Orthodontic Questions

Questions about Nashville Orthodontics

WHY SHOULD YOU CHOOSE AN ORTHODONTIC SPECIALIST? Would you want your general physician doing your heart surgery? For most people the answer would be a resounding 'NO'. Then why would you have your orthodontics done by anyone other than an orthodontic specialist? Orthodontists have 2-3 years additional training after dental school that enables them to provide their patients with professional, personalized treatments. Straightening teeth is their life! Since teeth, and in many cases the entire facial complex, are permanently changed by orthodontic treatment, it is important that the diagnosis be appropriate and that the treatment be properly completed. The difference is in the results.


CAN ORTHODONTICS BE STARTED WHILE A CHILD STILL HAS BABY TEETH? Absolutely. Some orthodontic problems are significant enough to require early intervention. However, if a patient is not yet ready for treatment, we will follow that patient's growth and development until the time is right for treatment to begin.


WHAT IS CONSIDERED AN EMERGENCY APPOINTMENT? HOW ARE THOSE HANDLED? If your braces are causing extreme pain or if something breaks, you should call our office immediately. In most cases, we can address these issues over the telephone. If you require an emergency appointment, we will set aside time for you whether we are currently in the office or not. An orthodontic assistant is always only a phone call away, even after hours.


HOW OFTEN SHOULD I BRUSH MY TEETH WHILE IN BRACES? Braces make oral hygiene a bit trickier. Patients should brush their teeth at least three times each day, once after every meal, but it's not just the frequency that matters. We focus from the start on teaching proper brushing and flossing techniques. Sometimes we'll even schedule a separate appointment just to work on keeping your teeth and gums healthy! We also highly recommend use of a Waterpik throughout treatment.


ARE THERE FOODS I CANNOT EAT WHILE I HAVE BRACES? Yes. Once treatment begins, we will go over your instructions and provide a comprehensive list of foods to avoid. Some of those foods include: ice, hard candy, popcorn and all sticky foods (i.e. caramel and taffy). You can avoid most emergency appointments to repair broken or damaged braces by simply avoiding crunchy and sticky foods, which will lead to a better overall result and you getting your braces off quicker!


DO I NEED TO SEE MY FAMILY DENTIST WHILE IN BRACES? Yes! Regular checkups with your family dentist are important while in braces; in fact Dr. Barbieri usually recommends you see your dentist for cleanings a little more often while undergoing orthodontic treatment. Your family dentist will help determine the intervals between cleanings and watch for cavities while you are in braces.


CAN I RETURN TO SCHOOL THE DAY I RECEIVE MY BRACES? Yes, generally there is no reason you cannot return to school the same day.


DO BRACES HURT? Generally, braces do not "hurt." After certain visits, especially the first one, teeth may be sore for a few days. In these situations, over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medications such as Advil or Aleve can help ease the discomfort. However, after most visits, patients do not really feel any soreness at all! This is in part due to the fact that we exclusively use the Damon System, which results in lighter forces and more comfortable appointments. We often remind our patients, “It doesn't have to hurt to work!”


CAN I DROP MY CHILD OFF FOR AN APPOINTMENT? For most appointments, the answer is 'Yes'. We understand your busy schedule, and we are happy to help you make the most of your time. On some occasions, we may request to speak with a parent when they return, so we ask that parents check in with a scheduling coordinator before dropping off their child.


CAN I SCHEDULE ALL OF MY APPOINTMENTS AFTER SCHOOL? Unfortunately, we cannot schedule all appointments for students during after-school hours. We will, however, make a sincere effort to meet your scheduling needs. We ask that you do your part by sticking to your appointment times, or giving us advance notice if you need to reschedule. Multiple failed or rescheduled appointments can add months to your treatment time!


HOW OFTEN WILL I HAVE APPOINTMENTS? Appointments are scheduled according to each patient's needs, however most patients in braces will be seen every 6 to 10 weeks. If there are specific situations that require more frequent monitoring, we will schedule appointments accordingly.


HOW MUCH WILL BRACES COST? ARE FINANCING OPTIONS AVAILABLE? HOW DOES MY INSURANCE WORK? It is impossible to give an exact cost for treatment until we have examined you and decided how long treatment will last and what appliances will be needed. We will provide exact cost and financial options available to help accommodate your needs, and will review these with you up front. We will determine what your insurance benefits are for orthodontics and assist in filing claims.


HOW LONG WILL IT TAKE TO COMPLETE TREATMENT? Treatment time depends on each patient’s specific orthodontic problem, and their commitment to helping us solve it! In general, braces and Invisalign can last anywhere from 6 to 36 months. The “average” orthodontic case in our office lasts approximately 18 months. Keeping great oral hygiene, being on time for appointments, and following our braces guidelines are all KEY to you finishing on time! It takes teamwork.


WILL I NEED TO HAVE TEETH EXTRACTED FOR BRACES? Straight teeth and a balanced facial profile are the goal of orthodontics, and Dr. Barbieri will only recommend tooth extractions if absolutely necessary to achieve these goals. The good news is that new technologies, like our Damon braces, make this an infrequent occurrence!


WHAT WILL I LEARN FROM THE INITIAL EXAMINATION? There are five essential questions that we will cover during the initial examination: · Is there an orthodontic problem, and if so, what is it? · What must be done to correct the problem? · Will any teeth need to be removed? · How long will the treatment take to complete? · How much will the treatment cost?


WHAT WILL HAPPEN AT THE INITIAL EXAMINATION APPOINTMENT? Upon arriving, each patient will be asked for completed new patient forms and their insurance card. A friendly treatment coordinator will then give you a tour of the office, and, in most cases, take some photos and an xray. You will then be introduced to Dr. Barbieri, who will listen to your concerns, examine your records with you, and then walk you through his recommended treatment plan. It is highly recommended that one or both parents or guardians be on-hand for this important appointment.


HOW DO I SCHEDULE AN APPOINTMENT FOR AN FREE INITIAL EXAM? Getting started is easy! Simply call our office or send us an e-mail. We will be happy to schedule an appointment for you right away. When you call to schedule your appointment, one of our scheduling coordinators will gather some basic information from you and reserve a time slot for your personalized exam.


WILL MY TEETH STRAIGHTEN OUT AS THEY GROW IN? Probably not. If you have crooked teeth, they are likely to stay that way or worsen without orthodontics. In fact, studies have shown that teeth get more crooked as we age, even later in life!


AT WHAT AGE SHOULD I SCHEDULE AN APPOINTMENT FOR A SCREENING? The American Association of Orthodontists recommends an orthodontic screening at age 7. By this age, several permanent teeth in most children have erupted, allowing us to effectively evaluate your orthodontic condition.


DOES MY FAMILY DENTIST HAVE TO SCHEDULE MY APPOINTMENT WITH THE ORTHODONTIST? Nope. Many of our patients are referred by their family dentist, but lots of patients take the initiative to schedule an examination themselves.