Frequently Asked Questions

Orthodontist in Marietta, Cumming and Kennesaw GA

It is a common misconception that a referral from your family dentist is needed in order to schedule an orthodontic exam. Even though many of our patients are referred to us by their family dentist, a referral is not necessary prior to calling and scheduling an appointment to see Dr. Lewis for your initial orthodontic consultation.

Orthodontic treatment allows for the correction of malocclusions (poor bites), and for the alignment of crooked teeth. Orthodontic treatment has substantial benefits for both adults and children. Correcting the function and aesthetics of your teeth can help to improve your dental health, enhance your overall facial appearance, and boost your self-confidence. Orthodontic treatment can also reduce the risk of developing jaw pain or gum disease by creating a healthy bite.

Teeth that are crowded, protruding, spacing or out of position are clear signs that orthodontic treatment is most likely needed. Signs of a bite problem include teeth that don't meet in the front when the mouth is closed (an open bite...often associated with thumb sucking or tongue thrust) and/or your jaw is making a clicking sound when you chew or talk. Less obvious signs include mouth breathing, frequent biting of the cheek, a narrow smile and posterior cross bite.

Unfortunately, after about age 6 when the first molars erupt (the 6 year molars) the amount of space for the teeth does not increase without treatment. It is also true that if the teeth are crooked at this early age, that things will either stay the same or get worse as the person gets older. Therefore, it is advisable to get an orthodontic evaluation sooner than later. Orthodontics, such as braces or clear aligners, can help to realign your teeth and ensure they remain straight in the long-term.

Orthodontic treatment can be accomplished at any age so it is never too late to undergo orthodontic treatment. Adults of any age can consider braces or aligners to correct their teeth. The fact is that about 25% of our patients at Masterpiece Smiles are in fact adults over the age of 25. We have many adults in their 60's and even early 70's. Remember, it is never too late to look your best, increase your self esteem/self confidence and improve your overall health.

If you think you or your child can benefit from orthodontic treatment, please call our office at (770) 924-7826, send us an email ([email protected]) or fill out an appointment request on our site. When you call to schedule your appointment, our front office staff will help you and guide you through the process while requesting some basic information from you.

At your first visit, you will have an opportunity to sample our warm and friendly atmosphere. Your initial appointment will consist of an exam with Dr. Lewis where he will complete a thorough examination and discuss the treatment options available to you as regards to your particular orthodontic needs. Prior to seeing Dr. Lewis, we will obtain some simple initial records consisting of a few photographs and two X-rays. Dr. Lewis will also take the time to explain your options and answer any questions that you may have. If treatment is recommended, our office manager will finish the appointment by discussing a custom financial plan to help meet your needs. As part of this plan we will take into consideration any insurance that is available to you and file the claim for you. After all your answers have been met and a financial outline has been agreed upon, we will schedule your next appointment to begin your orthodontic journey.

You will come away from the first visit with a clear understanding of your individual orthodontic needs, how we will meet these needs through treatment, how long it will take and how much it will cost. We will make you feel comfortable and we encourage that you ask questions that you may have about any part of the orthodontic treatment process. At this appointment you will also become aware and discover certain traits about our office including our caring compassionate staff, our highly trained doctor and his desire to obtain the best results for you. Our policy is to stay on time, have efficient treatment plans that result in the least treatment time, affordable and flexible custom payment options. We will provide this for you in a warm and friendly family atmosphere.

That depends on the severity and alignment of your teeth. Removing teeth is sometimes required to achieve the best orthodontic result. Straight teeth and a balanced facial profile are the goal of orthodontics. However, since new technology has provided advanced orthodontic techniques, removing teeth is usually not necessary for orthodontic treatment.

The amount of time a patient will be in orthodontic treatment depends upon the needs (complexity) and severity of the individual case. In most cases, treatment time lasts an average of 18 month. However, some cases can be completed as quickly as 6 to 8 months but on the other hand extremely difficult cases can last up to 24-30 months. New technology such as space age wires and fast braces are decreasing the necessary time a patient will be in braces.

It is impossible to give an exact cost for treatment until we have examined you. We will cover the exact cost and our flexible financial options during the initial examination. We have several financing options available to accommodate your needs, and we will review these with you. We will also review your insurance policy and help to maximize your benefit file claims on your behalf, should orthodontic benefits be available.

Appointments are scheduled according to each patient's needs and the appliances that the patient is currently wearing. Most patients in braces will be seen every 4 to 12 weeks for checkups. During each appointment, your orthodontist will assess the progress of your treatment and make any necessary adjustments or repairs. Regular appointments are important for ensuring that the braces are working correctly and that your teeth and mouth remain healthy throughout the treatment process. If there are specific situations that require more frequent monitoring, we will schedule appointments accordingly.

Unfortunately, we cannot schedule all appointments for students during after-school hours. However, because most appointments are scheduled 5 to 10 weeks apart, most patients will miss minimal school due to their orthodontic treatment. We will, however, make a sincere effort to meet your scheduling needs.

Yes. We understand your busy schedule, and we are happy to help you make the most of your time. On some occasions, we may request to speak with a parent when they return, so we ask that parents check in with the clinical technician treating their child before dropping off their child.

Placing the brackets (braces) on the teeth does not cause any pain. The brackets are bonded to the front of the teeth so there's no discomfort. In most cases, patients do not experience any soreness. Occasionally, the evening of the appointment and possibly the following day, the teeth might be a little bit tender due to the adjustment. In these circumstances, the soreness is usually not bad at all. However, in those cases where the soreness might be a little bit more uncomfortable, over-the-counter pain medications such as aspirin or Advil can help with mild discomfort. Remember, post-appointment soreness usually lasts less than 24 hours and should not be too intense. If it persists or affects regular activities like eating, contact us as soon as possible.

There should be no reason that you or your child would need to miss school or work because of an orthodontic appointment. Discomfort from treatment is generally very minimal and should not interfere with any school or work activities.

Shots are not necessary in orthodontic treatment.

No! Orthondtic brackets should only be used on a single patient. Each patient should be provided with their own specific treatment plan and appliances to achieve the best orthodontic result possible.

Yes. We recommend a protective mouthguard for all sports. We can provide a mouthguard to any patient that specifies their need or participation in a sporting event. A proper fitting mouthguard will help protect your teeth and braces from damage as well as reduce possible discomfort. Mouthguards are also important for preventing injuries to the lips and tongue, which can often occur during contact sports or other recreational activities.

Absolutely! Regular cleanings and check-ups with your family dentist are still very important while in braces. We recommend that you see your family dentist every four months for cleaning appointments while you are in braces.

Yes, there are certain foods to avoid while having braces. Once treatment begins, we will review proper care instructions with you and provide a list of foods to avoid. Foods that are hard, crunchy or sticky can damage the braces and prolong treatment time. It is best to avoid eating popcorn, nuts, hard candy, and chewy foods such as caramel and taffy. Additionally, you should cut up raw fruits and vegetables into smaller pieces before eating them. If in doubt about a food item, please contact us.

It's best to brush after eating anything, even snacks, and especially after a meal. Brushing away cavity-causing bacteria is important and helps your teeth stay cavity-free. Carry a travel toothbrush in a backpack, purse or briefcase to always have on hand for brushing away from home. As a good rule patients should brush their teeth at least four times each day. Pay special attention to cleaning around the brackets and wires of the braces.

True orthodontic emergencies are rare, but when they occur we are available to you. As a rule, you should call the office (770-924-7826) when you experience severe pain or when you have a painful appliance problem that you can't take care of yourself. We will schedule an appointment to resolve the problem.

Yes. Some orthodontic problems are significant enough to require early intervention (often called Phase 1 treatment). Baby/primary teeth are often crooked, misplaced or crowded in small mouths, and orthodontic treatment can help to create space for the permanent teeth to come in properly. However, if a patient is not yet ready for treatment, we will follow the patient's growth and development until the time is right for treatment.

Phase One (early) Treatment, also known as interceptive treatment, is a type of orthodontic treatment designed to correct problems with tooth alignment while the jaw is still growing or at an early development stage. It is usually initiated on children between the ages of 7 and 10 with treatment typically lasting about 8-18 moonths. This type of therapy works best when the patient's mouth and jaw have not yet reached their full growth potential. It can involve intercepting developing oral issues early on and correcting them before they become more serious. Phase One Treatment may include braces, expanders, aligners and other appliances that are used to create space in the mouth and help the teeth to move into proper position.

It is best to assume that your child will need full braces even after Phase One treatment. The period following Phase One treatment is called the "resting period", during which growth and tooth eruption are closely monitored with recall appointments (usually every 6-12 months). Throughout this period, parents and patients will be kept informed of future treatment recommendations.

An expander is a type of orthodontic appliance used to widen the palate. Widening the palate can correct posterior crossbites. It can also create more space in cases with severe crowding, allowing teeth to move into their proper position.

At the completion of the initial examination, we will determine whether a patient will need an expander.

Yes, many adults opt for orthodontic treatments like braces to address dental problems or simply improve the aesthetics of their smile. Orthodontists will customize a treatment plan based on your individual needs, and in most cases, adult treatment is no more complicated than that for children and teens. In addition, there are now more discreet options available for those who would like to keep their braces under wraps, such as Invisalign clear aligners

A large percentage of our patients are adults. In fact, 25 percent of all orthodontic patients are adults. Health, happiness and self-esteem can be achieved at any age. No patient is "too old" to wear braces!

Yes, braces can be worn even if you have crowns, root canals, or missing teeth. A tooth with a crown or root canal will move just like a tooth with a simple filling. When teeth are missing, orthodontic treatment will aid the alignment of the remaining teeth. Sometimes we can even close the space of a missing tooth, thereby eliminating the need for its replacement with an implant or bridge.

Orthodontic specialists are trained to diagnose, prevent, and treat dental and facial irregularities. They can provide customized treatment plans to meet individual needs and achieve optimal results. An orthodontic specialist is also dedicated to keeping up on the latest techniques in orthodontics, to ensure patients receive the best possible care.

An Orthodontic must undergo an additional 2 to 3 years of specialty training after completing his/her 4 years training to become a general dentist.

Yes, you will typically need to wear a retainer when your braces come off. A retainer is designed to keep the teeth in their new position after the brace's pressure has been removed. We provide our patients with customized retainers the day their braces are removed. These retainers can be either removable or fixed depending on the original problem.

We request that our patients wear their retainers for the first 3 months full time ( removing them to eat or to brush, if they are the removable type). After the initial 3 months of full time wear the patient can begin wearing the retainers just at night. We recommend this be done long term.


If you have any questions related to orthodontic treatment, please contact us.

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