Answers To Your FAQs From
Dr. Kurt Stormberg
At Stormberg Orthodontics, we pride ourselves on providing the highest quality of orthodontic care to patients in La Mesa, El Cajon and San Diego County. Dr. Stormberg and his dedicated team work tirelessly to provide personalized care to each individual, in order to create a treatment plan that best fits your needs, preferences and lifestyle. Whether you’re interested in traditional metal braces or Invisalign, we’ll go above and beyond your expectations in creating a lifelong beautiful smile!
Choosing to receive orthodontic treatment is a big decision, and you and your family might have many questions about our services, processes, and more. Below you’ll find answers to our frequently asked questions. If you have a question that’s not on our website, feel free to give us a call at (619) 462-4462 and we’d be happy to help!
- Is it required that my family dentist schedule my appointment with the orthodontist?
- Will my teeth straighten as they grow?
- Why should I choose an orthodontic specialist?
- At what age should I schedule an appointment for an orthodontic screening?
- How do I schedule an appointment for an initial exam?
- What will happen at the initial examination appointment?
- What will I learn from the initial examination?
- How often will I have appointments?
- How often will I have appointments?
- Can I schedule all of my appointments after school?
- Can I drop my child off for an appointment?
- What is an emergency appointment? How are those handled?
- Can orthodontic correction occur while a child has baby teeth?
- What is Phase One (Early) Treatment?
- Will my child need an expander?
- Will my child need braces if he/she has Phase One Treatment?
- How much will braces cost? Are financing options available? How does my insurance work?
- Will I need to have teeth extracted for braces?
- Can I wear braces even though I have crowns and missing teeth?
- Is it too late to have braces if I am already an adult?
- Do braces hurt?
- Can I return to school the day I receive my braces?
- Do I need to see my family dentist while in braces?
- Are there foods I cannot eat while I have braces?
- How often should I brush my teeth while in braces?
- Do you give shots?
- Do you use recycled braces?
- Can I still play sports?
Initial Consultation, Treatment Timeline & Appointments
1. Is it required that my family dentist schedule my appointment with the orthodontist?
It’s not required, but often times our patients are referred by their family dentist. However, patients also are referred by family members and friends, and take the initiative to schedule an appointment themselves.
2. Will my teeth straighten as they grow?
Unfortunately, no. Orthodontic issues, such as spacing and malocclusions, tend to worsen with age. It’s important to be examined as early as possible, to ensure these problems are corrected sooner rather than later.
3. Why should I choose an orthodontic specialist?
Orthodontic specialists have the education, training and experience to effectively alter teeth, jaw, and facial structures to help patients achieve optimal oral health. It’s critical that treatment is personalized to each individual and properly completed, and choosing a specialist, like Dr. Stormberg, ensures that everything is done correctly.
4. At what age should I schedule an appointment for an orthodontic screening?
American Association of Orthodontists recommend you should schedule your child’s first appointment by age 7, because by this time most of their permanent teeth have erupted. Once your child has a full set of adult teeth, Dr. Stormberg can evaluate their mouth, and give the proper diagnosis.
5. How do I schedule an appointment for an initial exam?
You can schedule an appointment by calling our La Mesa office at (614) 462-4462, or you can complete an appointment request online. One of our staff members will take down some of your basic information, and let you know what you need to bring to our office for your appointment.
6. What will happen at the initial examination appointment?
Before you leave, be sure to have all the necessary information needed to complete our new patient forms, including your insurance information. Then, Dr. Stormberg will complete the examination, which can include X-rays and photographs, to properly diagnose you or your child’s condition. If you want to learn even more about what happens, you can find more information on our First Visit page.
7. What will I learn from the initial examination?
Dr. Stormberg will thoroughly explain your options to you after he completes the exam, and will recommend the best course of treatment. You’ll learn the answers to five important questions during your consultation appointment, including:
- Is there an orthodontic issue, and if so, what is it?
- What treatment is needed to correct the problem? Can braces and/or Invisalign correct the problem?
- Will any teeth need to be removed?
- How long will treatment take?
- How much will treatment cost?
8. How long will it take to complete treatment?
Treatment time varies from patient to patient, depending on the severity of the orthodontic issues. The average patient wears braces anywhere from 18-24 months, and total treatment time ranges from about 12-30 months.
9. How often will I have appointments?
The frequency of appointments varies from patient to patient, just like length of treatment. We’ll assess whether or not your child requires appliances that need more frequent monitoring, and therefore more appointments.
10. Can I schedule all of my appointments after school?
We do our best to schedule you for the most convenient times based on your busy schedule, but cannot make any guarantees. However, most appointments are scheduled 4-10 weeks apart, so your child will miss minimal school time.
11. Can I drop my child off for an appointment?
We completely understand your busy schedule and are happy to accommodate.
12. What is an emergency appointment? How are those handled?
If your braces are hurting you or your child severely, or if one of your appliances breaks, you should call our office. We can solve most orthodontic emergencies over the phone, but will make time for you if your issue requires an office visit.
Phase One Treatment
13. Can orthodontic correction occur while a child has baby teeth?
If an orthodontic issue is severe enough, then early intervention can occur while the child still has baby teeth. If your child isn’t ready yet, we’ll simply monitor their growth and development, and begin treatment when they’re ready.
14. What is Phase One (Early) Treatment?
Between the ages 7 and 10, some patients require phase one (early) treatment, which usually lasts about 6-18 months. The goal of early treatment is to address more significant orthodontic issues to make later treatment processes smoother. It also drastically improves the child’s confidence and self-esteem levels.
15. Will my child need an expander?
You'll find out if your child will need an expander after your initial consultation.
16. Will my child need braces if he/she has Phase One Treatment?
It’s best to assume that braces will be needed after phase one treatment, but we’ll monitor your child’s growth and development to ensure the best treatment methods occur next.
All About Braces
17. How much will braces cost? Are financing options available? How does my insurance work?
We can only determine treatment costs after your initial consultation is completed, as each patient’s case is unique. You can learn more about our Financing & Insurance polices on our website, or speak to one of our staff members at the office. We’ll review your financing options with you, and will work with you to maximize your insurance benefits.
18. Will I need to have teeth extracted for braces?
It depends on your unique situation, but sometimes in order to achieve optimal results, teeth may need to be removed. However, advanced technology and methods have made this less common.
19. Can I wear braces even though I have crowns and missing teeth?
Yes, absolutely! A tooth will a crown will move just like a regular tooth, and treatment will aid in the alignment of the remaining teeth.
20. Is it too late to have braces if I am already an adult?
Adult orthodontics are becoming more common, as orthodontic treatment helps increase overall happiness level, health, and self-esteem. It’s never too late for a beautiful smile!
21. Do braces hurt?
Braces don’t “hurt,” but for the first couple days you may feel some slight discomfort. When there is soreness, Motrin or Advil (ibuprofen) can help ease the discomfort.
22. Can I return to school the day I receive my braces?
Absolutely. There’s no reason why you shouldn’t be able to return to school.
23. Do I need to see my family dentist while in braces?
It’s essentially to continue visiting the dentist during treatment, as failing to do so can lengthen treatment time.
24. Are there foods I cannot eat while I have braces?
Once you get your braces, Dr. Stormberg will review which foods you should avoid during treatment. A good rule of thumb is to avoid foods such as ice, hard candy, raw veggies, and all sticky foods. You can reference our list of Foods To Avoid for more information.
25. How often should I brush my teeth while in braces?
You should brush your teeth after each meal, in tandem with your regular morning and night time routine. We’ll show you the best ways to care for your teeth while wearing braces.
26. Do you give shots?
No, as shots are not necessary for orthodontic treatment.
27. Do you use recycled braces?
Absolutely not! Each patient requires personalized treatment to achieve the best results possible.
28. Can I still play sports?
Of course! We do recommend that you use a mouthguard to protect your mouth during treatment.
Contact Your La Mesa Orthodontist Today!
We hope you enjoyed learning more about orthodontic treatment. If you have any questions about our practice, treatment options, or anything else, feel free to contact us at 619) 462-4462. Dr. Stormberg and our staff know how important it is to choose an orthodontist that will help you achieve the smile of your dreams, so schedule a visit with us today!