FAQ

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 At 20 Mile Orthodontics and Prairie Hawk Orthodontics, it’s important to us that our patients have a good understanding of orthodontic treatment and all it entails. Whether you’re interested in Invisalign for yourself or early treatment for your children, our patients come to our office with plenty of great questions about their orthodontic journey. Below, Dr. Struhs answers some of our frequently asked questions so that you always have the information you need when you’re not at one of our offices. ​

Do I have to ask my family dentist to schedule my first appointment with the orthodontist?

h-braces4.jpgNo, you don’t. Some of our patients are referred by their family dentists, but it’s not a requirement. If you hear about our from a family member or friend, feel free to reach out to us at your convenience.

At what age should I schedule an appointment for an orthodontic screening?

We agree with the recommendation made by the American Association of Orthodontists (AAO) that states all children should receive their first orthodontic evaluation by the age of seven. This allows Dr. Struhs to evaluate your child’s teeth, jaw and bite and decide if early intervention is needed.

Will my teeth straighten out as they grow?

No, they won’t. The only way to straighten your teeth or correct your bite is to undergo orthodontic treatment. As you age, malocclusions (bad bites)  can become more severe and more expensive to fix.

How do I schedule an appointment with Dr. Struhs?

You can call us at our Parker office (20 Mile Orthodontics) at (303) 841-2262 or our Castle Rock office (Prairie Hawk Orthodontics) at (720) 733-0353. Alternatively, you can complete our appointment request form online.

What will happen at the initial examination appointment?

Dr. Struhs will provide you with a thorough examination followed by a discussion of your recommended course of treatment. To learn more about what to expect, you can visit our first visit page.

What will I learn from the initial examination and consultation?

We will answer five essential questions during your first visit with Dr. Struhs including:

  • What orthodontic problem do you have?
  • What must be done in order to correct the problem?
  • Will any teeth need to be extracted?
  • How long will the treatment take?
  • How much will the treatment cost?

If you have any additional questions, we encourage you to ask during the consultation appointment.

Will I need to have teeth extracted before beginning treatment?

Sometimes it is necessary to extract teeth before braces or Invisalign treatment can begin. Dr. Struhs will let you know if you need to have any teeth extracted once he performs the initial exam.

How long will it take to complete treatment?

Treatment time varies from one patient to the next, depending upon each patient’s unique orthodontic needs. Generally speaking, treatment time lasts anywhere from 8 to 30 months, with most patients falling anywhere between 18 to 24 months.

How much does treatment cost? Do you offer any financing options? Does my insurance cover the cost of orthodontic treatment?

 We will let you know the exact cost of your treatment and tell you about the financial options we offer during your first visit with us. We will also go over your insurance policy to help you maximize your benefit and file your claims.

How often will I have appointments?

We ask most patients to visit us every four to six weeks so Dr. Struhs can monitor their progress. If you need more frequent monitoring, we will schedule your appointments accordingly.

Can I schedule all of my appointments after school?

Unfortunately, we cannot schedule all appointments for students during after-school hours. However, we offer very flexible scheduling times to accommodate all our patients. And since most appointments are scheduled 5 to 8 weeks apart, most patients will miss very little school due to their orthodontic appointments. Feel free to give either of our offices a call for our available times.

Can I drop my child off for an appointment?

Yes. We understand that parents are busy people! We do appreciate it if you check in with us before dropping off your child in case we have anything to speak with you about.

Do braces hurt?

While braces don’t generally “hurt”, it is common to feel some minor pressure or soreness as your teeth are being moved, and especially immediately following your adjustment appointments. However, these feelings are normal and a sign that your orthodontic treatment is working as your teeth are slowing moving into their new positions.

Can I return to school the day I receive my braces?

Yes, there is no reason your child cannot return to school the same day.

Do you give shots?

No. Shots are not necessary in orthodontic treatment.

Do you use recycled braces?

Absolutely not! Every patient gets new braces.

Can I still play sports?

Yes. He or she should always wear a protective mouthguard when playing sports to protect his/her teeth and braces from injury and harm.

Do I need to see my family dentist while in braces?

Yes. It is important to visit your family dentist while you’re wearing braces to ensure your teeth and gums remain healthy.

Are there any food restrictions I need to follow when wearing braces?

Yes. You need to steer clear of braces-busting foods like hard, crunchy and sticky foods. We will give you a complete list of foods you can and cannot eat once we put braces on your teeth.

How often should I brush my teeth while in braces?

You should brush your teeth four times every day which includes after every meal and before bedtime.

What is an emergency appointment? How are those handled?

If something is causing you pain or something on your braces loosens or breaks, we ask that you call us right away. In most cases, we can tell you what to do over the phone. If you do require an emergency appointment to replace or repair something, we will work you into our schedule. You can also visit our emergencies page for more information.

Can my child wear braces if he/she still has primary teeth?

Yes, if your child’s orthodontic problem is significant enough. If we determine that your child is not yet ready for treatment, we’ll monitor his or her growth and development until the time is right to start treatment.

What is Phase One (early) Treatment?

Phase 1 treatment (aka early treatment) usually begins between the ages of 7 and 10 and lasts for about 6 to 18 months. The main goal of Phase 1 treatment is to address significant problems to prevent them from becoming more severe and provide other immediate benefits. 

Will my child need full braces if he/she has Phase One treatment?

It's safe to assume that your child will need to wear full braces even after Phase 1 treatment.

Will my child need an expander?

Once we’ve completed your child’s initial examination, we will let you know if he/she needs an expander.

Is it too late to have braces if I am already an adult?

Nobody is too old to wear braces! In fact, about ¼ of our patients are adults and that number continues to grow.

Can I wear braces even though I have crowns and missing teeth?

Yes, you can still wear braces if you have crowns or missing teeth.

Why should I choose an orthodontic specialist?

An orthodontist is a dental specialist that only provides orthodontic treatment to his or her patients. While your dentist can provide you with general dental care to help keep your teeth and gums healthy, your orthodontist has the training and expertise necessary to provide you with safe and effective orthodontic treatment using braces and other orthodontic appliances including Invisalign.

Contact Your Local Parker Orthodontist Today!

We hope you found these questions and answers helpful! If you have any additional questions, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us! You can give either of our offices a call, or complete an appointment request form online. We’re proud to serve patients in Parker and Castle Rock, as well as the surrounding communities of Franktown, Elizabeth, Kiowa and Douglas County. Stop by one of our offices soon!