Frequently Asked Questions 

What is the cost of orthodontic treatment?

Our initial orthodontic consultations are no charge. So it costs nothing to find out what treatment may be necessary. In fact, there is usually no charge for recall examinations as we watch your child’s teeth develop and mature.

Fee for orthodontic treatment varies depending upon what is needed. The fee for your individualized treatment will be thoroughly discussed and a payment plan established without interest. Many insurance plans now cover orthodontic care. We also accept MasterCard and Visa.

Is it required that my family dentist schedule my appointment with an Orthodontist?

No it is not. Many of our patients are referred by their dentist, yet many other patients take the initiative to schedule an examination themselves.

At what age should I schedule an appointment for an Orthodontic evaluation?

The American Association of Orthodontist recommends an orthodontic evaluation at age 7. By this age most children have several permanent teeth, allowing us to effectively evaluate your orthodontic condition.

Will my teeth straighten out as they grow?

No, they will not. With age the space available tends to decrease instead of increase.

How do I schedule an appointment for an initial exam?

If you or your child can benefit from orthodontic treatment or you have been referred to our office just simply call our office to obtain an appointment. When you call our front desk staff will be happy to obtain necessary information to get you or your child an appointment scheduled.

What will happen at the initial exam appointment?

Upon arriving at our office, if you have not printed off our Patient Information Form, or received it in the mail you will be asked to do so (So come a few minutes early.). The doctor will then do measurements and accurate examination to determine if you or your child has the potential need for braces. You may visit our FIRST VISIT page on this site to learn more also. You will be informed at this appointment if there is a need for braces, what must be done to correct the problem, Will any teeth need to be removed, how long the estimated time for treatment will be, and how much it will cost.

Will I need to have teeth extracted for braces?

Removing teeth is sometimes required to achieve the best orthodontic result. Removing teeth is not always the best option but may be required to achieve the best result.

How long will it take to complete treatment?

At the Initial Examination appointment we will give you an estimated treatment time. This time is an estimate and depends on the patient cooperation as well as the use of growth to our advantage. Average time for a person is usually 22 months.

How much will braces cost? Are financing options available? How does my insurance work?

It is impossible to give an estimate for the cost of braces until Drs. Nichelini and Shanahan have thoroughly examined you. We will cover the exact cost, the financial options, as well as the insurance with you at the initial visit. We have many financing options available to accommodate your needs. We will also review your insurance policy and help to maximize your benefit and file your claim.

How often will I have appointments?

The first 3 appointments will be closer in time, usually within a month we will have done your initial visit, your diagnostic records and a case presentation. After you get your braces we see each patient on an average of every 6 weeks. Schedules vary depending on teeth eruption and alignment.

Can I schedule all of my appointments after school?

Unfortunately, we will not be able to schedule all of the appointments after school. We will work with you to meet the needs of the appointment time. We usually alternate times, one visit morning and the next an afternoon. Some appointments are not available after school hours. The placement of braces is a long appointment and will be scheduled accordingly.

Can I drop my child off for an appointment?

Yes. We will treat your child as if they are our own. We will ask that you come in and check the patient in and let us know that you will be leaving and will require that we speak to you when you come to pick the child up.

Do braces hurt? Can I return to school the day I receive my braces?

On the day that you receive your braces, you may be sore from them. This is the pressure that the wires are putting on teeth allowing us to move them. Its kind of like a new pair of shoes, you have to wear them to get used to them. Advil, Tylenol, whatever is taken for a headache is adequate for the soreness. The soreness may last 2-3 days. After the first appointment with braces, there is usually minimal soreness.
And yes you will be able to return to school after the appointment.

Do you give shots?

No we do not give shots. We don’t even have needles in our office. Our treatment is done on the surface of the teeth therefore we don’t require the use of needles or numbing.

Can I still play sports?

Yes you can still play sports. We will provide you with a mouth piece to wear while you practice and play but you will still be able to play.

Do you use recycled braces?

No we do not use recycled braces. All of our brackets come pre-pasted with the glue and packaged in individual wrapping. Our wires are all new as well as the band.

Do I need to see my family dentist while in braces?

Yes. Keep all regular appointments with your family dentist for regular cleanings. This will help to keep things clean and give extra security to the cleanness of your braces.

Are there foods I cannot eat while I have braces?

Yes. Unfortunately there are foods that will cause your braces to break, cause infections, and will extend your treatment time. Any foods that are hard and crunchy you should stay away from as well as anything chewy and sticky such as, skittles, starburst, gum (even sugarless), gummies. Corn on the cob you will need to cut the corn off the cob and cut apples into small pieces.

How often should I brush my teeth in braces?

That doesn’t change from not having braces. You should always brush your teeth 4 times a day, after each meal and before going to bed, and any time you eat a snack.

What is an emergency appointment and how is it handled?

If your braces are causing extreme pain or something has broken, please call our office for an appointment. If you need to be seen we will set aside time for you to address the problem that you are having.

Can orthodontic correction occur while a child has baby teeth?

Yes. Some cases are severe enough to need early orthodontic treatment. If the patient is not ready for orthodontic treatment we will wait until the permanent teeth to erupt.

What is Phase One (early) Treatment?

Phase one treatment is usually initiated in children 7 to 10 years of age and usually lasts 12-21 months. The primary reason for Phase One Treatment is to prevent problems from becoming more severe and to improve self image and self esteem.

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

In most cases, yes. The period after Phase One treatment allows a lot of growth and tooth eruption to take place usually presenting that full braces will be necessary

Will my child need an expander?

At the time of the initial visit, we will determine the type of appliances if any are needed for correction.

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

No patient is too old to wear braces.

Why should I choose an Orthodontic Specialist?

Orthodontists specialize in teeth, and facial structure, therefore these are all changed by orthodontic treatment. It is important that treatment be appropriate and properly completed.