Frequently Asked Questions
1) What's the difference between treatment by Orthocare Systems and a private orthodontist?
There is no difference. Orthocare Systems is a group practice of private orthodontists fully licensed by the state of Missouri. There is a difference however, in our commitment to educating the public and making orthodontics more affordable. Each year we donate our time and money educating over 3500 school age children by holding school assemblies with Dr. Glassman, Mr. Big Tooth, and the Tooth Fairy. Topics range from oral hygiene to careers in dentistry.
2) How can Orthocare Systems offer the same quality care as a private orthodontist for hundreds less?
First, we own our own orthodontic laboratories. Because of the volume of work we do, it's much more economical than using outside laboratories. Secondly, Orthocare Systems takes advantage of our multiple office buying power. By placing large orders for orthodontic appliances and supplies we significantly cut down on their cost, thus saving you money.
3) What are the new braceless braces for Adults?
See Invisalign on Home Page.
4) What's the best age for orthodontics?
The American Association of Orthodontics recommends that a child first be seen by an orthodontist between the ages of 7 and 9. Early interceptive treatment can eliminate abnormal growth of the face and jaws, the need for extractions in treatment or even the need for braces. Orthodontia, however, isn't limited to children and teenagers. Today, one of every five orthodontic patients is an adult. Why? Because many were denied proper orthodontic care as children and now find Orthocare System's fees affordable. The rest of our adult patients come to us because they know orthodontics can improve their appearance, enhance their self-confidence and have a positive effect on their personal and professional lives. Whether you're a child, teenager or adult, orthodontic treatment can give you straight teeth and a beautiful smile.
5) How do I pay for this? Will my insurance cover any of it?
Before treatment begins, we'll discuss fees and financial arrangements in detail. We'll tell you about our various payment plans, our low down payments, or even no down payments and the terms available for each plan. Since more and more company and individual insurance plans are including dental and orthodontic insurance, its possible that much of your cost may be covered. Here, too, our financial counselor will be happy to review your insurance program and determine the extent of your orthodontic benefits. Because we're dedicated to bringing orthodontic care to everyone, we'll make every effort to make your orthodontic treatment affordable. After all, if we're going to give you a beautiful smile, we want to be sure you have a lot to smile about!
6) Tell me about the treatment. What happens first?
We start with a free initial consultation. The orthodontist looks in your mouth and, based on his years of professional experience, decides if braces are needed. If you approve the treatment, he takes a complete medical history, diagnostic x-rays, photographs and plaster impressions of your teeth and jaws. Based on this, he makes a diagnosis and treatment recommendation. Finally, the braces are built and fitted to your mouth.
7) Who's responsible for my care? Do I have my own orthodontist?
At Orthocare Systems, you have the option of working with your own orthodontic team, lead by your personal orthodontist who is responsible for your progress. Your doctor is the person who fits and adjusts your braces. Your orthodontist is assisted by a technician who prepares you for fitting and adjustments, while other technicians build braces and work in the laboratory. At the beginning of your treatment you'll recognize each team member by his or her name tag. And as treatment goes on, you'll get to know each one of them personally. We and our patients have found that the Orthocare Systems team approach establishes very strong bonds, and lead to a strong "doctor-patient" relationship.
8) Will I have anything done besides braces?
Probably not. For many patients, braces are all that is necessary. But in a few cases, tooth removal or oral surgery may be required. We will either recommend an oral surgeon, or work closely with your dentist to carefully coordinate the treatment.
9) What's in it for me besides a beautiful smile?
Plenty. For example, properly arranged teeth function better in chewing, so your digestion may improve. Orthodontia can help you avoid premature tooth loss. You'll also find that orthodontics can improve your speech, the condition of your gums and surrounding tissue and actually make you look and feel better. Finally, the increased self-assurance and improved self image that comes with straight teeth and a beautiful smile will have many positive effects in your relationship with others.
10) Once I start, how long will it take?
Most likely, from 18 to 24 months - although some cases take less time, and others take more. Orthodontia helps straighten your teeth by actually moving crooked or irregularly spaced teeth within the jaw. Braces provide a gentle yet continuous pressure, but it takes time. Good cooperation can significantly decrease treatment time.
11) Is there any pain?
No. Wearing braces is generally a painless process. At first there may be some slight discomfort . Tylenol may help. And so will rinsing your mouth with warm saltwater solution. After your periodic adjustments, you may notice some tightness. This is normal and indicates your braces are doing their job. After you've had them in for a while, you won't even know that they are there.
12) Do I still see my regular dentist? And will braces affect my eating habits or dental hygiene?
Regular dental checkups are a must for everyone including our orthodontic patients. So Orthocare Systems recommends that you see your family dentist regularly for cleanings, fluoride treatments and examinations. Braces won't really change your eating habits. But your orthodontist will tell you there are some foods you will want to avoid; gum, taffy, ice cubes, to name a few. Good dental hygiene is important. So make it a point to brush after meals and snacks, and check to see that no food particles are trapped in your braces.
13) What about a second opinion?
During your consultation, or at any time during you're treatment, your welcome to ask any Orthocare Systems orthodontist for a second opinion. Our doctors have the ability and experience to treat even the most complex problem. Or, we may actively encourage you to seek an outside opinion particularly in cases involving tooth removal or oral surgery.