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Common questions

Common questions

The team here at Cater Galante Orthodontics certainly know a thing or two about orthodontics. Below are some of the most frequently asked questions we receive about orthodontic treatment, braces, whether or not orthodontics hurts and how much treatment costs. We hope these provide some answers for you. 

Invisalign FAQs 

What is Invisalign?

Invisalign is a method of orthodontic treatment, which uses clear plastic aligners to move teeth into position. These aligners look like thin sports mouth guards and can be taken out when playing sports or musical instruments, or if you have an important occasion. See our page on Invisalign for more information on this revolutionary treatment. 

How many sets of aligners will I need to wear?

The average number of aligners you will be issued with over the course of treatment is between 18 and 30. 

How much does Invisalign cost?

Invisalign costs the same or sometimes even less than traditional braces. 

What do I need to do to get started?

Our initial exam is offered at no charge and is necessary to determine your treatment plan. Two complimentary X-rays and photos are taken so that, if possible, a complete diagnosis can be given that day. If treatment is indicated, an appointment for the Invisalign scan can be scheduled as soon as possible. 

When do I get my aligners?

After the impressions are taken, they are sent to Invisalign where a 3D computer image is created. Together, Drs. Cater and Galante and Invisalign determine how your finished result will be accomplished. Once the treatment plan is finalized, the aligners are fabricated and shipped. The normal time frame is 5-7 weeks. 

How often will I need to be seen for appointments?

Each set of aligners is worn for approximately two weeks. Drs. Cater and Galante disperse four sets at one time, so generally appointments are every eight weeks.

Got another question about Invisalign? Read Dr. Galante's blog. She answers another nine common questions about this effective orthodontic treatment.

Still got a question? Give our friendly team a call

Common questions about orthodontics and braces

What is orthodontics?

Orthodontics is a specialist branch of dentistry which focuses on the alignment of your teeth and jaws in relation to your overall facial profile. Orthodontists are trained dentists who have spent further years of graduate study in the field of orthodontics. 

Does my dentist need to refer me for orthodontic treatment?

No. While many of our patients are referred to us by their family dentist, you can book an appointment directly with us. Just call us on 831 424 3255.

How long does orthodontic treatment take?

The time treatment takes depends on your specific orthodontic problem. In general, treatment times range from 12 to 30 months. The “average” length of time a person wears braces for is approximately 22 months.

How much do braces cost?

It is impossible to give an exact cost for treatment until we have examined you because every patient has different orthodontic needs. When you come in for your initial assessment, we will prepare a treatment plan for you with a quote for the exact cost of treatment, as well as information on our finance options. We will also review your insurance policy and help to maximize your benefit and file your claims.

Do braces hurt?

Generally, braces do not “hurt.” After certain visits your teeth may be sore for a few days but if this happens over-the-counter pain relief, such as Advil or Tylenol, will ease the discomfort. Shots are not necessary in orthodontic treatment. After most visits patients do not feel any soreness at all. We often remind our patients: “It does not have to hurt to work!”

How often do I need to see an orthodontist?

During treatment, appointments with our orthodontists are scheduled according to your needs. Most patients in braces will be seen every five to 10 weeks. If there are specific situations that require more frequent monitoring, we will schedule appointments accordingly.

Is it too late to have braces as an adult?

You may be surprised to know we see a lot of adults for orthodontic treatment. In fact, 25 percent of all orthodontic patients are adults. Health, happiness and self-esteem are vitally important to adults. At Cater Galante Orthodontics , we believe no patient is “too old” to wear braces!

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 help to align your remaining teeth.

Will I need to have teeth extracted for braces?

Removing teeth is sometimes required to achieve the best orthodontic result. Straight teeth and a balanced facial profile are the goal of orthodontics. However, because new technology has provided advanced orthodontic procedures, we don't always need to remove teeth. In fact, we try not to!

When should my child see an orthodontist?

The American Association of Orthodontists (AAO) recommends children have an orthodontic treatment by the age of seven. At this age, several permanent teeth have erupted, which allows us to effectively evaluate your orthodontic condition and plan for any treatment that may be required at a later date. Sometimes, orthodontic problems may be significant enough to require early intervention, even while your child still has baby teeth. Drop us a line today or book a free consultation via our website.

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

Yes! Regular checkups with your family dentist are important. Your family dentist will determine the intervals between cleaning appointments while you are wearing braces.

Are there foods I can't eat while I'm wearing braces?

Yes. Once you have been fitted with braces or aligners, we will give you a comprehensive list of foods to avoid. Some of those foods include: ice, hard candy, raw vegetables and all sticky foods (i.e. caramel and taffy). You can avoid most emergency appointments to repair broken or damaged braces by carefully following our instructions.

How often should I brush my teeth while wearing braces?

You will need to brush your teeth at least four times each day – once after each meal and before going to bed. We will show you how to floss your teeth while wearing braces and may also provide a prescription for a special fluoride toothpaste, if necessary.

Can I play sports while wearing braces?

Yes, orthodontic treatment really doesn't interfere with your lifestyle at all. You can play sports, but wear a mouth guard whatever sport you're playing. You can also play musical instruments. If you're wearing Invisalign aligners, you can simply take them out. 

What is an emergency appointment?

If your braces are causing extreme pain or if something breaks, call our office as soon as possible. In most cases, we can address these issues over the telephone. If you require an emergency appointment, we will set aside time for you. For more information, see our orthodontic emergencies page. 

Do you recycle braces?

Absolutely not! Every patient is provided with their own braces, not only to achieve the best orthodontic result possible, but also for hygiene reasons. 

Still have a question? Give our friendly team at our Salinas Ortho clinic in Salinas, CA, a call today.  

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