Orthodontist in Los Banos and Turlock

common questions

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Are all braces the same?

With the Damon System, we don't just align teeth; we create beautiful smiles. Our treatment decisions are based on your individual smile, profile and other factors that will impact what you will look like in your 40s, 50s and beyond. The Damon System is designed to deliver results for a lifetime.

How long does treatment take?

Treatment with the Damon System is typically faster than with conventional braces. As a bonus, far fewer appointments are required during treatment.

When should my child be seen by an orthodontist?

The American Association of Orthodontics recommends that your child should be seen by an orthodontist by the age of 7. Some children will need to be seen at an earlier age. Early detection does not always mean early treatment. We will usually follow your child as he or she grows, and guide you on the appropriate time to begin orthodontic treatment.

Will I need permanent teeth removed?

With new technology like the Damon System, we can correct even severe crowding without permanent tooth extractions. The light force wires combined with the Damon System open up many more options. When tooth extractions are performed in our office, they are based on your facial features and take into consideration the long-term effects on your face as you age.

Will I need a palatal expander?

We rarely use rapid palatal expanders with the Damon System. We can widen your arch using braces and the light force wires that are used during your orthodontic treatment.

Does it hurt to get braces?

No, they are bonded directly to your teeth, and no shots are necessary! Most patients experience some discomfort during the first 3-5 days after their braces are attached. You can minimize the discomfort by taking Ibuprofen or Tylenol.

Do you tighten my braces, and will that hurt?

No, you will have wire changes with the Damon System. We don't tighten your braces. Most patients experience some discomfort the first day or two after an adjustment is made.

What about my wisdom teeth?

Wisdom teeth do not normally interfere with orthodontic treatment. If they are bothering you, we may recommend removal prior to orthodontic treatment. In many cases, wisdom teeth can be removed before, during or after treatment, but they usually do not interfere with orthodontic tooth movement.

Do I still need to see my dentist if I have braces on?

Yes, your dentist will follow you every six months for regular cleanings and checkups. Some patients are seen more often during orthodontic treatment, depending on the guidance of the dentist and/or orthodontist.

Will I still be able to play sports?

Yes, although it is advised that patients protect their smile by wearing a mouth guard when participating in any sports activity. Patients get their mouth guards from any local sports store. Guards that you can boil and bite seem to work best, because they can be adjusted throughout treatment.

How long do I need to wear retainers?

Forever, or as long as you want straight teeth.

Do I need an appointment if something happens to my braces or can I just "stop by"?

You need to call the office if you have a problem with your braces to set up an appointment. We usually have same-day emergency visits available, and our goal is to make sure you are comfortable.

What if I have a problem and you are not open?

In case of an EXTREME EMERGENCY, such as a trauma or injury, please call our office for instructions. We always have an assistant on call. Remember, true emergencies are rare. Here are some suggestions on how to deal with some commonly occurring problems:
  • Wire Poke - Apply wax over the brace or wire that is poking you. Call the office for an appointment to have the wire trimmed.
  • Broken Bracket - Call the office for an appointment to have it repaired. If you are wearing rubber bands, discontinue wearing them until your braces have been repaired.
  • Need Rubber bands - Call the office, and we will mail some to you, or you can stop by to pick them up.

Do I need a referral from my dentist to schedule an appointment?

No, it is not required. You can schedule an appointment at your convenience

Will my teeth straighten out as they grow?

No, they will 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.

How do I schedule an appointment for an initial exam?

If you or your child can potentially benefit from orthodontic treatment, simply call our office at 667-9514. We will be happy to schedule an appointment for you. When you call to schedule your appointment, our front office staff will request some basic information from you.

What will happen at the initial examination appointment?

Upon arriving, each patient and parent will be seen by the staff. We will take the necessary photographs and x-rays to allow us to make a proper diagnosis. The doctor will then complete a brief, but thorough exam.

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 seen you for an initial examination. We will cover the cost and financial options during that examination. We have flexible financing options available to accommodate your needs, and we will review these with you. We will also review your insurance policy and help to maximize your benefit and file your claims.

How often will I have appointments?

Appointments vary and are scheduled according to each patient's needs.

What is Phase One (early) treatment?

Phase One treatment, if necessary, is usually initiated between the ages of 7 and 10 and typically lasts 12-18 months. The primary objective of Phase One treatment is to address significant problems and prevent them from becoming more severe, thereby improving our patients' self-esteem and self-image.

Will my child need full braces if he/she has Phase One treatment?

Yes, it is best to assume that your child will need full braces even after Phase One treatment.

Is it too late to have braces if I am an adult?

A surprising percentage of our patients are adults. Health, happiness and self-esteem are vitally important to adults. No patient is "too old" to wear braces!

Why should you choose an orthodontic specialist?

Orthodontic specialists have extensive and specialized training that enables them to provide their patients with professional, personalized treatments. Teeth, and sometimes entire facial structures, are permanently changed by orthodontic treatment. It is important that the treatment be appropriate and properly completed.