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Orthodontics Uncovered

We’re answering some of the orthodontics questions our patients commonly ask. To find out in more detail how Claremore or Tulsa, OK orthodontic treatment can transform your smile, book a free consultation online (link to online scheduling) or by calling us at (918) 342-1240 (Claremore) or (918) 749-8817 (Tulsa).

Q: What kind of training does Dr. Anand Patel have?

A: Dr. Patel is a certified specialist in orthodontics, meaning he underwent specialty training to learn to align patients’ teeth and jaws using appliances like braces and Invisalign. After college, Dr. Patel received his doctorate from dental school at Baylor College of Dentistry in Texas. Upon graduating, he completed his orthodontic residency and obtained a master’s in orthodontics from the University of Oklahoma. He has the necessary training and knowledge to create beautiful, healthy, functional smiles.

Q: How do you know if a person needs orthodontic treatment?

A: While sometimes it’s more obvious, as in the case of an extreme overbite, underbite or significant crowding or spacing, other times, it can be difficult to determine on your own if orthodontic treatment is needed. Even if the front teeth look straight, there may be other issues. Asking your general dentist is a great place to start, however, we’re your best resource since we specialize in orthodontics. In fact, that’s all we do at the Brace Place! The initial exam is absolutely free so it makes sense to come in for a consultation and see what Dr. Patel’s recommendations are. Book your complimentary visit online or by giving us a call at (918) 342-1240 (Claremore) or (918) 749-8817 (Tulsa).

Q: At what age should my child first see an orthodontist? Can a child start orthodontic treatment when they still have baby teeth?

A: The American Association of Orthodontists recommends children have their first orthodontic evaluation by age seven when they still have most of their baby teeth. In many cases, this will just be an observational period where Dr. Patel monitors their development and lets you know when it’s the right time to start treatment. If there are issues, early detection is important so we can take preventative/interceptive action while, yes, the baby teeth are present because the jaw and teeth are more easily manipulated during active growth. This can help your child avoid difficult, time-consuming, expensive treatment later or extractions, which are sometimes necessary when the teeth get very crowded. Again, since our initial consultation is free, you have nothing to lose by scheduling an appointment. If your kiddo’s smile is on track, we’ll continue to see them for complimentary visits about every six months.

Q: What are extraction and non-extraction therapy?

A: These forms of therapy are most typically used when a patient has significant crowding. Extraction therapy is a technique where certain teeth are removed, or extracted, to make room for the other teeth. Non-extraction therapy involves expanding a patient’s jaw or shaving down some teeth to ensure everything fits. We always do a thorough evaluation at the consultation, walk you through our findings and discuss the options that are best suited to your child’s smile or your own smile.

Q: What happens at my first visit?

A: At your first appointment, you’ll meet our team, tour the office and we’ll take a complimentary panoramic x-ray. Dr. Patel will perform a thorough oral examination and read your x-ray to let you know if orthodontic treatment is necessary. He’ll present you with your treatment options, discuss what to expect and answer your questions. We’ll also go over the cost, your insurance, payment plans and all of the details so you feel confident about your treatment decisions. This initial consultation is free. Book yours today online or by calling our office at (918) 342-1240 (Claremore) or (918) 749-8817 (Tulsa).

Q: How long does orthodontic treatment usually last?

A: The duration of your orthodontic treatment will depend on numerous factors, including your age, the severity of the problem, how well you stick to your end of the treatment bargain (i.e., maintaining good oral hygiene, wearing appliances as directed, etc.) and the speed at which your teeth respond to orthodontic forces. In general, at the Brace Place, Phase I treatment lasts 12 to 14 months. In Phase II or comprehensive treatment, patients tend to wear braces or Invisalign for 18 to 36 months.

Q: What are the benefits of orthodontic treatment?

A: Orthodontic treatment can lead to tons of amazing benefits!

  • Straight teeth are easier to clean, improving oral hygiene and warding off tooth decay and gum disease.
  • When teeth are in their correct places, they’re less susceptible to injury, erosion of the enamel and uneven wear and it can even lessen teeth grinding.
  • Orthodontics enhances the function of your teeth and jaws for better speaking, chewing and breathing.
  • Balancing your bite forces can alleviate pain in the temporomandibular joint (TMJ), as well headaches and migraines.
  • Braces and Invisalign can make space for implants if you’re missing teeth.
  • Orthodontic treatment creates facial symmetry.
  • A beautiful smile improves your appearance for a huge boost in confidence!

Q: What are the signs or symptoms of orthodontic problems?

A: The only accurate way to find out if you have an orthodontic issue is to get evaluated by an orthodontist like Dr. Patel. However, if you spot crooked teeth, gaps between the teeth or overlapping teeth, it could be an indicator treatment is necessary.

To further explore, bite all the way down but keep your lips open so you can see the teeth. Do the top front teeth line up with the bottom front teeth? Do the top front teeth stick out away from the lower teeth? Do the front upper teeth cover more than 50% of the bottom teeth? Are the top teeth behind the bottom the teeth? All of these are indications of malocclusion, or an improper bite.

Additionally, look at the alignment of your jaws. Does the jaw shift off center when you’re biting down? Shifting or misalignment of the jaw suggests a skeletal issue with the jawbone. This type of problem can benefit from early orthodontic intervention.

Q: What is full or comprehensive treatment?

A: This is another name for orthodontic treatment when the permanent teeth are in at any age. It’s more commonly used when a patient has never had Phase I treatment.

Q: Do I need a referral to visit the Brace Place?

A: Come one, come all! While we always accept and appreciate referrals at our Claremore and Tulsa, OK orthodontics practice, you don’t need one to see us. Simply give us a call at (918) 342-1240 (Claremore) or (918) 749-8817 (Tulsa) to book your complimentary consultation or do it right here online.

Q: Why are retainers so important?

A: Braces or Invisalign aligners apply steady, continuous force to move the teeth into their ideal positions. When your treatment is finished and we take away the force, the teeth have a tendency to want shift back to where they were. Wearing a retainer is the only way to prevent this and hold your teeth in the correct alignment. If you don’t use your retainer as instructed, your teeth will move. After a short period, most patients only have to wear it at night.

Q: Is orthodontic treatment expensive? Do you have a payment plan?

A: At the Brace Place, we have a unique business model and we strive to give our patients affordable orthodontic treatment in Tulsa and Claremore, OK. We offer financing plans with the option of no down payment and affordable monthly payments and we don’t charge any interest. We’ve found that the traditional down payment charged by many orthodontists is prohibitive to hard-working families, especially when multiple family members can benefit from treatment. We’ll work with you to find a financial solution that fits your budget, allowing you or your children to get the necessary care and a healthy smile.

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