On your FIRST VISIT, Here’s what you can EXPECT:

1. A thorough examination by the orthodontist to determine:

Necessity of orthodontic treatment
Best time to initiate treatment
Treatment cost (including insurance and payment options available)
Time it will take to complete treatment
Next step

2. A written, verbal and video interactive explanation of the problems as well as options available to correct them.

3. Our treatment coordinator will discuss fees specific to your case, your insurance benefits as well as establish an individualized payment arrangement. We will coordinate any visits with your dentist or other dental specialist as needed. We will also schedule any necessary appointments.

4. There is no charge for the initial exam and it typically lasts 40-60 minutes.

PRIOR to your first visit with us…

1. Download the New Patient History Forms and fill them out . You can email the completed forms to us directly or print it out and bring it in with you to your first visit.

2. Provide us with any information you have on your ORTHODONTIC INSURANCE. That way we can find out your specific coverage and inform you of your insurance benefit the day of your exam.

3. Bring in any x-rays, models, or other dental records that you may have had taken previously.

4. Write down any questions you may have and bring them in with you to ask the doctor.

5. If at all possible, we recommend to have both parents present at the exam for child patients.

Welcome to our office!

We look forward to including you as part of our orthodontic family!

Serving Orange County communities of Mission Viejo, Aliso Viejo, Irvine, Laguna Hills, Laguna Niguel, Laguna Woods, Lake Forest, Ladera Ranch, Rancho Santa Margarita, Dove Canyon, Coto de Caza, Foothill Ranch, Trabuco Canyon, San Juan Capistrano, and San Clemente.

Common Questions

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 they 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, send us an
e-mail or fill out or appointment request form 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.

5. What will happen at the initial examination appointment?

Upon arriving, each patient and parent will be seen by the staff and doctor who will acclimate you to our
office and prepare for the initial exam. We will take the necessary photographs and X-rays to allow us
to make a proper diagnosis. The doctor will then complete a brief, but thorough, exam.
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 not always necessary for orthodontic treatment.

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 12 to 30 months. The “average” time frame a person is in braces is approximately 22

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 exact
cost and financial options during the initial examination. We have several financing options available to
accommodate your needs, and we will review these with you. 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 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. We will, however, make a sincere effort to meet your scheduling

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 their patient manager 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

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. 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 Phase One (early) Treatment?

Phase One treatment, if necessary, is usually initiated on children between the ages of 7 and 10. Phase
One treatment usually lasts about 16-21 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

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 percent of all orthodontic patients are
adults. Health, happiness and self-esteem are vitally important to adults. No patient is “too old” to wear

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.

Invisalign FAQ

Q. How often must I wear my aligners?
A. You must wear your aligners for up to 22 hours daily. You may remove them for eating, drinking and regular oral hygiene.

Q. Are there any restrictions to what I can eat while in treatment?
A. No. Unlike braces, you may eat whatever you like as long as you remove the aligners before eating.
Prior to placing the aligners back on, it is important to brush your teeth and the aligners after you eat.

Q. Will wearing the aligners affect my speech?
A. Like any orthodontic treatment, there is a short adjustment period. The more you speak with the aligners on, the quicker you will adjust.

Q. Is there any discomfort with Invisalign® treatment?
A. There will be some pressure and minor discomfort for a day or two after each initial insertion. This is a sign that your teeth are moving sequentially into their final position.

Q. Can I chew gum?
A. It is recommended that you remove your aligners prior to chewing gum as the gum will stick to the aligners.

Q. Can I smoke with the aligners in?
A. We discourage smoking with aligners as the cigarette smoke will tend to discolor them.

Q. How do I keep my aligners clean?
A. Brushing them with toothpaste will keep them fresh and clean.

Q. How often do I see an orthodontist while wearing Invisalign®?
A. Regular office visits are every five to six weeks. This will ensure that your Invisalign treatment is
progressing as planned.

Q. What happens after my treatment is complete? Do I need retainers?
A. All orthodontic patients are instructed to wear their retainers at night indefinitely. Sleeping with your
retainers in at night will ensure a healthy bite and maintain the new position of your teeth.

Q. How long does Invisalign treatment take?
A. Treatment time varies depending on the severity of the misaligned teeth. Treatment time can be
shorter than traditional braces, between six and 18 months.

Q. Does Invisalign work for kids?
A. Yes, if their teeth, including second molars, have grown in completely.