We never want costs to stand in the way of quality treatment, which is why we are dedicated to providing our patients with care that is both effective and affordable. Your treatment plan will include a breakdown of all applicable fees, and we will inform you of all costs before treatment is administered. We offer a variety of payment options to meet your needs.
If you have any questions about financing or payment, ask us! We will thoroughly explain your choices and work hard to accommodate you.
When to See an Orthodontist
The most basic one is this: You should see an orthodontist any time you have a question about the alignment of your teeth, or the quality of your bite. Sometimes, a problem in this area is painfully obvious. For example, you may have difficulty biting, chewing or speaking, or some of your teeth may be clearly protruding, crowded or misplaced. If that’s the case, then it’s time to consult with our office — an orthodontist has the special skills and training needed to diagnose and treat the problem.
Other conditions may not be as clear cut. Mouth breathing, clenching or grinding your teeth, and the inability to comfortably close your lips may be signs that orthodontic treatment is needed. Likewise, if your jaws seem to frequently shift in position or make sounds as they move, or if you find you’re unintentionally biting your cheek or the roof of your mouth, you may have an orthodontic issue.
Orthodontics for Children Orthodontics for Adults
West Orthodontics is proud to offer a wide range of services, including braces and Invisalign, to patients throughout DeWitt, Lansing and the surrounding areas. We are excited to welcome you to your first visit here at our orthodontic office! We look forward to getting to know you and helping you obtain the smile of your dreams!
When you arrive at our office, our patient coordinator will welcome you and provide you with the necessary paperwork to fill out. You will then receive a tour of the office and meet Dr. West and her dedicated team. You should plan to spend at least 90 minutes with us during your first appointment. This will allow us to develop a personalized treatment plan that is tailored to your individual needs.
Your Orthodontic Exam Discussing Your Treatment Options
When a person’s teeth or jaws do not fit together properly, orthodontic treatment may be necessary to correct the problem. If left untreated, these orthodontic problems, often referred to as malocclusions, can cause speech difficulty, premature wear of the teeth and protective enamel, and even increase the chance of injury to the teeth and jaw joints.
An underbite is characterized by the lower jaw extending too far out, causing the lower front teeth to sit in front of the upper front teeth.
This malocclusion occurs when the upper teeth sit inside the lower teeth, which may cause abnormal erosion of teeth and misaligned jaw growth. In order to close the mouth, patients usually move their lower jaw forward or to the side when closing. This incorrect bite results in an improper use of the lower jaws and sometimes brings about facial asymmetry.
The appearance and function of your teeth are impacted by this type of bite. It is characterized by the upper teeth extending too far forward or the lower teeth not extending far enough forward.
The upper front teeth reach too far down over the lower front teeth, sometimes causing the lower front teeth to bite into the roof of the mouth. A major problem that can occur with an overbite is severe attrition (wear) of the front teeth, and if left untreated, could necessitate restorative work by a general dentist.
Crowding occurs when teeth have insufficient room to erupt from the gums. It is the most common reason for braces. Not only is crowding unattractive, but it has also been linked to periodontal problems and dental decay because it is harder to clean between overlapping teeth
Spacing problems may be caused by missing teeth, or they may only be a cosmetic or aesthetic issue. Spacing is another popular reason for braces. The opposite of crowding, spacing is most commonly caused by excessive jaw room for the size of the erupting teeth.
Proper chewing is impacted by this type of bite, in which the upper and lower front teeth do not overlap. An openbite is usually associated with abnormal muscle function in the mouth, such as tongue thrusting or can be caused by deleterious habits, such as thumb sucking or lip chewing. An early evaluation and intervention is essential in correcting an openbite because the longer the openbite has been present the more difficult the correction is.
Dental midlines that do not match are evident when the back bite does not fit and match appropriately. This may negatively impact jaw function and proper dental function.
It isn’t uncommon to experience a bit of soreness when appliances are first put on, or some minor aches as teeth begin moving into new positions. Yet it’s comforting to know that genuine orthodontic emergencies are rare.
If you think you may have an emergency, however, the first step is to determine the severity of the problem: Is it an urgent situation that requires immediate attention, or a minor problem that you can take care of yourself, temporarily, until you can come in to our office?
There are only a few true orthodontic (or dental) emergencies. They include:
- Trauma or injury to the teeth, face or mouth
- Infection or swelling of the gums, mouth or face
- Severe, unmanageable discomfort or pain in these areas
In any of these situations, you should seek help as soon as possible — go to an emergency room, if there is a possibility of a fracture of any bones or if there are any skin lacerations.Generally, however it is best that you call our office and we can help troubleshoot the problem. If the problem occurs after business hours, there will be emergency coverage available to support you.
This problem is often caused by eating hard or sticky candy or food, or playing with the braces. If the band or bracket is still attached to the wire, leave it as is — but don't connect any elastics to it! You can cover it with orthodontic wax if it's irritating the inside of your mouth. If it has come off, save it. In either case, call our office to let us know what happened, and we will schedule a visit. Be sure to bring any loose parts with you to the appointment!
As the teeth start to move, the wire that connects them (archwire) may begin poking near the back of the mouth or irritating the cheeks. You can try moving the wire into a better position with a pencil eraser or a Q-Tip. If the wire won't move, you may be able to cut the end off with a nail clipper sterilized in alcohol — but before doing so, please call our office for our guidance or instructions. Often, you can also use tweezers to gently move a misplaced wire or a tie that's causing problems.
When wires or brackets cause irritation, covering the metal parts with wax will often help ease the discomfort. As with any of these types of problems, call our office and we'll schedule a time to see you.
It's normal for teeth to become slightly loosened during orthodontic treatment — that shows they're moving! Sometimes, this movement may be accompanied by tenderness, especially after braces are placed or adjusted. For minor soreness, you can use your regular over-the-counter pain reliever. A twice-a-day salt-water rinse may also help: Mix one teaspoon of salt in an 8-ounce glass of warm water, and rinse for 30 seconds. A warm washcloth or heating pad placed on the outside of the jaw can also offer some relief.
What people are saying about West Orthodontics
Everyone in the office is enjoyable to work with. I like how they put the ownership of their teeth and retainer (in our case) on my 9 year old. This made her more responsible for her own device and teeth. Easy to schedule, never a wait, clear communication on everything. Glad after a couple looks around town, we decided to choose West Ortho!
Super fun and bright Orthodontics family! They're my favorite and I'm happy to be under their care!
super nice staff they took me help me a lot
Oh my gosh! :) I have way too many nice things to say about this great practice! To start, I was so impressed by not only the facility but by every staff member working in the office, including Dr. West! Their professionalism is off the charts, but it's the kindness and patience which everyone exhibits that sticks with me (and my tween daughter) the most! ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️
Dr. West and all the staff are fabulous here! So welcoming and friendly, and really put time towards you with each visit. Each patient gets high quality care in their treatment process! ???????? Highly recommend