Heartlake Orthodontics

Frequently asked Questions


  • Am I too old for orthodontics?
    There is no age limit for orthodontics. Teeth and tissue are essentially the same in both adults and children. Orthodontists can successfully realign crooked teeth or an improper bite regardless of your age.

  • How long will it take?
    Treatment, or orthodontic correction, can vary from a few months to a few years depending on the complexity of the case. Come and see Dr. Lee for a personal consultation and a customized plan and time estimate.

  • How much will it cost?
    No two problems are the same so treatment plans and accompanying cost will vary among patients. Call us for an estimate of how long it will take. We offer flexible payment plans. Our fees are comprehensive including everything. There are no hidden fees or surcharges.

  • Can my appearance be improved?
    Yes! Dramatic changes in a person's smile can be achieved. A person can actually look years younger by straightening crooked teeth or correcting a bad bite. A beautiful smile can increase self-confidence and in turn a sense of well-being.

  • How do orthodontists straighten teeth?
    Tooth movement is actually a normal response to light pressures exerted on teeth. Pressure is applied by using a variety of orthodontic hardware (appliances), the most common being a brace or bracket attached to the teeth and connected by wires. By tightening the wires the teeth receive pressure. Teeth are suspended in a membrane which in turn is surrounded by bone. When pressure is applied to a tooth it causes this membrane to be compressed on one side and stretched on the other side. The bone then responds to this pressure by dissolving on one side and rebuilding to fill the empty space on the other side. Step by step, teeth are moved and Mother Nature rebuilds. Over-erupted or extruded teeth can also be eased back into their supporting bone.

  • Will it hurt?
    There may be mild discomfort. This usually lasts about 48 to 72 hours and then the teeth are comfortable again. Each succeeding adjustment may then some minor discomfort.

  • Why should I be concerned about an improper bite?
    Bad bites can be detrimental to a patient's health. Restorations, crowns or bridges are often impossible for a dentist to perform without prior repositioning of the teeth by an orthodontist. Properly aligned and supported teeth are healthier, easier to clean, and therefore more likely to last throughout a patient's lifetime.

  • How often will I need office visits?
    Appointments can be scheduled from 2-10 week intervals, depending on your stage of treatment. In the initial stage, the appointments are more frequent. Once the appliances (braces) are fabricated and in place, the adjustment appointments are scheduled at longer intervals.

  • Will my dental insurance pay for it?
    Today many dental policies include orthodontic benefits. For questions concerning eligibility, a predetermination of available benefits can be requested from your insurance company representative. Some companies require a diagnosis and treatment plan as well as a suggested payment schedule by your orthodontist. We will gladly provide an estimate following your consultation.

  • Will my improvement be permanent?
    The combined experience of orthodontists point to a 95 percent permanent improvement rate. Teeth, like all parts of the body, are constantly changing and adapting; teeth are not fixed in cement. You must remember teeth that have been crooked for years have marvelous memories. Minor movement or relapse must be expected, but conscientious wear of retainers following treatment for an indefinite period can minimize these changes.

  • What are you waiting for?
    The answers to your individual problems can come only after consultation with your orthodontist. The suggestions given here are intended to answer your questions in general. Specific questions deserve more detailed explanations. A referral for your dentist is not needed. CALL US for a consultation!