FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
All orthodontists are dentists, but not all dentists are orthodontists. Orthodontists and dentists are required to graduate from dental school with about 8 years of higher education. After earning a dental degree, dentists are ready to practice in their field. Once orthodontists earn their dental degree, they complete a 2 to 3 year residency in orthodontics.
Simply put, orthodontists specialize in orthodontics. The orthodontic field includes the detection and correction of unhealthy/poor alignments in the teeth and jaws. Orthodontists look not only at the appearance of teeth, but also at the underlying structure and how each part of the mouth works together to create your orthodontic condition.
Orthodontic care should begin around age 7. Once permanent teeth begin to erupt, problematic orthodontic conditions become apparent. Around age 7, Dr. King & Dr. Welch are able to detect conditions that will become problematic in the near future. This doesn’t mean treatment will begin at this age, but early detection can prevent further conditions from developing and reduce the need for serious treatment measures, such as jaw surgery, as conditions worsens.
Though other orthodontists will likely suggest a treatment to begin immediately, Dr. King & Dr. Welch take a conservative approach toward children orthodontics. Once the young patient visits us for the first time, Dr. King will monitor the patient every six months at no charge with no deposit necessary!
Yes! Metal braces, clear braces and Invisalign® clear aligners are equally effective at correcting misalignments in the teeth and jaws. Though in more severe cases, Dr. King & Dr. Welch might suggest metal braces. Appliances can be attached to brackets on metal braces to provide a more drastic treatment measure. Rubber bands, the Herbst® appliance, Forsus™ springs and palatal expanders are often attached to metal braces for added enforcement to treat severe conditions. Depending on your individual condition and orthodontic goals, Dr. King & Dr. Welch may suggest Invisalign® clear aligners or traditional braces as treatment.
How often you’ll visit Dr. King & Dr. Welch depends on your specific condition and treatment. With braces, you’ll typically make appointments every 4 weeks, or once a month, to get your wires tightened. If you sustained an orthodontic injury, you’ll visit us more often so he can monitor your healing. We will determine how often you’ll visit us once Dr. King & Dr. Welch evaluate your condition.
At your initial free orthodontic exam, Dr. King & Dr. Welch will get their bearings on your orthodontic condition with a thorough assessment. We’ll take x-rays of your mouth to understand the behavior of your bite, alignments and of individual teeth. We will then assess your condition, educate you and discuss your goals through treatment. Dr. King & Dr. Welch will inform you of the available treatment options we offer. We’ll discuss the best treatment option for you, provide you with a cost estimate and discuss your length of treatment. We’ll help you choose a payment method that works for you, and then we’ll start to map out your following appointments. The purpose of your initial orthodontic exam is to get an understanding of your current condition, determine your treatment and map out the next steps toward achieving your healthiest, most aligned smile.
Your condition and its severity will determine how long your braces will be in place. A typical braces treatment might last around 18 to 24 months, while other cases may require a 3-year treatment period. Depending on the appliances attached to your braces and how diligent you’re wearing them, your treatment period may be extended or cut short. At your initial exam with Dr. King & Dr. Welch, will assess your condition and discuss your estimated treatment period.
Invisalign is made out of BPA-free, clear plastic that is practically invisible when it’s in place. The flexible design of Invisalign allows these aligners to fit comfortably in the mouth, while strategically applying the perfect amount of pressure to the teeth. Each set of aligners is custom-made to fit the specific size and unique curve of your teeth. These sturdy, yet flexible aligners steadily guide the teeth into perfect alignment with each new set.
Hygiene is extremely important with Invisalign treatment! These clear aligners present the perfect space for bacteria to flourish as they’re stagnant in your mouth throughout the majority of the day and night. Without proper and persistent oral hygiene, bacteria will accumulate in your aligners, causing bad breath and a discolored set of (not-so-clear) aligners.
To clean your aligners, rinse them out with lukewarm water each time you remove them. Avoid using hot water, which might deform your aligners. You can use a toothbrush to gently brush them. If you brush with force, you might leave visible streaks on your aligners, so ‘gentle’ is key here. Rinse out your clear aligners before placing them back in your mouth after each meal. You can also incorporate a retainer cleaning solution to keep your aligners looking brand new!
Invisalign clear aligners, unlike traditional metal braces, are removable and clear! This means you’re able to remove your clear aligners each time you eat, drink (anything except water), brush and floss your teeth. Without metal brackets and wires, there is no obstacle preventing you from cleaning your teeth thoroughly.
Invisalign’s clear design can be worn during any physical or social activity without anyone knowing you’re undergoing orthodontic treatment. Wear your aligners during a speech, an award ceremony, a job interview or a first date without feeling self-conscious of your smile!
You will keep your clear aligners in place for 20 to 22 hours each day! Throughout the day, you’ll remove your aligners to eat, drink (anything except water), brush and floss your teeth. Before placing them back in your mouth, you must rinse your clear aligners to prevent bacteria from building up. It’s important to wear your clear aligners as instructed, day and night, to see results as efficiently as possible!
One of the greatest features of Invisalign clear aligners: there aren’t many restrictions! As you remove them each time you eat and drink, you don’t have to worry about certain foods or drinks staining or deforming your aligners. Eat and drink whatever you would like, as long as you brush your teeth and rinse your aligners before placing them back in!
You’re not restricted from playing sports with clear aligners either. This treatment is made of smooth, flexible plastic, free of metal and sharp pieces.
The main restriction you have with Invisalign is how you clean your aligners. Do not use bleach, abrasive ingredients or physical force on your aligners. Invisalign is delicate, and it’s easily damaged, discolored or deformed by many ingredients.
Once you book your free orthodontic exam with us, we can begin your Invisalign journey! During your first visit, Dr. King & Dr. Welch will take a thorough exam of your current orthodontic condition and bite, using x-ray images. They will thoroughly explain your condition to you and answer any questions you may have.
Dr. King & Dr. Welch will then discuss your preferences and your goals with orthodontic treatment, and present a treatment plan personalized to suit your needs and meet your goals. They will show you how your smile and bite will improve with Invisalign treatment, discuss your treatment period with you and answer all of your questions.
Once we discuss your preferred payment method and our accepted insurance plans, it’s time to customize your new Invisalign aligners. By use of our digital scanning system, we will custom-craft a set of clear aligners that fit the exact curvature of your teeth while applying enough pressure to gently shift the teeth into an ideal alignment. Each week you will replace your current set with a new set of aligners.