Have Questions? You’re Not Alone!

If you feel like you still have questions about certain orthodontic treatments or procedures, but keep forgetting to bring it up to your Kansas City orthodontist Dr. Kavanaugh or would just like to find out more in general, don’t worry—you’re not alone. Dr. Kavanaugh and his staff expect their patients to be experts in orthodontics so if you don’t completely understand something, that’s what we’re here for! This is why we’ve decided to compile a few frequently asked questions and their answers to help you out. If you are still confused about something or don’t see your question below, no problem! We invite you to schedule a complimentary consultation with Dr. Kavanaugh online to clear up any confusion you may still have.

  1. Is It A Requirement For My Family Dentist To Schedule My Appointment With The Orthodontist?
  2. At What Age Should I Schedule An Appointment For An Orthodontic Screening?
  3. Will My Teeth Naturally Straighten Out As They 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 My Orthodontic Treatment?
  9. How Much Do Braces Cost? Are Financing Options Available? Is My Insurance Accepted?
  10. How Often Will I Have Orthodontic Appointments?
  11. Can I Schedule All Of My Appointments After School?
  12. Can I Drop My Child Off For An Appointment?
  13. Is It Painful To Have Braces?
  14. Can I Return To School The Day I Receive My Braces?
  15. Will I Be Getting Anesthetic Shots?
  16. Do You Use Recycled Braces?
  17. Can I Still Play Sports?
  18. Do I Need To See My Regular Dentist While Wearing Braces?
  19. Are There Certain Foods That Are Prohibited For Me To Eat While I Have Braces?
  20. How Often Should I Brush My Teeth While In Braces?
  21. What Is Considered An Emergency Appointment? How Are Those Handled?
  22. Can Orthodontic Correction Occur While A Child Has Baby Teeth?
  23. What Is Phase One (Early) Treatment?
  24. Will My Child Need Full Braces If They Have Had 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 An Orthodontic Specialist?

1. Is It A Requirement For My Family Dentist To Schedule My Appointment With The Orthodontist?

No, absolutely not. Some of our patients are referred by their family dentist, however other patients take the initiative to schedule an examination themselves. If you are a new patient and would like to schedule your first visitation at the practice of Kurt Kavanaugh Orthodontics, you have the option to fill out our Patient Forms at the leisure of your home before your arriving at our office for your appointment.

2. At What Age Should I Schedule An Appointment For An Orthodontic Screening?

As a parent, you may be asking yourself how young is too young for a child to begin orthodontic treatment. You may be surprised to find that 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 and possibly begin Early Treatment to avoid bigger dental problems down the road.

3. Will My Teeth Naturally Straighten Out As They Grow?

Unfortunately, no, they will not. Adult teeth are larger and more numerous than baby teeth and the space available for your front teeth does not increase over time as you grow. If the space is not ample enough, crowding will occur. In fact 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 Kansas City Office at (816) 420-8100 or our Sedalia Office at (660) 829-2900, send us an e-mail at braces@kavanaughortho.com or fill out our appointment request form online. We would be glad to assist you and schedule an appointment for you.

5. What Will Happen At The Initial Examination Appointment?

Upon arriving, each patient and parent will be seen by the staff and Dr. Kavanugh, preparing for the initial exam. We will take the necessary photographs and X-rays to allow us to make a proper diagnosis, and the doctor will then complete a brief, but thorough, exam. You can better prepare yourself for you or your child’s first orthodontist appointment by exploring more in-depth about what happens during your first visit on our site.

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?

Keep in mind, however, that you can come prepared with more specific questions if you’re already interested in learning more about a specific orthodontic treatment such as traditional steel braces or Invisalign.

7. Will I Need To Have Teeth Extracted For Braces?

Having straight teeth and a balanced facial profile is the goal of orthodontics. That being said, removing teeth is not necessarily needed. In some cases, however, removing teeth is required to achieve the best orthodontic result. This procedure is recommended on a patient-to-patient basis and would only be brought up by Dr. Kavanaugh after your initial examination and only if absolutely necessary. Keep in mind that the orthodontic industry is improving every day and, because new technology has provided advanced orthodontic procedures, removing teeth is not always necessary for orthodontic treatment.

8. How Long Will It Take To Complete My Orthodontic Treatment?

Treatment time depends on each patient's specific orthodontic problem. In general, treatment times can range anywhere from 12 to 30 months. The "average" time frame a person is in braces is approximately 22 months.

9. How Much Do Braces Cost? Are Financing Options Available? Is My Insurance Accepted?

It is impossible to give an exact cost for treatment until we have examined you. Don’t be alarmed! We aren’t trying to hide our fees or spring hidden charges on you—once we’ve completed your examination, we will cover the exact cost and financial options afterwards. The reason we wait to examine you is because we need to know the ease of correcting your teeth’s alignment or how severe your oral state is. With that knowledge, we’ll detail exactly what we have to do to get you to your best smile and what the cost of these procedures are.

We have many financing options available to accommodate your needs. At Kurt Kavanaugh Orthodontics, we don’t believe that your financial status should stand between you and your family’s health. Correcting your smile’s alignment is not just about aesthetics—it’s about health, too! That’s why we are ready to work with you to come up with a plan and payment options to be sure you can begin your orthodontic treatment. If you are insured, we will also review your insurance policy and help to maximize your benefit and file your claims.

10. How Often Will I Have Orthodontic Appointments?

Appointments are scheduled according to each patient's needs. Most patients who opted for traditional metal braces will be seen every five to 10 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. However, because most appointments are scheduled five to 10 weeks apart, most patients will miss minimal school due to their orthodontic treatments. Taking this into consideration though, we promise to make a sincere effort to meet your scheduling needs.

12. Can I Drop My Child Off For An Appointment?

Absolutely! 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 their patient manager before dropping off their child.

13. Is It Painful To Have Braces?

Throughout most of your orthodontic treatment, wearing braces won’t cause you pain. After certain visits, your teeth may be sore for a few days due to tightening wires or adding orthodontic rubber bands. In these situations, pain medications such as Advil or Tylenol will often suffice to ease the discomfort. After most visits though, patients do not feel any soreness at all.

14. Can I Return To School The Day I Receive My Braces?

Yes. Administering braces is not a lengthy procedure and does not require surgical work, so there is no reason to miss school because of an orthodontic appointment.

15. Will I Be Getting Anesthetic 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, you can still play sports. Having braces does not impair your ability to be active or participate in team sports. We do strongly recommend, however, to use a mouth guard during all athletic events to prevent physical damage caused by your dental brackets that can be caused by blunt force trauma to your mouth.

18. Do I Need To See My Regular Dentist While Wearing Braces?

Absolutely, yes—you must keep your appointments with your regular dentist! Regular check-ups with your family dentist are especially important while wearing braces as they will work to maintain your teeth from staining further (so you don’t have different shades on your teeth once the brackets are removed) and will also assist to clean hard to reach places that you can’t attend to at home. Your family dentist will determine the intervals between cleaning appointments while you are in braces.

19. Are There Certain Foods That Are Prohibited For Me To 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?

It is recommended for patients to brush their teeth at least four times each day—once after every 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 Considered 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. If you require an emergency appointment, we will set aside time for you. The most important thing is not to panic—we also have a list of things to do in case of an emergency. Please keep in mind that if our offices are closed and you’re in an extreme emergency, you should make your way to the hospital.

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 Phase One (Early) Treatment?

Phase One treatment, if necessary, is usually for children between the ages of 7 and 10, and lasts about 12-21 months. The primary objective for Phase One treatment is to address significant problems to prevent them from becoming more severe.

24. Will My Child Need Full Braces If They Have Had Phase One Treatment?

Since the goal of Phase One is to prevent your child’s teeth alignment from reaching a severe or critical point, it is safe to assume that your child will need full braces even after Phase One treatment. Not as much work or as much time, however, will be needed to make the dental corrections as it would have demanded had your child not gone through Phase One. 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, we will determine whether a patient will need an expander.

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% of all orthodontic patients are adults which is why we offer an Adult Treatment service. Health, happiness, and self-esteem are vitally important to adults. 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 An 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. Orthodontic specialists have extensive and specialized training that enables them to provide their patients with professional, personalized treatments.

Contact Your Preferred Sedalia And Kansas City Children’s Orthodontist, Today!

Are you ready to schedule an orthodontist appointment that will change you or your child’s life, health, and smile for the better? Take a look at our Patient Gallery, read our orthodontic patient testimonials, or browse our amazing Before & After photos to see the transformations that we have worked together, both doctor and patient, to realize! We welcome you to come into our offices for a free orthodontic consultation to clear up any lingering questions or doubts you may have. Our knowledgeable staff is ready to assist you scheduling your appointment either via online or by phone at Sedalia (660) 829-2900 or Kansas City (816) 420-8100. We look forward to hearing from you soon!