Q. Why choose a Specialist in Orthodontics to do your braces or Invisalign?
A. Orthodontists have received extensive training beyond general dentists in the best ways to straighten teeth and align bites. They have completed all the training of general dentists plus an additional 2-3 years of training through an accredited orthodontic residency program. Orthodontic Specialists are equipped with the knowledge and experience to properly diagnose and treat your smile.
In Dr. Randolph’s case, in addition to her training as a Specialist in Orthodontics, she taught at a dental school and completed a general practice hospital residency program.
Q. At what age should my child see an Orthodontist?
A. The American Association of Orthodontists recommends an orthodontic screening for children between the ages of 7 and 9, when they are getting their first permanent teeth. If any significant orthodontic problems are present or developing, it may best to address them with and early interceptive treatment referred to as “Phase l”.
Q. Is it too late to have braces if I’m already an adult?
A. No patient is “too old” to wear braces or Invisalign! Orthodontic treatment can improve your smile and dental health at any age. About one-third of Dr. Randolph’s patients are adults. Health and happiness are vitally important to adults, and orthodontic treatment can increase your self-esteem at any age!
Q. How long does orthodontic treatment take?
A. Typically, full treatment lasts 12-24 months. The actual treatment time varies depending on your age, your cooperation, the health of your teeth, and the severity of correction necessary. Dr. Randolph can give you a specific estimate during your initial, free consultation.
Q. How often will appointments be?
A. In general, you will need to visit the office every 8 to 10 weeks. When conditions require more frequent attention, appointments will be scheduled accordingly.
Q. What happens during regular office visits?
A. At each regular visit, Dr. Randolph evaluates your progress and determines what procedures should be performed to advance your treatment. Patients in braces might need their archwires and elastics changed or adjusted. For patients in Invisalign, we’ll assess your current aligners and issue new ones. At the end of each appointment, Dr. Randolph personally reviews the completed work, assures patient comfort, and answers any questions from the patient or parents.
Q. Can I schedule my appointments after school?
A. Yes. The majority of regular appointments can be scheduled after school. It’s usually the busiest time in our office, so if you can conveniently schedule at other times, we encourage you to do so.
At the end of each appointment, Dr. Randolph will determine the number of weeks before you should return. We recommend you book your next appointment at the end of each appointment, so you get first pick of the days and times available. We schedule about 10 weeks in advance, and afternoon appointments go fast!
Q. Can I drop my child off for an appointment?
A. Yes. We understand your schedule is busy, 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-in with their patient manager before dropping off their child.
Q. Does wearing braces hurt?
A. Sometimes, your teeth may be sore for a few days after orthodontic appointments. In these situations, over-the-counter pain medications, such as Advil or Tylenol, will ease the discomfort.
With our Damon System braces and with Invisalgn, many patients rarely or never feel any soreness. So, we often remind our patients, “it doesn’t have to hurt to work!”
Q. Can I still play sports or play my musical instrument while wearing braces?
A. Yes! We do recommend that you wear a mouth guard while playing sports. Woodwind and brass musicians may experience a short adjustment period before they are comfortable playing their instrument while wearing braces.
Q. Do I need to see my general dentist while wearing braces?
A. Yes! Regular six-month check-ups with your general dentist are more important than ever. Sometimes, you may need to see your dentist more often. We are happy to remove wires for our patients prior to cleaning appointments to make it easier for the dentist or hygienist to do a great job.
Q. What is considered an orthodontic emergency? How are they handled?
A. Anything that causes you unexpected pain is an emergency, and you should call us about it. This includes accidental trauma to your mouth, or when archwires or other orthodontic appliances become embedded in cheeks or gums. It does not include normal soreness, which you can treat with Advil or Tylenol, or cheek irritations, which you can avoid by putting wax over the offending brace and treat with a salt-water rinse.
If you have a painful emergency, we want you to come into the office so we can make you comfortable. If the office is closed, please call our voicemail, which provides the phone numbers of the doctor and our assistants. They are available to respond to your calls between 7 a.m. and 9 p.m. daily.