Frequently Asked Questions

Q:Why is orthodontics important?

Correction of orthodontic problems can enhance overall dental health, improve the function of the dentition, and boost one’s appearance. Without treatment, orthodontic problems may lead to tooth decay, gum disease, loss of bone support around the teeth, and trouble with chewing, digestion, and speech.

Q:What is an orthodontist?

An orthodontist is a dentist who specializes in the diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of dental and facial irregularities. While general dentists are allowed by the Dental Code to undertake orthodontic treatment, the American Dental Association requires dentists to have two or more years of advanced specialty training in an accredited institution to be called a specialist in orthodontics. The American Association of Orthodontists website has beneficial information on the difference between receiving orthodontic treatment from a specialist versus an general dentist, be it braces or Invisalign.

Furthermore, Dr. Jay is Board Certified by the American Board of Orthodontics. Less than 25% of orthodontists achieve this distinction of excellence.

Q:When should a child first see an orthodontist?

Whenever a problem is detected by the parent, dentist, or hygienist. The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that every child receive an orthodontic screening no later than age 7. Some problems, like the effects of thumbsucking or the existence of a crossbite, should be evaluated even earlier before the permanent teeth start erupting. Other problems, however, are best treated later, but an examination at age 7 allows the orthodontist to plan for the optimum timing of future treatment while monitoring the child’s dental development and facial growth.

Many parents and, unfortunately, some dentists, mistakenly think a child must have all of his/her permanent teeth in before seeking orthodontic treatment. For most children the optimum time to initiate treatment is just before the last baby teeth are lost. Initiation of treatment before all of the permanent teeth erupt gives the orthodontist the best opportunity to guide the development of the permanent teeth and influence facial growth.

Q:Is it ever too late to get braces?

Healthy teeth can be moved at almost any age. We regularly treat patients in their 50s, 60s, and occasionally, in their 70s. There are more restrictions on what can be accomplished since growth is no longer a factor, but many adults can enjoy the benefits of a healthy, pleasing smile for the rest of their lives with orthodontic treatment.

Q:Do I have to be referred into your office?

It is not necessary to be referred in order to receive an evaluation and treatment from our office. Many of our patients come on the recommendation of our former and present patients. Even if you have been referred to another office, feel free to schedule a consultation to our office for a second opinion and learn first-hand why Walker Ortho is special to so many families.

Q:How long are braces worn?

Treatment times are dependent on the severity of the problem, the age of the patient, and, most importantly, the cooperation of the patient. Due to scientific advances, cases that used to take 2 to 3 years are now often treated in 18 to 20 months. But several factors can prolong orthodontic treatment unnecessarily, including: inconsistent wearing of aligners or elastics, broken appliances, and missed appointments. Strict adherence to instructions is crucial to achieve the desired results within the estimated time frame.

Want to finish treatment faster? New technology is now available through our office that speeds up the
process – AcceleDent. Developed by OrthoAccel® Technologies, Inc., Leader in Accelerated Orthodontics, AcceleDent Aura is a simple-to-use, hands-free device designed for faster orthodontic treatment with only 20 minutes daily use.

It’s Fast.

  • Clinically proven to move teeth up to 50% faster in a U.S. clinical trial.

It’s Safe.

  • Cleared by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and available only by prescription from your orthodontist.

It’s Gentle.

  • AcceleDent patients have reported reduced discomfort with their orthodontics.
Q:What about fees?

Our fees are based on the total treatment to be rendered and the severity of the problem to be corrected. The only way to determine this is by direct examination of the patient by the orthodontist. At the consultation appointment Dr. Jay or Dr. Carl, will exam the patient and then discuss the problems presented, the treatment recommended, and the total fee for that treatment. The fee cannot be given over the phone without an examination because there is such a wide diversity of problems and treatment modalities.

Q:What options are there in paying the fee?

Lending Club Payment Solutions (formerly Springstone) makes treatment possible by providing low monthly payments to finance your orthodontic care. Affordable payments, an easy online process, and no hidden fees – Lending Club just makes sense. Other advantages include No Initial Payment and No Prepayment Penalty.

Secondly, for those who would like to pay the fee in full at the beginning of treatment we usually offer a courtesy reduction to reflect the savings in bookkeeping.

Thirdly, we will finance the treatment in office without interest. This usually requires a down payment of approximately one third of the total treatment fee, and the balance paid out over 18 monthly payments.

Have a Flex Account through your employer? Please let us know. We can tailor your payment plan in order to optimize the benefits of a Flex Account, thereby saving dollars that would otherwise go to the IRS!