What is orthodontics?

    Orthodontics is the study of diagnosis, prevention and treatment of irregularities in the teeth (especially of alignment and occlusion) and jaws, using an array of specialized appliances. 


    What is the difference between a dentist and an orthodontist? 

    Orthodontists and dentists both help patients improve their oral health, but in different ways, and often, cooperatively as a team.  Orthodontists are specialists within the dental field that have completed years of additional training that focuses on correcting bites, occlusion, and the straightness of teeth in addition to overall oral health.  


    When should myself or my child see an orthodontist and how do i know? 

    If you want to improve the look and/or functionality of your smile, then any age is a great age to see the orthodontist. The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that children first visit an orthodontist around the age of seven; however, orthodontic treatment is not exclusive to children and teens, with about one in every five orthodontic patients being over the age of 21. Whether you're considering treatment for yourself or for a child, any time is a good time to visit the orthodontist. 


    What are braces? 

    Braces are an appliance used to help your orhtodontist manipulate your teeth and bite to better your alignment, occlusion and overall smile.  Braces come in many forms and methods such as the following: 

    • Clear Ceramic Braces

    • Clear Removable Aligners

    • Lingual Braces

    • Traditional Metal Braces


    How long will I have to wear braces?


    Each patient and treatment plan can vary tremendously depending on the patient's unique teeth, bite and orthodontic needs.  With that being said, most orthodontic treatment lies within the wide range of 4-32 months, with an average treatment time of 18 months.


    Does orthodontic treatment hurt?

    The new and unfamiliar feeling of appliances in the mouth can create some discomfort in the first 1-5 days after beginning, along with some pressure created by the new pressures being applied.  This should not interfere with school, work or other activities.  Most report adjusting and feeling back to normal within the first week.


    Do I need a referral to schedule an appointment for myself or my child?

    No! You can contact our office at ANY time to schedule a free consultation for yourself or your child. (See contact us tab)  Although we are a specialty, and your dentist may want to send a referral to provide us with additional information, it is not required.  Also, when you schedule, we call you dentist to get any updated x rays or treatment information ahead of time in order to make the very best of your first visit.  

    Your First Visit

    Our goal and purpose is to help our patients achieve ultimate oral health, ideal function and a beautiful, comfortable smile to be proud and confident of.  We know that choosing to pursue the possibility of orthodontics may feel like a big decision, so we make your first visit simple, easy, and thorough.  This is a time to ask questions and get any answers you may have regarding orthodontics. 

    Dr. Haslam and his staff love meeting new faces and can’t wait to help you get to know them and their office.  The initial visit will be approximately 30 mins and will start with some simple intraoral photographs.  The doctor then does a thorough exam of your oral health, occlusion, dentition, jaw function, and any other specifics that are of note. If an xray is needed, we will take one free of charge.  (We only take x rays when they are truly indicated for a diagnosis to avoid additional exposure to you or your child.)  Together, you and Dr. Haslam will discuss the exam findings and treatment plan options for you to consider.

    You will also meet our treatment coordinator, Kristy, who can assist you with any additional questions regarding treatment.  Kristy will review your orthodontic insurance benefits and help to review and answer any questions regarding financials, such as discounts, payment plans and prices.

    What will happen after my consultation?

    If you choose to proceed with orthodontics, you can get scheduled for the next step of treatment, depending on your treatment plan. 

    If you choose to weight your options and are still unsure, we simply send you with all of the information to consider, and allow you to take the time you need to make your decision.  We will then keep your information on file and stay available to you to answer any questions at any time while you think it over. We are here to help!


    What if my child is too young or not in need of orthodontics yet?

    Age 7 is the recommended age for orthodontist to first see children. This is due to the possibility of growth issues within the jaw, palate or dentition that can be detected early and corrected more easily.  However, if these issues are ruled out, your child may need to stay under observation until they are at an age where treatment is needed.  (typically age 10-14).  In cases where early intervention is not needed, Dr.Haslam likes to check in every 3-12 months to watch your child’s growth so we are ready if/when orthodontics ARE needed.  These “recall” checks are always at no charge at Valley View Orthodontics.

    Treatment Options

    Traditional Braces  (insert photo with normal braces)

    Made of stainless steel, these braces are what most people envision when they think of braces.  The brackets are applied directly to the teeth, and archwires lay within them so your orthodontist can manipulate the forces being applied to move your teeth to the desired position over the course of your treatment.  Fun colored rubber bands can be applied to these brackets which make it fun and interactive!  Dr. Haslam uses a self ligating bracket- meaning more accurate adjustments, less frequent visits, and fast treatment times.

    Innovation- C Clear Ceramic Braces

    These clear braces utilize the same functional principles as traditional braces, but with ceramic brackets, making them far less noticeable. 

    Removable Clear Aligners

    Some of our patients prefer to not wear braces due to work, lifestyle or esthetics. Clear aligners can be used as an alternative to wearing braces on the teeth.  These shell-like trays move the teeth in very small amounts with each tray, which are worn in 1-2 week increments before moving on to the next tray in your series.  Clear aligners are a great way to move your teeth without having to wear visible braces, but do rely heavily on patient compliance.  Dr. Haslam will review them and if they are the right choice for you during your consultation.
    Lingual Braces
    Lingual braces are small, low profile, steel braces that are adhered to the back of your teeth.  Lingual braces are a good alternative to standard braces for simple cases that don’t require an excess of rotations or major alignment issues. 
    Early Interception Treatments
    Some children who have growth discrepancies within their jaws,  delayed tooth loss, impacted teeth, “crossbite” occlusion, or other growth related concerns may require treatment in the earlier ages of 7-10, known as early intervention or Phase I orthodontics. 

    • Space Maintainers
      • Small retainer used to maintain arch width and space when baby teeth are lost early, until adult teeth begin to grow in.
    • Rapid Palatal Expanders
      • Used to widen maxillary jaw during growth to help resolve a variety of issues including crossbites, severe crowding, narrow palate, narrow airways and more.
    • Active retainers
      • Removable retainer used to move one specific tooth out of crossbite or unideal occlusion.
    • Headgear
      • Used during growth stages to allow the jaws to grow in a corrective path when patient presents with excessive overbite (upper jaw is too forward or too big). 
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