101 North 10th Ave, Bozeman, MT, 59715
Frequently Asked Questions about Orthodontics.
Q: "How much does orthodontic treatment with braces or Invisalign cost?"
A: Orthodontic treatment cost vary depending on the specific needs and goals of each patient, the estimated length of treatment, and overall complexity of the case. Some patients may only have minor tooth alignment issues, while others have have severe tooth issues in addition to bite/jaw issues. A free consultation with an orthodontist can help determine your orthodontics needs, goals, and cost. Contact our Bozeman Orthodontic office for a consultation to determine your orthodontic goals and treatment options.
Q: "I had braces for 3 years, wore headgear, and had teeth pulled when I was younger. Will my child need the same thing?"
A: Advances in the fields of orthodontic technology and treatment planning have occurred over the years allowing us to treat patients from start to finish more efficiently than ever with shorter treatment time in braces and less appointments. Specifically, some of the advances include braces bonded only to the surface of the tooth rather than bands that go around the whole tooth, MUCH less use of headgear to correct bite discrepancies, new wire alloys which are gentler and allow longer intervals between appointments, clear brackets, and fewer removal of adult teeth to correct crowding (although tooth removal is still done when necessary.) If treatment length is a concern, ask about new technology, compatible with braces or Invisalign, capable of shortening orthodontic treatment, AcceleDent.
Q: "Why choose an orthodontist to straighten my teeth?"
A: While many general dentists offer tooth straightening services such as Invisalign or even braces, only an orthodontist has completed 2-3 years of formal training beyond dental school to be able to call themselves an orthodontic specialist. Orthodontists have advanced training in diagnosing and treatment planning orthodontic cases and limit their practice 100% solely to teeth straightening and bite correcting using braces or Invisalign. It's also important to consider that a product such as Invisalign is a tool, and any tool is only as effective as the skill level and expertise of the person operating it. Invisalign treatment at one office will differ compared to Invisalign treatment at a second office due to the fact that there is a different "operator" diagnosing, planning, and providing the treatment.
Q: "If you can straighten your teeth with clear, Invisalign aligners, why would you choose to straighten their teeth with braces?"
A: First, it's important to consider that clear aligner therapy, such as Invisalign, is NOT invisible. It is less visible than braces, but not invisible. Second, clear aligner therapy has been available for decades, yet still only represents a relatively small market share of the total orthodontic treatment market. This is due to the fact that not all patients are candidates for clear aligner therapy. Aligners are most appropriate for mild cases of tooth alignment issues without significant bite issues. Aligners also require a good amount of discipline on the part of the patient due to the fact that they need to be worn 22 hours/day, taking them out only to eat. We are happy to offer Invisalign treatment in addition to traditional metal braces and clear, esthetic braces. Feel free to schedule a free consultation to help decide which treatment method may be right for you.
Q: "Do Six Month Smiles move teeth faster than regular braces?"
A: Teeth straightening services such as "Six Month Smiles" are marketed to general dentists who would like to offer orthodontic braces services to their patients. Six Month Smiles is most appropriate for patients with only mild misalignment issues of their front teeth without underlying bite issues. These are cases which could be treated in around six months by an orthodontist as well. Six Month Smiles will not take a moderately or highly complex 12-24 month case and finish it in less time. The rate of tooth movement is limited by the teeth, teeth ligaments, and jaw bone surrounding teeth themselves, not by the brand of braces. The only currently available methods of accelerating tooth movement that have been shown to work are through the use of a product such as AcceleDent, or through moderately invasive surgical procedures that alter the bone in the jaw.
Q: "Are permanent retainers really permanent? How long will it stay in?"
A: Check out our blog post on this topic. Orthodontic treatment is an investment. It's an investment of finances as well as time with a rewarding return of a lifelong healthy, happy smile. It is our goal that you or your child's smile will look great not only on the day the braces or Invisalign aligners come off, but 5, 10, 20, and 30 years from that day as well. One of the most effective ways to ensure teeth stay straight for a long, long time is through the use of a surgical-grade, stainless steel wire retainer permanently bonded to the back of the lower front teeth. These retainers are placed with the intention of them staying in permanently, however, they can be removed if necessary. Talk to an orthodontist about whether a permanent retainer, removable retainers, or both, are right for you. Contact our Bozeman Orthodontic office to learn more about retainers and how they work.
Q: "My child got their braces off sooner than expected, do I need to keep making payments on my payment plan?"
A: Yes. It's important to consider that terms of payment plan financing are 100% independent of the estimated treatment length of braces or Invisalign. We don't charge additional fees if the orthodontic treatment goes over the estimated length or waive fees if the treatment is completed sooner. Feel free to contact our Bozeman Orthodontic office to learn more about the payment plans we offer.
Q: "I am interested in straightening my teeth, but am I too old for braces?"
A: There is no age limit to orthodontic braces or Invisalign treatment as long as your teeth and gums are in good health. Over 20% of orthodontic patients nationwide are adults, and adult orthodontic treatment is becoming increasingly popular. A consultation with an orthodontist can help determine your orthodontic goals and ideal treatment plan.
Q: "At what age should my child be seen by an orthodontist?"
A: Check out our blog post on this topic. Earlier is better, but it's never too late. It is recommended that children have an orthodontist consultation as early as age 7, when the adult front teeth and 6-year molars are in, to evaluate for current and/or future orthodontic needs. This does not mean braces or orthodontic intervention will be recommended at this age. Early orthodontic treatment is recommended only in certain cases. Some bite issues are best treated as early as possible, while some are important to treat by the early teenage years or they may require a surgical procedure to correct in adulthood.
Q: "What can I eat with braces on?"
A: It's important to maintain a healthy diet throughout orthodontic treatment with braces. However, it's smart to avoid certain types of foods when braces are on. These foods include hard foods like nuts, hard pizza crusts and ice cubes as well as sticky foods such as toffees and caramels. These foods can be troublesome because they have the potential to break brackets or pull wires out of place. Broken braces brackets and wires are an inconvenience to the patient as well as our office and can lead to additional appointments and a longer treatment time.