Taking the time to understand orthodontic treatment is important. We encourage our patients to ask as many questions as possible, and we are always willing to offer information on any topic you’d like to know more about. Take a look through these FAQs to find answers to some of the most common questions our patients have.

How are orthodontists different than dentists?

Orthodontists are dentists who obtain a Specialty license after completing a 2-3 year Orthodontic Residency program. Dr. Trammell graduated from OHSU’s Dental & Orthodontic Residency program – at that time, OHSU was ranked in the top 2 Residency programs nationwide. While dentists take care of your oral health through cleaning and caring for your teeth and gums, orthodontists focus on tooth alignment, bite, jaw formation and facial structure. You will need to continue seeing your dentist twice a year for cleanings and exams while you are under orthodontic care.

I’m not happy with my smile, but I don’t want to wear braces. What are my options?

There are a lot of possibilities when it comes to straightening out your smile. Some types of braces and other aligners are virtually invisible to others, making them popular amongst older teens and adults. Unfortunately, every patient is not eligible for every procedure. To find out what your options are, you’ll need to see us for a complimentary consultation.

I can’t tell if my child is going to need braces or not. What should I do?

All children should start seeing an orthodontist by age seven, even if their teeth appear perfectly aligned. Orthodontics is about a lot more than just a perfect smile—we also treat many other alignment and structural problems of the face, jaw and bite. No matter what your child’s teeth look like, please bring him or her into see us for an exam—it’s completely free of charge, and we’ll never hassle you into treatment you’re not ready for.

How long will I have to wear braces?

Every patient is different, so it’s hard to answer this question generally. Most treatments last between 1–2 years, though you may need to wear a retainer much longer than that. When Dr. Trammell or Dr. Schanilec explains your treatment plan, they will tell you what to expect from your treatment more specifically.

How often do braces need to be adjusted?

This once again depends on your individual case, though most patients with traditional braces need to visit our office for adjustments every 4–8 weeks.

Can I use Invisalign to fix my teeth?

Invisalign is hugely popular amongst patients in the Willamette Valley, but it’s not right for everyone. Invisalign can fix mildly crooked teeth, but it’s abilities are limited. We won’t know whether you’re eligible for Invisalign until we perform a complete evaluation.

What should I do if I have a loose band or bracket?

Call as soon as possible during office hours to schedule a repair. If the band or bracket is still attached to wire, leave it in place. You can put wax on it if it’s uncomfortable. If the band or bracket comes out completely, store it in a plastic bag and bring it to your appointment.

How should I handle a loose or poking wire on my braces or appliance?

If the wire is flexible, try putting it back in place with tweezers or pushing it down with a spoon or eraser. In some situations, you may be able to detach a problematic wire with fingernail clippers behind the last tooth, where it’s securely fastened. We don’t recommend trying to clip a heavy gauge wire. If you’re experiencing discomfort, place wax on the wire and call us to schedule a repair.