Frequently Asked Questions
Should I get braces?
Getting braces is one of the most rewarding choices you can make for yourself or your child. Although orthodontic treatment is a long-term commitment, treatment plans are shorter than ever before in Dr. Cardall’s office due to new technology that increases the efficiency of moving teeth. All of our patients agree that the confidence you feel when treatment is over and you’re flaunting a beautiful, healthy smile is well worth it!
Orthodontic treatments and technology have come a long way in recent years, but traditional braces are still one of the most popular treatments to straighten teeth and correct misalignments in children, teens and adults.
Orthodontic braces use brackets and wires to align not only your smile, but also your bite. Bite problems, such as overbites, underbites, crossbites, and open bites may be corrected with the use of braces. Teeth that are crowded, crooked or gapped will also benefit from treatment with braces.
What can I expect?
At your initial, complimentary orthodontic exam, Dr. Cardall will work with you to determine your orthodontic goals and create a unique treatment plan to map out the movement of your teeth with braces over time. When you first arrive for your consultation appointment, you will be greeted by our friendly concierge who will give you a new patient questionnaire to complete (unless you have completed it online prior to your appointment). Then, our records technician will take you on a brief tour of our office, while stopping along the way to take an x-ray of your mouth and photos of your smile and teeth at various angles. Dr. Cardall will use these records later in your consultation to discuss the orthodontic needs you have and possible solutions.
After taking photos and x-rays, you will meet with our treatment coordinator who will ask you about the concerns you have with your smile and bite, as well as your goals for orthodontic treatment. The treatment coordinator will then briefly excuse herself to brief the doctor regarding your concerns and goals, and then Dr. Cardall will enter the room and introduce himself. You will have the opportunity to discuss your concerns and goals with Dr. Cardall, after which he will perform an extensive exam of your teeth, bite, smile esthetics, facial harmony, and airway. He will review his findings with you and suggest potential treatments that will address all of your concerns. Once you are satisfied with the treatment options and have had all of your treatment-related questions answered, Dr. Cardall will exit and allow the treatment coordinator to present the treatment process as well as a customized financial plan that you will feel comfortable with.
If you feel comfortable with everything and are ready to sign up for orthodontic treatment, most of our patients are able to start their treatment the very same day! For treatments involving clear or metal braces, this means we can immediately place the braces and begin your orthodontic journey toward an incredible smile! For Invisalign® or treatments involving additional orthodontic appliances, we can immediately take a digital scan of your teeth and begin creating your appliances. You will then be scheduled to receive these appliances 2-4 weeks later, depending on the appliance.
During your follow up visits to Cardall Orthodontics, Dr. Cardall will adjust the wires or aligners and make all necessary changes to shift your teeth and bite into proper placement.
How long will I wear braces?
Treatment time varies between patients, because no person’s teeth or bite alignment is the same. This is why having an experienced orthodontist is imperative to attaining the best results. Every smile is different and Dr. Cardall creates a unique treatment plan for each and every one of them! That being said, the average time to complete treatment is between 12-24 months.
Are there different types of braces?
Yes, there are! We offer clear, ceramic braces as well as traditional, metal braces. We also offer Invisalign® and clear aligners, which you can learn more about here. Depending on your personal preferences and lifestyle, Dr. Cardall can help you make an informed decision about which option will work best for you.
How much do braces cost?
Our prices vary according to the complexity and length of treatment, because all of our treatment plans are developed uniquely for each patient’s needs. There is no flat rate cost.
We offer customized payment plans to accommodate our patients’ differing circumstances. We offer in-house payment plans with 0% interest. Our treatment plans are all-inclusive, meaning we offer many services complimentary to provide you with the greatest quality of treatment at the best price. Check out our payment options and accepted insurance plans here!
Following treatment, we offer less expensive fees for replacement retainers than most orthodontists. Also unlike other orthodontists, we include permanent retainers in your treatment plan at no additional cost!
Do braces hurt?
Braces do not necessarily hurt. They will cause some indirect soreness or tenderness, but the placement of them on your teeth does not cause pain. You may be given separators or spacers (small rubber bands lodged between the molars to make room for metal bands) 1-2 weeks before your braces appointment. These may cause some slight soreness as your teeth adjust, but nothing too notable.
A few hours after your braces are placed on your teeth, you will start to feel some soreness and tenderness. Your teeth aren’t used to this new pressure your braces are applying on your teeth and gums just yet. The elastic bands that connect the brackets are tightened to the point of effective pressure. They apply constant pressure on your teeth to shift your teeth into proper alignment. You may have to alter your diet during this sore stage and choose liquified/soft foods like applesauce, soups, pastas or mashed potatoes.
A few days after your braces are placed on your teeth, the soreness in your mouth will begin to diminish. Your teeth and gums will become used to the pressure and the tenderness will go unnoticed.
During the first few weeks after placement of the braces, you may notice the inside of your cheek becoming sore in a certain area where a bracket is rubbing against it. For these situations, we give you orthodontic comfort wax to place over these brackets and alleviate the soreness. Over time, the inside of your cheek will toughen up and the brackets will no longer cause any irritation. Fortunately, Dr. Cardall uses low-profile braces which sit lower on the teeth and cause less irritation than many braces used by other offices.
Each time you visit our office for a checkup to adjust your wires, you may experience some tenderness following your appointment. Medications like Tylenol, Advil or Aleve may be taken to reduce inflammation and alleviate soreness.
What are the benefits of Invisalign®?
Unlike traditional braces that use metal brackets and wires to straighten your teeth, Invisalign® aligners can be removed to eat, drink, brush and floss properly. The aligners are made out of a flexible, thin, BPA-free plastic material that make them virtually invisible.
Invisalign® will have minimal impact on any extracurriculars in you or your child’s life. No matter if you’re an actor in an upcoming Broadway performance or playing the trombone in the orchestra, Invisalign® clear aligners allow you to continue doing all the activities you love, while working to straighten your smile.
What can I expect?
Dr. Cardall will work with you to determine your orthodontic goals and create a unique digital treatment plan to map out the movement of your teeth with Invisalign® clear aligners over time.
The clear aligners are worn 20- 22 hours per day, while removing them only to eat and brush. The length of treatment is different for everyone. While our average Invisalign® treatment plan is between 12 and 18 months, the required time depends on each individual’s unique needs.
Who is Invisalign® for?
Invisalign® clear aligners can be used on both teens and adults. Aligners for teens include a compliance strip that shows parents how often the aligners are being worn and if they’re being worn as prescribed. The clear appearance and removability of these aligners are ideal for increased convenience throughout the day and night.
Does Invisalign® work as well as braces?
Just like with braces, your results with Invisalign® will only be as good as the skill and attentiveness of the doctor treating you. Some people erroneously believe that Invisalign® does not work as well as braces. Most likely, this belief stems from stories heard from friends or family who received less than ideal results from a doctor’s office who was not experienced in Invisalign®. Fortunately, Dr. Cardall is among the Top 1% of Invisalign® providers of North America, and has extensive experience with difficult Invisalign® cases. In his hands, there is no difference between the quality of his Invisalign® and braces cases.
However, some cases are better treated with braces than Invisalign®. If this is the case with you, Dr. Cardall will let you know about any limitations of Invisalign® during your free consultation appointment. For difficult Invisalign® cases, he is often able to provide you with a combination treatment of Invisalign® and braces, in which a few clear braces are added to certain teeth in the later stages of treatment and for a short duration. This way, you can still be treated mainly by Invisalign® even if you have a very difficult problem!
How can I know if I’m a candidate for Invisalign®?
The only way to know for sure is to come in for a free consultation with Dr. Cardall! Even if you’ve been told previously that you are not a good candidate for Invisalign®, we highly recommend getting a second opinion! Dr. Cardall regularly treats people with Invisalign® who were told previously that they are not good candidates. Due to his extensive experience, Dr. Cardall is able to get excellent results with Invisalign® even with difficult orthodontic problems!
What are my payment & insurance options?
We cater to patients of all financial backgrounds, because we truly believe a healthy and beautiful smile doesn’t have to break the bank.
- We offer a variety of customized payment plans starting as low as $99 a month to accommodate each patient’s budget.
- Patients also have the option of a Care Credit payment plan, although most prefer our customized, zero-interest in-house payment plans.
- For patients who prefer to pay in full, we offer a 5% discount!
- We accept the benefit all PPO insurances. We are in-network for Cigna and Delta PPO!
If you have further questions about available payment plans or accepted insurance plans, check out our payment plans page.
How do I care for my aligners?
Just as with any other orthodontic treatment option, your Invisalign® clear aligners must be cared for in order to avoid damage to your aligners. Failure to care for your aligners regularly as instructed by your orthodontist may result in deformed aligners and poor results.
Be sure to remove your aligners when eating, drinking (anything but water), brushing and flossing.
- Use your toothbrush to brush your aligners gently, but NO toothpaste! The abrasives within the toothpaste will decrease the clarity of your aligners.
- You may soak your aligners in denture cleaner or retainer cleaner to keep them sanitized.
- Rinse your aligners in the morning, at night, and after you eat.
Once you’ve decided on an orthodontic treatment, you will inevitably have a few questions. We are here to answer them all! If you have any outstanding questions or would like to hear more, please feel free to contact us.
If you’re ready to schedule your free exam or your next appointment with Dr. Cardall, schedule your appointment here!