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Questions. Simple Answers.

Frequently Asked Orthodontic Questions

We’ve compiled the list of our most frequently asked questions, and questions most orthodontists won’t answer. We like to always be transparent and encourage patients considering orthodontics to be informed.

Here are the questions we hear the most:

Orthodontics can change your life, but we understand there are several questions before starting your journey. We’ve summarized some of the most common questions for you below.

Scheduling your first consultation or next appointment with SmileLife Orthodontics couldn’t be easier. Follow the link below to select the office most convenient to you and reserve your spot online.

Schedule an appointment.

At the free initial exam, a SmileLife Treatment Coordinator will take x-rays and pictures of the patient. Then the doctor will review the images and meet with the patient to do an exam. The doctor will discuss treatment options with the patient and then prescribe the final treatment plan. The Treatment Coordinator will go over all financial paperwork. We verify the patient’s insurance beforehand, whenever possible, so that we are able to provide exact numbers, which can be paid all at once or on a monthly basis. The patient can either start braces or invisalign that day, or take all of the information home and think it over.

SmileLife typically sees patients on intervals of 6 or 12 weeks depending on the treatment plan and if they’re in braces or invisalign.

We will need a parent or guardian present for the initial exam. However, children over 12 years of age are more than welcome to be dropped off while their parent waits in the car. If we need a parent present for a future appointment, we will contact the parent or let him or her know on the patient’s report card.

Yes, many of our staff are fully fluent in Spanish.

Yes, we accept all insurance plans and can verify the patient’s eligibility beforehand at no charge. If the patient is self-pay, then we offer affordable in-house financing, where we break your fee into monthly payments based on the length of your treatment. We do require a down payment, which the treatment coordinator will discuss.

Orthodontists and dentists both help patients improve their oral health, but in different ways. Dentistry is a broad medical specialty that deals with the teeth, gum, nerves, and jaw, while orthodontics is a specialty within dentistry that focuses on correcting bites, occlusion, and the straightness of teeth. One important difference is that all orthodontists are dentists, but not all dentists are licensed orthodontists.

You can make an appointment with an orthodontist any time to discuss your orthodontic needs and set up a treatment plan. By the same token, if your dentist does make a referral, you do not need to choose that orthodontist. That doesn’t mean, however, that your general dentist has no role to play in your care.

Traditionally, treatment with dental braces begins when a child has lost most of his or her baby (primary) teeth, and a majority of the adult (permanent) teeth have grown in — usually between the ages of 8 and 14.

Braces don’t hurt at all! There may be some initial soreness or discomfort while your mouth is adjusting to your new braces, but any soreness is very short-term.

Learn more about if braces hurt in this article.

The cost of braces and invisalign varies based on time in treatment, how much movement needs to happen within the mouth and the type of treatment. Typically, a full case at SmileLife can range anywhere from $3,500 – $7,000.

For optimal results, Invisalign gradually aligns your teeth, which minimizes discomfort and ensures a precise, healthy smile. It is unrealistic to see changes in one to two weeks. While result speed varies between patients, some patients may begin to notice a subtle difference within 10 to 12 weeks.

There is not a right or wrong choice when it comes to invisalign vs. braces — just a choice. Each has advantages and disadvantages. And, both will require some compliance from the patient. Today, both treatments can be done equally well with invisalign or braces, and they both take about the same amount of time.

The cost of braces and invisalign varies based on time in treatment, how much movement needs to happen within the mouth and the type of treatment. Typically, a full case at SmileLife can range anywhere from $3,500 – $7,000.