You’ve Got Questions — We’ve Got Answers!
Below is a list of frequently asked questions regarding orthodontics and the different kinds of treatments we offer at Szymanowski Orthodontics.
If you have a question that isn’t answered here, please feel free to contact our Sacramento office at (916) 993-4171.
Answers to Common Questions
If you have a question that isn’t answered here, please feel free to contact our Sacramento office at (916) 993-4171.
Phase I, or early interceptive treatment, is limited orthodontic treatment (i.e. expander or partial braces) before all of the permanent teeth have erupted. Such treatment can occur between the ages of six and ten.
This treatment is sometimes recommended to make more space for developing teeth, correction of cross bites, overbites, under bites, or harmful oral habits and sometimes to reduce spacing.
Phase II treatment is also called comprehensive treatment, because it involves full braces when all of the permanent teeth have erupted, usually between the ages of eleven and thirteen.
It’s best to assume that your child will need full braces even after Phase I treatment at Szymanowski Orthodontics. The period following Phase I treatment is called the “growth and developmental phase” during which growth and tooth eruption are closely monitored.
Throughout this period, parents and patients will be kept informed of future treatment recommendations from Dr. Damon Szymanowski.
Teeth, and sometimes entire facial structures, are permanently changed by orthodontic treatment. It is important that the treatment be appropriate and properly completed at Szymanowski Orthodontics.
Dr. Szymanowski has extensive and specialized training that enables him to provide professional, personalized treatments.
AcceleDent utilizes micropulse technology to speed up the orthodontic process.
By placing the mouthpiece, which has been formed to fit around your existing orthodontics, in your mouth and turning on the activator for 20 minutes a day, you can speed up the process of getting a beautiful smile by up to 50%.
There’s also the added bonus of making your treatment schedule at Szymanowski Orthodontics more comfortable as well.
Of course! AcceleDent has been demonstrated as safe and reliable in clinical trials in the U.S. It has been classified as a Class II medical device by the FDA and fully approved for use.
Clinical trials and research have shown that by augmenting your orthodontic treatment with AcceleDent, you can speed up your tooth movement time by 50%.
This is drastically cutting down total treatment time as well as the number of appointments you’ll have to attend at Szymanowski Orthodontics.
Though AcceleDent may be eligible under your HSA, consult your HSA administrator to be sure.
No. You should NOT wear or try to use AcceleDent while sleeping.
The placement of your braces will not hurt at all, although there may be some soreness or discomfort in the hours and days immediately after placement.
Over-the-counter medications can help with soreness or muscle ache, but make sure to consult Dr. Szymanowski before you take anything.
At Szymanowski Orthodontics, we’re proud to offer the latest braces technology to our patients of all ages in Sacramento and surrounding areas!
Metal braces have had a reputation for being awkward and obvious. But, because of modern orthodontics, you’ll benefit from versions that are smaller, less conspicuous, and more comfortable than ever before.
Sleeker brackets and lighter wires improve the appearance and feel of these braces. This means you’ll have less irritation in your mouth.
Braces are great at fixing complex tooth issues. They can work faster at closing gaps and aligning teeth than other treatments might. This can potentially shorten your treatment time.
Metal braces are cost-effective because they don’t require some of the more complex technology or expensive equipment that newer treatments do. The strength, durability, and affordability of traditional metal braces keep them the top treatment for orthodontic patients in Sacramento, year after year!
Before applying the brackets, Dr. Szymanowski and his team will collect photos and X-rays of your mouth. Sometimes we’ll use our iTero Element scanner to scan each of your teeth and the layout of your gums and mouth.
If necessary, this process takes 10-15 minutes and provides an extremely accurate 3D view of your mouth.
After the X-Ray and optional scan, Dr. Szymanowski will use this information to create your customized treatment plan. This will include how each tooth needs to be moved to get it in the best possible position.
Dr. Szymanowski will decide how to place the brackets based on this information. For example, if you have some teeth that need to be tilted, the placement of those brackets will be different than the placement of brackets for teeth that need to be turned.
Once the brackets have been attached, Dr. Szymanowski will insert the wire. Bends in the wire will provide different types of pressure on different teeth. A bend in the wire is how most orthodontists cause specific and precise movements.
The average time spent in metal braces is around 18 to 22 months but could be shorter or longer, depending on the individual and the treatment plan designed by Dr. Szymanowski. Factors affecting the length of treatment can include the severity of your misalignment, patient compliance, age, and even height!
That said, a typical round of orthodontic treatment can last between 12- 24 months. Treatment time with metal braces at Szymanowski Orthodontics will be different every time.
We have some Szymanowski Orthodontics patients in braces for as little as six months. But for complex issues, it can take over three years to complete the process.
With metal braces from Szymanowski Orthodontics, you’ll see signs of improvement in just a short time, and that gives you confidence during the treatment process.
Appointments for adjustments are generally scheduled six to eight weeks apart.
Dr. Damon recommends monitoring as early as age seven, though treatment may not be necessary.
With advances in technology, your options are as diverse as you are! From traditional metal wire-and-bracket braces to the more concealed Invisalign option, you can choose whatever treatment fits best for you.
Yes. Once treatment begins, we will explain the complete instructions and provide a comprehensive list of foods to avoid.
Some of those foods include ice, hard candy, raw vegetables and all sticky foods (i.e. caramel and taffy). You can avoid most emergency appointments to repair broken or damaged braces by carefully following our instructions.
Patients should brush their teeth at least four times each day – after each meal and before going to bed.
We will show each patient how to floss his or her teeth with braces and may also provide a prescription for a special fluoride, if necessary.
No. It is recommended, however, that patients protect their smiles by wearing a mouth guard when participating in any sporting activity.
Mouthguards are inexpensive, comfortable, and come in a variety of colors and patterns.
No. However, there may be an initial period of adjustment.
In addition, brace covers can be provided to prevent discomfort.
The virtually invisible aligners, which are made of a thermoplastic material uniquely developed for the Invisalign treatment plan, look similar to teeth-whitening trays.
A series of Invisalign aligners are custom-made for you, to move your teeth in the sequence determined by Dr. Damon Szymanowski.
Over the course of treatment, you will be supplied with a series of aligners. Each aligner will make slight adjustments to tooth position, a process that is mapped out in advance by Dr. Damon Szymanowski, specifically for your situation.
When the aligners are placed on the teeth, they cause the teeth to gradually shift from their current position. After approximately two weeks, you will begin using the next set of aligners, which will continue the teeth straightening process.
While the specific length of treatment will depend on the severity of your case, and should of course be determined by Dr. Damon, the average length of treatment for adults is right around one year.
For teens, that amount of time can vary drastically, so be sure to consult Dr. Damon.
Dr. Damon recommends wearing aligners worn 20-22 hours/day to maximize effective treatment. Only remove your trays when eating, brushing, and flossing.
You and Dr. Damon Szymanowski will work out a specialized treatment plan personalized to your needs, though generally speaking, you’ll go to Szymanowski Orthodontics every four to six weeks.
So far over 2.5 million patients around the world have been treated with Invisalign! And with so many people seeing great results, that number is growing daily.
Invisalign for Teens
Invisalign aligners are virtually invisible. No one may even notice that you’re wearing them, making Invisalign a seamless fit with your lifestyle. Invisalign aligners are removable. For the best results and a timely outcome, aligners should be worn for 20 to 22 hours per day.
However, unlike with braces, you have the flexibility to remove your aligners to eat and drink what you want during treatment. And you can also remove the aligners to brush and floss as you normally would, for fresh breath and good oral hygiene.
There are no metal brackets or wires that could cause irritation to your mouth, an advantage over traditional braces. Plus, since your office visits during treatment don’t involve metal or wire adjustments, you’ll likely spend less time in Dr. Damon Szymanowski’s chair.
Invisalign allows you to view your virtual results and treatment plan before you start so you can see how your straightened teeth will look when your treatment is complete. Instead of imagining how much better it can be, you’ll be able to see it for yourself.
The virtually invisible aligners, which are made of a thermoplastic material uniquely developed for the Invisalign treatment plan, look similar to teeth-whitening trays. A series of Invisalign aligners are custom-made for you, to move your teeth in the sequence determined by Dr. Damon Szymanowski.
The length of treatment depends on the severity of your case and can only be determined by Dr. Damon Szymanowski; however, the average case takes about 12 months for adults. The length of time necessary for a teen patient may vary and can be determined by Dr. Damon Szymanowski.
We know cost is a big question for anyone considering orthodontic work. In most cases, Invisalign treatment is comparable to the cost of traditional braces. However, as with other medical treatments, only Dr. Damon Szymanowski can determine the cost, based on your specific needs.
Other factors may include your treatment goals, the difficulty of your case, how long you are in treatment, where you live, your orthodontic insurance coverage, and additional factors determined by Dr. Damon Szymanowski. In the U.S., the cost of Invisalign treatment ranges from $3,500 to $8,000, with the national average at about $5,000.
The best way to clean your aligners is to use the Invisalign Cleaning system, available for order at www.invisalignstore.com As a secondary method, however, your aligners can also be cleaned by brushing them and rinsing them in lukewarm water.
This varies from person to person and depends on the outcome of the treatment. Some patients might need a positioner, or conventional retainer.
Other patients might need a clear plastic retainer similar to the ones Invisalign makes, such as Align Technology’s Vivera Retainer, which is worn at night. Discuss this with Dr. Damon Szymanowski. Every patient is different, and outcomes vary.
Adults can certainly benefit from orthodontic treatment! Untreated childhood issues with the jaw and teeth as a child can create developmental problems in adulthood.
Other times adults may have received treatment as children and not worn prescribed retainers to hold the new position of the teeth.
The result of this can be crooked and misaligned teeth. Regardless of your age, braces and Invisalign with Szymanowski Orthodontics are a wonderful solution to adults who want their smiles to shine.
Of course not! Orthodontic treatment is blind to age. The myth that treatment is only for kids has been proven increasingly wrong.
Today more adults in Sacramento are getting their teeth straightened with braces than ever before. Whether it’s a health concern or merely cosmetic, braces are for people of all ages.
The bigger question is why wouldn’t an adult get braces? Reasons can vary drastically; a new job, a wedding, or just a want to improve your confidence and self-esteem, your reasons are your own.
Orthodontic treatment at Dr. Syzmanowski Orthodontics will give you a healthy bite, a rejuvenated smile, and help you keep your teeth for life. With amazing advances in orthodontics, your can be sure that your beautiful smile will last a lifetime.
There are some orthodontists that specialize in treating adults, but most, like Dr. Damon Syzmanowski, are qualified to treat patients of all ages.
Orthodontic problems can be caused by many things. It all depends on the type of malocclusion.
Most people can be classified between 1-3, depending on the severity of the problem.
Good oral hygiene is extremely important to a healthy orthodontic plan. You must brush your teeth after every meal to avoid the buildup of plaque and also to avoid decalcification. Try using disclosing tabs to see spots you may be missing, and before you know it you’ll be an expert!
That all depends on you! The answer can vary based on your length of treatment, how well you’re keeping up with your appointments, and your tendency for relapse.
Dr. Damon will develop a specific set of instructions for wear. Make sure you follow them!
They do. Take a look at their teeth and see if they’re perfectly aligned.
Odds are the teeth have shifted after your treatment at Szymanowski Orthodontics. By wearing a retainer you ensure that your teeth will look perfect for years to come.
Hold on to them! They can come in handy if you break or lose your primary retainer.
Absolutely! This is how we’ll make any necessary adjustments.
Make sure to brush your retainer whenever you brush your teeth. Give them a rinse with mild soap and water as well.
Your retainer will be custom-fit and created to fit your mouth and your mouth alone, but teeth can shift, and a retainer can break if it is forced onto your teeth after a shift has occurred.
Retainers are also susceptible to explosions and fire, as well as curious pets. Keep your retainer safe!
A malocclusion is a misalignment or incorrect relation between the teeth of the two dental arches when they approach each other as the jaws close.
Orthognathic surgery involves a single or double jaw operation to to correct jaw alignment.
Malocclusion can result in jaw pain, headaches, neck pain, and a misaligned facial profile. Once the jaws are placed back in alignment, the health of your soft tissue increases greatly.
Proper jaw function is affected by malocclusion and can result in the improper chewing of food. Contact between the upper and lower jaws is impeded and can cause a negative influence on things like digestion and overall body health.
When your teeth are crowded, as happens with malocclusion, food can accumulate, leading to tooth decay and poor overall oral hygiene.