Why should I see an orthodontist, rather than a dentist?

All orthodontists are dentists, but not all dentists are orthodontists! Only about 5% of dentists are orthodontists. Becoming an orthodontist requires graduating at the top of your dental school class and demonstrating exceptional clinical skills. After four years of dental school, orthodontists then study for an additional 2-3 years to learn about the growth and development of the jaws and teeth and how to correct the bite. General dentists look at overall oral health and provide cleanings, fillings, veneers, etc. Only orthodontists are specialists in moving teeth – because that is all we do! Our sole focus at Weaver Orthodontics is orthodontics – and that is why we are experts at moving teeth using braces and Invisalign. Dr. Carlin Weaver is even a board-certified orthodontist – which is a distinction only 30% of orthodontists obtain. This means that she went through hundreds of hours of preparation to demonstrate her skills and knowledge required for providing the highest level of patient care. And as an added bonus, you can take comfort in knowing that our highly skilled orthodontic assistants have an average of 25 years of experience!

When is the right time to bring in my child for a check-up?

The American Association of Orthodontics recommends an initial consultation at age 7. Here’s why:

  • Orthodontists can spot subtle problems with jaw growth and emerging teeth while some baby teeth are still present.

  • While your child’s teeth may appear to be straight, there could be a problem that only an orthodontist can detect.

  • A check-up may reveal that your child’s bite is fine. Or, the orthodontist may identify a developing problem but recommend monitoring the child’s growth and development, and then, if indicated, begin treatment at the appropriate time for the child. In other cases, the orthodontist might find a problem that can benefit from early treatment.

  • Early treatment may prevent or intercept more serious problems from developing and may make treatment at a later age shorter and less complicated. In some cases, the orthodontist will be able to achieve results that may not be possible once the face and jaws have finished growing.

  • Early treatment may give your orthodontist the chance to: guide jaw growth, lower the risk of trauma to protruded front teeth, correct harmful oral habits, improve appearance, guide permanent teeth into a more favorable position, and create a more pleasing arrangement of teeth, lips, and face.

Not to worry though . . . If your child is older than 7, it’s certainly not too late to schedule a free initial check-up!

Does my child need braces?

It depends, and only an orthodontist is qualified to diagnose and treat all types of orthodontic issues. That’s why we — and the American Association of Orthodontics — recommend that all kids age 7 and above see an orthodontist for an initial check up. At Weaver Orthodontics, we do these initial check ups for free.

The most common problems we look for in growing children are:

  • Cross-bite- i.e., a top tooth is behind or inside a bottom tooth

  • Crowding

  • Deep bite

  • Open bite- i.e., front teeth do not meet when back teeth are closed

  • Protrusion

  • Spacing

  • Sucking on thumb or fingers

  • Underbite- i.e., lower teeth sit in front of upper teeth when back teeth are closed

You should also schedule an initial orthodontic consultation if you notice any of the following with your child:

  • Bed wetting

  • Biting the cheek or the roof of the mouth

  • Difficulty in chewing or biting

  • Early or late loss of baby teeth

  • Facial imbalance

  • Grinding or clenching of the teeth

  • Jaws that shift or make sounds

  • Mouth breathing

  • Speech difficulties

Luckily, with early intervention, we can do a lot to help your child achieve a healthy, beautiful, smile!

Should I choose Invisalign or braces?

Dr. Weaver will review which option would be best for you at your initial consultation. If both options are available, it really is about what YOU will be most invested in. For Invisalign to work properly, the aligners must be consistently worn. The less you wear your aligners, the longer it takes for them to work. For braces to work properly, they must be kept clean, and broken brackets should be avoided. At Weaver Orthodontics, we do not charge more for Invisalign – we want you to be able to choose which option works best for you!

How often will I have to be seen?

We generally see our braces patients every 6-8 weeks, and our Invisalign patients every 10-12 weeks. There may be times near the beginning or end of treatment when we need to see patients every 3-4 weeks for two or three visits.

What happens if there’s an emergency?

Don’t fret! There is rarely a “true” emergency with braces or Invisalign. Occasionally, with braces a bracket may break off a tooth or you may feel a wire poking you. You can email us at info@weaverortho.com or call our emergency line (the number is on our voicemail message), and someone will get back to ASAP. Most issues can be handled over the phone, but we are available nights and weekends to make sure you are comfortable!

How much do braces or Invisalign cost?

We offer a variety of payment options to make sure we can find one that works for YOU. Orthodontic treatment is an investment, and the fee for treatment ranges from $3000 - $7000 depending on one’s treatment needs. Our financial coordinator will work with you to check on insurance benefits and determine a payment plan that works best for your budget. We have a number of different payment options. Our most popular plan is an interest-free financing plan. This plan requires a small down payment to start treatment, and then monthly payments are made over one to two years. We are happy to offer this finance plan interest free so that orthodontic treatment can be accessible to everyone. We also offer family discounts, if more than one person in your family gets treatment with us, and we offer public service discounts for teachers and first responders- e.g., police, fire, EMS (thank you for your service!).

Can I schedule appointments after school?

There are a few appointments at the beginning and end of treatment that require more one-on-one time with Dr. Weaver (i.e., getting the braces or Invisalign put on and taken off). These appointments are generally about an hour and a half and are typically scheduled in the morning so that we can dedicate as much time as needed to your care. The majority of adjustments (performed every 6-10 weeks) are much shorter appointments and can be in the afternoon or whenever is most convenient for you. We do our best to accommodate our patient’s needs and make sure the schedule is fair to everyone, and we even offer late night and Saturday appointments to help accommodate busy schedules.

Will I get a retainer?

Yes! Anyone that has braces or Invisalign will get a retainer at the end of their treatment (included in their treatment fee). Retainers are a crucial part of orthodontic treatment! If you do not wear your retainers, your teeth will move back to their original position. We recommend nighttime retainer wear. Your teeth can shift and move at any age, so it is important to always have a retainer and make sure it fits properly. If you lost your retainer, call us before your teeth shift! We will take a quick scan of your teeth and get you a new retainer.

What happens at my first visit?

At Weaver Orthodontics, your initial consultation is free. It includes complimentary photographs and radiographs (x-rays) of your teeth, and a complete comprehensive orthodontic examination by Dr. Weaver. We will discuss your treatment options and whether you could benefit from Phase I orthodontic treatment, traditional braces, clear braces or Invisalign. Dr. Weaver and our treatment coordinator will take time to discuss your treatment in detail and answer any questions you may have.

Do braces hurt?

Putting the braces (or Invisalign trays) on does not hurt at all! As the braces (or Invisalign) start to move your teeth, your teeth will be a bit sore and tender. We recommend a diet of soft foods for the first few days. It usually takes about 3-4 days to get used to the braces or Invisalign. After that, you're good to go!

What type of braces do you use?

We use the highest quality clear and metal braces available. Our 3M Victory brackets are the best of the best: they are small, comfortable, and shown to have less breakage than other types of brackets. Our 3M Clarity Advanced clear braces are small, translucent, and do not stain. And, no, we do not charge more for clear braces!