Frequently Asked Questions

 

An orthodontist is a specialist in the diagnosis, prevention and treatment of dental and facial irregularities. All orthodontists are dentists, but only about six percent of dentists are orthodontists. Admission to orthodontic programs is extremely competitive and selective.

An orthodontist must complete college requirements before starting a three-to five-year graduate program at a dental school accredited by the American Dental Association (ADA). After dental school, at least two or three academic years of advanced specialty education in an ADA-accredited orthodontic program is required to be an orthodontist. The program includes advanced education in biomedical, behavioral and basic sciences. The orthodontic student learns the complex skills required to manage tooth movement (orthodontics) and guide facial development (dentofacial orthopedics).

Only dentists who have successfully completed these advanced specialty education programs may call themselves orthodontists.

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No. You can make an appointment with an orthodontist without a referral. However, most dentists do watch children's teeth and bite as they get older and will often tell you it is time to seek an opinion from an orthodontist.

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The American Association of Orthodontists recommends an orthodontic screening by age 7. In most cases, children are not ready for treatment at this age. However, early screening can detect some serious problems that are better treated at an early age.

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If you think that you or your child will benefit from orthodontic treatment, simply call our office at 908-997-0333. When you call to schedule the appointment, the staff will ask for some basic information about you and your child, such as age and insurance information.

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No. We offer no-cost consultation appointment.

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NO! About 30% of our practice consists of adults between the ages of 30-65. Adults have different treatment options available, such as Invisalign and clear braces. To learn more about adult orthodontics, please visit our ADULT ORTHODONTICS page.

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On average, treatment will take anywhere from 2-3 years. However, it is important to remember that treatment time depends largely upon the severity of the orthodontic problem. Therefore, some cases can take less than 2 years. Dr. O'Hea will give you an estimate of your treatment time at your consultation appointment.

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Whereas most children can wait until they have all of their permanent teeth before beginning treatment, some children have serious bite issues that need to be addressed at an earlier age. Dr. O'Hea will explain at your consultation appointment if your child is one of those children that need early, interceptive (or Phase I) treatment.

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Whereas most children can wait until they have all of their permanent teeth before beginning treatment, some children have serious bite issues that need to be addressed at an earlier age. Dr. O'Hea will explain at your consultation appointment if your child is one of those children that need early, interceptive (or Phase I) treatment.

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On average, you or your child are seen monthly by Dr. O'Hea to have your braces adjusted. These appointments are approximately 15-20 minutes in duration.

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Most appointments, called adjustments, can be done after school or in the evening. However, the beginning appointments (records and the appointments that the braces are put on) are scheduled either in the morning, early afternoon or on Saturdays. We do these appointments at the least busy times during the day so Dr. O'Hea can answer all of your questions and spend time explaining everything that is happening to you or your child.

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We have many different payment options to finance your treatment. We are flexible concerning down payments and monthly payments. All of our in-house payment options are interest free. We don't want finances to be an obstacle preventing you from achieving the smile you want and deserve. For more detailed financial information, please visit our Financial Considerations page.

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Generally, braces do not hurt. However, after some appointments, your teeth may feel sore for a couple of days. If this occurs, Advil or Tylenol and a soft diet will relieve the discomfort.

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No! Since orthodontists work on the part of the tooth that does not have feeling, no numbing is necessary.

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NO! We have never and never will use worn, used or recycled braces.

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Yes. We will give you a mouthguard for sports.

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Yes. You need to maintain your 6 month checkups with your dentist during the course of your treatment. Dentist and their hygenists are trained to clean and detect cavities around braces.

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We recommend that you brush your teeth 3 times a day when you have braces. Hygeine is our primary concern and is the first thing we check for when patients come in for their appointments. If your child is not keeping their teeth adequately clean, we will alert the parent and work together to achieve a clean and healthy mouth.

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