People often have questions about their orthodontic treatment. Dr. Lisa has provided answers to some of the questions we hear most frequently. To learn more and schedule your appointment with our orthodontist, in Orlando, Clermont, Winter Springs, and Lake Mary, Florida, please contact our office today.

What is Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopedics?

Orthodontics is a field of dental specialty which involves the diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of dental and facial irregularities. The goal of orthodontics is to achieve a healthier oral function, and a more aesthetic and well-balanced smile and facial profile.

What is an orthodontist?

An orthodontist is a dentist who has completed at least 2 years of additional specialty training following dental school in an accredit Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopedics program. This additional training enables orthodontists to correct malocclusions (“bad bites”) and a variety of other problems.

What are the benefits of orthodontic treatment?

Orthodontic treatment provides straight teeth and a beautiful smile and a proper bite for chewing. It also facilitates maintenance for healthy teeth, gums, bone, and jaw joint, and helps improve self-esteem and overall psycho-social health and wellbeing.

Who needs orthodontics and when?

Millions of Americans, including 75% of children, have oral health problems that could benefit from orthodontic treatment. The AAO recommends that children meet with an orthodontist at an early age – children may be seen as young as age 2 or 3, but should see an orthodontist no later than age 7. While many people associate orthodontics with the teenage years, orthodontic problems can be recognized and treatment provided much earlier. Orthodontic treatment is also available for adults.

Why visit the orthodontist early?

There are many benefits to early diagnosis and treatment of orthodontic issues. While orthodontic treatment is available for patients of all ages, early examination allows our orthodontist to detect and evaluate problems while they are still developing and determine when the best time to treat them would be. Early visits can ease a parent’s mind, even if the recommendation is simply to closely monitor the face and jaws and they develop. In some cases, we may recommend interceptive treatment to prevent a more serious problem from developing or to prevent physical or emotional trauma.

What types of problems can be corrected by early treatment?

Some of the most common types of problems that can be corrected through early treatment include:

  • Abnormal habits (thumb-sucking, tongue thrusting, etc.)
  • Controlling the eruption of teeth
  • Correcting deformities in the jaws as they grow

How can I tell if my child has an orthodontic problem?

While you should always bring your child to meet with an orthodontist to determine their exact needs, some of the more readily apparent conditions that indicate the need for orthodontic treatment include:

  • Early or late loss of baby teeth
  • Difficulty in chewing or biting
  • Mouth-breathing
  • Thumb-sucking
  • Crowded, displaced, or blocked-out teeth
  • Jaws that shift or make sounds
  • Speech difficulties
  • Biting the cheek or the roof of the mouth
  • Teeth that meet abnormally or do not meet at all
  • Facial unbalance
  • Jaws that are too far forward to too far back
  • Grinding and clenching of the teeth (bruxism)

What causes orthodontic problems?

Most orthodontic problems are inherited and cannot be prevented. However, early intervention can help. Orthodontists may use appliances designed to help guide bone growth, and in some patients early treatment can achieve results that may not otherwise be possible.

How much does orthodontic treatment cost?

The cost of your treatment will vary depending on the severity of the problem, the type of treatment, and the length of treatment time. Our orthodontist will discuss the treatment cost and payment schedule following your initial examination. Yurkiewicz Orthodontics offers a variety of financial options for your convenience.

How can I get orthodontic insurance?

Orthodontic insurance is not available on an individual basis. However, many dental insurance plans also include orthodontic coverage. Please check with your insurance provider to find out if your policy includes orthodontic coverage.

What if my employer does not offer orthodontic coverage?

The AAO offers its assistance at no charge to companies interested in offering their employees a dental plan that includes orthodontic coverage. The AAO provides Concept DF, a self-funded, direct reimbursement dental/orthodontic benefits program that is general less expensive and offers better benefits than traditional dental insurance plans. For more information, please contact the AAO via telephone at 1-800-STRAIGHT or through their website at www.mylifemysmile.org.

Yurkiewicz Orthodontics also offers a variety of financial options, which we invite you to explore on this website.

Is it true that orthodontics can contribute to mental as well as physical health?

Although dental health concerns are usually the primary reason for seeking orthodontic treatment, it is also often initiated for the patient’s self-esteem as well. Individuals with facial deformities or crooked teeth are often judged negatively for their appearance, and for other characteristic such as their intelligence and personality. Independent studies have also shown that individuals who believe their teeth or jaws are unattractive may suffer from a lack of self-esteem and confidence. In some cases, the psychological impact of crooked teeth has been found to hamper social or vocational growth. As orthodontic treatment brings teeth, lips, and face into their proper positions, self-confidence and self-esteem increases – one feels better when one looks better.

Do orthodontists treat TMD (temporomandibular disorders)?

TMD treatments include a variety of procedures performed by orthodontists, dentists, and other dental professionals. Although the diagnosis may be provided by a dentist or a dental specialist, if the symptoms are not solely related to jaw function other conditions may need to be identified by a physician or psychologist. To learn more, schedule an appointment with our orthodontist or ask your family dentist for a referral.

Can I see how I will look after treatment?

Anyone considering orthodontic treatment for themselves or for a loved one can take advantage of the “Smile Bank,” the AAO’s state-of-the-art computer imaging program. To receive a complimentary computer-generated photo of how you might look after orthodontic treatment, simply mail a close-up, front facial color photo featuring a wide, “toothy” smile with your name, address, and phone number, to:

American Association of Orthodontists
c/o “SMILES”
401 North Lindbergh Boulevard
St. Louis, Missouri 63141-7816.

You’ll receive a FREE photo showing how your smile might benefit from orthodontic treatment.

Can I get braces as an adult?

Absolutely! Though early treatment in children is emphasized, more and more adult irregularities are being successfully treated. In fact, one out of every four orthodontic patients is an adult. Regardless of age, orthodontic treatment is usually a change for the better. The mechanics involved in tooth movement are the same with both adults and children, however, because an adult’s facial bones are no longer growing, certain conditions may require both orthodontic treatment as well as jaw surgery to correct. While braces will not interfere with an adult lifestyle, there are also many discreet alternatives available.

What is “surgical” orthodontics?

In cases of extreme facial disharmony, it may be necessary to combine surgical procedures with orthodontics to produce the ideal result. Our orthodontist works with a trusted oral or plastic surgeon to plan and complete the treatment.

How long does orthodontic treatment last?

Individual treatment times vary depending on the patient’s growth, response to orthodontic forces, degree of cooperation, and the complexity of the orthodontic problem. Orthodontic treatment generally takes between 15 and 30 months on average.

Is it common for men to get braces?

Yes. A recent AAO survey revealed that men make up about 30% of adult orthodontic patients, and that more and more men are recognized the increased confidence, improved oral health, and other benefits that can be achieved through orthodontic treatment.

Are there health reasons to get braces?

Health reasons are the primary consideration for orthodontic treatment. Crooked teeth and bad bites can have a serious effect on your oral health. Orthodontic treatment makes it easier for you to keep your teeth clean and healthy, and helps you avoid bone deterioration, loose teeth, protruding teeth, abnormal tooth wear, and excess stress on your supporting gum and bone tissue. Other issues that can be corrected or avoided by orthodontic treatment include TMJ disorders, chronic headaches, earaches, and facial pain.