Do you charge for an initial visit?
No. As a courtesy to you and your family dentist, there is no fee for your consultation with Dr. Hage to discuss orthodontic treatment.
At what age do you start seeing patients?
We like to evaluate young patients after the first permanent molars erupt and the front adult teeth just start to appear. This is usually between the ages of 6 and 8.
Why do you evaluate patients so young?
The purpose of early evaluation is to inform and observe, rather than to start treatment. We’ll evaluate eruption sequence, habits and discuss general bite considerations. A small percentage of young children may need some form of intervention. If necessary, we’ll arrange a recall and observation schedule.
What are the health benefits of wearing braces?
Orthodontics helps to improve the comfort of the bite, make it easier to brush and floss your teeth for good dental health, and helps balance the facial musculature. The positive self-esteem benefits of a great smile are immeasurable.
How long will the first visit take?
The first visit can last anywhere between 30 minutes and 1 hour depending on whether the patient is ready for treatment. Dr. Hage will perform a clinical exam and explain the situation or may suggest one or more X-rays of the teeth along with photographs.
Do you take patients transferring from out of town?
Yes we do. We handle a patient transferring into our office from another city just like a new patient. We gather complete diagnostic records to show the current status and propose treatment to complete the work that has been started. Unlike most practices, we don’t require a large down payment but simply assess a monthly fee to complete the treatment in progress.
Do you have any adult patients?
Absolutely. A large number of our patients are adult. Clear braces and tooth-colored wires make adult treatment esthetic, comfortable and convenient.
What is the difference between an orthodontist and a dentist?
An Orthodontist is a licensed general dentist with at least 2 more years of full-time training in an orthodontic residency after dental school. The Orthodontist then limits his practice to straightening teeth and the correction of dentofacial dysfunction and malformations.
Can I make all my appointments in the afternoon after school and late in the day?
In order to have early and late appointments available for the majority of patients, some procedures need to be accomplished during the hours of 9 and 1. We’ll do our best to work with you to accommodate your family’s schedule.
Do you see patients for emergencies?
Yes, we have a full-time answering service for emergencies. You’ll always be able to reach a member of our clinical staff if you need help.
Can we make payments?
Yes. Whether or not you have insurance or a dental plan, we’ll structure a convenient interest free payment plan that will allow you to pay over a period of time.
How do you handle insurance?
After verification of coverage, we bill and collect from an insurance carrier. However, we ask patients to understand that if coverage ceases or changes, the patient is still responsible for the agreed upon fee.
Do you take American Express, Discover, Master Card and/or Visa?
Yes. We accept all major credit cards.
Do you have direct debit?
Yes. We can help you make arrangements for automatic payments using a debit or credit card.
We offer interest-free payment plans for all treatment.
Do you give family discounts?
Yes. We have special programs and fees for multiple patients from the same family.
Types of Treatment
What is Phase 1 Treatment?
Phase 1 treatment is delivered early and before all permanent teeth have erupted. The purpose is to correct harmful malocclusions, provide space for adult teeth to erupt and monitor any problem that might be difficult or impossible to correct later.
Phase 1 treatment doesn’t necessarily eliminate the need for conventional orthodontics during adolescence. Examples of Phase 1 treatment includes removing primary teeth to help adult tooth eruption, correcting cross-bites and dealing with severe underbites or overbites.
What is Phase 2 Treatment?
Phase 2 treatment is conventional orthodontic treatment. It may start while the last baby teeth are falling out and continue until the 12 year molars have been evaluated or straightened. This treatment usually lasts between 2 and 3 years.
How do I know if Phase 1, 2 or both type of treatments are necessary?
An early visit is suggested. About 10 to 20 percent of young patients may benefit from Phase 1 treatment. Most other patients are observed until the appropriate time to begin care.
Does early treatment ensure a better result?
Experience and research shows that early treatment achieves meaningful goals but the quality of the result is determined at the end of care. For this reason, we encourage early treatment only if significant benefits can be achieved.
I need to be pre-medicated for the dentist. Do I need to take my medicine for the orthodontist?
For most routine orthodontic appointments, antibiotic premedication is not necessary. Occasionally, certain procedures will require medication. We’ll always let you know whether to take your medicine prior to a scheduled appointment.
How long does orthodontic treatment take?
Most orthodontic cases are finished in 2-3 years. Sometimes treatment is divided into two or more periods of time. (See Phase 1 and 2 treatment above).
How do braces work?
Crooked teeth are gradually moved into desired positions by taking shaped wires and attaching them to specialized attachments (braces) on the teeth. Over time, the teeth and arch form will take on the shape and dimension of the wires.
Do you use recycled braces or wires?
Do retainers need to be worn after braces?
Yes. To maintain the finished results, retainers should be worn indefinitely for at least 4-6 hours each day.
Why do teeth get crooked after wearing braces or Invisalign?
Teeth move throughout life whether you have worn braces or not. It is part of the natural aging process. This is why retainer wear is recommended indefinitely to maintain your orthodontic results over a lifetime.
How about retainers glued to the backs of teeth?
The majority of patients have superior results with removable retainers. But for some people, “permanent” or bonded retainers are a better option. These are small wires attached to the back of the front teeth. Bonded retainers require special home care routines and regular hygiene appointments with the family dentist to maintain the integrity and cleanliness of the wires.