What are the benefits of orthodontics? 

Why select an orthodontist?

Who is an ideal candidate for orthodontics?

When should my child first be evaluated?

Do I need a referral from my dentist before selecting an orthodontist?

When should orthodontic treatment be initiated?

How long does orthodontic treatment take?

What is expected of me during treatment?

How do I handle orthodontic emergencies?

Will my insurance cover any of my orthodontic treatment?

What type of orthodontic appliances can be used?




What are the benefits of orthodontics? 

Feeling comfortable with your appearance is important for social and professional success. Orthodontics has helped many people build their self-confidence by restoring facial balance and the natural beauty of a smile.

Misaligned teeth also contribute to poor dental health and function. They can be hard to clean, which often leads to tooth decay or gum disease. They can cause chewing problems too, resulting in jaw, head and neck aches.
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Why select an orthodontist?                                                  
Just as there are specialists in medicine there are specialists in dentistry. Orthodontists are dental specialists who dedicate their professional lives to correcting misaligned teeth and jaws.

Orthodontists are qualified dentists, who after graduating from dental school, go on to additional full-time university-based education in an accredited orthodontic residency program supervised by faculty. That training lasts two to three years.

In many states, Michigan being one, orthodontist need to pass a state administered board exam in addition to their general dental board.  
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Who is an ideal candidate for orthodontics?

Since teeth can be moved at any age, orthodontic procedures are beneficial for both children and adults. However, many problems are more easily corrected earlier in the growth cycle, so it is recommended that children be examined by an orthodontist by the age of seven to determine whether treatment is needed.
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When should my child first be evaluated?

The American Association of Orthodontics recommend that all children should have an orthodontic evaluation by an orthodontic specialist by age 7. The appointment may reveal that your child’s bite is fine, or that a developing problem may be identified but only need monitoring for the time being, or a problem may be identified that can benefit from early treatment. For some, a timely evaluation will lead to significant treatment benefits, for many, the principle immediate benefit is a parent’s piece of mind.
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Do I need a referral from my dentist before selecting an orthodontist?

No, we would be happy to see you or your child for a complimentary exam at any time. A specific referral from your dentist is not required.
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When should orthodontic treatment first be initiated?

Great question.  The answer varies for each individual.  For the non-growing patient, the answer is straight forward. A patient can be started any time provided the periodontal health is good and no cavities or infections have been left untreated.  For growing patients the answer is more complicated because it varies from patient to patient.  Treating a malocclusion (crooked teeth) is not like treating a medical condition such as an infection or cancer.  Clearly in medical situations early treatment is generally the best treatment.  This is not always the case with crooked teeth.

For some children, early orthodontic intervention should be initialized as soon as practical, this may involve removable or fixed (cemented into the mouth) appliances.  For others there is no particular advantage in starting orthodontics until most of the baby teeth are shed.  For many others there are both advantages and disadvantages to early treatment.  Early treatment may temporarily improve the bite, but not make significant difference in the long run.  Early orthodontic treatment generally does not eliminate the need for future orthodontic treatment or reduce total overall cost and time.   

Our philosophy is to help you make an informed decision as to what course of treatment is most appropriate for your child.  Early treatment will be recommended if it is likely to make a significant difference for your child.  If it is optional we’ll help you understand the advantages and disadvantages of early intervention.
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How long does orthodontic treatment take?

The length of orthodontic treatment depends on the growth rate of the patient, the severity of the condition, and how consistently the patient wears the prescribed orthodontic device. In order to carry on your treatment satisfactorily, it is important that we work together. 
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What is expected of me during treatment?    
Patient cooperation under the direction of Dr. Bednar is key in determining the quality of the outcome and the length of treatment. Patient compliance with elastic wear, functional appliance wear, retainers, aligners, oral hygiene or headgear wear is very important in ensuring a successful outcome.  Keeping braces from breaking or wires from getting bent will speed treatment. Avoiding hard, sticky, and chewy foods, including ice, will go a long way in preventing broken braces. Pen and pencil chewing should also be avoided.

In addition, you must continue to see your dentist at least every six months, or more often if recommended, for check-ups and professional cleanings.

In general, you should expect to be an active partner in the development of your new smile. It is your smile, after all.
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How do I handle orthodontic emergencies?
Braces are fairly delicate and must be taken care of in order to prevent damage to them.  Always be careful with what you eat and your activities to keep from breaking any of your appliances.  Sometimes, however, things happen and something breaks.  It is important to know what to do.  The following are some of the common problems that occur and what to do with them.

Loose Band or Bracket
If you have a loose band or bracket and it is still attached to the wire, leave it in place.  If it is uncomfortable, place wax on it, if it comes out completely, wrap the brace or band in tissue and bring it to your next appointment.

Loose Wire
If your wire comes loose, try to place it back in place with tweezers.  If this is not possible, clip the wire with fingernail clippers behind the last tooth to which it is securely fastened.  If there is any discomfort, place wax on it.  Sometimes a wire tie can get loose and poke the inside of your mouth.  If it does, then gently tuck the wire back in place with a blunt object like a pencil eraser.  When you can’t nudge it back then cover the end with a piece of wax until you can get to the office.

Lost Rubber band (Elastic ties)
If you lose one of the colored rubber bands (elastic ties) on your braces, all you need to do is notify our office at your next visit.  Unless it becomes uncomfortable, or the tooth starts to move out of place, you do not need to see us before your next scheduled appointment.

Soreness
For any soreness after an adjustment or any time while wearing your appliances, take aspirin, Tylenol or Advil.  Generally it is important to try to chew even if your teeth are sore.  Chewing helps you overcome the soreness from your teeth moving.

Irritations
Sometimes your appliances can cause irritations on your tongue, cheek, lips or gums.  Rinsing your mouth with warm salt water can help to heal the irritation and wax can be used to cover the appliance causing the irritation.

Headgear
If your headgear doesn’t fit, it may be because you are not wearing it as prescribed.  Follow our office instructions and the discomfort should diminish.  If the facebow is bent, call our office so that we can adjust it.

Appliance or Retainer
When you lose any appliance or retainer, call our office as soon as possible so that treatment will not be delayed for too long.

It is important to pay attention to the condition of your appliances and take immediate action when there is a problem.  That way your treatment can be kept  to a minimum and you will be smiling with beautiful teeth as soon as possible.

Paying attention and doing your part will bring great rewards with a sparkling smile.  This includes the essential of brushing and flossing every day, eating a balanced diet and visiting your dentist regularly.
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Will my insurance cover any of my orthodontic treatment?
Dr. Bednar will discuss cost estimates, since fees vary according to the length and difficulty of the case at the pretreatment evaluation.

If you have orthodontic insurance with orthodontic coverage, we will assist you by either billing your insurance company directly or providing the information needed for you to bill your insurance company.

Please help us by providing complete and current insurance information and by notifying us promptly of any changes.  We deal with many different insurance companies and cannot be familiar with the details of each patient’s benefit package.

Therefore, it is your responsibility to understand which services are covered benefits and which are not.  Even though we submit insurance claims on your behalf, you are ultimately responsible for payment regardless of your insurance carrier’s determination of usual and customary.  Also, if the expected insurance allowance is not paid by the insurance company for any reason, it becomes your obligation.
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What types of orthodontic appliances can be used?
Dr. Bednar utilizes the range of orthodontic appliances that are available, for aligning your dentition and improving function and growth as possible.  Commonly fixed appliances are used, these are braces that adhere directly to the teeth.  Depending upon the patient needs straight wire appliance brackets or self ligated Damon brackets can be used.  In some circumstances ceramic (translucent brackets) can be used in the upper arch.

Depending upon the severity of the problem, removable appliances can be an option.  Clear aligner trays have been shown to be predictably effective for some orthodontic problems and may be a good choice.

Different types of functional appliances to help improve growth can be selected if indicated.  Some of the common functional appliances are upper jaw expander, Herbst (bite jumpers) and facemask for class III (under bite patients).

We appreciate the honor you have shown us by coming to our office and hope to work with you in selecting the best choice of appliances for you or your child.
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