Many people have the same questions about orthodontic treatment.  This list of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) may be helpful to you.  Just click on the individual questions and the answers will appear.  If you have additional questions, or if you’re ready to schedule a free examination appointment, please call the office at 740-363-0886.  We look forward to hearing from you!   

How do I know if my child needs orthodontic treatment?

It is difficult for you to determine if treatment is necessary because there are many problems that can occur even though the front teeth look straight. Also, many orthodontic problems involve things other than teeth not being straight. Jaw growth abnormalities involving excesses, deficiencies and non-coordination are commonly seen and should be evaluated.

A thorough examination by an orthodontic specialist is needed as many problem indicators are subtle.

What are the early symptoms of orthodontic problems?

Crooked teeth, gaps between the teeth, overlapping teeth, dental injuries and thumb/finger sucking habits all may indicate the need for orthodontic treatment. Also, orthodontic examination is indicated if the jaw shifts off center when biting down or if noises (clicking or snapping) are heard in the jaw joints with movement. There are many other indicators of less than ideal development.

Your initial exam at Dr. Hardy's office is free. It makes sense to let him evaluate your situation and discuss the findings with you.

Am I too old to have orthodontic treatment?

As long as the gums and bone that support the teeth are healthy, no one is too old to benefit from orthodontic treatment. The American Association of Orthodontists estimates that nearly one million adults in the United States and Canada are currently receiving orthodontic treatment. With the advent of cosmetic orthodontic appliances and clear aligners, that number is rapidly growing.

How long will treatment take?

Treatment time depends on each person's specific circumstances. In general, treatment ranges from 12 to 36 months with the average being approximately 18-20 months for comprehensive cases.

Are braces painful?

Your teeth may be sore for a few days after adjustments are made, but the braces themselves are not painful. If the teeth do become sore, usually pain medications such as Advil or Tylenol will provide adequate relief.

How often will I visit the office for appointments?

Most appointments are scheduled at intervals of 6-8 weeks after treatment has started.

What are the different types of braces?

Our office uses all available types of braces. Metal and ceramic braces are in common use as are removable appliances and clear aligners. Today's metal braces are smaller, more attractive, and more efficient than were available only a few years ago.

Ceramic braces are more popular with adults due to their esthetic appeal but are more difficult to work with. Clear aligners (like Invisalign) are very popular and are a good choice for non-complicated cases. They are comfortable and removable and can be used to straighten teeth without metal wires or brackets.

What is Phase I and Phase II treatment?

Phase I treatment is recommended for some children between the ages of seven and ten. The objective for such early treatment is to address significant growth-sensitive problems to keep them from becoming more severe over time.

Phase I treatment generally lasts 12-14 months and helps reduce the need for extractions or surgery as development progresses. Phase II treatment, which usually includes full braces, generally begins at the age of 12 or 13 when a majority of the permanent teeth have erupted and facial growth is slowing. The goal of Phase II treatment is to straighten the teeth and achieve an ideal bite.

Will braces interfere with playing sports or musical instruments?

No, but there may be a period of adjustment to the braces in each case. We do recommend mouthguard wear for all indivuduals involved in contact sports to protect the teeth and soft tissues.

Should I see my general dentist for routine check-ups while I have braces?

Yes. Regular check-ups with your family dentist are especially important while braces are in place. Your family dentist will determine the appropriate intervals between routine cleaning appointments.

Is orthodontic treatment expensive?

Orthodontic treatment is an investment in your health and appearance. As the teeth are moved to a more healthy and stable position most people experience a tremendous boost in their self-esteem. The cost of treatment varies depending on the severity and complexity of each case. We provide a variety of affordable payment options and we will thoroughly discuss fees and payment arrangements with you before any treatment begins.

How do I pay for orthodontic treatment?

Many payment options are open to our patients. Interest-free monthly payments are available that can be extended over the estimated time of treatment. Other options are available that may lower the monthly payment and extend payment timelines beyond the scope of treatment. In addition, our office accepts most orthodontic insurance plans. Our office staff will be glad to assist you in defining your benefits and exploring your options.

I have insurance. What do I need to bring to the initial exam?

Please bring the name, address, and telephone number of your insurance carrier. Also, please bring the insurance holder's name, birth date, identification number, and specific plan information (like the group number). This information is conveniently listed on the insurance coverage card. Please bring it with you.

What if Dr. Hardy isn't on my insurance company's list of practitioners. Does this mean I can't go there?

Managed care plans generally have guidelines that will allow you to still receive maximum benefits if you are treated by an out of network provider. This is expecially true if there is no network provider near your home. Each plan is unique and our staff is experienced in these matters. We will work to help you understand your coverage before treatment begins and to get the maximum benefits from your insurance company.

Is it too late for orthodontic treatment now that I'm an adult?

A surprising percentage of orthodontic patients are adults. Health, happiness and self-esteem are vitally importants to adults too! No person is too old to benefit from treatment.

Can orthodontic correction occur while a child has baby teeth?

Yes. Some orthodontic problems are significant enough to require early intervention. However, if a patient is not yet ready for treatment, Dr. Hardy will follow that patient's growth and development until the time is right for treatment to begin.

Why should I choose an orthodontic specialist?

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

Welcome to Hardy Orthodontics!