Orthodontic FAQ

Orthodontic FAQ

Orthodontics Unveiled

If you have questions about orthodontics, browse our answers below. Or, for more in-depth information, schedule a free consultation at Dr. Melanie Orthodontics online or by calling us at (858) 613-3688 (San Diego) or (858) 255-7800 (Rancho Santa Fe).

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Q: Do I need a referral from my dentist to make an appointment?

A: Dr. Melanie is the daughter of a dentist and her husband is a general dentist. So, we love dentists here at Dr. Melanie Orthodontics and we always appreciate their referrals. However, a referral isn’t required for you to make an appointment. You can book your free consultation right here online or by calling us at (858) 613-3688 (San Diego) or (858) 255-7800 (Rancho Santa Fe).

Q: Why should I visit an orthodontist?

A: An orthodontist is a dental specialist. After finishing four years of dental school, they complete two to three more years of specialty training in an orthodontic residency program. While there, they become experts in preventing, diagnosing and treating malocclusions, or problems with the teeth and jaws. Aligning the teeth and jaw creates permanent changes in your smile and facial structure, so it’s really important to see a certified specialist in orthodontics for your care. Dr. Melanie relies on her training to give you the best possible results in a way that’s safe, effective and long lasting.

Q: Is it okay to start orthodontic treatment if a child still has baby teeth?

A: While many times, patients can wait until their teenage years, in some cases, it’s actually ideal to start treatment when a patient is still growing and has some of their primary teeth. When early interceptive treatment is indicated, we can guide their jaw growth and help prevent more serious issues from occurring, allowing them to avoid the need for extractions, lengthy treatment or even surgery later in life.

Q: What’s the best age for children to visit an orthodontist?

A: The American Association of Orthodontists recommends kids visit an orthodontist for the first time by the age of seven. Usually, this will just begin an observational period where Dr. Melanie will keep an eye on their growth and development and let you know when the time is right to start treatment. These early visits are free. However, if we do see certain issues emerging, we can intercept them while a child is still growing for the most stable, lasting results.

Q: Will I need to have teeth extracted before I can start orthodontic treatment?

A: Every case is unique and there are some instances where extractions could be necessary. However, Dr. Melanie relies on the latest technology and techniques so she can usually get amazing results without extracting teeth.

Do you offer appointments before or after school or work hours?

A: Yes, we do! We know you’re busy and we do everything we can to ensure treatment works for your lifestyle and needs. In cases where you do have to come in during regular school or work hours, we can also provide a doctor’s note if you need one.

Q: What happens at my first visit?

A: We’ll give you a tour of our beautiful, state-of-the-art office and then a team member will take digital x-rays and photos. Dr. Melanie Wang will examine your mouth. Using her findings, along with your diagnostic records, she’ll determine your diagnosis and create a personalized treatment plan. She’ll walk you through her recommendations step by step and answer any questions you may have. We’ll also chat with you about the cost of braces or clear aligners, insurance and our flexible financing options. If you’re ready to jump right in, we offer same-day starts. You can kick off treatment immediately after your exam, saving you a trip to our office.

Q: What happens if I miss my appointment or have to cancel?

A: Hey, we know life happens. Please give us a call as soon as possible at (858) 613-3688 (San Diego) or (858) 255-7800 (Rancho Santa Fe) if you have to miss or cancel an appointment. We ask that you leave us a message even if we’re closed. We’ll get you rescheduled as soon as possible

Q: What are the benefits of orthodontic treatment?

A: Here are some of the benefits of straightening your teeth:

  • Straight teeth are easier to brush and floss, which reduces your risk of gum disease and tooth decay.
  • When teeth are properly aligned, it prevents uneven wear of the tooth enamel.
  • It can help you chew, speak and breathe properly.
  • We can improve your appearance by creating facial symmetry and a gorgeous smile.
  • Creating optimal spacing reduces jaw bone loss, which helps you avoid pain and tooth loss.
  • When the jaws are in alignment, it can help stop teeth grinding, TMJ pain, migraines and headaches.
  • You’ll get a huge boost in confidence, which carries over into every aspect of your life!

Q: Is orthodontic treatment covered by insurance?

A: If your dental insurance provides orthodontic coverage, it can greatly reduce your out-of-pocket cost. We have expert team members who can help you determine your coverage and maximize your benefits. We’ll even file claims on your behalf! We also offer flexible financing options. At your consultation, we’ll sit down with you and work out a plan that suits your budget and needs.

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