FAQ

  1. Is it required that my family dentist schedule my appointment with the orthodontist?
  2. At what age should I schedule an appointment for an orthodontic screening?
  3. Will my teeth straighten out as they grow?
  4. How do I schedule an appointment for an initial exam?
  5. What will happen at the initial examination appointment?
  6. Will I need to have teeth extracted for braces?
  7. How long will it take to complete treatment?
  8. How can I ensure that my treatment will be successful?
  9. How much will braces cost? Are financing options available? How does my insurance work?
  10. How often will I have appointments?
  11. Can I schedule all of my appointments after school?
  12. Can I drop my child off for an appointment?
  13. Does orthodontic treatment hurt?
  14. Can I return to school the day I receive my braces?
  15. Do you give shots?
  16. Do you use recycled braces?
  17. Can I still play sports?
  18. Do I need to see my family dentist while in braces?
  19. Are there foods I cannot eat while I have braces?
  20. How often should I brush my teeth while in braces?
  21. What do I do in the case of an emergency?
  22. Can orthodontic correction occur while a child has baby teeth?
  23. Can wisdom teeth possibly cause future crowding of my teeth?
  24. What is Phase One (early) Treatment?
  25. Will my child need full braces if he/she has Phase One treatment?
  26. Will my child need an expander?
  27. How often do I need to wear my retainer(s)?
  28. Is it too late to have braces if I am already an adult?
  29. What services does Orthodontic Group of the Finger Lakes provide?
  30. Can I wear braces even though I have crowns and missing teeth?
  31. Why should I choose Orthodontic Group of the Finger Lakes?

1.Is it required that my family dentist schedule my appointment with the orthodontist?

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

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2. At what age should I schedule an appointment for an orthodontic screening?

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

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3. Will my teeth straighten out as they grow?

No, they will not. The space available for the front teeth does not increase as you grow. In most people, after the permanent molars erupt, the space available for the front teeth decreases with age.

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4. How do I schedule an appointment for an initial exam?

If you or your child can potentially benefit from orthodontic treatment, simply call our office. We will be happy to schedule an appointment for you. When you call to schedule your appointment, our front office staff will request some basic information from you.

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5. What will happen at the initial examination appointment?

Your initial examination is free. However, if you have orthodontic insurance, please bring your insurance form (completed and signed) with you. Also please download the New Patient Form, fill it out, and bring it with you.

Upon arriving, one of our orthodontists will thoroughly evaluate you or your child. If treatment is indicated, we will take diagnostic records, which are necessary to make a proper diagnosis. We will then discuss treatment fees and explain fee arrangements.

Diagnostic Records include:

  • Photographs of your face and teeth
  • Molds of your upper and lower teeth
  • A Panoramic (full-mouth X-ray)
  • A Cephalometric X-ray (side-view of the head; revealing the relationship of the teeth to the skeletal profile)

Not only do these records help us determine the most suitable treatment for you or your child, they also assist our doctor in predicting significant growth and development changes that may occur during you or your child’s course of treatment.

To read more about your first visit, see our First Visit Page.

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6. Will I need to have teeth extracted for braces?

Removing teeth is sometimes required to achieve the best orthodontic result. Straight teeth and a balanced facial profile are the goal of orthodontics. However, because new technology has provided advanced orthodontic procedures, removing teeth is not always necessary for orthodontic treatment.

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7. How long will it take to complete treatment?

Treatment time obviously depends on each patient's specific orthodontic problem. In general, treatment times range from 12 to 30 months. The "average" time frame a person is in braces is approximately 22 months.

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8. How can I ensure that my treatment will be successful?

Successful treatment requires patient cooperation. Following treatment instructions, such as wearing elastics or other appliances, is critical. Daily brushing and flossing is also critical. Continually breaking scheduled appointments can prolong treatment time and possibly affect the results. If necessary, we will schedule a progress consultation with the patient and/or responsible adult to discuss any patient cooperation issues.

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

It is impossible to give an exact cost for treatment until we have examined you. Treatment fees vary, depending on the severity of your case and both the length and method of treatment. We will cover the exact cost and financial options during the initial examination. We have many financing options available to accommodate your needs, and we will review these with you. We will also review your insurance policy and help to maximize your benefit and file your claims.

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10. How often will I have appointments?

Appointments are scheduled according to each patient's needs. Most patients in braces will be seen every five to 10 weeks. If there are specific situations that require more frequent monitoring, we will schedule appointments accordingly.

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11. Can I schedule all of my appointments after school?

Unfortunately, we cannot schedule all appointments for students during after-school hours. However, because most appointments are scheduled five to 10 weeks apart, most patients will miss minimal school due to their orthodontic treatments. We will, however, make a sincere effort to meet your scheduling needs.

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12. Can I drop my child off for an appointment?

Yes. We understand your busy schedule, and we are happy to help you make the most of your time. On some occasions, we may request to speak with a parent when they return, so we ask that parents check in with their patient manager before dropping off their child.

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13. Does orthodontic treatment hurt?

Generally, orthodontic treatment is not painful. Often no teeth need to be extracted, and new technology produces better results with fewer visits and shortened treatment times. Braces are no longer painful to wear. After certain visits, teeth may be sore for a few days. In these situations, pain medications such as Advil or Tylenol will ease the discomfort. However, after most visits, patients do not feel any soreness at all! We often remind our patients, “It does not have to hurt to work!”

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14. Can I return to school the day I receive my braces?

Yes. There is no reason to miss school because of an orthodontic appointment.

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15. Do you give shots?

No. Shots are not necessary in orthodontic treatment.

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16. Do you use recycled braces?

Absolutely not! It is our belief that each patient should be provided with their own braces to achieve the best orthodontic result possible.

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17. Can I still play sports?

Yes. We recommend a mouth guard for all sports. Check out this funny video from the AAO about the importance of mouth guards for sports:  www.youtube.com/watch

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

Yes! Regular checkups with your family dentist are important while in braces. Your family dentist will determine the intervals between cleaning appointments while you are in braces.

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19. Are there foods I cannot eat while I have braces?

While we do not wish to interfere with your daily nutritional intake, we ask that you pay close attention to the foods you eat.

Some foods can break your brackets or bands, which will in turn prolong treatment time.

Please avoid eating these foods:

  • Ice
  • Carrots, apples, etc. (may be eaten if sliced into smaller pieces)
  • Hard bread, such as pizza crusts, bagels or Italian bread
  • Corn on the cob (must be sliced off the cob)
  • Any type of nuts
  • Popcorn (half-popped kernels)
  • Gum, sticky candy, caramels, taffy, toffee, etc.

Please also avoid chewing on pens and pencil tops, fingernails and Lego’s. Be careful biting into large sandwiches, and anything with a bone, such as chicken wings.

Brush after eating sweet foods or drinking sugary beverages. While sweets may not damage your appliances, brushing is important for maintaining proper oral hygiene; good hygiene is a significant part of orthodontic treatment.

You can avoid most emergency appointments to repair broken or damaged braces by carefully following our instructions.

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20. How often should I brush my teeth while in braces?

Patients should brush their teeth at least four times each day - after each meal and before going to bed. We will show each patient how to floss their teeth with braces and may also provide a prescription for a special fluoride, if necessary.

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21. What do I do in the case of an emergency?

Most situations can be remedied at home following the instructions on our Orthodontic Emergency page.  If your braces are causing extreme pain or you cannot resolve the issue on your own, please contact us for instructions. If you are calling after office hours, our answering service will provide an emergency contact number.  Please leave a message if no one answers the emergency contact number immediately, and we will return your call as soon as possible. In most cases, we can address these issues over the telephone. If you require an emergency appointment, we will set aside time for you.  We see patients by appointment only, so you must call us to schedule.  

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22. 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, we will follow that patient's growth and development until the time is right for treatment to begin.

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23. Can wisdom teeth possibly cause future crowding of my teeth?

The effects of wisdom teeth vary on a case by case basis. With the assistance of your general dentist, we can determine if wisdom teeth should be removed. Retainer wear may help prevent future crowding.

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24. What is Phase One (early) treatment?

Phase One treatment, if necessary, is usually initiated on children between the ages of 7 and 10. Phase One treatment lasts about 12-21 months. The primary objective for Phase One treatment is to address significant problems to prevent them from becoming more severe and to improve self-esteem and self-image.

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25. Will my child need full braces if he/she has Phase One treatment?

It is best to assume that your child will need full braces even after Phase One treatment. The period following Phase One treatment is called the "resting period," during which growth and tooth eruption are closely monitored. Throughout this period, parents and patients will be kept informed of future treatment recommendations.

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26. Will my child need an expander?

At the completion of the initial examination, we will determine whether a patient will need an expander.

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27. How often do I need to wear my retainer(s)?

Following treatment, we recommend you wear your retainer every night for a long as possible! We will give you a Trutain (clear plastic retainer) or a traditional acrylic retainer. Failure to wear your retainer as instructed may cause the teeth to shift; altering the smile we worked hard to achieve. If you notice changes in your bite post-retention, please call us immediately.

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

Absolutely not! An increasing number of our patients are adults who chose to receive orthodontic treatment to enhance their appearance, their health, or both. Furthermore, modern braces, such as ceramic braces or Invisalign®, eliminate the “metal-mouth” appearance. Twenty-five percent of all orthodontic patients are adults. Health, happiness and self-esteem are vitally important to adults. No patient is "too old" to wear braces!

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29. What services does Orthodontic Group of the Finger Lakes provide?

We provide a wide range of choices to our patients.

We offer:

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30. Can I wear braces even though I have crowns and missing teeth?

Yes. A tooth with a crown will move just like a tooth with a simple filling. When teeth are missing, orthodontic treatment will aid in the alignment of the remaining teeth.

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31. Why should I choose Orthodontic Group of the Finger Lakes?

By selecting Orthodontic Group of the Finger Lakes for your treatment, you have chosen a team who take great pride in the personal, individual care they give to each patient. Dr. Baker hasthe clinical treatment, research and educational expertise to provide the best treatment for your care.

In addition, we believe our staff is one of the most knowledgeable, dedicated orthodontic staffs in the country with wide expertise in areas such as scheduling, assisting, patient management, insurance and finance. Our clinical staff members are Certified Orthodontic Assistants (C.O.A.) or eligible for certification by the Dental Assisting National Board (D.A.N.B.). We are proud to have such a skilled team both serve our patients and work with our doctor. Many of our loyal employees have worked with us for decades. We hope you will appreciate their efforts as much as we do.

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