- Are braces expensive and how can I afford them on a tight budget?
When you think about it, how many things can you buy or invest in that you will use every day, bring you lots of joy, hope, success, and improved confidence, be with you during every important event of your life, contribute in a very significant way to your overall health and wellbeing, and last for your lifetime as long as it is maintained regularly with just a little effort? Yes, you need to know and realize that orthodontic treatment is a fabulous investment in yourself and your family that will pay you back over and over like very few other things in life. If you spread the cost of orthodontic treatment over your lifetime of benefit instead of the usual 2 year payment plan, the cost is really pennies. What you also have to look at is the cost of not having orthodontic treatment when you or your child really needs it. When you compare the cost of braces to the cost of not having orthodontic treatment at the time they are needed, I have no hesitation recommending or suggesting that it is worth every penny spent on it. The cost of treatment for lots of our patients boils down to about $6 a day over their treatment period, which is less than the cost of an average fast food meal. Nowadays, it is very common for most insurance companies to cover up to 50% of the Our office offers an interest free payment plan when set up on an automatic monthly draft set up to a credit card or from a bank account. There is also no down paymentand low monthly payment options provided. When you are moving forward with orthodontic treatment with us, you will find that our office staff are very flexible and can usually work together with you to come up with a payment plan that makes sense for you and your budget.
- How can I find the time for braces and the appointments when I work full time and the teachers at school don’t like kids missing class?
We are one of the few, if not only, office in our area which is open Saturdays and provides after school evening appointments during the week until 7pm. We also have a free child pick up and drop off service for students at Lake Nona Middle School which is a big hit with our moms. Because of our unique hours and scheduling, most of our patients and parents rarely miss school or work due to receiving orthodontic treatments from our office. We also do our best to reduce or eliminate any unnecessary office visits and overall treatment time by using advanced technology such as fast acting computer designed braces , Propel, and Acceledent which have been proven to reduce overall treatment time by as high as 50% and complete treatment in almost half the time of traditional brfaces.
- What is involved with getting the braces process started?
The first thing to do is to call to schedule an orthodontic exam and evaluation by a trained and experienced orthodontist. These appointments are usually free and last about an hour long. During this time, you will usually take a brief tour of the office and then they will usually take x-rays and pictures of your teeth. Then the doctor will come in and review your information, take notes, and explain what problems there are, if any, and how he or she will go about making the needed corrections in detail. You may find that every office may do things a little differently. You and your general dentist will also receive a written report with all of the findings and recommendations that you can review on your own or with anyone else that you wish. In our office, many of our families and patients love the option of starting treatment that same day when a patient is ready for treatment and they are really motivated to get started. Others choose to take their time and spread out their appointments over several dates. What is most important to us is your comfort and personal preferences and that we move at a pace which is comfortable with you during any part of treatment and we will monitor any needed changes along the way through progress reviews with the doctor and patient surveys provided at every visit to ensure your satisfaction.
- Why should I have orthodontic treatment by an orthodontist or orthodontic specialist when my dentist does Invisalign and says hecan even do braces in 6 months using a new technique he is now using. Isn’t an orthodontic specialist more expensive and why would I need to do that when my dentist can do the same thing for me for less money in the same office?
You know what they say, “When something sounds too good to be true, it probably is”. What is really important and matters most here is training and experienceof the doctor, not the listed or advertised services. Both the experience and the type and amount of orthodontic training completed by a general dentist is usually much less and much different than that of an orthodontist, and as a result, so is the treatment and often the results you can expect. This is often true even if both doctors have the same Invisalign, 6 month braces, or other sign on their door advertising these services. An orthodontist earns both the basic 4 year accredited dental school training that a general dentist receives, but in addition, also earns an advanced degree such as a specialty certificate and even sometimes a Master’s Degree for an additional 2 or 3 years of accredited advanced specialty training. Itis very important to also understand that there is also a big difference between just having your teeth little straighter teeth versus a beautiful smile that compliments your facial characteristics, balances your teeth, muscles and jawjoints for proper chewing and function, and long term stability. I have personally seen many patients who have had fractured and destroyed teeth due to a bite that was not corrected properly. Even though your teeth might get a little straighter and maybe look a little better by having Invisalign or braces mounted on your teeth by a general dentist, that should never be confused with orthodontic or Invisalign treatment done by an orthodontist. Even though you may want to believe it is the same, it is not the same, even though your dentist may try to convince or persuade you otherwise and to “give him a try”just because he may have has earned your trust doing other dental procedures which he is trained to do. Do not make the mistake of assuming that Just because your dentist is skilled at various general dental procedures that he or she is equally skilled at orthodontic treatment. Just like you would not hire a plumber or electrician and assume that they can build your entire house, it would not be wise to make a substantial initial investment in orthodontic treatment even if the price is cheaper and may be more convenient because it is done in the same office. If you are considering having orthodontic treatment done by anyone but a trained and experienced orthodontist, you might want to consider the possibility that the work may need to be retreated and may in the long run cost you far more than it would have by a trained and experienced orthodontist. Unfortunately, it is not uncommon for many orthodontists to find themselves retreating patients in their practices who were initially treated by general dentists for a variety of reasons. Because orthodontists are experienced and properly trained specialists, they often can save you lots of time, trouble, hassles and headaches. It’s not that general dentists do not have a general understanding of limited orthodontic treatment, it is what they do not know and have experienced and are not trained to do which can become problematic in many situations after the fact and prove to be disastrous.Is it worth the risk to allow the future of you or your child’s special smile to be determined by orthodontic treatments guided by a general dentist with inadequate or minimal training?
- How are you different from other orthodontists?
[caption id="attachment_1650" align="alignnone" width="300"] lach orthodontics orlando[/caption]I would say that my creative and artistic abilities and my tireless interests, passion, and drive to strive daily to maximize my potential is what sets me apart, not only as an orthodontist, but more importantly my role and example as the leader of my family as a dedicated husband and father. Iwasraised and grew up with parents of traditional European decent, who taught me and exemplified the importance of family values, honesty, a sense of respect and humility, and a very strong work ethic. As a result, I am compelled and driven to do my best each and every day for others around me and I believe our patients sense that and feel comfortable trusting in me to look out for them and do the things for them that are in their best interests. I also believe in giving back and providing as many opportunities as possible to those around me who may not have been given as many opportunities through Smiles for Hope Foundation and many other charitable activities. I am grateful to be an orthodontist and have learned not to take anything for granted especially all of the families who continue to entrusted me with the care of something as important and special to them as their smile which will impact them the rest of their lives.
- How did you decide to become an orthodontist and how long have you been in practice?
Well, I have been practicing as a specialist in orthodontics now for over 23 years and have had nearly 20,000 wonderful patients during that time. I truly enjoy the thrill and experience of seeing firsthandthe incredible boost of self- esteem, confidence and hope that our patients receive from the wonderful transformation of their smile. To be a part of that is such an incredible honor and privilege that I feel so fortunate to have as an orthodontic specialist. I have always been an artist by nature for as long as I can remember, and what is so special for me as an orthodontist is being able to combine my creative artistic abilities with all of the technological advances and professional training that I have received to give our patients the very best smile possible that will impact their lives for many years to come. What is unique is the relationship that we form and develop with our very diverse patients every day where we can learn and experience life through the eyes of others in a very special way which no other profession can provide. In addition to the thrill of providing beautiful smiles for patients, the most important role and rewarding passion for me as an orthodontist in our community is to be in a position to provide hope and inspiration through beautiful new smiles to those who are underprivileged, medically compromised with terminal illness, or disadvantaged in some other way. It is very important to me to keep the big picture in mind as much as possible when I am in the office serving others.
- How does orthodontic treatment promote overall health and well-being? I thought braces were just about making your smile look better?
Just because your teeth are somewhat straight does not always mean that they function well. A big part of what we do as orthodontists is to make sure that your smile is built on a solid structural foundation and a healthy bite in order to preserve the long term health and stability of your teeth, gums and jaws so your smile will last for you or your child’s lifetime. If an orthodontic problem is ignored and left untreated, the years of living with a bad bite and poor maintenance will eventually catch up with you. You may very well likely find yourself in a dentist’s office much more often and at an even higher cost than you would like because these untreated orthodontic problems will most often lead to more severe and costly dental problems such as excessive wear and cracking of teeth, jaw joint pain, and gum infection, all of which are much more expensive and unpleasant to treat later. When the bite is uneven, some teeth and jaw bones receive more than their fair share of force on them which causes the eventual breakdown. When teeth are crowded, many areas become difficult to clean and become infected with bacteria which can then get into your bloodstream and build up on the linings of your blood vessels and heart restricting blood flow.When we straighten your teeth and fix your bite, chewing becomes much easier on your teeth and the harmful bacteria are now removed mucheasier withjust routinebrushing. Also from an overall health standpoint, orthodontists are also finding that many patients can suffer from breathing problems because of structural issues such as a lower jawbone being too small or an upper jawbone being too narrow, leavinglittle space for the tongue which can then block the airway and prevent healthy breathing. This can have a devastating effect on the overall development and health of a growing child and subject adults to heart problems and lead to heart attacks. (Sleep apnea) The good news is that many of these structural problems are easily detectable and treatable by an experienced and trained orthodontist who can make the needed structural changes in order to open breathing airways to promote healthy breathing. It is very important to me that I not only provide the most beautiful smiles for patients but to also make them overall healthier people in general.
- Do you mostly treat middle school kids?
No, not at all. Most of the time you will see patients wearing braces during middle school because that is a good time for lots of kids in terms of their individual dental, skeletal, cognitive and psychosocial development.Actually, the right time to examine children is no later than age 7 when baby teeth are still present. The reason for the exam at this time is because that is when they start transitioning from baby teeth to permanent teeth and that is when we can determine if bigger problems are developing. Early on, we focus on “structural” problems usually with jaw bones that can be corrected and prevented with some simple treatments that usually don’t even involve braces. Orthodontists specially trained in diagnosing and treating these structural problems can prevent permanent teeth from growing in incorrectly, functional problems, and even breathing problems! Keep in mind that a child’s dental age does not necessarily coincide with their chronological age which means that some 10 years old can have all of their permanent teeth fully in place and corrected with braces,while another child with a delay in dental development may not even get all of their permanent teeth until age 13 or 14. All children are different, even within the same family, which is why it is important to have your child screened by an orthodontist by age 7 so that your child can be evaluated as an individual. It is important to understand that treatments may or may not be indicated during this time. Since treatments can be done at any age, a well trained and experienced orthodontist can help you decide if treatment is indicated and what will be the most beneficial time for treatment only if it is needed. Having treatment also reflects to others that you are a person who has committed to improving your own well-being which speaks volumes.
- Will I look like an immature teenager if I have braces as an adult?
Absolutely not. We are as concerned as you are that you are completely comfortable and pleased with your smile appearance not only after your orthodontic treatment, but also how you will look during the treatment process. That is why specialize in finding ways to make your smile look great during treatment which will put you at ease and make you feel comfortable in your everyday life. We have lots and lots of adult patients who are public speakers, teachers, and even some celebrities who make their living getting up in front of people and the last thing they want is to look like is a teenager. Many times we can use comfortable and clear removable aligners or Invisalign to get results just as good as we get with braces. Clear, or tooth colored braces are also very popular with our adults and draw less attention to your teeth. We also can move teeth from the inside on some cases but it is important to understand that this type of treatment can be more costly, time consuming and less comfortable due to the braces being on the inside out of view, but much closer to the tongue which can sometimes causing prolonged irritation and speech difficulty.We can now also shorten treatment time dramatically with advanced computer designed braces which simulates your tooth alignment and allows us to adjust braces before we mount them onto your teeth. After braces are mounted on your teeth more accurately, we can use devices called Acceledent and procedures like Propel to stimulate the natural bone changes that are needed to allow your teeth to move into place. These advanced treatments can produce ideal results in most of our patients in as little as 9 to12 months, or in almost half the time it usually takes with traditional braces.
- Is there anyone who should not get braces?t
Yes there are. Anyone who has active infection in their gums or periodontal disease should not get braces until the disease is under control and stabilized. Your general dentist and/or periodontist would be the ones to let you know if it is safe for you to get braces and we routinely ask all new patients if they have seen a dentist within the last 6 months, especially adult patients, so that this very important aspect is not overlooked before starting braces. Patients who have poor oral hygiene and active dental decay are also not permitted to receive braces in our office until their plaque and their decay are under control and being maintained regularly. We also do not start anyone in orthodontic treatment who has any sort of jaw joint pain. These patients are usually started with a removable jaw splint which can help unlock the bite and reduce pressure on the jaw joint which can help determine what position is most comfortable. Once the proper bite is determined and the pain has gone away, the orthodontist can then move the teeth to the correct bite for the best results. Patients who have taken bone strengthening drugs for osteoporosis or bone cancer also may not bone good candidates for orthodontic treatment because they cause excessive bone density around your teeth making them difficult to move. If you have had an accident or injury to your teeth or jaw bone sometimes this can fuse the root structure to the surrounding bone making them also difficult or remove, although some may respond to some surgical procedures. Nowadays, some people are just too busy with other priorities to really do a good job in making appointments and cooperating with treatments. While our office carefully focuses mostly on providing treatments that require minimal patient compliance and cooperation, there is always some cooperation needed to have the best possible outcome. Patients who are not willing to take any responsibility in their treatment or have unrealistic expectations are not good candidates for treatment in our office. Even though orthodontic treatment can have a very significant impact on the lives of our patient, it is important to set realistic expectations before starting treatment.
- I have heard that braces are very uncomfortable is that true?
The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that a child visit a certified orthodontist no later than age 7. Even though primary teeth are still present at this age, an experienced orthodontist can assess the size and direction of growth of the jaw bones as well as the erupting teeth now and determine then if a problem could be developing that will worsen over time by waiting. In some cases, simple devices called expanders can be fastened to the teeth and can widen and enlarge the jaw bone just enough to make room for all of the erupting permanent teeth. This strategy and treatment has proven itself to prevent the unnecessary removal of permanent teeth and in some cases even prevent jaw surgery being required. It is important to realize that orthodontists typically provide screening these exams by age 7 free of charge and the information obtained from these can prove to be very useful and valuable in planning for your child’s future smile.