is an active member of AAO.
Patients of almost any age can get a new smile with orthodontic treatment. In fact, about one in every four orthodontic patients today is over age 18.
Thanks to today’s smaller, less visible and more comfortable orthodontic appliances (including metal braces, ceramic braces, and Invisalign), many adults are excited about treatment.
The American Association of Orthodontists recommends an orthodontic screening at age seven. By this age, most children have several permanent teeth that have erupted, letting us evaluate their orthodontic needs.
By this age, Dr. Patel can spot subtle problems with jaw growth and emerging teeth while some baby teeth are still present.
That’s important, because some orthodontic problems may be easier to correct if they’re found early. Most orthodontic patients begin active braces treatment between ages 9 and 14.
There isn’t a concrete answer for this. The cost of orthodontic treatment depends on many factors, including the severity of the problem, how complex the problem is, and how long treatment lasts.
Dr. Patel will gladly discuss the cost of treatment and your financing options with you before starting your treatment.
The good news is that braces are more affordable today than ever. Our staff also works with insurance companies and offers payment plans that meet your family’s budget.
Patients who need orthodontic treatment generally have one to three years of active treatment.
Your free consultation at our Shelby, NC office can help us determine your specific needs and set expectations.
Most orthodontic problems are inherited. Examples of these genetic problems are crowding, spacing, protrusion, extra or missing teeth and some jaw growth problems.
Other oral problems are caused by thumb- or finger-sucking, dental disease, accidents, the early or late loss of baby teeth, or other causes.
Crooked and crowded teeth are hard to clean and maintain.
A bad bite can wear down teeth, make it hard to chew and talk and create stress on supporting bone and gum tissue.
Without treatment, many problems become worse and can require additional dental care later in life.
If you notice an unwanted change in your smile or bite, contact us for a free consultation.
You might need an orthodontic tune-up to regain proper alignment.
Orthodontic treatment is a partnership between the doctor and patient.
Dr. Patel provides custom-made fixed or removable appliances that use gentle pressure to move teeth into their proper positions.
Your job is to follow your orthodontist’s instructions, keep scheduled orthodontic appointments, and maintain excellent oral hygiene to get the best results.
You will also need to see your general dentist as recommended to continue your general dental care.
Not necessarily. Research suggests that wisdom teeth don’t always cause teeth to shift.
In most cases, wisdom teeth are removed for general dental health reasons rather than for orthodontic health.
Your family dentist or Dr. Patel can help determine whether or not your wisdom teeth need to be removed.
Dr. Patel will recommend how long to continue wearing your retainers, whether they are removable (the kind you put in and take out) or fixed (bonded behind your teeth).
Wearing your retainers as prescribed is the best way to keep your teeth from moving after your orthodontic treatment.
There are many reasons teeth may move following orthodontic treatment. Teeth are not set in concrete, they’re in bone.
Because the bone around your teeth is continually changing (breaking down and rebuilding), your teeth may shift after your braces are removed.
Your teeth are more likely to stay where Dr. Patel has placed them when you wear your retainer after your treatment.
Even though you have had orthodontic treatment, you can expect the position of your teeth to change throughout your lifetime.
Many factors at work may cause teeth to shift. Such changes are different for everyone, and most of the time, they are hardly noticeable.
However, on occasion, changes can occur that disappoint both you and Dr. Patel. Changes in tooth position are not a failure of your orthodontic treatment.
They are a natural process. We expect changes in our bodies as we grow older, and teeth are no exception.
To help control and limit these changes, retainers are prescribed after your braces are removed.
The small changes that happen after braces are removed are due to settling in as you use your teeth for biting and chewing.
The more serious and unwanted changes may be traced to genetics or later-than-normal growth, which is unpredictable.
Your lower teeth are more likely to love, especially if they were extremely crowded before treatment. Changes in tooth position are a lifelong and naturally occurring phenomenon.
The best way to keep your teeth from shifting is by wearing your retainers as prescribed. If you notice movement after your braces are removed, please contact Orthodontic Associates.
*Some Text Courtesy of the American Association of Orthodontists