What is an orthodontist?

An orthodontist is a specialist in moving teeth and aligning jaws. All orthodontists are dentists first and then spend at least two more years in an accredited residency program learning the art and science behind straightening teeth and jaws and guiding facial development. Out of 100 dental school graduates, only 6 go on to become orthodontists.

Does my family dentist need to schedule my orthodontist appointment?

A referral from your dentist is not necessary. Simply call to schedule your appointment with us and we will communicate with your dentist regarding any treatment.

At what age should my child see an orthodontist for screening?

The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that children see an orthodontist at the first sign of trouble. If there are no problems, they recommend that children come in at age seven just to look for any potential problems. At this age, they should have a few of their permanent teeth, including their first molars, which will help to determine their bite.

Won’t my teeth straighten out as they grow?

Though many people believe this, your teeth won’t straighten out as you grow. The amount of space that you have for each tooth doesn’t change either. Actually, the space (especially for the front teeth) can decrease as your teeth continue to come in.

How can I schedule my appointment for the initial examination?

It is easy to schedule an appointment. Just give us a call at (817) 556-2323. We also respond to email, or you can fill out our request form online any time of day or night. We will work with you to schedule an appointment that is convenient for you. We recommend filling out the paperwork prior to your first appointment, if possible, so you can be seen in a timely fashion. Upon request, we can mail the new patient paperwork to the patients.

What should I expect during the first appointment?

At your first examination, we ask that you try to fill out the paperwork beforehand to reduce your waiting time. We will then go over your medical and dental history. It is also important to let us know if you are having any problems with your teeth, mouth, or jaw.
At that time, Dr. Tennison will complete an examination and go over your options so that you can have a smile of which you are proud.

Do I learn anything during my first examination?

After we have finished the examination, we hope you have plenty of information. We can determine if there is any problem and what our options are to correct it. We will also discuss your options, the cost of each, and what to expect with treatment.

How long will it take to finish treatment?

Treatment times vary greatly depending on a patient’s age, what we are treating, and what the treatment is.

Treatment normally lasts twelve to thirty months, and the average treatment time in our office is 18 months.

How expensive are braces? Do you offer financing? Will my insurance help?

Since every treatment is different depending on the patient’s specific needs, it is impossible to estimate the cost until after your first visit. At that time, we will go over the cost and discuss financing. We will also work with you to get your insurance to cover as much of it as possible. We offer no-interest in-house financing and discounts for auto-pay.

How often will I have to come in for appointments?

Since all treatments are different, it can be hard to know how often you will need to come in for appointments. Generally, we like to see most patients every five to ten weeks, though there are some patients who need to be monitored more frequently.

Will my child have to miss school for appointments?

Since many of our patients are in school, we can’t schedule them all for after school hours. We will try to work with you by scheduling appointments in advance to minimize missed school.

Can I just drop my child off for the appointment?

We do allow you to drop your child off because we understand that you are busy. However, there are times when we may need to speak to you before drop off. Make sure that we don’t need your consent for something before you leave.

Will braces hurt?

Braces are not supposed to hurt. There are going to be some visits that make your teeth sore for a few days. You should be able to get some relief with over-the-counter pain medications. Most appointments won’t cause you to be sore at all.

Will I be able to go to school/work the day that I get my braces?

You should be just fine to go to school/work after we put on your braces.

Can I still play sports?

You can still play sports. However, we do recommend using a mouthgard to protect your teeth, braces, and jaw.

While I am wearing braces and going to the orthodontist, will I still need to go to my regular dentist?

Yes. It is really important to go to your regular dentist while wearing braces to ensure that your mouth, teeth, and gums stay healthy.

Are there going to be foods that I can’t eat when I have braces?

Yes. Once we determine that you need braces, we will go over a complete list of foods that you can’t eat. To give you an idea of what you have to stay away from, you will need to avoid hard candy, raw vegetables, sticky food, and more. By following some simple rules, you are less likely to damage your braces.

Do I still need to brush my teeth while wearing braces? How often?

Yes, you need to take care of your teeth even though they are in braces. We recommend brushing your teeth after every meal and before you go to bed. We will show you how to floss while wearing braces so you don’t get cavities. There are also times when you may need special fluoride to keep your teeth strong.

What constitutes an emergency? What should I do?

Anytime your braces break or cause you a lot of pain, it is important to give us a call. Sometimes we can help you over the phone, though there are times when you will need to be seen. We will squeeze you in during these times.

Can you perform treatment on children with baby teeth?

We can perform some treatments and often see great success with early intervention. If your child is not ready for treatment, we will monitor him or her until the time is right to start treatment.

What is Phase One Treatment?

Phase One treatment is considered early treatment and is only indicated in a small amount of cases. It is started when a child is between seven and 10 years old and usually only lasts about 10-12 months. At Tennison Orthodontics, we only recommend a first phase of treatment when the dental health of a child may be compromised if treatment is delayed or if we can save the child significant discomfort later.

If we complete Phase One treatment, will my child need full braces?

After Phase One treatment, we will closely monitor your child’s growth and teeth eruption to determine if braces are needed and when. It is best to plan for braces after the treatment.

Am I too old for braces since I am an adult?

Twenty-five percent of orthodontic patients are adults who want a better smile. We have many esthetic options now in how we straighten teeth, so it is never too late to get the smile you deserve.