Like any major decision, there are a lot of important factors to consider before taking the leap into orthodontic treatment. The internet gives you a lot of information to go on, maybe too much, so it’s normal to find yourself feeling slightly overwhelmed by all the unfamiliar terms and phrases. If you’re exploring orthodontics as a way to straighten your smile but aren’t sure where to start, Luv Braces is here to help!
Your smile is unique, and you shouldn’t trust it to anything less than an expert. That’s why the first step in your orthodontic journey should be finding an experienced orthodontist you feel comfortable with! There are several questions you should ask before making an informed decision on your orthodontic care, and we’ve outlined our Top 3 below. Keep reading to learn more.
Is the doctor a trained orthodontic specialist?
This is one of the most important things to ask when exploring orthodontic treatment for yourself or your child. While general dentists normally offer common dental services like crowns, cleanings, and dentures, some are also able to provide orthodontic care. The catch is, most don’t specialize in orthodontics. A dentist may offer Invisalign clear aligner therapy along with their regular services, but it’s not their main focus. In contrast, an orthodontist is normally focused on nothing but orthodontic service.
This distinction matters more than you might think. Imagine you needed your appendix removed or a bypass done. A general physician could theoretically perform surgeries like these a few times a month, but wouldn’t you feel more comfortable with a trained surgeon who does multiple procedures each and every week? Your smile may not be a matter of life and death, but we still think it deserves an equal level of consideration!
If dentistry is an umbrella, then orthodontics is a specialty that falls underneath it. Therefore, an orthodontist is a dentist who has also had several years of specialized training and experience. Experienced orthodontists like Dr. Tahbaz and Dr. Rezapour have:
- studied the growth and maturation of the teeth and jaw
- been introduced to numerous case studies
- developed diagnostic skills
- learned biomechanical techniques to properly move teeth
- studied how to change the development of the dental alveolar complex and facial growth of younger patients
That’s not all! Orthodontic residency programs tend to be extremely competitive, and will generally accept only the top students in any dental school graduating class. They usually last two or three years, and include vigorous full-time training that focuses on correcting orthodontic issues safely and effectively. Although there are exceptions to almost every rule, most general dentists just won’t possess this same level of orthodontic training and experience.
Dr. Tahbaz believes that orthodontics is part science and part art. After attending the University of the Pacific Dental School for his dental degree, he earned a certificate in orthodontics from Roseman University in Henderson, Nevada. He is also a current Diplomate of the American Board of Orthodontics, an achievement that is earned by few orthodontists.
Dr. Rezapour graduated with honors from the University of Nevada School of Dental Medicine in 2009, then completed a one-year postgraduate residency program at UCLA. This allowed her to continue her training by performing more complicated cases in the dental field. Following this, she attended Roseman University’s orthodontic residency program. Dr. Rezapour is a Board Certified Orthodontist, a member of the American Association of Orthodontists, American Dental Association, and Texas Dental Association.
When you choose Luv Braces for your orthodontic needs, your smile will be in the best hands in Texas! Our only focus as a practice is orthodontic care and treatment. We perform teeth straightening procedures daily, and we keep our entire team up to date on the latest in industry practice through online and in-person continuing education courses each year.
What treatment options does the orthodontist offer?
There’s never been a better time to be an orthodontic patient! Recent advancements in both technology and technique allow us to offer more treatment options than ever before, including:
Traditional Metal Braces
Traditional metal braces are the most common type of braces and are more comfortable today than ever before. Made of high-grade stainless steel, metal braces straighten your teeth using metal brackets and archwires. With metal braces, you have the option of adding colored elastics (rubber bands) for a more unique and colorful smile.
Sometimes called ceramic braces, this option works like metal braces but is made of clear materials and therefore a more subtle option. While they are visually less prominent, they do require more attention to oral hygiene as ceramic braces are larger and are more brittle than their metal counterparts. For these reasons, they are used mainly on older teenagers and adult patients who have cosmetic concerns.
Lingual braces are similar to traditional braces in several ways. For instance, both have brackets attached to the surface of the teeth, and both use wires and rubber bands to slowly move them into more desirable positions. However, the brackets used with lingual braces are placed on the back sides of the teeth facing the tongue, rather than the front of the teeth. This makes them virtually invisible, which can be especially appealing to image-conscious teens and adults!
Invisalign Clear Aligners
Instead of brackets, bands, and wires, the Invisalign system uses a series of customized aligners to straighten your teeth gently over time. These aligners are almost invisible and also removable, giving you the freedom to eat and drink what you want while in treatment. This also makes it easier to brush and floss properly! The aligners are designed to fit comfortably over your own teeth, and have no metal to cause mouth abrasions during treatment.
How frequent are follow-up visits with the orthodontist?
Whatever treatment option you decide to go with, there will be regular follow-up visits throughout the treatment process. Our office normally schedules them for every 4-8 weeks or so, depending on whether you have braces or aligners. During these visits, one of our doctors will check that your teeth are moving safely, make any necessary adjustments, and replace any worn-out rubber bands if you’re wearing braces.
The total time in aligners or braces will always vary from case to case, since everyone has unique needs and responds to treatment in their own way. In general, however, the average patient treatment time is anywhere from 12-24 months in treatment. Since you’ll be seeing your orthodontist regularly over this period of time, it’s extra important to choose a practice that you feel comfortable with!
Get the smile you deserve with expert care from Luv Braces
Luv Braces is proud to provide patients with a rewarding and stress-free orthodontic experience, from the first appointment to the last. Our talented team offers top-quality care and world-class service to patients of all ages in Austin, Bee Cave, and the surrounding areas. If you’re looking for customized treatment with beautiful results, you’ve come to the right place!
If you’re ready to take the first step in your orthodontic journey, we’d love to meet you and explore your options. Get in touch today to learn more about our virtual and in-office consultations!