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Is it required that my family dentist schedule my appointment with the orthodontist?

No, it is not a requirement to have a referral from your dentist to schedule an appointment with Pendleton Orthodontics. Many of our new patients are referred by their family dentist, while others take their own initiative and schedule their free initial orthodontic examination on their own. Call now to schedule your appointment with our office.

For my child, at what age should I schedule an appointment for an orthodontic screening?

The American Association of Orthodontists (AAO) recommends an orthodontic screening at Age 7. However, some parents bring their children in for an examination even sooner. By the age of 7, some of the important permanent teeth in most children are already present, allowing us to effectively evaluate your child’s orthodontic condition and come up with a plan for the future.

Will my teeth straighten out as they grow?

More than likely, your teeth will not straighten on their own. For example, the space available for your front teeth does not increase as you grow. In most circumstances, the space available for your front teeth decreases with age. Fortunately, for you we can improve this situation with orthodontic treatment.

How do I schedule an appointment for an initial exam with Pendleton Orthodontics?

If you or your child can potentially benefit from orthodontic treatment, simply call our office or send us an email at We will be happy to schedule your appointment. When you call to schedule your appointment, our team will request some basic information from you. The initial exam is free.

What will happen at the initial examination appointment?

Upon arriving, each patient and parent will be greeted by our friendly team and the doctor will personally acclimate you to our office and prepare you and/or your child for the initial exam. We will take some dental records and provide you with a comprehensive review of the patient’s teeth, which include high-resolution photos and x-rays. The doctor will use this information to complete a thorough exam and discuss all of your available treatment options with you.

What will I learn from the initial examination?

There are eight essential questions we will cover during the initial examination:

Is there an orthodontic problem, and if so, what is it?

What must be done to correct the problem?

How long will the treatment take to complete?

What is the financial investment for your treatment?

Am I a candidate for Invisalign?

Am I too young/old to start orthodontics?

Will my child need two phases of orthodontics?

Will any teeth need to be removed to facilitate orthodontic treatment?

Note: Removing teeth is occasionally required to achieve the best results for you. Straight teeth and a balanced facial profile are the goal of orthodontics. However, because new technology has provided advanced abilities, removing teeth is not always necessary for orthodontic treatment.

How long will it take to complete treatment?

Treatment time will depend on each patient’s specific orthodontic needs. In general, treatment times range from 6 to 30 months. The “average” time frame a person is in COMPREHENSIVE treatment is roughly 15-24 months.

How much will braces cost? Are financing options available? How does my insurance work?

Once we have examined you at your initial consultation, we will discuss the exact investment and financial options for treatment. We will review your insurance policy in advance of your appointment and help maximize your benefit and file your claims.

How often will I have appointments?

Appointments are scheduled according to each patient’s needs. Most patients in braces will be seen approximately every 6-8 weeks. If there are specific situations that require more frequent monitoring, we will schedule appointments accordingly. Note: We will provide your child with a school note for any time missed due to his or her appointment.

Can I schedule all of my appointments after school?

Unfortunately, we cannot schedule all appointments for all students during after-school hours. However, because most appointments are scheduled 6 weeks apart, most patients will miss minimal school due to their orthodontic treatment. We will, however, make a sincere effort to meet your scheduling needs.

Can I drop my child off for an appointment?

Yes. We understand your busy schedule, and we are happy to help you make the most of your time. On some occasions, we may request to speak with a parent when they return, so we ask that parents check with our team before dropping off your child.

Do braces hurt?

Generally, braces do not “hurt.” After certain visits, teeth may be sore for a few days. In these situations, pain medications such as Advil or Tylenol are usually all that is needed to ease any discomfort. A diet of soft foods might be required for a day or two after an appointment.

Can I return to school the day I receive my braces?

Yes, and we will provide a doctor’s note for any school time missed.

Do you give shots?

No. Shots are not necessary in orthodontic treatment. We don’t even have a needle in the office, so don’t worry!

Do you use recycled braces?

Absolutely not! Each patient is provided with their own set of braces to achieve the best orthodontic result.

Can I still play sports with braces?

Yes. We recommend a universal mouthguard for all sports activities, which we can provide for you. Unfortunately, “mold-your-own” or “boil-and-bite” mouthguards are not advised because they can break brackets off when you remove them. Invisalign is also a great treatment option for those active children and adults that don’t want to risk getting hit in the mouth with braces!

Do I need to see my family dentist while in braces?

Yes! Regular check-ups with your family dentist are important while in braces. Your family dentist will determine the intervals between cleaning appointments while you are in braces.

Are there foods I cannot eat while I have braces?

Yes. Once treatment begins, we will explain the complete instructions and provide a comprehensive list of foods to avoid. Some of those include hard foods like ice, hard candy, nuts, raw crunchy vegetables, and thick chips like Kettle chips. You can avoid most emergency appointments to repair broken or damaged braces by carefully following our instructions. We can give you a comprehensive list when you come to visit us!

How often should I brush my teeth while in braces?

Patients should brush their teeth at least two times each day but preferably after EACH meal AND before going to bed. You should also brush for at least two minutes each time you brush your teeth. Finally, patients should floss at least once per day before bedtime. We show each patient how to floss their teeth with braces and may also provide a prescription for a special fluoride, if necessary.

What is an emergency appointment? How are those handled?

If your braces are causing excessive discomfort or if something breaks, you should call our office right away. In some cases, we are able to quickly address these issues over the telephone. If you require an emergency appointment, we will set aside time for you and work you into the schedule.

Can orthodontic correction occur while a child has baby teeth?

Yes. Some orthodontic problems are significant enough to require early intervention. However, if a patient is not yet ready for treatment, we will help to monitor the patient’s growth and development right up until the time for orthodontic treatment to begin.

What is Phase One (early) treatment?

Phase One treatment, if necessary, is usually initiated on children between the ages of 7 and 10 years of age. Phase One treatment typically lasts about 12-15 months. The primary objective for Phase One treatment is to address significant problems and prevent them from becoming even more severe. This early treatment may also improve self-esteem and self-image. Phase One is only recommended in a limited number of circumstances.

Will my child need full braces if he/she has Phase One treatment?

It is best to assume that your child will need full braces even after Phase One treatment. The period following Phase One treatment is called the “observation period,” during which growth and tooth eruption are closely monitored. Throughout this period, parents and patients will be kept informed of future treatment recommendations.

Will my child need an expander?

Following the initial examination, we will determine whether your child requires an expander.

Is it too late to have braces if I am already an adult?

A surprising percentage of our patients are adults. In fact, 25% of all orthodontic patients are adults. Health, happiness and self-esteem are vitally important to adults too. No one is “too old” to wear braces! Invisalign is also a great option for adults who are candidates for Invisalign.

Can I wear braces even though I have crowns and missing teeth?

Yes. A tooth with a crown will move just like a tooth with a simple filling. When teeth are missing, orthodontic treatment will aid in the alignment of the remaining teeth to set up a proper foundation so that the empty spaces can be filled properly.

Why should I choose an orthodontic specialist?

Teeth, and sometimes entire facial structures are permanently enhanced by orthodontic treatment. It is important that the treatment be appropriate and properly completed.

Orthodontic specialists have extensive and specialized training that enables them to provide patients with professional, personalized treatments that include at least 3 years beyond a general dentist’s training in orthodontics.

Let me ask you an honest question: If you had a specific heart problem, would you seek out your family doctor or cardiologist to diagnose your condition? When you view the question in that light, I am sure you will come to the same conclusion we do! The same principle applies here.

What about DIY or “knock-off” aligners promoted by companies like Smile Direct Club and Candid? They say in their commercials that they will sell clear aligners directly to me and make my teeth straighter. Why don’t I just do that since it’s cheaper?

These companies are very elusive and are able to misguide the general public about what they provide thanks to their investors’ deep pockets.

They remove the orthodontist from the process and have technicians (not doctors) set up your teeth and move them virtually on the computer. However, they are not trained to pay attention to the bite nor do they understand the principles of tooth movement that are needed to move your teeth in a predictable fashion.

They are also unable to provide extra methods or solutions to ensure you get the results you want (for example, adding attachments to teeth for more predictable movements, polishing between teeth to make more room, using elastics to fix the bite, re-shaping teeth to match their shapes better for esthetics, etc.).

Although “cutting corners” to save a few dollars with knock off aligners may seemingly help you to save you money in the short run, it ultimately does not serve you in the long run. Due to our experience, it only increases the likelihood of shifting your teeth into the wrong position without any supervision, which is not advised. In the end, the risks truly outweigh the rewards in almost all circumstances.

For example, in the likelihood of an unfavorable outcome, it will likely cost you even more money and cause a cascade of serious oral problems that only a trained orthodontist can fix after your do-it-yourself treatment leaves you with poor results and less money in your pocket. Dr. Ryan Pendleton has seen countless patients in this exact situation throughout his decade in orthodontic practice.

To further validate our concerns, review the long list of negative complaints on the Better Business Bureau website for these DIY orthodontic alternatives.

For example, Smile Direct Club has been around for roughly six years or less and has THOUSANDS of negative reviews attached to their treatment.. Isn’t it interesting how these complaints aren’t ever disclosed in their short infomercials? Buyer Beware!

On the other hand, check out Invisalign. Invisalign is tested and proven to work wonders. Invisalign is designed by orthodontists and is overseen by a trained orthodontist from beginning to end. Invisalign has been available for decades and has less than 10 complaints. We look forward to serving you and your family with a product that reliably works!

Experience our passion! Call our office now to schedule a free, no obligation orthodontic consultation for you or for your child. We look forward to hearing from you!

Pendleton Orthodontics
1840 Crystal Falls Parkway, Suite 420
Leander, TX 78641
Phone: 512-598-9942
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