Common Questions

What is an orthodontist and why should I seek treatment with an orthodontist versus a dentist?

An orthodontist is a dental specialist who has completed a four year dental school degree and then gone on to a two to three year residency training program to learn specifically orthodontics and dento-facial orthopedics. Orthodontist have the most training and experience to handle any orthodontic problem, and have the proper understanding of the detail oriented biologic process of moving teeth and bones. Dr. Weaver is a member of the American Association of Orthodontists and is a board certified Diplomate of the American Board of Orthodontists. Being board certified means that Dr. Weaver has passed a rigorous written and oral board examination verifying that he has demonstrates the highest proficiency in all aspects of orthodontic care.

What about those commercials on the TV advertising aligners mailed to my home?

There is an ever increasing number of companies competing for your business in the do-it-yourself orthodontic market. They make claims that their treatment is not only equal to an orthodontist’s office, but they claim they can do it faster and for a lower cost. While a small percentage of patients may end up with a satisfactory result at a lower cost, most orthodontist agree the risks are too great to recommend a do-it-yourself alternative. Of course this sound self serving, but members of the American Association of Orthodontists and the American Board of Orthodontics agree that these mail order aligners are not likely to provide the standard of quality we orthodontist hold ourselves to every day. In addition, mail order aligners are usually not managed directly by an orthodontist that you can visit. This means you’re on your own. Unless the aligners track perfectly over the course of treatment, you’re likely not to get the results you desire. Dr. Weaver has the training and expertise to manage your treatment directly and guide your treatment to a fantastic result. Remember, even with Invisalign the aligners do not treat your case, Dr. Weaver does. The aligners are just the tool.

When should I have my child evaluated by an orthodontist?

Many parents and even some family dentists assume that they should wait until a child has all of their permanent teeth before seeking an orthodontic evaluation. Unfortunately they sometimes find out that treatment would have been much easier if it had been initiated earlier.The American Association of Orthodontists recommends an initial consultation around the age of 7 years old. At this point in a child’s development, enough permanent teeth have come in and enough jaw growth has occurred that orthodontic problems can be easily identified. Early consultation also allows the orthodontist to determine the optimum time for treatment to begin. Some patients may benefit from early treatment while others are better treated later once all adult teeth have erupted. Early treatment, if appropriate, can eliminate the need for more drastic measures if left alone too long. In some cases satisfactory results may become difficult to achieve once the face and jaws have finished growing. And with proper timing children may not have to endure years of self-consciousness or embarrassment. While there is no exact perfect age to seek an orthodontic evaluation, remember Dr. Weaver’s rhyme: 8 may be great, but 7 is better.

Am I too old to receive orthodontic treatment?

The simple answer to this question is: NO. Dr. Weaver has over ten years of experience treating the most complex orthodontic problems in adults. He has the expertise to evaluate your needs and tailor a treatment plan for you, no matter how old you are. Dr. Weaver can also expertly work with all of your other dental providers to coordinate with all aspects of your treatment to include prosthodontics such as implants and dental bridges.

What are some benefits of orthodontic treatment:

Orthodontic treatment is for much more than just a better smile. The best treatment outcomes include goals of a proper bite and in some cases even an improvement in emotional health as well. While a beautiful smile is certainly one of our primary goals, Dr. Weaver and his team will always strive to give you a treatment result that is not only beautiful, but functionally healthy as well. The proper position of your teeth can improve your ability to clean your teeth. The proper bite can reduce your risk of excessive wear and tear on your enamel. And a beautiful healthy smile and bite can increase your self esteem. Self esteem is not simply vanity. Emotional health based upon a confident self image is an important part of many aspects of our modern society.

Does orthodontic treatment hurt?

Orthodontic treatment at its mechanical foundation is a biologic process that utilizes pressure on teeth to create an intentional inflammatory bone response that results in the movement of the teeth. This process can and does cause discomfort in many patients. Usually the discomfort is noticed during the few days following the initial treatment start appointment or for a few days after an adjustment visit. Many patients easily adapt to the discomfort and things often get better with time. However, over the counter medications such as ibuprofen (ex. Advil) or acetaminophen (ex. Tylenol) can assist with the discomfort.

Can I bring my other children to one child’s orthodontic appointments?

We certainly understand the many challenges parents face while managing their schedules. All of your children are welcome at Weaver Orthodontics for any child’s appointment. In fact, we’d love to get to know all of your children. However, please remember that our office is a medical treatment facility. There are procedures going on that can create an environment that puts your other children at unnecessary risk. There are X-rays being taken, drills being used that create aerosols in the air, and sharp instruments in the clinic. While we take every precaution to manage these risks for our active patients to provide a safe environment back in our treatment area, your additional children must stay in the waiting room under adult supervision. We will work with you if Dr. Weaver or a member of his team need to speak with you in our treatment area. Please just understand that we want to keep everyone as safe as possible but alsomminimize inconvenience to you as well.

Emergency Information

Do not hesitate to call our office as soon as possible if you have a situation you cannot resolve on your own. We will make every effort to fit you into our schedule for a repair appointment. Below is a list of problems common to patients in orthodontic treatment.

Sore Teeth

Orthodontic treatment is likely to make your teeth sore. You may take acetaminophen or other non-aspirin pain relievers while you get used to the treatment. Also, a warm washcloth, heating pad or warm salt water rinses may reduce the soreness in your jaws.

Wire Irritation

In the event an orthodontic wire begins poking you, try moving the wire away from the irritated area with a cotton swab or a pencil eraser. You can also try covering the end of it with a small piece of cotton or a small amount of wax if it will not move. Ideally, do not cut the wire with nail clippers or scissors yourself. Please allow us to do that if necessary. However, sometimes you have to do what you need to do if you’re in pain. Again, do not hesitate to call our office.

Lost Separator

Band separators can occasionally fall out on their own. Call our office to see if it needs to be replaced.

Loose braces or lost clear aligner attachment

Call our office for advice if a bracket or clear aligner attachment comes loose. The bracket or attachment will likely need to be repaired as soon as possible to not delay treatment. Call our office when this happens and we will find a time in our schedule to resolve the issue.

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