Is a referral from my Primary Care Dentist (PCD) required to schedule an appointment for an orthodontic consultation?

No, a dental referral is not required. Many patients are referred by their
PCD, but most are referred by family and friends.

How do I schedule an appointment for an initial consultation?

Simply text, send us an email, or call the office. Michaela or Dr. Held will be happy to reply to you to schedule your appointment!

Do you charge for an initial visit?

No. As a courtesy to you, we will always provide you with all of the necessary information about your or your child’s specific case without charging a fee for the initial consultation.

What will I learn during the initial consultation?

There are 5 essential questions that Dr. Held and Michaela will answer during your initial consultation:

  1. Is there an orthodontic concern? If so, what is it?
  2. When is the proper time to begin orthodontic treatment?
  3. What does Dr. Held prescribe to correct the problem?
  4. What is the estimated treatment time?
  5. What will be your treatment investment?

At what age should I schedule an appointment for an initial consultation for my child?

Dr. Held follows the American Association of Orthodontists (AAO) guidelines. The AAO recommends that all children be seen for the first time by age 7, or earlier if a problem is detected by the parents, primary care dentist, or pediatrician. Typically by this age, children have matured enough and several permanent teeth have grown in, which allows Dr. Held to evaluate your child’s orthodontic needs effectively.

Why do you evaluate patients so young?

The purpose of early evaluation is to determine a plan for the timing of orthopedic and orthodontic treatment, if needed. Habits are evaluated, medical issues are discussed, the patient’s current oral status is examined, and a diagnosis and treatment plan is determined.

Orthopedic (jaw bone) changes are better made when patients are younger, as the bone is malleable and therefore, the results are better. If Phase I treatment is prescribed, it’s better to begin correction as early as possible. If no Phase I treatment is prescribed, the patient becomes a member of our Orthodontic Kids Club, and a complimentary observation schedule is arranged until the patient is ready to begin treatment.

How long will the first visit take?

Please allow 90 minutes for your first visit. We will show you how to check in, take you on a tour of our office, discuss what brought you in to see us, and take diagnostic records. Dr. Held will perform a thorough exam, show and explain to you what she sees, prescribe treatment, and answer your clinical questions. Michaela will go over the prescribed treatment in more detail, discuss financial options and paperwork, and schedule the necessary appointments.

Will my teeth straighten out as they grow?

No, they will not. The space available for the front teeth does not increase as
you grow. In most people, after the permanent molars grow in, the space
available for the front teeth decreases with age.

Will I need to have permanent teeth extracted for braces?

Dr. Held uses both a two-phase treatment approach (when applicable), and the world-class Pitts21 braces. Both of these treatment modalities greatly reduce the need for extraction of permanent teeth.

What is Phase I (Early) Treatment?

Phase I Treatment, if necessary, is usually initiated between the ages of 7 and 10, and lasts 6 to 12 months. The primary objective for Phase I Treatment is to address significant problems and prevent them from becoming more severe.

These problems may include, but are not limited to: providing more room for permanent teeth to come in, improving a narrow airway, correcting a crossbite, correcting an overbite or underbite, correcting an open bite, improving facial profile and lip posture, and boosting self-esteem and self-image.

When jaw discrepancies are present, taking advantage of growth early is the key to achieving an ideal result overall. Leaving such a condition untreated until all permanent teeth come in could result in a jaw discrepancy too severe to achieve an ideal result with braces alone.

Will my child need Phase II Treatment (full braces), if he or she had Phase I Treatment?

Even with ideal cooperation and favorable growth response in Phase I, most patients will benefit from Phase I Treatment with full braces. However, Phase II is generally less involved and typically entails a shorter treatment time than a full braces case for patients who have never undergone Phase I.

Overall results are significantly better for patients who underwent Phase I first, when it was indicated.

How long will my treatment take to complete?

Treatment time depends upon each patient’s specific orthodontic needs. A minor correction could take 6 to 8 months, whereas a standard full case could last 18 to 24 months. More involved treatment, such as surgical cases, may take longer.

How often will I have appointments?

Appointments are scheduled according to each patient’s needs. We use the latest, time-saving orthodontic technology, including comfortable, self-activating Series 2000® Expanders and the amazing Pitts21 braces. Most patients are seen every 8 to 12 weeks.

Do you take patients transferring from out of town?

Yes we do. We handle a patient transferring into our office from another city just like a new patient. We gather complete diagnostic records to show the current status, and Dr. Held will prescribe treatment to complete the work that has been started.

Is it too late to have braces, if I am already an adult?

Absolutely not! A growing percentage of our patients are adults, as more and more adults today are seeking the benefits of a beautiful, healthy smile. According to the American Association of Orthodontics, one in four patients is an adult!

At WingHaven® Orthodontics, a significant number of orthodontic patients are over the age of 21, as newer cosmetic and efficient appliances have made and are continuing to make adult treatment much more comfortable and convenient. The oldest patient Dr. Held has treated is in her 70’s. Health, happiness, and self-esteem are vitally important at any age. It’s never too late!

Do braces hurt?

Generally, braces do not “hurt,” but they do feel foreign at first. Typically, it takes from one day to a week to become acclimated to braces. Dr. Held utilizes the latest orthodontic technology, Pitts21 Braces, which straightens teeth with less discomfort. With this newer technology, braces are not “tightened” anymore, since these braces gently self-activate daily.

After certain visits, teeth may be sore for a few days. An over-the-counter pain reliever (ideally ibuprofen or naproxen) will provide relief.

Why should I choose an orthodontist?

If you are unhappy with your smile, bite, or quality of life due to headaches or airway issues, or if you are concerned that your child has tooth or jaw issues, choosing an orthodontist is critical.

An orthodontist is a dental specialist in the diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of dental and facial irregularities. All orthodontists are dentists, but only about 6% of dentists are orthodontists.

It takes many years to become an orthodontist, and the educational requirements are demanding. He or she must complete college requirements before starting a four-year graduate program at a dental school accredited by the American Dental Association (ADA).

After completing dental school, at least two to three more academic years of advanced specialty education at an ADA-accredited orthodontic program are required to become an orthodontist. Admission to an orthodontic postgraduate program is extremely competitive and selective. The program includes advanced education in biomedical, behavioral, and basic sciences. An orthodontic student learns the complex skills required to manage tooth movement (orthodontics) and to guide facial development (dentofacial orthopedics).

Once finished, orthodontists graduate with a nationally accepted specialty certificate. The orthodontist then limits his or her practice to straightening teeth and dentofacial orthopedics. Only dentists who have successfully completed this advanced specialty education may call themselves orthodontists.

Can I make all of my appointments in the afternoon, after school, and late in the day?

In order to have early and late appointments available for the majority of patient appointments, some longer procedures need to be accomplished during the hours of 9:00 am to 3:00 pm. Sometimes scheduling during school or work hours is unavoidable. However, because most appointments are scheduled 8 to 12 weeks apart, student patients will miss minimal school due to their orthopedic and/or orthodontic treatment. We will always make a sincere effort to accommodate your scheduling needs.

Can I drop off my son or daughter for an appointment?

Absolutely! At WingHaven® Orthodontics, we understand your busy schedule, and we are happy to help you to make the most of your time. We can text you as we are getting close to finishing your child’s appointment, so that you can return to our office, and Dr. Held or Michaela can provide you with a report of the appointment and treatment progress.

Can I still play sports?

Absolutely! However, Dr. Held highly recommends wearing a mouthguard for all active sports. Mouthguards that can be changed throughout treatment by using hot water can be purchased at sports stores or online. Please ask us, if you are having trouble finding a suitable mouthguard. 

Do I continue to see my PCD while undergoing orthopedic and/or orthodontic treatment?

Yes! Dr. Held recommends that you see your PCD at least every 6 months (or more often, if the PCD recommends it) for a thorough cleaning and examination while undergoing orthopedic and/or orthodontic treatment.

Are there foods that I cannot eat while I have braces?

Yes. Once your treatment begins, we will provide you with complete diet instructions and a list of foods to avoid. These foods include hard, sticky, chewy, and crunchy items, such as ice, hard candy, nuts, gum, caramel, taffy, granola bars, etc.

These items can distort or break your expanders or braces. Sometimes, patients think that if they simply don’t break their brackets, they are safe.  However, in addition to broken brackets, bent wires can move teeth in the wrong direction, also extending treatment time. You can avoid extra repair appointments and reduce your treatment time by following these instructions.

How often should I brush and floss my teeth while in expanders or braces?

Excellent oral hygiene is a must with expanders and braces. Patients should brush throughly at least 3 times each day: in the morning after breakfast, when arriving home after school or work, and at night before bed. Rinse with water after eating lunch, if not in an ideal location for brushing. Floss 1 time per day for 5 minutes. Use a proxy brush (aka “Christmas Tree Brush”) to clean in the nooks and crannies and under the wires. A Waterpik® is an excellent extra tool to use 3 times per day, in addition to to brushing and flossing. Please remember that no matter what the marketing says, there is no true substitute for flossing with string floss. Once your treatment begins, we will provide a Hygiene Kit to help you to achieve a beautiful, healthy smile.

Do you see patients for emergencies?

Absolutely! Seeing patients for emergencies and urgencies is included as a part of your treatment investment. However, there is a significant difference between emergencies and urgencies, and actual orthodontic emergencies are rare. The fastest way to contact us is to text us at (636) 561-5550. Additionally, feel free to click on the Urgent Care button on the right upper portion of our website or visit the Emergencies and Urgencies page for more information.

What will our investment be for orthodontics?

Orthodontic fees depend upon the complexity of the correction and the length to treatment. Our Orthodontic Coordinator, Michaela, will explain your exact investment and financial options during the initial consultation, to accommodate your needs.

Can we make payments?

Absolutely! Whether or not you have insurance or a dental plan, we will structure a convenient, no-interest payment plan that will allow you to pay for orthodontic services over a period of time that usually coincides with your treatment plan.

How do you handle insurance?

Prior to your initial appointment, we will verify your insurance coverage. Then, at your initial appointment, we will review your insurance information with you, help to maximize your benefit, and agree to bill and collect directly from your insurance carrier. As a courtesy, we will also file claims for you. However, we ask that you understand that if coverage ceases or changes, the your are still responsible for the agreed upon fee.

Do you take Visa, Mastercard, American Express, and Discover?

Yes, we accept all four major credit cards.

Do you have direct debit?

Yes, for all monthly payments, we will conveniently set up an automatic draft from your checking account, savings account, or credit card. Should you choose to use a credit card, we gladly accept Visa, MasterCard, American Express, and Discover.

Do you charge interest?

No, we do not.

Do you give multiple family member courtesies?

Absolutely! We offer a thank you courtesy for multiple patients from the same family undergoing orthopedic and/or orthodontic treatment with us.

I need to be premedicated for the PCD. Do I need to take my medicine for the orthodontist?

While it is likely that the answer is yes, we request that you please refer to your cardiologist or prescribing physician to determine what premedication is needed for your orthodontic appointment.

Do retainers need to be worn after braces?

Yes, Dr. Held recommends that patients wear retainers 10 to 12 hours per day for life.

Why do teeth get crooked after wearing braces or Aligners?

Teeth move throughout life, whether you have worn braces or not. It is part of the natural aging process. Thus, retainer wear is recommended indefinitely to maintain your orthodontic results over your lifetime.