Contact

Metairie

4432 Conlin St., Suite 2B

Metairie, LA 70006

504-455-5581

Lutcher

10900 Hwy. 3125, Suite C

Lutcher, LA 70071

225-869-3753

Hammond

808 C M Fagan Dr.

Hammond, LA 70403

985-542-8719

Frequently Asked Questions


1. Is it required that my family dentist schedule my appointment with the orthodontist?
2. At what age should I schedule an appointment for an orthodontic screening?
3. Will my teeth straighten out as I grow?
4. How do I schedule an appointment for an initial exam?
5. What will happen at the initial examination appointment?
6. What will I learn from the initial examination?
7. Will I need to have teeth extracted for braces?
8. How long will it take to complete treatment?
9. How much will braces cost? Are financing options available? How does my insurance work?
10. How often will I have appointments?
11. Can I schedule all of my appointments after school?
12. Can I drop my child off for an appointment?
13. Do braces hurt?
14. Can I return to school the day I receive my braces?
15. Do you give shots?
16. Do you use recycled braces?
17. Can I still play sports?
18. Do I need to see my family dentist while in braces?
19. Are there foods I cannot eat while I have braces?
20. How often should I brush my teeth while in braces?
21. What is an emergency appointment? How are those handled?
22. Can orthodontic correction occur while a child has baby teeth?
23. What is Early (Phase One) Treatment?
24. Will my child need full braces if he/she has Phase One treatment?
25. Will my child need an expander?
26. Is it too late to have braces if I am already an adult?
27. Can I wear braces even though I have crowns and missing teeth?
28. Why should I choose a Board Certified orthodontic specialist?


1. Is it required that my family dentist schedule my appointment with the orthodontist?
No, it is not. Many of our patients are referred by their family dentist, yet many other patients take the initiative to schedule an examination themselves.

2. At what age should I schedule an appointment for an orthodontic screening?
The American Association of Orthodontists recommends an orthodontic screening at age 7. By this age, several permanent teeth in most children have erupted, allowing us to effectively evaluate your orthodontic condition.

3. Will my teeth straighten out as I 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 erupt, the space available for the front teeth decreases with age.


4. How do I schedule an appointment for an initial exam?
If you or your child can potentially benefit from orthodontic treatment, simply call our office or contact us online. We will be happy to schedule an appointment for you. When you call to schedule your appointment, our front office staff will request some basic information from you. You can also print and fill out a registration form ahead of time.

5. What will happen at the initial examination appointment?
Your complimentary initial visit will give you an opportunity to meet Dr. Maldonado and allow him to examine you to determine the extent and nature of the problem.  He will also be able to give you a general idea of the length and cost of treatment and answer any other questions you may have.
To read more about your first visit, see our First Visit Page.

6. What will I learn from the initial examination?
There are five essential questions that we will cover during the initial examination:
Is there an orthodontic problem, and if so, what is it?
What must be done to correct the problem?
Will any teeth need to be removed?
How long will the treatment take to complete?
How much will the treatment cost?

7. Will I need to have teeth extracted for braces?
Removing teeth is sometimes required to achieve the best orthodontic result. Straight teeth and a balanced facial profile are the goal of orthodontics. However, because new technology has provided advanced orthodontic procedures, removing teeth is usually not necessary for most patients.

8. How long will it take to complete treatment?
Treatment time obviously depends on each patient's specific orthodontic problem. In general, treatment times range from 18 to 30 months. The "average" time frame a person is in braces is approximately 24 months.

9. How much will braces cost? Are financing options available? How does my insurance work?
It is impossible to give an exact cost for treatment until we have examined you. We will cover the cost and financial options during the initial examination. We have many financing options available to accommodate your needs, and we will review these with you (see Cost and Financing). We will also review your insurance policy and help to maximize your benefit and file your claims.

10. How often will I have appointments?
Appointments are scheduled according to each patient's needs. Most patients in braces will be seen every four to six weeks. If there are specific situations that require more frequent monitoring, we will schedule appointments accordingly.

11. Can I schedule all of my appointments after school?
Unfortunately, we cannot schedule all appointments for students during after-school hours. Lengthy appointments such as placing or removing the braces are too long to be scheduled after 3 P.M.  However, the majority of appointments are short routine adjustment appointments which can generally be scheduled during the after-school hours. Between school holidays, summer vacations, and the fact that most appointments are scheduled four to six weeks apart, patients will miss minimal school due to their orthodontic treatment. We do our best to render care to as many patients as possible during the after-school hours as is consistent with good orthodontic treatment.

12. Can I drop my child off for an appointment?
Yes. We understand your busy schedule, and we are happy to help you make the most of your time. On some occasions, we may request to speak with a parent when they return, so we ask that parents check in with us before dropping off their child.

13. Do braces hurt?
Generally, braces do not "hurt." After certain visits, teeth may be sore for a few days. In these situations, pain medications such as Advil or Tylenol will ease the discomfort. However, after most visits, patients do not feel any soreness at all! We often remind our patients, “It does not have to hurt to work!”

14. Can I return to school the day I receive my braces?
Yes. There is no reason to miss school because of an orthodontic appointment.

15. Do you give shots?
No. Shots are not necessary in orthodontic treatment.

16. Do you use recycled braces?
Absolutely not! It is our belief that each patient should be provided with their own braces to achieve the best orthodontic result possible.

17. Can I still play sports?
Yes. We recommend a mouth guard for all sports.

18. Do I need to see my family dentist while in braces?
Yes! Regular checkups with your family dentist are important while in braces. Your family dentist will determine the intervals between cleaning appointments while you are in braces.

19. Are there foods I cannot eat while I have braces?
Yes. Once treatment begins, we will explain the complete instructions and provide a comprehensive list of foods to avoid. Some of those foods include: ice, hard candy, raw vegetables and all sticky foods (i.e. caramel and taffy). You can avoid most emergency appointments to repair broken or damaged braces by carefully following our instructions.

 

20. How often should I brush my teeth while in braces?
Patients should brush their teeth at least four times each day - after each meal and before going to bed. We will show each patient how to floss their teeth with braces and may also provide a prescription for a special fluoride, if necessary.

21. What is an emergency appointment? How are those handled?
If your braces are causing extreme pain or if something breaks, you should call our office. In most cases, we can address these issues over the telephone. You can also see our Emergency Information page. If you require an emergency appointment, we will set aside time for you.

22. Can orthodontic correction occur while a child has baby teeth?
Yes. Some orthodontic problems are significant enough to require early intervention. However, if a patient is not yet ready for treatment, we will follow that patient's growth and development until the time is right for treatment to begin.

23. What is Early (Phase One) treatment?
Early treatment, if necessary, is usually initiated on children between the ages of 7 and 10. Phase One treatment lasts about 10-15 months. The primary objective for Phase One treatment is to address significant problems to prevent them from becoming more severe and to improve self-esteem and self-image.

24. Will my child need full braces if he/she has Phase One treatment?
It is best to assume that your child will need full braces even after Phase One treatment. The period following Phase One treatment is called the "resting period," during which growth and tooth eruption are closely monitored. Throughout this period, parents and patients will be kept informed of future treatment recommendations.

25. Will my child need an expander?
At the completion of the initial examination, Dr. Maldonado will determine whether a patient will need an expander. Generally, palatal expanders are used in cases where the upper jaw is too narrow causing a "crossbite."

26. Is it too late to have braces if I am already an adult?
A surprising percentage of our patients are adults. In fact, 25 percent of all orthodontic patients are adults. Health, happiness and self-esteem are vitally important to adults (see Adult Treatment). No patient is "too old" to wear braces!

27. Can I wear braces even though I have crowns and missing teeth?
Yes. A tooth with a crown will move just like a tooth with a simple filling. When teeth are missing, orthodontic treatment will aid in the alignment of the remaining teeth.

28. Why should I choose a Board Certified orthodontic specialist?
Teeth, and sometimes entire facial structures, are permanently changed by orthodontic treatment. It is important that the treatment be appropriate and properly completed. Orthodontists have extensive and specialized training that enables them to provide their patients with professional, personalized treatments. However, not all orthodontists are board certified. Board certification demonstrates the orthodontist’s highest commitment to excellence in orthodontics – to both the orthodontic profession and the general public. It represents a commitment by the orthodontist that he/she has the necessary knowledge base and skills to treat patients to the highest of standards. It exemplifies a practitioner’s commitment to continue to keep abreast of the latest advances in patient care, and to continue to deliver these latest advances to patients. Many orthodontists see it as a demonstration of their dedication to the specialty and the highest level of personal achievement.