Hometown Orthodontics Answers
Have questions about braces, clear aligners, or other aspects of treatment? You’re not alone!
Dr. Powell answers all sorts of questions for people like you all over northern Arkansas, so, for your convenience, we’ve compiled the most common orthodontic questions and answers below.
If you don't see your question listed, you can always feel free to call our office at (501) 268-2000 and your Hometown team will answer any other questions you want to ask.
Frequent Questions Around Searcy & Heber Springs
Selecting an orthodontist in Searcy or Heber Springs who can safely and efficiently help you achieve your smile dreams is important.
Orthodontists like Dr. Powell are dental specialists who diagnose, prevent, and treat dental and facial irregularities. This means she’s better qualified to give you the smile of your dreams at her offices in Searcy or Heber Springs than aligners in the mail.
Dr. Powell received an additional two to three years of specialized education beyond dental school to learn the proper way to align and straighten teeth.
Only those like Dr. Powell with this formal education may call themselves “orthodontists,” and only orthodontists may be members of the American Association of Orthodontists (AAO).
Dr. Nicole Powell from Hometown Orthodontics has achieved this specialization and is an active member of AAO.
The American Association of Orthodontists and Dr. Powell recommend an orthodontic screening at age seven. By this age, most children in Searcy and Heber Springs have several permanent teeth that have erupted, letting us accurately forecast and evaluate their orthodontic needs.
By this age, Dr. Powell can spot subtle problems with jaw growth and emerging teeth while some baby teeth are still present.
That’s important, because some orthodontic problems may be easier to correct if they are found early at Hometown Orthodontics.
Most orthodontic patients at our Searcy and Heber Springs offices begin active braces treatment between ages 9 and 14.
Orthodontic treatment can be successful at almost any age. In fact, about one in every five Hometown Orthodontics patients today is over age 18.
Thanks to today’s smaller, less visible, and more comfortable orthodontic appliances (including metal braces, ceramic braces, and clear aligners), adults find treatment appealing.
Patients who need orthodontic treatment generally have one to three years of active treatment.
This can be determined through a free consultation at our offices in Searcy and Heber Springs.
Your cost of orthodontic treatment at Hometown Orthodontics depends on many factors. These factors include the severity of the problem, how complex the problem is, and how long treatment lasts.
Dr. Powell will be glad to discuss the cost of treatment and your financing options with you before treatment begins.
The good news is that braces are more affordable today than ever at our offices in Searcy and Heber Springs. Our team also works with insurance companies in Arkansas and offers payment plans that meet your family’s budget.
Most orthodontic problems are genetic or inherited. Examples of these inherited problems are crowding, spacing, protrusion, extra or missing teeth, and some jaw growth problems.
Other oral problems are caused by thumb or finger-sucking, dental disease, accidents, the early or late loss of babyteeth, or other causes.
Crooked and crowded teeth are hard to clean and maintain. A bad bite can wear down teeth, make it hard to chew and talk and create stress on supporting bone and gum tissue.
Without treatment, many problems become worse and can require additional dental care later in life.
Orthodontic treatment is a partnership between you and Dr. Powell. Dr. Powell will provide custom-made, fixed, or removable appliances that use gentle pressure to move teeth into their proper positions.
Your job is to follow Dr. Powell’s instructions, keep your scheduled orthodontic appointments, and maintain excellent oral hygiene to get the best results.
You’ll also need to see your general dentist around Searcy and Heber Springs to keep up with your general dental hygiene.
The fact is that throughout your lifetime, even though you have had orthodontic treatment, you can expect changes in tooth position.
Many factors at work may cause teeth to shift. Such changes are different for everyone, and most of the time, they are hardly noticeable.
However, on occasion, changes can occur that are disappointing to both the patient and Dr. Powell. Changes in tooth position are not a failure of your orthodontic treatment.
There is a natural process. We expect changes in our bodies as we grow older and teeth are no exception. To help control and limit these changes, retainers are prescribed after your braces are removed.
If you notice an unwanted change in your smile or bite, contact Hometown Orthodontics for a free consultation.
You might need an orthodontic tune-up from Dr. Powell to help you regain proper alignment. Orthodontic tune-ups at Hometown Orthodontics can be shorter and less treatment-intensive than starting from square one.
Not necessarily! Research suggests that wisdom teeth don’t always cause teeth to shift.
In most cases, wisdom teeth are removed for general dental health reasons rather than for orthodontic health.
Your family dentist or Dr. Powell can help determine whether or not your wisdom teeth need to be removed.
Dr. Powell will recommend how long to continue wearing your retainers, whether they are removable (the kind you put in and take out) or fixed (bonded behind your teeth).
Wearing your retainers, as prescribed, is the best way to keep your teeth from moving after your orthodontic treatment.
There are many reasons teeth may move following orthodontic treatment at Hometown Orthodontics. Teeth are not set in concrete, they’re in bone.
Since the bone around your teeth is continually changing (breaking down and rebuilding), your teeth may shift after your braces are removed.
By wearing your retainers, your teeth are more likely to remain where Dr. Powell has placed them through your braces treatment.
The small changes that happen after braces are removed are due to settling in as you use your teeth for biting and chewing.
The more serious and unwanted changes may be traced to genetics or later-than-normal growth, which is unpredictable.
Movement is most common in lower front teeth. This is particularly true if the teeth were extremely crowded before treatment. Changes in tooth position are a lifelong and naturally occurring phenomenon.
The best way to keep your teeth from shifting is to wear your retainers as prescribed by Dr. Powell. If you notice movement after your braces are removed, please contact Hometown Orthodontics.
No! Retainers stabilize and preserve the alignment of teeth and jaws that Dr. Powell achieved with your orthodontic treatment at Hometown Orthodontics.
Many people around Searcy and Heber Springs wear removable retainers nightly for the rest of their lives. Ask Dr. Powell for guidance about your long-term retainer use.