Commonly Asked Questions
What exactly is an Orthodontist?
The only dentists who can call themselves “orthodontists” are those who have graduated from dental school and then successfully completed two to three years of additional education from an accredited orthodontic residency program. When you choose a certified orthodontist and one who is a registered member of the American Association of Orthodontists for treatment, you can be assured that you have selected a genuine orthodontist. They are the experts in orthodontics and dentofacial orthopedics who possesses the skills and experience to give you your best smile. Dr. Koufos's practice is exclusively limited to practice of orthodontics.
At what age should my child see the Orthodontist?
Childhood orthodontic treatment is referred to as Phase I treatment. It’s usually done anytime between the ages of 7 and 9 while children still have some of their baby teeth. Phase I is used to help permanent teeth grow in as straight as possible and to address any issues that would be more difficult to correct during adolescent or adult treatment. Because these issues aren’t always obvious to the untrained eye, it’s important to have children screened no later than age 7 to ensure they can undergo Phase I treatment if necessary.
Do I have to take those goopy impressions?
No more goop! Typically, your impressions will be taken by one of our certified technicians using an iTero digital scanner. A unique wand is placed over each of your teeth to create your full set of digital impressions. This is quick and easy. These highly sophisticated iTero scanners can provide quality imaging results for the pleasure of our patient’s comfort, convenience, and time. Orthodontic Specialists utilizes three iTero scanners to keep the flow of our offices working at their best pace! This allows for our patients to have a more positive office experience.
What can you tell me about mail order orthodontics?
We suggest that you go to the American Association of Orthodontics (AAO) website to learn more about Direct-to-Consumer Orthodontics and about the warnings of other teeth-straightening methods.
Do Cheap Braces Work?
We understand that today's marketplace is very confusing. There are so many ways to treat your smile today. Many general dentists are using Invisalign and metal braces that look similar to your orthodontic office. It is important for you to carefully shop and gather honest opinions from trusted friends and family members, and don't just read review sites. We often see that cheap braces are not always so cheap. Please do your homework. Remember to ask about extra fees for retainers, x-rays, after school hours, and how long is their post treatment follow-up. Depending who you visit, these extras can sometimes add another $1,000 to your original estimate over the duration of your treatment time. Go to the American Association of Orthodontists (aaoinfo.org) website for more information about the differences between an orthodontist, direct to consumer orthodontics and an ortho-dentist.
Should I see my general dentist while I have braces?
It is very important for you to continue to see your general dentist every 6 months for a cleaning or check-up. They are the experts and are highly trained and fully equipped to keep your teeth and gums looking their best and staying healthy! Also, it is important to avoid sugary or acidic soda drinks when you are wearing braces. The sugar can attack your teeth and leave white spots called decalcification on your teeth. Patients who are conscientious about caring for their teeth and who limit sugary, acidic foods, and drinks should not develop these white marks.
Still, have questions?
Just ask us or text us anytime! We are happy to answer your questions.