Making the choice to improve your oral health and straighten your smile with orthodontic treatment is a big decision! You don’t want to trust your teeth to anyone other than an experienced orthodontist, but you may not be sure where to start. That’s why we’ve put together this list of three questions to ask when choosing an orthodontist in order to help you make an informed decision on your care.
Here at Ollins Orthodontics, we want you to feel empowered and educated from the first step of your orthodontic journey to the last! For a more detailed look at what you should know before committing to treatment, keep reading below!
Are you seeing a trained orthodontic specialist?
While it might feel like a pretty obvious question, this is probably the most important thing you can ask when considering braces treatment or clear aligner therapy! This is because some dentists are also able to provide orthodontic treatment, even though it isn’t their specialty. A general dentist will typically offer common dental services such as crowns, fillings, dentures, and occasional orthodontic treatment, such as Invisalign. However, an orthodontist spends their days dedicated to providing only orthodontic treatment and services.
This distinction matters a great deal. Imagine for a moment that you or your child needed specialized treatment or surgery. Would you feel comfortable with your family physician handling your case or would you prefer the care of a dedicated specialist? Orthodontists are dentists who have several years of additional specialized training and experience focused on orthodontics. That means an orthodontist has:
- studied the growth and maturation of the teeth and jaw
- been introduced to numerous case studies
- developed diagnostic skills
- learned biomechanical techniques to properly move teeth
- studied how to change the development of the dental alveolar complex and facial growth of younger patients
Since orthodontic residency programs are extremely competitive, only the top students in any dental school’s graduating class are accepted. These orthodontic programs last around 2-3 years on average with full-time training that focuses on correcting orthodontic issues with braces, aligners, and other treatments. While there are definitely exceptions to every rule, most dentists will not possess this level of exhaustive orthodontic training and experience.
Dr. Bruce Ollins graduated from Brooklyn College before attending the University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine. From there, he earned his Orthodontic Specialty degree from UMDNJ and went on to establish Ollins Orthodontics. Dr. Ollins has been creating healthy, beautiful smiles in Nutley for 40 years and is committed to giving patients the most up-to-date treatments and technology available.
Dr. Gabriel Ollins is proud to have followed in his father’s footsteps in providing outstanding orthodontic care as a part of Ollins Orthodontics since 2007. Dr. Ollins graduated from The George Washington University and the University of Maryland Dental School where he earned both his Dental degree and orthodontic certificate. Dr. Ollins shares his father’s passion for providing state-of-the-art orthodontic care and treatments to patients of all ages in Nutley and the surrounding communities.
Here at Ollins Orthodontics, our only focus is on orthodontic care and treatment. Drs. Bruce and Gabriel Ollins perform teeth straightening procedures daily, and the entire Ollins Orthodontics team stays up to date on the latest in industry practice by regularly attending continuing education courses. Our doctors have also equipped our Nutley office with the most current orthodontic equipment in order to better serve our patients. At Ollins Orthodontics, we’re committed to providing you with the best in high-quality, individualized orthodontic care!
What treatment options do you have available?
Traditional metal braces are still the most commonly used orthodontic appliance, and they have come a long way in recent years! Today’s braces are typically made of a mix of high-grade stainless steel, nickel, and other durable metals. Bands wrap around the back molars, and smaller metal brackets are cemented to the front surfaces of the other teeth. There is also a thin, springy metal wire that runs through the brackets, which may be fixed to the brackets by flexible elastics, metal ties, or another type of clasp. All of these components come together to gently guide your teeth into the desired positions over time.
Metal braces are a reliable, effective, and affordable option. They’re also more comfortable and customizable than ever before. With smaller, lighter brackets and a multitude of colored bands to choose from, metal braces are a perfect fit for every personality!
The Invisalign system is made up of a series of customized aligners that are nearly invisible and completely removable. Unlike traditional braces, no metal brackets and wires are needed to move the teeth! This offers patients a measure of freedom and flexibility that traditional braces just can’t beat. Designed to fit snugly but comfortably over your own teeth, Invisalign provides a more subtle and comfortable orthodontic experience. When worn 20-22 hours per day, as recommended by your doctor, and changed out weekly with the next in the set, these aligners will gradually move your teeth into the desired positions.
Although Invisalign and Invisalign Teen work the same way when it comes to the underlying technology, Invisalign Teen was created with the unique needs of teen patients in mind. There are a few special features that are specific to the Invisalign Teen system, including the following:
To help teens stick to their treatment plan, Invisalign Teen has a compliance indicator incorporated into each aligner. This will fade from blue to clear as it is used, providing a visual approximation of wear. This lets patients, parents, and orthodontists keep track of patient use. If a teen is skipping out on hours, it will be noticeable in enough time for us to correct compliance, thus keeping the overall process moving along according to plan.
This feature accommodates the growth of the second molars in young adults, helping to keep space open for unerupted teeth and making it possible to treat a wider range of conditions with Invisalign.
We all lose or damage things from time to time. While we encourage all of our Invisalign patients to be careful with their aligners, teens don’t need to worry about misplacing or losing one. Invisalign Teen anticipates it happening, and provides up to six replacement aligners at no charge, just in case!
How frequent are follow-up visits in the office?
Whatever treatment option you choose, you can expect relatively frequent visits to your orthodontist. For patients in braces, adjustment appointments will be scheduled every 4-6 weeks or so. During these visits, your doctor will check your teeth’s progress, replace any worn-out rubber bands, and make adjustments to the wires to ensure the teeth are being pulled in the right direction. Invisalign patients may be seen slightly less frequently, but these appointments are still an essential part of the orthodontic process.
Although treatment time varies from case to case, the average patient will spend anywhere from 1-3 years in braces or aligners. Be prepared to see us regularly! We know how busy your family is, and your time is valuable to us. That’s why we never overbook patients and always aim to see you at your scheduled time!
Expertise you can trust at Ollins Orthodontics
For an optimal orthodontic experience, you can’t do better than Dr. Bruce and Dr. Gabriel Ollins! You’ll receive a personalized treatment plan and unmatched care from your first appointment to your last. Since their sole specialty is orthodontics, our doctors have the experience and expertise necessary to give you the absolute best in treatments, cost, and efficiency as you work to straighten your smile.
If you’re interested in learning more about starting your orthodontic journey, our team would love to meet you! When you schedule a FREE consultation with our office, you’ll receive a thorough examination by one of our doctors. They’ll discuss any diagnosis with you, and walk you through what your next steps should be. This is a no-pressure appointment! Even if you decide not to pursue orthodontic treatment immediately, we’ll gladly answer any questions or address any concerns you may have in order to help you make an informed decision.
There’s never been a better time to go after the smile you’ve always wanted, so contact us today to schedule your free consultation!