FAQ's

Orthodontic treatment is an easy way to improve your smile. When you invest in looking better and living a healthier life with a beautiful smile, you can elevate your self esteem. A winning smile is a powerful asset no matter what your age. Our office is here to answer your orthodontic questions from braces to Invisalignearly treatment (Phase I treatment) to adult orthodontics. You, like many other orthodontic patients in Burbank, Valley Village, Studio City, Sherman Oaks may have questions about living with bracesfees and Insurance, and appointments.  This section is dedicated to answering the most frequently asked questions  in orthodontic /braces treatment.  We invite you to browse through this section and call our Laurel Canyon Blvd. office at (818) 980-5300 so that we can answer your specific questions.

Q: Do I need a referral for an orthodontic  evaluation at Dr. Fotovat and Dr. Sands' office?
A: No, many times people notice a problem with crooked or spaced teeth, and /or a bad bite on their own.  Your general dentist may  refer you or you may just call our Laurel Canyon Blvd. office directly at 818 980- 5300 if you notice a problem.

Q: What treatment options are available to me as an adult?
A: Thirty five percent of our orthodontic patients are adults. It's never too late for a beautiful healthy smile. We have patients in their 50's, 60's, and even 70's.   Adult Orthodontics may include  metal brace,  clear braces and Invisalign.

Q: Can I wear braces even though I have crowns and /or missing teeth?
A:  Yes. Often times orthodontic treatment is necessary to place the remaining teeth in their proper alignment so that the dentist can place a more ideal restoration (crown, bridge, or implant). If you already have a crown on your tooth, it will move just as easily as any other tooth.

Q: I have had crooked teeth for many years.  What is the advantage of moving them now?
A: Many times when you have crooked teeth, you also have a bad bite which means your teeth are not coming together properly, and they are being worn unevenly.  If left untreated , this excessive wear can lead to cracked teeth and more dental work.  Orthodontic treatment can  restore good function and teeth that work better, last longer, and  usually look better too. It is also harder to properly brush and floss your teeth when your teeth are crooked. Having straight teeth will lead to easier access for proper oral hygiene and keeping your teeth healthy for the rest of your life.

Q:Why is it important to go to an orthodontic specialist like Dr. Fotovat and Dr. Sands?
A: You  wouldn't go  to a family  medicine doctor if you needed heart surgery - you would go to a cardiologist.  The same concept applies to orthodontics. Your teeth and sometimes your entire facial structure are permanently altered by orthodontic treatment.  It is important to go to an orthodontic specialist who has had specific training for an additional two to three years dedicated to the art and science of moving the teeth and aligning the jaws. 

Q: I see ads for perfect teeth in one or two visits to the dentist. Will that give me straight teeth?
A: Not really.  Veneers are designed to temporarily cover and mask the crooked teeth.  An orthodontist can straighten your own teeth without anything covered over them.

Q: How do I make an appointment for an orthodontic evaluation?
A: It's easy. You can call our office on Laurel Canyon Blvd. in Valley Village at (818) 980-5300  or go to  request a complimentary consultation and we will be happy to schedule an appointment for you or your child.

Q: How much does the initial consultation cost?
A: Nothing. Your orthodontic evaluation at our Laurel Canyon Blvd. office  is complimentary!

Q:What do you do at the initial consultation appointment?
A:At your first visit  to our Valley Village office, you will meet our treatment coordinator, who will give you a tour of our office and introduce you to our practice. Dr. Fotovat or Dr. Sands will conduct a thorough examination of the alignment of your teeth and jaws and will review them with you.  They will also present you with all your treatment options and answer any pertinent questions you may have regarding your orthodontic needs.

Q: What will I learn after my initial orthodontic consultation?
A: After Dr. Fotovat or Dr. Sands have a chance to do a complete orthodontic evaluation, they can answer some key questions for you. 1- Do you need orthodontic treatment? If yes, then 2- What needs to be done to correct the orthodontic problem? 3- How long will the orthodontic treatment take? 4- How much will it cost? Does insurance cover some of it? The Doctors will be happy to answer any other questions that may be unique to your case.

Q: What is the best age to schedule my child's first orthodontic evaluation?
A: The American Association of Orthodontists recommends your child's first orthodontic evaluation at age seven.  By this age several key permanent teeth, such as the six year molars and laterals and central incisors, have come into place, and your child's jaw growth pattern is becoming apparent.  Your orthodontist can effectively diagnose  and prevent many potential problems that can be presented at an early age. Often times early treatment may not be indicated, but the proper guidance of your child's growth and development can be monitored by Dr. Fotovat or Dr. Sands, so that they can recommend the best and most efficient treatment for your child's individual needs. 

Q: Can my child's teeth straighten out on their own?
A: No. The jaw growth pattern and the space available for the permanent teeth does not self correct. In general, the problems become more amplified as you grow older.

Q: Does my child need braces even when they still have some baby teeth?
A: Some orthodontic problems are significant enough to require early intervention.  This is why early orthodontic evaluations can allow orthodontists like Dr. Fotovat and Dr. Sands, to monitor the growth and development of your child, to determine the perfect time to begin orthodontic treatment.

Q: What is early treatment (Phase I)?
A: There are times when early treatment(Phase I) can benefit children who may not be ready for full braces but have skeletal or dental orthodontic problems that need to be addressed early on.  These problems may include but are not limited to : poor jaw relationship, traumatic  bite, lack of space for permanent teeth, avoiding impactions of permanent teeth, and severe bites that may affect self esteem.  Early correction of these problems  can help avoid major orthodontic problems later on.

Q: If my child has Phase I treatment, will they need braces again?
A: Yes.  Phase I treatment addresses any major issues that need early intervention.  Phase II treatment (full braces) is initiated after Dr. Fotovat and Dr. Sands carefully monitor your child's growth and development, and begin a second phase of orthodontic treatment to align all the permanent teeth.

Q:What is an expander and why is it used?
A: An expander is used to coordinate the alignment of the upper and lower jaw to correct crossbites. An expander is also used to widen the upper jaw to allow more space for permanent teeth to erupt and avoid possible impactions of teeth (viewexpander video). Dr. Fotovat and Dr. Sands will evaluate and determine if your child can benefit from an expander.

Q: Will I need teeth removed for braces?
A: Sometimes.  A good orthodontic result strives to create a beautiful face with the teeth in the right place. There are times when it is necessary to remove teeth to achieve the most stable and facially esthetic results.  The important thing to remember is that all the spaces will be closed and you will not be able to see which teeth were extracted, when we are finished with treatment.  However, because of the state of the art next generation braces, along with space age wires in our orthodontic office, the need for removal of teeth has been greatly reduced.

Q: How long does orthodontic treatment take?
A: Orthodontic treatment depends on the severity of the bite and your cooperation.  It may take a few months or a few years to correct your bite.  The best way to find out, is to come in for a complimentary orthodontic evaluation at Dr. Fotovat and Dr. Sands' Laurel Canyon Blvd. office.

Q: How much does orthodontic treatment (braces/Invisalign) cost? Are financing options available?
A: The cost of orthodontic treatment depends on the severity and time required to correct your bite.  The best way to find out what it would cost for you to correct your bite, is to come in for a complimentary orthodontic evaluation at Dr. Fotovat and Dr. Sands' Laurel Canyon Blvd. office. At the time of your orthodontic consultation, we will be happy to review the fees & insurance, as well as discuss many financing options.  We will also file your insurance on your behalf.

Q: How do I keep my teeth clean while I have braces?
A: At the time your braces are placed, we will thoroughly review all the steps in keeping your teeth clean.  We will show you how to floss and brush with the braces on.  It is very important to the success of your orthodontic treatment  that you maintain clean and healthy teeth and gums, so that the teeth move efficiently. ReviewYou and your braces video.

Q: Are there foods to avoid while in braces?
A: Yes.  We will provide you with a list of foods that can easily break or loosen the braces.  Some of the foods listed are : nuts, hard and chewy foods like taffy , caramel, raw vegetables, ice, and hard candy. You should also avoid sugary and carbonated drinks that can increase the chance for cavities and decalcification.

Q: How often do I come in for adjustments for braces/Invisalign?
A: With the technologies in braces and Invisalign, your appointments are typically between 6 to 10 weeks apart.  The wires that we use, place gentler forces for longer periods of time, so that you don't need to come in as often for orthodontic adjustments, and your teeth are moving more efficiently than if you came in every month.  Invisalign patients can also benefit from coming in at longer appointment  intervals because we can prepare  your aligner sets to fit your busy schedule.

Q: What is my option if I don't want braces but I want straight teeth?
A: Invisalign is the clear option for you if you don't want braces, but you want straight teeth.  Not everyone is a candidate for  Invisalign.  At your complimentary orthodontic evaluation, Dr. Fotovat will let you know if your orthodontic needs can be achieved with Invisalign.

Q: Can all my child's appointments be scheduled after school?
A: Most of your appointments can be scheduled after school.  However, there are times when Dr. Fotovat and Dr. Sands will need to spend more time with you, and those appointments will take a longer time.  These longer appointments are scheduled in the mornings.  Longer appointments are typically procedures such as placing, removing, and repairing  the braces. Since most of the appointments are in 6-10 week intervals, very little school time is missed.  We also reference most school calendars in the San Fernando Valley area, including North Hollywood, Valley Village, Burbank, Sherman Oaks and Studio City, to help meet your scheduling needs.

Q: Can I go back to school or work after I get my braces/ Invisalign?
A: Absolutely. 

Q: Do braces/ Invisalign hurt?
A: Any time you get a new appliance, whether braces or  Invisalign, there is a period of adjusting to something new in your mouth.  You may feel a little sore for a few days, but your teeth will soon adjust to the braces or Invisalign.

Q: Do you need to give a shot (injection) for braces?
A: Injections(shots) are not given for  braces.

Q: Can I drop my child off  for their orthodontic appointment?
A: Most of the time, yes.  There are times that Dr. Fotovat and Dr. Sands may need to speak with you and to review treatment progress.  Please let our front office know in advance, so that we can make the proper arrangements.

Q: Do you recycle the braces?
A: No.  Our orthodontic office does not believe in using recycled braces.  Each patient gets their own new set of braces.

Q: Can I participate in sports activities with braces?
A: Yes.  We recommend getting an orthodontic mouth guard to protect your teeth while participating in any sport activity. We are happy to provide you with one, at no cost to you.

Q: Can I play a musical instrument with braces?
A: Yes.  It may take a little time to get used to playing wind or brass instruments with braces, but after a period of adjustment, it typically does not interfere with your performance.

Q: Can I have braces if I have nickel or metal allergies?
A: Yes.  Please let Dr. Fotovat and Dr. Sands know at the initial consultation appointment.  We offer titanium brackets, and we can evaluate to see if you are an Invisalign candidate to accommodate your  orthodontic needs.

Q: What do I do in case of an orthodontic emergency?
A: Fortunately, orthodontic emergencies are very infrequent.  If an emergency arises where your brackets are broken and you are in pain, you can go to  emergency info or call us at (818) 980-5300.  In most cases you can resolve the emergency by watching the online  emergency info or we can walk you through it over the phone.

Q: Do I still need to go to my family dentist while I have braces?
A: Absolutely.  Your general dentist will continue to provide you with regular checkups and cleanings.  We recommend that you visit your family dentist at least every 3 to 6 months.

Q:How do I distinguish an orthodontist from a general dentist?
A: Although any dentist can provide orthodontic treatment, only an orthodontist, such as Dr. Fotovat and Dr. Sands have had an additional two to three years of orthodontic training, dedicated to the art and science of aligning the jaws and teeth in the proper position.

 

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