FAQ's

Q. At what age should I schedule my child to be seen by an orthodontist?
A. The American Association of Orthodontists recommends a consultation as early as 7 years of age to screen for significant orthodontic issues.

Q. What will happen at the initial exam?
A. The initial consultation appointment will involve just looking at the teeth and bite with a small dental mirror. Dr. Ossen will then discuss what he sees and any concerns he has and give recommendations accordingly.

Q. What is Phase I treatment?
A. Phase I treatment, or Interceptive Treatment, is when treatment is started with most of the deciduous (baby) teeth still present. This is usually only suggested when there is a significant orthodontic issue present. Most patients who undergo Phase I treatment will also likely undergo a second phase of treatment once all of the "adult" teeth have erupted.

Q. How often do I have to come in for visits once I start treatment?
A. Once treatment has begun, patients are generally seen every 4-6 weeks for adjustments to progress the case until completed. These appointments usually take 5-15 minutes.

Q. Do I still have to see my family dentist during treatment?
A. Yes, you should still see your family dentist for checkups and cleanings during the entire course of your orthodontic treatment. We do not check for cavities or clean the teeth at adjustment visits. However, if we do see something that is a concern, we will refer you to have it addressed.

Q. Does orthodontic treatment hurt?
A. Whenever teeth are moved, they will get sore. This discomfort usually last just a few days. It is usually mild and not acute like a tooth abcess and requires no intervention. Some individuals are more sensitive than others and may want to take over the counter pain relievers for a day or two to "take the edge off."

Q. How long will my orthodontic treatment take?
A. Overall treatment time depends on the nature of movement needed and amount of tooth movement required. Average time is about 24 months if a great deal of movement is needed, 18 months if a moderate amount of movement is indicated, and about 12 months if a small amount of movement is required.

Q. How much does orthodontic treatment cost and will insurance cover treatment?
A. Cost depends on what type of treatment is needed and/or selected. The fee is paid on an affordable, interest free installment plan. This would be explained in detail before any treatment is actually started. Insurance will help defray this cost IF you have orthodontic coverage on your dental insurance plan. You will be entitled to a lifetime orthodontic maximum per patient covered by the plan. This lifetime maximum amount will vary with each insurance carrier, but you can find out the amount by contacting your carrier or we can submit a claim for you.

Q. Can I play sports during orthodontic treatment?
A. Yes, you can play all sports with braces or Invisalign treatment. With Invisalign, you can wear any store bought mouthguard over the trays. With braces, we will give you a mouthguard, at no cost, that will fit over the brackets that should be worn for certain sports.

Q. Do I have to be careful what I eat with braces?
A. Yes, there are certain foods that can detach the bracket from the tooth. After your braces are put on, we will go over the foods that are notorious for breaking brackets off but you control what you eat so you do have to be careful.

Q. How often should I brush my teeth with braces?
A. Ideally, you should brush after every meal whether you have braces or not. The brackets and wires do trap food which makes cleaning your teeth more imperative. We will give you special tooth brushes and show you how to use them. We will also give you a special tool for flossing with brackets on the teeth.

Q. What is an emergency visit?
A. Severely protuding/poking wires, swelling of the gums or face, external trauma to the teeth, unknown source of bleeding are all emergencies and you should contact our emergency phone at 646-645-5446. Issues such as broken brackets or elastics, lost retainers or Invisalign trays, and non-painful dislodged wires should be addressed by calling 914 478-0047 and leaving a message on the machine and we will call you back during office hours.

Q. Do you use recycled brackets?
A. Absolutely not.

Q. Is it too late to undergo orthodontic treatment as an adult?
A. NO! Our oldest patient is 85 years young! Many adult patients pose a challenge with missing teeth, crowns, bridges, periodontal issues and attrition of the teeth. However, orthodontic treatment is still possible, sometimes in conjunction with other dental specialists, to give the best results obtainable. With the creation of Invisalign, more adults than ever are undergoing orthodontic treatment to prevent future problems or correct current ones.

Q. Why should I choose an orthodontic specialist?
A. Orthodontists have 2-3 years of training in the field of orthodontics after they have finished four years of dental school. Many general dentists do orthodontics in their practices but have not received this additional training and accreditation. If you needed heart surgery, would you let your family physician perform it or would you use a cardiologist?

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