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FAQ

Orthodontists

An Orthodontist is a dentist that specializes in the treatment of dental irregularities such as crooked teeth or misaligned bite.  All Orthodontists are dentists but only a small number of dentists are orthodontists.  Orthodontist are required to undergo additional, specialized training after the completion of dental school.

Most people are familiar with orthodontist as they are the dental specialty that applies braces to correct crooked teeth and misaligned bites. 
Braces are devices affixed to teeth used in orthodontics to correct dental irregularities such as crooked teeth, crowded teeth, overbites and under-bites.  In the past, braces were primarily metal and affixed to the visible, forward facing area of the tooth.  But in recent years there have been many advances in braces including clear, plastic removable braces as well as braces that are affixed to the back, non-visible part of the tooth.
The cost for braces varies widely and is determined by a number of factors.  Some of the things that will determine the cost are
- The severity and number of your dental issues.  Do you have just one issue such as crowded teeth, or numerous issues to correct such as crowded teeth along with crooked teeth and an overbite.
- The type of treatment you choose.  Traditional metal braces affixed to the front of your teeth are generally the least expensive option.  Clear, plastic braces which can be removed look better but are more expensive.  And braces that affix to the back of your teeth so they can not been seen are generally the most expensive.
- How quickly you want your treatment to be completely.  The faster you want your treatment completed, generally the more visits to the orthodontist and therefor the greater the expense.
Generally the answer is no. Most dental plans only cover medically necessary procedures. But there are exceptions. First, some dental plans do cover braces and orthodontist visits for children up to a certain lifetime maximum. But hardly any plans cover orthodontist treatment for adults. Second, orthodontic work may be covered if it is medically necessary to treat an underlying medical condition such as braces to correct a misaligned jaw causing TMJ pain. So it is always best to call your dental insurance company and ask them specifically what procedures are and are not covered.
Invisalign braces are an alternative to traditional metal braces for orthodontic treatments.  Unlike metal braces which affix to the teeth and remain there until treatment completion, Invisalign braces use a series of removable, clear plastic trays to straighten teeth.  Each tray is worn for about two weeks and then another tray is started.  Each tray gradually moves the teeth to their desired position. The trays are removable and should be removed when eating or drinking dark or sugary liquids.  

Invisalign treatment generally takes a little less time than traditional metal braces.  But they are generally more expensive as well.  So there is a trade-off between appearance, convenience and cost.

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