No.  If there is something about your teeth or smile that concerns you, call us and we can see you for a consultation appointment.  We work together with any dentist to make sure your teeth are as healthy, clean, and beautiful as possible.

Quite simply put, No.  In review studies that combine all the research comparing Damon and other self-ligating brackets to conventional brackets, the results do not support the claim that Damon brackets treat cases faster (There does appear to be a modest decrease in adjustment time by about 20 seconds per patient, but this is more of a benefit to the orthodontist and not to the patient).  Nor does the research support claims that self-ligating brackets achieve more/better expansion or that they “grow” bone while expanding.  Self-ligating brackets are often called “friction free.”  This may be true in specialized lab settings, but in real life clinical settings (i.e. an actual patient’s mouth) it is not accurate.  The claim that self-ligating brackets use lighter forces is also not supported, and in fact at some points in treatment they may actually use higher forces.  Claims that self-ligating brackets are less painful are also not supported by strong evidence.  Claims that self-ligating brackets are cleaner than conventional brackets are also not accurate.  The bottom line is that there are a number of claims made by the companies that sell self-ligating brackets to orthodontists, and orthodontists that use the brackets make these same claims to the patients they are trying to sell treatments to.  However none of these claims can really be supported by strong evidence, and some claims are quite clearly false.*

*Marshall SD, et al.  Self ligating bracket claims.  American Journal of Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopedics 2010;138:128-31
 Shih-Hsuan Chen S.  Systematic review of self-ligating brackets.  American Journal of Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopedics 2010; 137: 726.e1-726.e18

Dr. George is trained with this system, as well as many others, and we can certainly use it.  However, it is important to us that we not mislead our patients into thinking they are getting a better of faster treatment because they have a magical bracket glued to their teeth.  Damon brackets are neat brackets, and it is a system that has some merits.  It can straighten teeth as well as many other systems, but not better or faster. We do not make claims that cannot be supported when we use any bracket system.  Others should adhere to this principle as well, for the good of all patients, and the good of our profession.

If you are interested in Damon brackets, please inform us at your consultation and we can determine if it is right for you.  Do remember that it is your orthodontist’s skill and knowledge that determines the outcome of your treatment, not the brand of brackets or marketing hype!

It depends.  If you have minor problems, your treatment could be fairly short.  However, the advertised 6 month treatment programs you are asking about seek to treat every case in 6 months no matter the severity. Oftentimes, there appears to be a great improvement after initial tooth alignment at 6 months.  But initial alignment is only the first part of an orthodontist’s job.  If we stopped treatment at 6 months in every case, not only would we be leaving the job incomplete in most cases, but many times we would be making matters worse.  The bite may be worse, the result would likely be unstable, the teeth and surrounding tissues could be damaged, and even though the teeth may be lined up well, they may not even look better!  Although a cosmetic improvement is a major focus for patients, an orthodontist must focus both on cosmetics and function.  If we rushed orthodontic treatment in order to finish in 6 months, very often we would be doing a great disservice to our patients.  If I told you I could give you a haircut in 10 seconds, would you let me?  Of course there are conditions that could be treated in 6 months, and an orthodontist can best determine this for you.  An orthodontist spends 2 to 3 years learning how to diagnose and treat malocclusions, and this amount of information cannot be learned in a 2 day course.

An orthodontist is a dentist who has graduated from an orthodontic residency program where he or she has received extra training after dental school.  An orthodontic residency program is typically 2 to 3 years in duration, is full time, and is devoted to straightening teeth and correcting jaw discrepancies.  After completing a residency, an orthodontist dedicates his practice only to orthodontics.  Orthodontics is a specialty of dentistry.  This means that every orthodontist is a dentist, but not every dentist is an orthodontist.  Most dental schools teach a very limited amount of orthodontics, but a general dentist can still practice orthodontics, as long as he doesn’t call himself an orthodontist.  It can be a confusing task to determine who has the additional orthodontic residency training and who does not, but if in doubt, ask the doctor if he is a true specialist in orthodontics or a general dentist practicing orthodontics.  This way you can make an informed decision about where you would feel most comfortable receiving orthodontic treatment.

Since each patient has a unique orthodontic problem, ranging from very mild to severe, it is not possible to quote fees without first having an exam by Dr. George.  We do offer payment plans to make treatment affordable.  Do not put off the exam/consultation because you have a preconceived notion that braces are too expensive.  At the complimentary consultation, Dr. George will answer all your questions about treatment, including cost.   You may be pleasantly surprised at how affordable it is to get a great smile!  Orthodontic treatment is truly an investment in yourself or your child, one which you can enjoy for many years.

Yes.  Anything hard or sticky should not be eaten during orthodontic treatment, or you risk breaking brackets off.  If brackets are broken off the teeth, the teeth cannot be moved.  This results in a longer treatment, and we like to be as efficient as possible.  Chips, popcorn, taffy, gum, hard pizza crust, and many other foods can damage your braces.  We give you a more extensive list, as well as other instructions on the day you get your braces.

Definitely.  Although we see you on a monthly basis, we cannot check for cavities as thoroughly or with the same radiographs as your general dentist can.  We also do not provide the necessary cleanings and fluoride treatments that your dentist does.  Additionally, many times procedures may be necessary for your orthodontic treatment which require a general dentist (i.e. extractions, restorations, or veneers).  If you do not have a general dentist, we are happy to see you for your orthodontic consultation, but it is imperative that you find a dentist before we bond braces on your teeth.  Then you should continue to see your general dentist during your orthodontic treatment.  At George Orthodontics, we don’t just want you to have straight teeth, we want you to have clean, healthy teeth and gums as well.

If you are unable to make it to your scheduled appointment, please inform our office as soon as possible.  We prefer at least 24 hours notice, but if something should come up even the same day as your appointment, please call us to let us know.  We will reschedule your appointment for the next available time.  If we do not receive notice from you prior to a missed appointment, we will contact you as soon as possible to reschedule, but please be aware that multiple missed or delayed appointments will increase your treatment time.

Call our office and inform us that you have a “broken bracket.”  If you recently had an appointment, we will likely ask you to come in for a visit to reattach the bracket to your tooth.  If a bracket breaks a few days before you are scheduled to see us, we may wait until your scheduled appointment to fix it (as long as it is not hurting you).  But please call our office either way so that we may allow more time to fix the bracket, and have the instruments and materials prepared when you arrive.

Not really, but we do like to know as soon as possible.  If a bracket is loose for a long time, then your tooth may not move the direction we would like, or may start moving back to its old “crooked” place.  Of course if the loose bracket is causing you discomfort than we would like to see you to fix it as quickly as we can.  Most loose brackets do not cause any pain at all, but if yours is, you can use some of the soft wax we gave you in your kit to place on the areas that may be hurting until we see you.  Remember that you can prevent loose brackets by avoiding hard and sticky foods.  Multiple loose brackets will prolong your treatment.

Yes!  If you are a patient of ours, please call our office as soon as possible.  If it is after hours call the emergency number on the answering machine.  You should call your general or pediatric dentist as well.

Yes.  Monument patients can visit us in our Colorado Springs location for appointments and Colorado Springs patients can visit us in our Monument location when necessary.  Just make sure to schedule your appointiment in the appropriate location as we are not open in both locations on the same day.