We recently teamed up with Dr. Brian Smith of Smith Orthodontics to help ease our fears and answer some really important questions when it comes to braces. Check out the first part of our conversation, including what to look for in an orthodontist and when to get your kiddos checked out.
He provided more insight into the mama must-knows before ultimately taking the braces plunge :
Do braces hurt?
Dr. Brian : I think this might be the most frequently asked question by kiddos! One of the great things about being an orthodontist is that the typical discomfort or pain sometimes associated with traditional dentistry doesn’t apply to what we do! As teeth move, our patients do feel slight discomfort and possibly some tenderness in their teeth, but most would say braces are not painful. And the process of placing braces on the teeth is also pain-free. Once braces are placed on the teeth, our experienced team makes sure to conduct a “comfort-check” to make sure each patient is comfortable before walking out the door. And every patient receives a special goody-bag to help them get accustomed to their new braces, including a card for a complimentary Freddy’s Frozen Custard. We find this helps tender teeth because ice cream therapy is always a good thing!
How long is standard orthodontic treatment?
Dr. Brian : Since no two smiles are the same, orthodontic treatment varies in length. Typical treatment for a child can take between 18 to 24 months. While you might see advertisements for braces with a guaranteed six-month treatment time, it is important to understand that holding teeth in proper alignment after they are straight is crucial to the long-term maintenance of the new position. Many factors come into play during orthodontic treatment. Teeth often move more quickly in kids than adults. Patient cooperation and oral hygiene are also important. We work hard to be efficient at every appointment; our patients’ time is important to us and our goal is always to do all we can to help everyone finish their treatment on schedule.
What does orthodontic treatment entail, exactly?
Dr. Brian : Orthodontic treatment varies depending on the bite and issues we are addressing. For those in traditional braces, we typically schedule adjustments every six to eight weeks (to make sure the braces are doing their job). One of the things we pride ourselves in at our office is that I see every patient at every adjustment appointment. These adjustments are important because they allow me to assess tooth movement and make custom-tailored adjustments for each patient. For invisalign treatment, some appointments can be spaced out even further. We value our patients’ time and work hard to find appointments that fit busy schedules and school calendars. Kylie, our Scheduling Coordinator, does a wonderful job finding appointments that fit into your family’s lifestyle.
Let’s hear it. How much can I expect to pay for braces?
Dr. Brian : One of the things I love about orthodontics is that every individual has a unique smile. How we correct one patient’s bite or alignment will be different than the next. And because our patients’ needs vary, their fees will vary slightly too. Treatment fees can range from $200 for retainers to maintain your smile to $5000 for typical comprehensive orthodontic care. Invisalign, the clear aligner system, is also an option for our patients, with fees starting around $1600. In our office, we provide an up-front comprehensive fee, as there are no add-ons or surprises. This fee covers the cost of all appliances, x-rays, treatment, and retainers in our office. We even follow our patients for up to one year after they have completed treatment to monitor their smile after treatment is finished. Our office also files insurance for our patients, which can reduce the cost significantly for some.
We never want fees to be a barrier to preventing patients from pursuing orthodontic treatment. The health benefits of properly aligned teeth and the transformation we see in our patients after achieving a smile they love are too important to us. Our Treatment Coordinator, Taylor, does an incredible job of working with our patients to find a payment plan that is customized to their needs.
A big thank you to Dr. Brian for giving us a glimpse of what to expect when the time comes for braces. To learn more or to set up a complimentary consultation (remember to do this by age 7!) with Dr. Brian, be sure to visit smithortho.cc.
Dr. Brian’s orthodontic dream began when he was just five years old. A few decades later, he is now thrilled to pick up the torch and carry on his dad’s 30-year legacy of orthodontic excellence in Wichita.
After receiving his dental degree from the University of Missouri-Kansas City in 2007, Dr. Brian was accepted into an advanced education program where he completed a year of specialized dental training. He then moved on to an internship with the world-renowned Lancaster Cleft Palate Clinic in Pennsylvania. In 2011, Dr. Brian received his orthodontic certificate and Master’s degree from Indiana University. The combination of these distinctive experiences has developed Dr. Brian into a well-rounded orthodontist who strives for “more than a smile” with each patient he sees. Passionate about helping those in need in our community and across the world, Dr. Brian has volunteered in several public health clinics and has also taken dental outreach trips to Central and South America.
Dr. Brian has been married to his wife, Emily (also a Wichita native), since 2005. They welcomed their first child, Boone Robert in 2011 and Vera Noelle in 2014. They are also proud parents to two golden retrievers. After many years away from home, they are grateful to settle in Wichita and serve the city they love.
Disclosure : Wichita Moms Blog received compensation for this sponsored post. That said, Smith Orthodontics is WMB approved and an orthodontic practice we proudly stand behind!