1. Why should I choose an orthodontic specialist?
Orthodontists complete an additional 2-3 years of specialized education and training beyond dental school to learn the most effective techniques to align and straighten teeth. Training also involves the growth and development of the jaw and facial structures and how orthodontic treatment can resolve these imbalances. Only those who successfully complete this formal education may call themselves orthodontists. Dave Kujak, DMD, MS is the only orthodontist in Onalaska, WI.
2. Is it required that my family dentist schedule my appointment with the orthodontist?
No, it is not. Many of our patients are referred by their family dentist, yet many other patients take the initiative to schedule an examination themselves.
3. At what age should I schedule an appointment for an orthodontic 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.
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4. Will my teeth straighten out as they grow?
Probably not. The space available for the front teeth does not increase as you grow. In most people, after the permanent molars erupt, the space available for the front teeth decreases with age.
5. How do I schedule an appointment for an initial consult?
If you or your child can potentially benefit from orthodontic treatment, simply call our office, send us an e-mail or fill out our appointment request form online. We will be happy to schedule an appointment for you. When you call to schedule your appointment, our front office staff will request basic information from you, including insurance information.
6. What will happen at the initial consultation?
Upon arriving, each patient and parent will be seen by the Treatment Coordinator who will acclimate you to our office. We will take the necessary photographs and X-rays to allow us to make a proper diagnosis. Dr. Dave will then complete an extensive exam.
To read more about your first visit, see our First Visit Page.
7. What will I learn from the initial consultation?
There are five essential questions that we will cover during the initial consultation:
- Is there a condition that orthodontics can address?
- Is treatment needed now or should treatment be delayed until appropriate growth, tooth eruption or other factors have occurred?
- What treatment procedures will be used to correct the problem?
- Do any permanent teeth need to be removed?
- How long will treatment take?
- How much will it cost?
- What are my payment options?
8. Will I need to have teeth extracted for braces?
Removing teeth is sometimes required to achieve the best orthodontic result. Straight teeth and a balanced facial profile are the goal of orthodontics. However, because new technology has provided advanced orthodontic procedures, removing teeth is not always necessary for orthodontic treatment.
9. How long will it take to complete treatment?
Treatment time obviously depends on each patient’s specific orthodontic needs. In general, treatment time lasts from 8 to 30 months. The “average” time frame a person is in braces is approximately 18-24 months.
10. 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 Dr. Dave has completed an extensive exam. It is our mission to provide you with affordable, high-quality treatment that fits your budget. Even if you do not have an orthodontic insurance benefit, we offer payment options to meet your needs. Insurance benefits will be estimated prior to the start of treatment and once orthodontic treatment has begun, insurance will be filed by our office as a courtesy to you.
11. How often will I have appointments?
Appointments are scheduled according to each patient’s needs. Most patients in braces will be seen every 4-10 weeks. If there are specific situations that require more frequent monitoring, we will schedule appointments accordingly.
12. Can I schedule all of my appointments after school?
Unfortunately, we cannot schedule all appointments for students during after-school hours. However, because most appointments are scheduled 4-10 weeks apart, most patients will miss minimal school due to their orthodontic treatments. We will, however, make a sincere effort to meet your scheduling needs.
13. Can I drop my child off for an appointment?
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 you when you return, so we ask that you check in with the patient coordinator before dropping off your child.
14. Do braces hurt?
Generally, braces do not “hurt.” After certain visits, teeth may be sore for a few days. In these situations, pain medications that the patient normally takes will ease the discomfort. However, after most visits, patients do not feel any soreness at all! We often remind our patients, “It does not have to hurt to work!”
15. Can I return to school the day I receive my braces?
Yes. There is no reason to miss school because of an orthodontic appointment.
16. Do you give shots?
No. Shots are not necessary in orthodontic treatment.
17. Do you use recycled braces?
Absolutely not! It is our belief that each patient should be provided with their own braces to achieve the best orthodontic result possible.
18. Can I still play sports?
Yes. We recommend a mouth guard for all sports.
19. Do I need to see my family dentist while in braces?
Yes! Regular check-ups with your family dentist are important while in braces. Your family dentist will determine the intervals between cleaning appointments while you are in braces.
20. Are there foods I cannot eat while I have braces?
Yes. Once treatment begins, we will explain the complete instructions and provide a comprehensive list of foods to avoid. Some of those foods include: ice, hard candy, raw vegetables and all sticky foods (i.e. caramel and taffy). You can avoid most comfort visit appointments to repair broken or damaged braces by carefully following our instructions.
21. How often should I brush my teeth while in braces?
Patients should brush their teeth at least 2-3 times each day: after each meal and before going to bed. We will show each patient how to floss their teeth with braces and may also provide a prescription for a special fluoride, if necessary.
22. What is a comfort visit appointment? How are those handled?
If your braces are causing extreme pain or if something breaks, you should call our office. In most cases, we can address these issues over the telephone. If you require a comfort visit appointment, we will set aside time for you. If possible, we ask that you please avoid walking in with no appointment for this. If you have a concern after normal business hours, there is always a forwarding number through our voicemail. If it is something that can wait, you will be asked to call the office and schedule an appointment.
23. Can orthodontic correction occur while a child has baby teeth?
Yes. 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.
24. What is Phase One (early) treatment?
Phase One treatment, if necessary, is usually initiated on children between the ages of 7 and 10. Phase One treatment lasts about 9-15 months. The primary objective for Phase One treatment is to address significant problems to prevent them from becoming more severe and to improve self-esteem and self-image.
25. Will my child need full braces if he/she has Phase One treatment?
It is best to assume that your child will need full braces even after Phase One treatment. The period following Phase One treatment is called the “resting period,” during which growth and tooth eruption are closely monitored. Throughout this period, parents and patients will be kept informed of future treatment recommendations.
26. Will my child need an expander?
At the completion of the extensive examination, Dr. Dave will determine whether your child will need an expander.
27. Is it too late to have braces if I am already an adult?
A surprising percentage of our patients are adults. In fact, 25 percent of all orthodontic patients are adults. Health, happiness and self-esteem are vitally important to adults. No patient is “too old” to wear braces!
28. Can I wear braces even though I have crowns and missing teeth?
Yes. A tooth with a crown will move just like a tooth with a simple filling. When teeth are missing, orthodontic treatment will aid in the alignment of the remaining teeth.