Dr. Amit Rajani

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs): Orthodontics

How can we help you?

We are happy to answer questions about our services and procedures. These are a selection of some common questions that patients have. If your question isn't answered here, please contact our office. It's important to us that our patients understand their dental care.


Though braces are stereotypically associated with teenagers, you can pursue straight, healthy teeth at any age. If you are an adult who is self-conscious about wearing braces you might prefer to ask about Invisalign instead.

Pain is one of the biggest concerns many of our orthodontic patients have. However, there’s little cause for alarm. Braces can make your mouth feel sore for the first few days, and this can be handled with OTC pain relievers. After that, they generally stop hurting.

Chances are, if you’re an adult you already know there are some issues with your bite or tooth alignment. Perhaps your smile just isn’t as attractive as you might like it to be, or perhaps you have trouble reaching and cleaning some of your teeth. Either way, an orthodontic recommendation probably will not come as news to you.

However, as your child’s teeth develop, you might not be certain whether or not anything is wrong. Fortunately, there are some ways to tell whether a child will need orthodontic treatment, either now, or in the future.

First, look at the child’s habits. Thumb sucking, nail biting, and pencil chewing are all habits which could lead to orthodontic problems later. Try to discourage your children from engaging in these behaviors as much as possible.

You can also simply perform a visual inspection of your child’s teeth. Look for crooked teeth, gapped teeth or overlapping teeth. Ask your child to bite down for you so you can see if the teeth line up nicely.

Of course, if you’re coming to Yonkers Avenue Dental for regular check-ups we will usually just tell you if there’s a problem. That’s one advantage of trusting a general dentist with your family’s dental health.

We usually begin Phase I somewhere between the ages of 6 and 10. We highly recommend bringing your child in for a consultation if he or she is a thumb sucker, nail biter, ice chewer, or pencil/pen biter. In addition, children who routinely breath through their mouths may be at risk for orthodontic problems. Obviously you might also bring your child if you notice misaligned teeth or other issues you might want to see addressed.

Are you ready to ensure your child has a bright, straight, and beautiful smile for life? Make your appointment today! 

You wouldn’t be the first person to feel wary about discussing orthodontic care for fear of experiencing some sticker shock. Fortunately, we’ve taken quite a few measures to help our patients control costs.

Take a look at our Insurance and Finance page to check out your options. In addition, keep in mind that orthodontic care is about far more than vanity. Orthodontic problems can lead to major, expensive dental problems just because they make it so hard for most people to clean their teeth. In short, braces are a form of preventative care that can save you a lot more money and pain in the future.

We’re a general dentistry office. Stressed and short on time? You don’t really want to create a situation where Johnny goes to the pediatric dentist, Susie goes to the orthodontist, Mom goes to the general dentist and Dad goes to the oral surgeon. Who wants to deal with all that?

Instead, our office offers a comprehensive range of dental services, allowing the entire family to come in and see us. Our patients typically find they are able to get the majority of their work done under one roof. That’s a lot more convenient than running all over town.

In addition, through the course of traditional orthodontic treatment, patients are generally only going to see their orthodontist once a month, or once every two months. Typically, patients forget to go back to their general dentist for cleaning or other care.

But whenever you come see us we’re looking at anything and everything that’s going on inside your mouth. We might see gum inflammation or cavities. We might see other problems that must be taken care of immediately. It’s a lot more efficient and a lot easier to deal with all of that right here.

Is your bite less than optimal? Then make an appointment to come on out and see us today! 

Phase I treatments offer many benefits. First, it usually helps us reduce or eliminate a need to extract permanent teeth in the future. Extraction is a last-resort method we use to improve crowding conditions later in life, but it’s painful and it’s not at all ideal. Whenever possible, we want your child to keep his or her teeth.

Second, it can reduce or eliminate the need for the child to have jaw surgery later. Phase I is very effective at correcting narrow upper arches.

Third, Phase I typically improves treatment outcomes for patients who may need an additional round of braces later (Phase II). They may need to wear braces for a shorter period of time than teens who have never had any form of orthodontic treatment before. In addition, Phase I tends to improve a teen’s compliance, as they are already used to working with braces and retainers.

Fourth, Phase I can help permanent teeth erupt in a more favorable way. In some patients, no additional treatment is necessary. 

Phase I orthodontic treatment is also known as “interceptive treatment.” We either use it when we know orthodontic problems are inevitable, or when there are existing orthodontic problems which can be improved with early correction and intervention.

These treatments are performed on the child’s baby teeth. They typically take 9-18 months. They will generally involve the use of traditional braces and retainers.

First, we use them to develop a child’s jaw. For example, we may know one of the child’s permanent teeth will be crowded upon eruption. When this happens, we want to widen the jaw to give the tooth more space to develop in a healthy way. If the tooth does not have enough space it will come in crooked, and it will push other teeth out of the way to make room, leading to misalignment.

Second, we use them for underbites, since Phase I typically creates better outcomes for these patients. Phase I helps us prevent surgeries, allowing us to avoid problems which would actually be too severe to correct with braces later in life.

Finally, we look at Phase I when a child has poor oral health habits which are likely to lead to misaligned teeth. Phase I can be very helpful in correcting these habits before they cause issues.

Cosmetic dentistry usually involves a single corrective procedure. A “smile makeover” might include 2-6 procedures involving multiple teeth. It might also start incorporating teeth straightening measures like Invisalign and other surgeries such as root canals. In short, it’s a holistic approach to treating a mouth that has suffered from extensive damage or trauma.

Every smile makeover case requires an extensive, thorough consultation to determine the scope of work. Smile makeovers may also require many months, even years, of treatment. However, a smile makeover is basically cosmetic dentistry—you can think of it as cosmetic dentistry taken to the next level. 

We use a system called the Individual Appliance, or Individual Orthodontics. The major difference between this system and traditional orthodontics is all in the types of brackets we use. As the name implies, our brackets are customized for each patient.

So, how does this work?

First, we gather all of the data we can about your mouth. This is important: every mouth is different. We look at images. We look at your dental history. We plug all of this into the computer in order to create a model. This model shows us the best treatment outcome for each individual patient.

Once we’ve got the model, we talk to the patient and develop a treatment plan. Armed with this treatment plan, we can select brackets for each tooth, designing each one to encourage every tooth to move the way we want it to move. We find this method helps the teeth fall into place more efficiently. Treatment happens a lot faster—and the results we get are often better than the results we’d see with traditional braces, too.

Phase I is most effective at correcting underbites, poor oral habits, and narrow upper arches. In some cases, Phase I is effective at correcting crossbites as well. Recent research has shown overbites do not respond as well to Phase I treatment.

When you visit our offices we will have a frank discussion with you about whether or not Phase I is likely to help your child. We would never recommend Phase I if there is not a clear and present benefit for your child’s oral health.

Traditional braces involve giving the patient the same bracket for every tooth, and doing so whether the patient has an under-bite, or crowding. The orthodontist then bends the wires and adds appliances every month in order to get the teeth to move the way they want them to move. This usually means orthodontics take a lot longer.

By contrast, our system does the heavy lifting in the beginning, right at the diagnostic phase. 

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