|Wanda I Claro, DDS, MS, Inc
Diplomate of the American
Board of Orthodontics
Dual Specialist in Advanced Orthodontic and Pediatric Dentistry
Bahar C. Ghafouri, DDS, MS, APC
Specialist in Advanced Orthodontics
4482 Barranca Pkwy, Ste 102
Irvine, CA 92604
*How Is An Orthodontist Different From A Regular Dentist? An Orthodontist is a Specialist in Dentistry. After completing at least 4 years of college, and 4 years of Dental School to earn a Doctorate, an Orthodontist completes an additional 2-3 years of Post-Doctoral education to receive a Specialty Certificate to practice Orthodontics.
*What Is the Best Age To Start Orthodontic Treatment? Orthodontic treatment may be undertaken by an individual at almost any age, dependant on the orthodontic problem. Orthopedic Orthodontics (correction of jaw imbalances) may begin as young as 3 years old. Generally, a child should have their first orthodontic evaluation by age seven. Regardless of age, Dr. Claro & Dr. Ghafouri will discuss your specific needs
and customize treatment for you.
*Why Can't We Wait
Until My Child Has All
Of The Permanent Teeth
In Before Starting Treatment? Many children may benefit from a non-extraction approach to correct crowding with treatment that begins while baby teeth are still present. Other children may benefit from interceptively guiding the permanent teeth into position, as well as growth augmentation. Dr. Claro & Dr. Ghafouri will evaluate the effectiveness of beginning treatment early (while baby teeth are still present) vs. waiting for all permanent teeth to grow in and advise you accordingly.
*Is Orthodontic Treatment Necessary? Millions of people have gone through life with crooked teeth, bad bites, and poor jaw alignment. One of the best gifts that you can give to yourself or your child is a beautiful smile. Straight teeth, a good bite, and esthetically balanced jaws can promote self esteem, not to mention improve the maintenance of healthy teeth and gums. Dr. Claro & Dr. Ghafouri will recommend orthodontic treatment when they see an orthodontic problem that can be corrected. Ultimately, you will decide how necessary treatment is for you or your child.
*Will It Hurt To Put My Braces On? You will feel pressure and pushing when the bands are placed. You will regulate the amount of pushing and pressure because you do most of the work with the banding. You will feel stretching of your lips, before the little "stick on" braces are put on.
*After My Braces Are On, How Often Do I Have To Come Into The Office? We usually see our patients
every 4-8 weeks. However, you may need to be
seen weekly, biweekly, or triweekly dependant on
what your specific needs are.
*How Long Will This New Wire Be Uncomfortable? Most wires may cause teeth to be sore for 1-7 days. Everyone has a different threshold for discomfort. Some people complain that they never feel any discomfort!
*You Said That Long Appointments Are Scheduled For The Mornings And Early Afternoons. What Is A Long Appointment? Any appointment that is 45 minutes or longer is considered a long appointment. We try to schedule appointments 30 minutes or less in the before school and after school times to be able to accommodate as many patients as possible in the most requested after school time. Long appointments include placing braces (new and replacing broken braces), making new archwires, taking braces off, combination Orthodontic/Pediatric Dental appointments, and complicated procedures.
*Why Can't You Fix My Broken Brace Today? A broken brace requires extra time to remove the archwire, clean and prepare the tooth and brace, reattach the brace, and replace the archwire properly. We prefer a special time to replace loose braces.
*How Come My Gums Bleed When I Brush?
Gums bleed when there is gum disease caused from
inadequate and inconsistent brushing and flossing.
*Why Does My Child Have To
Miss School For An Appointment?
We reserve the after school appointments for procedures that take 30 minutes or less. This way we can accommodate more children. Procedures that require 45 minutes or more are scheduled for the morning and early afternoon times. Also, even though Dr. Claro and Dr. Ghafouri and some of their staff are "working moms" who must drop off and pick up their children from daycare, we arrange our schedules to allow for one evening and one early morning day a week. We all try to be as flexible in our schedules for your convenience.
*If I Wait For Only After School Appointments Will I Fall Behind In Treatment? It depends on the difference between the interval requested between visits by Dr. Claro and Dr. Ghafouri and when you can make your appointment. The greater this difference, the greater chance that you will fall behind in your treatment completion date.
*If We Don't Come In Once A Month, Do We Still Have To Pay Our Monthly Payment? The interval between your visits is not based on your financial agreement with the office. Your treatment fee has been divided into equal monthly payments for your convenience. There is NO correlation between your monthly payments and your treatment visits. Also, if you are seen more than once in a month, you do not pay any more often.
*If The Braces Come Off Sooner Than Was Estimated, Do I Still Have To Pay The Bill? Your treatment fee is for completed treatment. The treatment fee is financed without interest in monthly payments over a specified time period for your convenience. Sometimes, the treatment completes sooner than anticipated (and vice versa). Yes, the fee must be paid even if the braces come off sooner!
*If The Braces Are On Longer Than Was Estimated, Do I Have To Pay More? If the braces are on longer because of your negligence in caring for your braces (i.e. many loose braces come from eating or chewing on the wrong things), many missed appointments, poor brushing, lack of wearing elastics, bionator, bite plate, etc. you will be charged additional fees. However, if your braces are on longer because (a) tooth/teeth did not come in when anticipated, space closure/opening took longer than average, or any reason beyond your or Dr. Claro's/Ghafouri's control, you will not be charged an additional fee.
*My Insurance Pays 50%, Right? Right and wrong. Your insurance pays 50% of what the insurance company claims to be a fee. Also, most insurance companies pay a lifetime maximum. So, if the lifetime maximum arbitrarily set by your insurance company is $1000.00 and the orthodontic fee is $1800.00 your benefit will be 50% or $900.00. However, if the orthodontic fee is $3600.00 your benefit is $1000.00 period. This is not 50%, but is the lifetime maximum.
*Why Does It Cost Me More To Have A Braces Replaced? To Make A New Retainer? To Repair My Broken Bionator? The fee charged is for one set of braces, retainer(s), and/or other appliances. However, we do allow you to have 2 loose braces replaced before you incur a charge. It takes extra time to remove your archwire, clean and prepare your tooth/teeth and the brace(s), replace the brace(s), and replace and tie in your archwire(s). We expect to be compensated for our extra costs & time. Retainers, bionators, expanders, headgear, etc. are custom formed for you outside of our office for a fee. We expect to be compensated for this fee and our material and labor costs. If you buy 4 new tires for your car, and if you intentionally or unintentionally drove over nails, you would not expect the tires to be repaired or replaced for free.
*What Should I Do If A Brace
Comes Loose? Please call the office to
arrange a special time to remove or
replace the loose brace.
*Why Do The Assistance Do All Of The Work, And The Doctor Only Looks At Me For A Short Time? Dr. Claro & Dr. Ghafouri spend much time diagnosing and analyzing your orthodontic problems and treatment needs before you enter the office. They customize a treatment plan specific for you. The assistants are highly skilled to read (no small task!) and carry out Dr. Claro or Dr. Ghafouri's prescription for your treatment. Dr. Claro or Dr. Ghafouri assess you for the progression of tooth and/or jaw movement every time you come in. They plan for anticipated movement and prescribe how to continue your progression for your next appointment. They direct the assistants on how to place wires and how to tie the wires to the braces based on your individual needs. While the assistants will fit bands very competently, Dr. Claro or Dr. Ghafouri place all braces (bands/brackets) in the final position they will need to be in to achieve optimum results. Dr. Claro or Dr. Ghafouri will finalize all wires that require bends and will coordinate the wire sizes to match your jaws.
The assistants are very knowledgeable about how each of the orthodontic devices work, and will spend the time teaching you the same, as well as how to care for your orthodontic appliances. They will also check you for loose braces, etc., ask you about any problems you have had, check the healthiness of your gums by your brushing and inform Dr. Claro or Dr. Ghafouri. This helps Dr. Claro or Dr. Ghafouri make their assessment faster to get you out of the office as soon as possible.
*How Long Do I Have To Wear Elastics? Bionator? Headgear? Biteplate? Expander? Nance? Lingual Arch? Quad Helix?, Etc. This depends on your individual orthodontic needs which Dr. Claro or Dr. Ghafouri or their assistants will discuss with you.
*Can My Child Still Have X-rays And Cleanings Done With The Braces On? Absolutely yes! Please follow your dentist's recommendation for the interval between cleanings. This will help in keeping the teeth and gums healthy. X-rays of the roots, especially of the front teeth, are very important to monitor the progression of tooth movement, root development and root resorption, if present. We can coordinate removing the archwires before the dental cleaning and replacing the archwires after the cleanings. We do provide cleaning services while your child is in orthodontic treatment as Dr. Claro is a dual specialist in Orthodontics and Pediatric Dentistry.
*When Do I Get My Braces Off? Dr. Claro or Dr. Ghafouri estimated your treatment time based on your individual needs. If your treatment time was estimated at 24 months, and it is now the 14th month in treatment and assuming that you have had no loose braces or broken appliances, have not missed any of your appointments, have kept your teeth and gums healthy, and have not had any growth discrepancies, then your treatment should take another 10 months. However, if there are
numerous loose or broken appliances,
missed appointments, poor hygiene, and
factors beyond your or Dr. Claro's/Ghafouri's
control the time inbraces may be extended
*Will I Have To Wear Retainers After My Braces Are Removed? Yes, yes, a thousand times yes. Retainers do exactly what their name implies - they retain teeth in their new positions. Dr. Claro & Dr. Ghafouri prefer that you wear your retainers full time for at least one half of the active treatment time (i.e. if your treatment was for 18 months, then you would wear your retainer full time for 9 months before cutting back on time), then you may begin only nights only wear. Dr. Claro or Dr. Ghafouri will monitor the stability of your teeth and make individual allowances for wear as indicated. Remember, no retainer wear means no straight teeth.
*I Have Already Had An Orthodontic X-ray Survey Before I Got My Braces On. Is It Necessary To Have A Final Orthodontic Survey After My Braces Are Removed? Your teeth (and jaws) have changed dramatically with the orthodontic treatment. Dr. Claro & Dr. Ghafouri cannot evaluate the successes of your treatment without these X-rays. For Phase I treatment, Dr. Claro or Dr. Ghafouri will assess the necessity for another treatment phase and/or progression of the orthopedic stage of the treatment. It is best for a complete follow-up of the orthodontic treatment to check all roots of the teeth, the alignment, and bone condition. Also, Dr. Claro or Dr. Ghafouri can inform you regarding the development of wisdom teeth. In addition, you will love the before and after photos and appreciate the great investment you have made to improve your self esteem and enhance the longevity of your teeth.
FOR A HAPPY, HEALTHY AND CONFIDENT SMILE!
Thank You for taking the time to read through our list of our most often asked orthodontic questions! If you have any additional questions for us, we are more than happy to discuss them with you.