(941) 953-7500 | Info@FreemanOrthodontics.com

2050 Proctor Road, Suite A | Sarasota, FL 34231

Personalized Care • Convenient Office Hours • Complimentary Intial Examination
Affordable Monthly Payments • Clear Braces • Invisalign® Certified

Comprehensive Orthodontic Care for Children, Teens & Adults
  • Board Certified Orthodontic Specialist
  • Complimentary Initial Examination
  • Personalized Care
  • Affordable Monthly Payments
  • Convenient Hours
  • Silver and Tooth Colored Braces
  • Invisalign
       

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Frequently Asked Questions


What makes an orthodontist different from a general dentist?

Orthodontists are dental specialists who limit their practice to treating patients with problems of dental and skeletal alignment (crowding, spacing, overbite, crossbites, etc). After graduating from the University of Florida College of Dentistry with High Honors Dr. Freeman completed a three year orthodontic specialty training program at The Ohio State University. During his residency Dr. Freeman provided orthodontic treatment to children and adults of all ages with varying needs including cleft lip and palate rehabilitation, surgical orthodontic treatment (jaw or orthognathic surgery) as well as patients requiring interdisciplinary treatment with a team of dentists including pedodontists, restorative dentists, oral surgeons, endodontists, periodontists and prosthetic dentists.

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When should my child have his/her first exam with an orthodontist?

The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that every child has a check-up with an orthodontic specialist by the age of seven.  Often parents assume that they should wait until all of the permanent teeth have erupted when, in fact, this is incorrect.

Common problems seen in patients six, seven and eight years of age include harmful habits (thumb or finger sucking), anterior crossbites (a reversed relationship of the upper and lower permanent front teeth) and posterior crossbites (a reversed "widthwise" relationship of the upper and lower permanent molars).

If treatment is indicated, on your six, seven or eight year old expect treatment to last approximately six to nine months.  If treatment is not indicated Dr. Freeman will continue to monitor your child's development by placing your child on a growth and development observation schedule.  Periodic exams will ensure your child's dental development is properly monitored and that treatment will begin at the most advantageous time.  Most children do not require this early phase of treatment.

And if your child is older than seven, it is certainly not too late for a complimentary evaluation!

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When do most children begin treatment?

Since dental development is quite variable it is difficult to say there is a certain age that is best suited to begin comprehensive treatment.  In general, it is preferable to have as many permanent teeth erupted as possible while not waiting so long that the pubertal growth spurt is missed. We typically begin comprehensive orthodontic treatment on children between the ages of eleven and thirteen.  However, we strongly suggest that females are evaluated no later than age ten and males by age eleven to ensure that treatment begins at the most advantageous time.

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Am I too old to get braces?

Dr. Freeman treats patients of all ages.  As long as you are in good medical health and have healthy teeth and gums you are not too old for orthodontic treatment.

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What are some commonly treated orthodontic problems?

Crowding: Poor tooth alignment due to insufficient space to accommodate all the teeth in their proper position.  Signs of crowding include overlapping front teeth, severely rotated or displaced teeth or even teeth trapped within in the bone (impacted).

Excessive Overjet (Buck teeth): The upper front teeth protrude far beyond the lower front teeth.  Excessive overjet may result from poorly angled teeth as well as poorly positioned jaws.

Underbite:  Lower front teeth positioned forward of the upper front teeth.  An underbite may also result from poorly angled teeth as well as poorly positioned jaws.

Anterior Open Bite:  Only the back teeth touch when the jaws are closed.  Prolonged thumb sucking is one cause of an anterior open bite.

Deep Bite:  Excessive overlap of the front teeth.  In the most severe instances the lower front teeth will contact the roof of the mouth.

Anterior Crossbite:  A reversed relationship of the upper and lower permanent front teeth with lower front teeth protrude beyond the upper front teeth.

Posterior Crossbite:   A reversed "widthwise" relationship of the upper and lower permanent first molars due to an upper jaw that is too narrow.  This is sometimes termed a skeletal crossbite.

Spacing:  Gaps between teeth resulting from excessively proclined, missing or undersized teeth.

Impacted tooth: A tooth that fails to erupt into the mouth. Impaction can result as a side-effect of severe crowding. Upper canine teeth are often impacted and require orthodontic treatment to guide the tooth into the appropriate position. Although any tooth can become impacted the most commonly impacted permanent teeth (not including wisdom teeth) are upper canines, lower second molars, lower canines and upper central incisors.

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Does Dr. Freeman use clear braces?

Yes. We offer highly esthetic ceramic (clear) brackets as well as traditional low profile metal (silver) brackets.

 

Does Dr. Freeman use Invisalign®?

Yes.  During the complimentary evaluation Dr. Freeman will discuss your treatment options.   

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I am interested in pursuing orthodontic treatment where do I begin?

With a complimentary evaluation. Please feel free to Contact Us directly at 941.953.7500 and schedule your appointment.  Click here for an overview of the new patient process.

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How much does orthodontic treatment cost?

When the time is appropriate to begin treatment Dr. Freeman will discuss available treatment options, the treatment fee and the estimated length of treatment.  Please note that both the treatment fee and estimated length of treatment is dependent upon your individual orthodontic needs.

It is important to note that Dr. Freeman quotes an all inclusive treatment fee which includes all aspects of care within the office.  This fee includes any pre-treatment visits, pre-treatment records (x-rays, photographs, study models, etc.), placement of the orthodontic appliances (braces), all adjustment appointments, any additional x-rays taken during treatment, removal of the braces, retainers and retainer visits as well.  The treatment fee does not include lost or broken retainers or any needed services provided by other dental professional outside our office.

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What payment options are offered?

Orthodontic treatment is an excellent investment in the overall dental, medical, and psychological well being of children and adults.  We believe financial considerations should not be an obstacle to obtaining treatment therefore we offer two payment options:

    • The in-office interest fee payment plan. The interest free plan consists of an initial down payment with the balance equally divided over monthly payments. Payment methods include cash, check and Visa, MasterCard, Discover and American Express. We are also able to arrange for automated credit card, checking, or savings account deductions each month on the date of your choice.

 

  • Payment in full. A 5% bookkeeping courtesy will be extended to those patients who pay for their portion of treatment in full by cash or check the day the appliances are initially placed. A 2.5% bookkeeping courtesy will be extended to those patients who pay for their portion of treatment in full by credit card (Visa, MasterCard, Discover & American Express) the day the appliances are initially placed.

When is payment due?

In general payment is due when the active treatment begins (when braces are placed.)

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What about dental insurance?

If you have dental insurance and would like our office to verify orthodontic benefits please be prepared to provide the following information: the name and phone number of the insurance company, the subscriber's (policy holder's) name, subscriber's date of birth and the subscriber's social security number and the patient's name and date of birth. We will be happy to review your benefits with you. Please be aware that orthodontic insurance generally provides a lifetime maximum vs. a reoccurring annual maximum. The lifetime maximum is generally paid out over the duration of treatment rather than one payment. Our office accepts assignment (payment directly from insurance company).

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What will it be like when I get my braces on?

A device called a cheek retractor is placed in your mouth and the teeth are cleaned and dried. Each bracket (brace) is individually placed, positioned and bonded (glued on) by Dr. Freeman. Although brackets look relatively similar each bracket is specifically designed for the particular tooth. Once all of the brackets are placed the cheek retractor is removed. Brackets have a slot into which an archwire is inserted. Once the archwire is inserted it is held in place with small clear or colored plastic elastic o-rings (ties). You may select up to two colors of o-rings at each appointment. After all the technical work is finished we will demonstrate proper oral hygiene techniques so you will know how to take care of your braces. It takes approximately ninety minutes to place upper and lower braces and provide oral hygiene instructions.

Teeth often feel sore for the first three days of treatment. It will take up to two weeks for your cheeks to get used to the brackets. Your lips may also feel dry so be sure to use lip balm. Any discomfort you may experience can be alleviated by taking over-the-counter pain medication. We typically suggest ibuprofen (Advil®) if the patient has taken it previously without incident. Refer to package labeling for appropriate dosing information.

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What about the rest of treatment?

The rest of your treatment will consist of adjustment appointments typically scheduled every six to eight weeks. During an adjustment appointment Dr. Freeman will assess your treatment progress and do what is necessary to advance your treatment (change archwires, ask you to wear rubber band elastics, etc.) and, of course, replace your ties with new colors. Any discomfort you may experience after an adjustment can be alleviated by taking over the counter pain medication. We typically suggest ibuprofen (Advil®) if the patient has taken it previously without incident. Refer to package labeling for appropriate dosing information.
Upon the completion of your treatment your braces will be removed and you will be given a set of retainers. Retainer wear is a lifetime commitment. If you do not wear your retainers as instructed your teeth will shift. Retainer visits help ensure your retainers fit their best.

Upon the completion of your treatment your braces will be removed and you will be given a set of retainers. Retainer wear is a lifetime commitment. If you do not wear your retainers as instructed your teeth will shift. Retainer adjustment visits help ensure your retainers fit their best.

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Is there a need for separators?

Historically the orthodontic patient's first true treatment appointment was for placement of separators. Parents who had orthodontic treatment in their youth may remember having tiny rings placed between teeth prior to getting their braces. The reason for this was the technology to glue braces directly to tooth enamel had not been perfected. Separators were needed to create spaces between teeth so a band with a brace welded on could pass between teeth and be cemented in place. Luckily for both the patient and the practitioner braces can be predictably glued (bonded) directly to the tooth. This means unless treatment requires the use of a banded appliance (such as an expander/RPE) or you have a full crown on a back tooth odds are you will never need a separator or have a band cemented.

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What are spacers?

Separators or spacers are usually little blue elastic rings that are placed on either side of the first molars to create a slight space. The space is needed to allow for molar band cementation. For more about molar bands read below!

If separators/spacers were previously placed they will be removed and you will be asked to brush your teeth. Dr. Freeman will fit and cement molar bands on the four first molars. A band is a thin metal ring with a bracket welded on the side. Dr. Freeman will ask for your help while positioning the bands. Patients participate by slowly biting on an instrument called a bite stick. Once the proper size bands are selected, the bands are removed and cemented in place. Cemented bands are very strong and can tolerate high biting forces that would break off a bonded (glued-on) bracket.

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How important is patient cooperation during treatment?

Your cooperation is essential to the success of your treatment. Here is how you make a difference:

  • Maintain regular professional dental examinations/cleanings (at least every six months) during orthodontic treatment. Dental offices often request that the archwires be removed to improve access during your cleaning appointments. We will be happy to coordinate the removal and replacement of your archwires for cleaning appointments.

     

  • Excellent daily oral hygiene is a must! Remember to pay special attention to the tooth surfaces closest to your gums and clean especially well around the posts sticking out from the brackets on the canine (fang) teeth.

     

  • Improper brushing technique may result in cavity formation and gum inflammation. Cavities begin as white spots around the periphery of the brackets. White spots are permanent markings (enamel scars) that cannot be removed once they have formed. Unfortunately polishing and bleaching will not remove these markings. Brushing teeth properly may require the assistance of an adult.

     

  • Keep your scheduled orthodontic adjustment appointments and take care of your appliances. Broken appointments and broken brackets (often a result of chewing on pencils, hard candy and ice) will extend your treatment time.

     

  • Wear your elastics as instructed. Not wearing elastics as prescribed will result in no progress!

     

  • Wear your mouth guard when playing sports.

     

  • Inform us of any changes to your medical health.

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What foods will I need to avoid?

Although the braces can be glued with surprising strength all patients are able to generate sufficient bite force to knock a brace off. Certain foods dramatically increase the likelihood of breaking off braces and must be avoided during treatment. These foods include but are not limited to: ice cubes, hard candy (mints, gum balls, cough drops), unpopped popcorn kernels, whole nuts, and frozen foods. Hard foods such as apples, carrots and celery must first be cut into smaller bite-sized portions prior to eating. Very cold and freezing temperatures make items tougher to bite into and increase the likelihood of breaking off a bracket - a room temperature candy bar is likely fine however a frozen candy bar is not appropriate. It is impossible to list all foods that could be a problem however if you are concerned about a food item breaking off braces you probably should not eat it.

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What is an Expander?

An expander is an orthodontic appliance used to increase the transverse (ear-to-ear) width of the upper jaw (maxilla). There are different types of expanders however the most common design used is the rapid palatal expander (RPE). Typically the RPE expansion appliance is cemented on to the upper permanent first (six year) molars and turned with a key to activate.

Maxillary expansion is a treatment option that is available to younger patients (think ages 7 to 14). Older patients are not candidates for expansion (at least not without surgical assistance) because the two bones that form the roof of the mouth (the palate) in children fuse during adolescence and become one continuous bone. Once the process of fusion begins expansion is no longer possible.

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Who is the proper candidate for maxillary expansion?

Young patients with erupted upper first permanent molars with a posterior (skeletal) crossbites as well as patients displaying significant upper arch constriction are proper candidates for expansion. Dr. Freeman feels strongly that expansion treatment should begin as soon as the need is identified.

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Isn't expansion an option to eliminate the need for extractions?

Not necessarily. To begin with expansion makes the upper arch wider but it does not affect the lower arch. Although there are lower jaw expansion appliances all that really occurs is tooth tipping as opposed to truly increasing the width of the lower jaw. This is because the lower jaw is a solid, continuous bone. While maxillary expansion does create some additional arch length (3-4mm) it is not sufficient to space to correct severe crowding.

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* As per the Florida Dental Association: THE PATIENT AND ANY OTHER PERSON RESPONSIBLE FOR PAYMENT HAS A RIGHT TO REFUSE TO PAY, CANCEL PAYMENT, OR BE REIMBURSED FOR PAYMENT FOR ANY OTHER SERVICE, EXAMINATION, OR TREATMENT THAT IS PERFORMED AS A RESULT OF AND WITHIN 72 HOURS OF RESPONDING TO THE ADVERTISEMENT FOR THE FREE, DISCOUNTED FEE, OR REDUCED FEE SERVICE, EXAMINATION, OR TREATMENT.


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2050 Proctor Road, Suite A | Sarasota, FL 34231
941.953.7500 | 941.366.0470 | Info@FreemanOrthodontics.com


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* As Per Florida Law : THE PATIENT AND ANY OTHER PERSON RESPONSIBLE FOR PAYMENT HAS A RIGHT TO REFUSE TO PAY, CANCEL PAYMENT, OR BE REIMBURSED FOR PAYMENT FOR ANY OTHER SERVICE, EXAMINATION, OR TREATMENT THAT IS PERFORMED AS A RESULT OF AND WITHIN 72 HOURS OF RESPONDING TO THE ADVERTISEMENT FOR THE FREE, DISCOUNTED FEE, OR REDUCED FEE SERVICE, EXAMINATION, OR TREATMENT.