How much does orthodontic treatment cost?
The fee for your treatment is determined by a variety of factors, including the severity of the problem to be corrected, as well as the anticipated length of treatment. The type of “appliance” (the formal name for braces, aligners, retainers, etc.) may also be a consideration. It is best to schedule a consultation to determine what kind of treatment, length of treatment, and recommended appliances is suitable for you or your child's orthodontic needs.
What insurances do you take?
Our office accepts a wide range of PPO insurances (whether you are in or out of network).
It is our goal to provide you with high-quality and affordable orthodontic treatment. We offer a variety of payment options and accept a wide range of dental insurances. We will help you determine the extent of your orthodontic coverage based on the insurance information that you provide so please make sure that you provide our office with any applicable information such as the insured's ID or social security number, insurance company, and group number. Please give our office a call for more information regarding your specific insurance plan or you can reach out directly to your insurance provider for more details on your particular benefit plan.
Do I have to have insurance to have orthodontic treatment?
No! Insurance is not required to have orthodontic treatment. We will work with you to develop a financial plan that fits your budget.
Can I use my FSA or HSA to cover my orthodontic expenses?
A FSA (Flex Spending Account) and/or HSA (Health Savings Account) is money taken out of your paycheck by your employer and put into an account which can be used for dental/medical expenses, including orthodontic treatment. There is a cap on how much you can put side each year as well as a set deadline each year for submitting your request. Some plans pay monthly and others pay annually. You will need to contact your HR Department for details about their specific plan.
What if I change jobs, change insurance plans, or get new insurance during Treatment?
Generally, most insurances will pay over a span of time while you are in orthodontic treatment and not pay all at once when you start. It is important you maintain your insurance plan during your treatment otherwise you may not get your full benefit. If your insurance is terminated mid-treatment and there is still a balance, the balance will transfer to the responsible party and a courtesy payment plan can be created.
If you are changing insurance plans mid-treatment, it is your responsibility to check whether your new plan provides benefits for Treatment in Progress or has a Waiting Period for Orthodontic Services. You will need to check whether you are eligible for No Benefits, Partial Benefits, or Full Benefits. Please notify our office immediately with your updated information, so that we can see whether it is possible to apply the new benefits to your account. Payment by your insurance provider is not guaranteed until your claim has been processed.
What if I have Dual Insurance coverage?
Please notify our office in advance if you do have dual insurance. We will try to check your benefits to see if we are able to apply both insurances to your estimate. However, it is your responsibility to verify with your insurance provider that you have Coordination of Benefits.
What if my spouse gets insurance after treatment has started?
It is your responsibility to verify whether your spouse’s plan offers Coordination of Benefits, requires a Waiting Period, charges a Deductible, or has a Non-Duplication Clause. The secondary insurance may pay nothing, a pro-rated benefit, or a full benefit. Please notify our office immediately with your updated information so that we can see whether it is possible to apply the new benefits to your account.
What if I lose my Insurance during my orthodontic treatment?
Please notify our office immediately. The amount not paid by your insurance will be your responsibility to pay and will be added to your account. However, we can often work out a payment plan.
What is the difference between a dentist and an orthodontist?
All orthodontists are dentists, but not all dentists are orthodontists.
In order to become an orthodontist, our doctors completed another three years of full-time orthodontic specialty training at an accredited university (UCSF) after they became dentists.
The advanced and rigorous orthodontic training allows our doctors to be called orthodontists, who have special skills required to manage tooth movement as well as guide facial development. Their specialty knowledge ensures that your bite issues are diagnosed properly, and that your treatment is safe, effective, and individualized to help you achieve a healthy bite and beautiful smile.
How long does orthodontic treatment last?
The length of treatment will depend on your bite complexities. Simple cases may take only a few months to treat, while a complete bite correction will take longer. We will give you an estimate of your treatment time at your consultation.
Average Phase I (interceptive orthodontic treatment) lasts anywhere from 12-18 months.
Average comprehensive orthodontic treatment may last up to 24 months, regardless of appliance type.
To make sure you complete treatment as quickly as possible, it is important to follow these recommendations:
1. Follow instructions on brushing, flossing, professional cleanings, diet, and appliance wear time.
2. Keep your scheduled appointments with us.
I have been considering braces. My teeth on the top aren't that crooked. Is it possible just to get braces on the bottom?
Orthodontic treatment is designed to make upper and lower teeth become straight, and fit with each other well so that they can protect each other during function. Think of the teeth in the mouth as a “gear” system. Teeth, like gears, must inter-mesh well to help avoid excessive wear throughout a lifetime of use.
At your consultation, we can determine if you are a candidate for "limited" orthodontic treatment with the goal of straightening your teeth while maintaining a healthy bite.
How often will I have to see an orthodontist while I'm in treatment?
On average, you will see us about every six to ten weeks during treatment. This allows us to make the changes needed to progress through treatment and monitor the health of your teeth and gums.
The time between your orthodontic "adjustment" appointments will vary depending on what kind of appliances you are using and what stage of treatment you are in. For example, while in braces, a standard follow-up is every six weeks. While in Invisalign aligners, you may be be able to have longer intervals between your appointments.
Do braces hurt?
The process of getting your braces on does not hurt. It takes about 1-2 hours to have braces placed and you may feel slight pressure, but it should not be painful.
During the first week after getting braces, you may experience some discomfort to your inside cheeks/lips/tongues as you are adjusting to the new brackets and wires. With time, you will adjust and get used to the braces.
As the teeth are moving, you may feel some soreness. This soreness generally lasts a few days to about a week and varies with each person. We generally recommend a diet of soft foods (like mashed potatoes, soup, frozen yogurt, smoothies, soft fruits). The soreness can also be managed with over-the-counter pain relievers such as acetaminophen (Tylenol), or ibuprofen (Advil).
I lost my retainers. What should I do?
Please call us right away to make arrangements for replacement retainers. Without retainers, there can be unwanted movement of teeth.