Frequently asked questions

What is an Orthodontist?

 

An orthodontist is a dentists specializing in fixing all types of malocclusions. From crowding to spacing, openbites and deep bites, the orthodontist is trained to fix all of the above.
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Why an Orthodontist?

 

An Orthodontist has 2-3 years of extra residency training after dental school as basic training to create the most esthetic smile using the latest techniques.  Orthodontic education, however, does not stop after residency.  Continuing education to learn the most effective techniques for esthetics, functionality, and dental health is an important component of an orthodontist's commitment as a life long learner.

 

What is Board Certification?

 

Not all Orthodontists are Board Certified. Only 1 in 3 Orthodontists can call themselves Board Certified. Orthodontists who want to be certified must take and pass all American Board of Orthodontic Exams. The ABO upholds the standards of care for Orthodontics. Once an Orthodontist becomes ABO Board Certified, the next step is enrollment as a Diplomat of the American Board of Orthodontics.  Dr. Lee is a member of both.

 

What are braces?

 

Braces are only one of the modalities used by Orthodontists to straighten/move teeth. There are two primary components of braces: the brackets/bands and the wires.  The brackets come in metal (conventional) or ceramic (tooth-colored). The wire engages into the bracket to then provide a small force on the tooth causing it to move.

 

Do Braces hurt?

 

This questions is one of the most common questions by children.  Fortunately, it is easy to explain.  The process of placing braces on the teeth does not hurt.  The Orthodontic team must take care to keep the lips and cheeks out of the way while placing the braces but this process should be on par with placing small stickers on the teeth and then lighting them with a blue light.

After the braces are placed with an activated wire, they will begin to move.  Some patients will experience some temporary discomfort when they bite down.  This discomfort has commonly been described as a soreness only when biting down and only lasts for about 3-4 days in most children and may last up to 10 days in adults.

The first time a patient get the braces on, it is a good idea to take some prophylactic pain medication such as Tylenol or Ibuprofen.  If Ibuprofen is taken, make sure to take it with food.  Pain medication can be taken before or after having the braces placed.  Usually if the patient experiences soreness about two hours after the braces are placed. The peak of the discomfort is usually 24 hours after the placement of the braces.