Here to Help
It’s our mission to give you high-quality care that also fits your budget. Have questions about the cost of orthodontics, our financing options, or how insurance works? We’ve got answers.
Frequently-Asked Questions About Orthodontics
Your first appointment is a simple “look and talk” office visit. You will fill out some initial paperwork, and then you will meet with our Treatment Coordinator.
Our Treatment Coordinator will help guide you through the simple process. She will get some photos of your teeth as well as any needed X-rays. After that, your doctor will do a thorough evaluation of your teeth and use the photos and X-rays to get a complete picture of what your orthodontic needs might be.
Once you complete your doctor’s examination, you'll then head to the Treatment Coordinator’s office to discuss the findings of the examination, and we'll also answer any questions you may have. The appointment typically takes one hour from start to finish.
We sure can! If you are up to date with your dentist (i.e. you’ve had a cleaning within the last six months) we most likely will be able to start your treatment the same day as your exam.
We offer in-house no-interest financing. We accept all major credit cards as well as HSA/FSAs.
We do ask for a small down payment to get started and then monthly payments after that. Typically, we finance for the projected length of your treatment.
If you want to pay off your balance early, that's totally fine too!
We sure do! We offer 5% off your total cost if you pay in full.
We are happy to check your dental insurance to see if you or your dependent has orthodontic coverage.
If you have orthodontic insurance coverage, it's typically a lifetime maximum amount your insurance will pay for orthodontic treatment. Meaning, it gets used once, and then it is gone for the duration of that plan.
At your first free exam, we usually get an estimate from your insurance company and factor it into your quote so you can have a good idea of your out-of-pocket expense.
For the privacy and protection of all our patients, we ask that only patients go to the clinic. We understand that there are special circumstances in which a parent may need to accompany a patient. Please speak with our front desk about making those arrangements.
We are happy to say that our patients do great making the solo trek for photos and the exam. Our staff are highly trained and work with children all the time. We have kid-friendly movies playing on big screens, and we keep the experience as positive as we can!
After the doctor evaluates the patient’s orthodontic needs in our clinic, we will meet with you (the parent) and the patient in our Treatment Coordinator’s office. This is a private office where we can discuss the findings, including any orthodontic treatment recommendations made by the doctor, and answer any questions you or the patient may have.
We get this question a lot. You may feel pressure during your orthodontic appointment, and you may also feel a little sore after an adjustment.
But these are things that can be managed with your typical dose of over-the-counter pain reliever. In fact, we don’t have a single needle in our office. This is quite possibly the easiest doctor's office ever.
Yes! For our doctors to see what is going on inside your teeth and jawbone, we need an X-ray. Without X-rays, the doctors don’t have a complete picture, and the consequences could be severe.
At our office, we take digital X-rays. This significantly reduces the amount of radiation compared to analog X-rays. We take two different types of X-rays.
One is called a Panoramic X-ray, and the other is called a cephalometric X-ray. Both are important in monitoring the relationship between the teeth and jaws. Our doctors try to be as sparing as possible when it comes to ordering X-rays.
Great question. The answer is, “It depends”.
As orthodontic specialists, we use panoramic and cephalometric X-rays for our purposes. So, if your dentist has taken a panoramic X-ray, and if it is less than six months old, we would be happy to use that.
Simply call your dentist’s office and have them email it to us with your name and the date it was taken. Rarely do general dentists take cephalometric X-rays.
Also, your dentist may have taken the standard “bite down on the square” images. These images aren’t typically used for our purposes unless we are trying to focus on a particular problem.
The X-rays we take at our office give our doctors a larger overview of what’s going on with your teeth and jaws. Occasionally our doctors will need a different X-ray that focuses on a particular area to help make a treatment decision.
Your orthodontist will write a referral to either your dentist or another dental specialist with the specific details of the tooth or area that needs to be evaluated. Once the X-ray is taken off-site, it will be sent over to your treating orthodontist to review.
When not in orthodontic treatment, we align with the American Dental Association’s recommendation of seeing your dentist every 6 months. While undergoing orthodontic treatment, we recommend seeing your dentist every 3-4 months.
Before you can begin treatment you do need to be established with a dentist, current with your dental check-ups and cleanings, and have good oral hygiene.
We want to make sure your teeth and gums are healthy before starting orthodontic treatment. As such, you should be current with your dental cleanings and exam.
If it’s been a while since you’ve seen your general dentist, you will need to do that before starting orthodontic treatment.
However, if you have plans in the near future to get established with a dentist, we will be happy to see you for your first free exam and consultation. Just know that before any treatment can begin, you’ll need to make that appointment with your dentist.
We love working with clear aligners (i.e. Invisalign), and we work with them often. As much as we would love to give every patient their preference, sometimes that’s not what’s best for the patient.
Clear aligners have some limitations, and sometimes traditional metal braces may be the best option. Lots of factors are accounted for when the doctors make this determination; the starting position of the teeth, the amount of bite correction that is needed, specific tooth movements that need to be made, etc.
The doctors have their patient’s best interests at heart and are always upfront about what treatment options are best for the patient’s specific case. If you have any questions about braces vs Invisalign, please feel free to address these concerns during your free consultation with our Treatment Coordinator.
That is a great question. The American Association of Orthodontists (AAO), Dr. Peterson, and Dr. Peppers recommend Flagstaff children have an orthodontic evaluation no later than age seven.
Why? Well, for one, at this age, the permanent teeth are forming, and incisors and first permanent molars are sometimes already erupting. There is a lot going on in terms of the development of teeth and jaw bones.
This early referral for an orthodontic evaluation gives your child a chance to be screened to make sure nothing appears out of the ordinary. However, if there is a significant problem developing, our doctors can diagnose it and treat it before it becomes an even bigger issue.
Also, some problems like impacted canines, crossbites, and certain skeletal growth patterns are best managed early on. In cases where patients wait too long to be seen, these problems can worsen over time and can be more difficult to manage. In some cases, irreversible damage to teeth can occur, which can affect treatment options and outcomes.
Think of it as an early intervention when we have time and growth on our side. We call it Phase I Orthodontic Treatment.
It depends. Some kids may need simple appliances to help maintain the space they have, others may need a few braces here and there to help move teeth into a more favorable position. And some kids may need an expander to create more room for developing permanent teeth or to fix a crossbite. It really depends on the patient’s situation, which is why we like to check up on these things around age 7. If the doctors evaluate the patient and everything appears to be developing normally, they will continue to monitor your child’s growth and tooth eruption with periodic recall visits.
Usually, yes. If the doctor recommends Phase I treatment, it is only to intercept a particular problem and keep it from becoming worse. And because Phase I treatment is done when the patient has both primary/baby teeth and some permanent teeth present, a lot of changes can be anticipated later on once the rest of the baby teeth fall out and the remaining permanent teeth come in.
Once all the permanent teeth are in, most patients want to straighten them. This is what we refer to as Full Treatment, or Phase II. It’s often what most people think about when they think of “braces”. This is the full treatment that should last the patient’s lifetime (provided they wear their retainer).
Since Phase I typically involves just a few specific teeth, the cost is substantially less than Phase II. We do offer discounts for patients who have Phase I treatment and then elect to do Phase II (or full) treatment.
The two phases are billed as two separate contracts as they are two separate treatments. We offer flexible financing (0% interest payment plans) and will work with your insurance for both phases.
It is never too late! We love treating patients of all ages. In fact, the number of adults seeking orthodontic treatment is at an all-time high.
Of course, there are benefits to having braces or Invisalign at a younger age, but there are benefits to doing it when you are older too. Thankfully we have discreet treatment options that are less noticeable when you smile or talk.
But hey, if you want to just lean into it and get neon green color ties with traditional silver, we’ve got you covered there too.
You sure do! Think of it as you are protecting your investment.
When your braces come off, you'll get two retainers at the end of treatment. You'll be instructed to wear them for 22+ hours a day for the first six months after treatment while your bones re-stabilize from having those teeth moving around in there.
After that, you will wear them every night, forever. We recommend retainers for life.
Why forever, you ask? It’s because our bodies are constantly changing over our lifetimes, and our teeth are no exception.
Just like how we maintain our hair and nails to stay in a certain shape, we do the same thing for our teeth. And it's retainers that help with smile maintenance.
No way! A broken retainer just means it is time for a new one.
Retainers aren’t meant to last forever. With proper care, they can last quite a while. It is time to get a new one when it starts to break, wear out, or generally look gross.
Give us a call, and we can get you scheduled for a replacement.