Answers to Common Orthodontic Questions
Selecting an orthodontist in Charlottesville or Crozet who can help you achieve your smile dreams is important. Orthodontists are dental specialists who diagnose, prevent and treat dental and facial irregularities.
This means they're better qualified you to give you the smile of your dreams than you could get from aligners in the mail.
They receive an additional two to three years of specialized education beyond dental school to learn the proper way to align and straighten teeth. Only those with this formal education may call themselves “orthodontists,” and only orthodontists may be members of the American Association of Orthodontists (AAO).
Dr. Hamer and Dr. Glassick from Hamer & Glassick Orthodontics have achieved this specialization and are an active members of AAO.
The American Association of Orthodontists recommends an orthodontic screening at age seven. By this age, most children have several permanent teeth that have erupted, letting us evaluate their orthodontic needs.
By this age, Dr. Glassick and Dr. Hamer can spot subtle problems with jaw growth and emerging teeth while some baby teeth are still present.
That’s important, because some orthodontic problems may be easier to correct if they’re found early. Most orthodontic patients begin active braces treatment between ages 9 and 14.
Orthodontic treatment can be successful at almost any age. In fact, about one in every four orthodontic patients today is over age 18.
Thanks to today’s smaller, less visible and more comfortable orthodontic appliances, including metal braces, ceramic braces, and Invisalign, adults find treatment appealing.
Patients who need orthodontic treatment generally have one to three years of active treatment.
This can be determined through a free consultation at our Charlottesville or Crozet office.
The cost of orthodontic treatment depends on many factors, including the severity of the problem and how complex the problem is.
Dr. Glassick or Dr. Hamer will be glad to discuss the cost of treatment and your financing options with you before treatment begins.
The good news is that braces are more affordable today than ever. Our staff also works with insurance companies and offers payment plans that meet your family’s budget.
Most orthodontic problems are inherited. Examples of these genetic problems are crowding, spacing, protrusion, extra or missing teeth and some jaw growth problems.
Other oral problems are caused by thumb- or finger-sucking, dental disease, accidents, the early or late loss of baby teeth, or other causes.
Crooked and crowded teeth are hard to clean and maintain. A bad bite can also cause abnormal wear of tooth surfaces, difficulty in chewing and/or speaking, and excess stress on supporting bone and gum tissue.
Without treatment, many problems become worse and can require additional dental care later in life.
Orthodontic treatment is a partnership between the doctor and patient. Dr. Hamer & Dr. Glassick provide custom-made fixed or removable appliances that use gentle pressure to move teeth into their proper positions.
Your job is to follow Dr. Glassick & Dr. Hamer’s instructions, keep scheduled orthodontic appointments, and maintain excellent oral hygiene to get the best results.
You will also need to see your general dentist as recommended to continue your general dental care.
If you notice an unwanted change in your smile or bite, contact Hamer & Glassick Orthodontics at (434) 296-0188 for information.
You might need an orthodontic tune-up to regain proper alignment.
Not necessarily. Research suggests that wisdom teeth don’t always cause teeth to shift.
In most cases, wisdom teeth are removed for general dental health reasons rather than for orthodontic health.
Your family dentist or Dr. Glassick & Dr. Hamer can help determine whether or not your wisdom teeth need to be removed.
Dr. Hamer & Dr. Glassick will recommend how long to continue wearing your retainers, whether they are removable (the kind you put in and take out) or fixed (bonded behind your teeth). Wearing your retainers as prescribed is the best way to keep your teeth from moving after your orthodontic treatment.
There are many reasons teeth may move following orthodontic treatment. Teeth are not set in concrete, they are in bone. Because bone around your teeth is continually changing (breaking down and rebuilding), your teeth may shift after your braces are removed.
By wearing your retainers, your teeth are more likely to remain where Dr. Hamer & Dr. Glassick have placed them through orthodontic treatment.
The small changes that happen after braces are removed are due to settling as you use your teeth for biting and chewing. The more serious and unwanted changes may be traced to genetics or later-than-normal growth, which is unpredictable.
Movement is most common in lower front teeth. This is particularly true if the teeth were extremely crowded before your treatment. Changes in tooth position are a lifelong and naturally occurring phenomenon.
The best way to keep your teeth from shifting is to wear your retainers as prescribed.
You should expect a great smile at the end of your orthodontic treatment!
With proper retainer wear, you will have continued success with ease of cleaning your teeth due to proper alignment and bite correction.
*Some Text Courtesy of the American Association of Orthodontists