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Orthodontic FAQ

We’re an open book at Piskai Orthodontics! Here are answers to some of the most commonly asked questions.

What’s the difference between a dentist and an orthodontist?

Here’s a fun fact for you: All orthodontists are dentists, but not all dentists are orthodontists. Orthodontists are specialty dentists that treat dental malocclusion, which includes crooked teeth, misalignment of the bite/jaw, and, in some cases, issues impacting a patient’s airway.

Just like general dentists, orthodontists graduate from an accredited, four-year dental school. However, orthodontists go on to attend an additional two to three years of residency to build deep expertise in their specialty.

Orthodontic residencies are very selective; each year, the best graduating dental students compete for a limited number of residency slots across the country. Orthodontists may also pursue a master’s degree, like Dr. Piskai, who as part of hers, conducted original research on palatal expansion that has been published in the major orthodontic journals.

When coordinating your care, Dr. Piskai will work closely with your primary dentist and other specialists if/as needed to ensure the very best for your overall dental health.

‍The bottom line is that orthodontists have the best training, experience, and professional focus to safely and effectively treat a wide variety of orthodontic cases.

What is a board-certified orthodontist?

Dr. Cara Piskai is board certified by the American Board of Orthodontics (ABO), an achievement currently held by only one in three orthodontists. To obtain this voluntary credential, which is the highest in the field, Dr. Piskai had to complete hundreds of additional hours of preparation and complete peer-developed, externally validated written and clinical examinations.

According to the ABO, “Board Certification is confirmation of an orthodontist’s personal commitment to providing lifelong quality patient care.” It also illustrates a commitment to continued learning, as board certification must be renewed every 10 years.

When should my child see an orthodontist?

Dr. Piskai follows the recommendation of the American Association of Orthodontists that children be evaluated by an orthodontist by age 7. This may sound young, but it is very important to assess jaw growth along with the relationship of the primary and permanent teeth before peak growth is complete. This way, if there is a skeletal or dental issue that needs to be corrected, it can be diagnosed and treated at the proper time.

What appliances are used in phase 1 orthodontic treatment?

Expanders, braces, and aligners are all typical appliances used in early orthodontic treatment, and they may be used alone or in combination with one another. Each patient has different treatment needs and Dr. Piskai recommends the best appliance for each individual case. That said, the rapid palatal expander (RPE) is the most commonly used appliance for kids.

Do you treat adults?

Absolutely! Adults are some of our best candidates for Invisalign (and we have some awesome adults rocking LightForce custom braces as well!). Since Dr. Piskai launched the practice, adults account for a significant percentage of our patient population.

Orthodontic treatment for adults is not fundamentally different than for children, whether it is re-correction of past orthodontics that have since lapsed, getting an updated set of clear retainers, or getting orthodontic care for the first time. We have treatment options that will work for your lifestyle, and financing options that will work for your budget.

Can new retainers straighten my teeth out again if they shifted?

In most cases, no. Retainers are designed to reinforce your teeth’s current positions and are meant to be worn indefinitely. If your retainers no longer fit, one option is to create new retainers to prevent your teeth from moving even further.

In order to realign your teeth back to their ideal positions, we can provide options to undergo re-treatment, possibly with a reduced “limited treatment” fee, depending on if you were a prior patient, and/or how much your teeth have shifted.

What are the benefits of orthodontic treatment?

Orthodontic treatment can:
  • Make teeth easier to clean, helping you to avoid tooth decay and gum disease
  • Prevent teeth from wearing down prematurely
  • Alleviate jaw pain, TMJ pain and dysfunction, bruxism, and headaches related to your bite
  • Allow you to chew properly
  • Help you speak more clearly
  • Open the airway
  • Improve your appearance by creating a beautiful smile and a more symmetrical face
  • Increase your confidence and self-esteem

Why did my general dentist / this other orthodontist / Smile Direct Club say they’ll do it cheaper?

The cost of Invisalign or braces depends on the provider and the quality. Your treatment fee at Piskai Orthodontics is based on our costs to deliver a premium, personalized, and all-inclusive experience at the highest level of orthodontic care. We work with the best orthodontic labs in the industry, retain a highly trained staff, and push the limits with the latest evidence-based orthodontic technologies.

We don’t upcharge for higher-costing treatment options like Invisalign or LightForce. We don’t cut corners when it comes to quality and care. And we don’t charge for extras. For example, a set of premium clear retainers is included at the completion of your treatment. Dr. Piskai’s name is on the sign, and she stands behind the treatment of every member of our patient family.

We encourage prospective patients to investigate all options available to them, and we don’t pressure you to make a decision during your consultation with us.

Here are some questions you may want to ask or consider when evaluating your other options:

  • Will my treatment be under the supervision of a board-certified orthodontist from start to finish? Will I see the same orthodontist throughout?
  • Is the fee all-inclusive with no hidden charges or upcharges? Are retainers included at the end of treatment?
  • If financing my treatment, is financing done in-house, or do I have to open up an account/credit card through a third party?
  • If I get braces, will I be receiving stock, metal brackets? Or will my brackets be custom fabricated just for me (in aesthetic materials)?
  • If I opt for clear aligners, are the aligners printed in-house or by Invisalign?

What if I don’t have any dental insurance?

No dental insurance? No problem! While the cost of your treatment will be out of pocket, we offer flexible, in-house financing and down payment terms in an effort to make treatment at our practice affordable for everyone. During your consultation, we’ll review any and all available options with you.

What happens during my first visit at Piskai Orthodontics?

When you visit our South Jersey orthodontist for a consultation, you’ll receive a warm welcome. We don’t believe in wait times, but if you get here early, you can unwind in our comfy reception area. We’ll show you around the office, and then a team member will take complimentary digital x-rays.

Dr. Piskai will perform a comprehensive examination and assess your individual case. She’ll chat with you about your goals and lifestyle, review your treatment options, and answer any questions you have.

We’ll wrap up this visit by going over your insurance coverage, our treatment fees, and our financing options. You’ll leave our practice feeling excited and fully informed!