What is orthodontics?

Orthodontics is the branch of dentistry that specializes in the diagnosis, prevention and treatment of dental and facial irregularities, most known as "malocclusion," which means "bad bite." Orthodontics is one of the eight specialties recognized by the American Dental Association. The practice of orthodontics involves the design, application and control of corrective appliances (braces, etc.) to bring teeth, lips and jaws into proper alignment and achieve facial balance.

Making an appointment

Patients seeking orthodontic treatment should contact the Graduate Orthodontic Clinic at (414) 288-7271, Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to noon and 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.

Is the focus of the orthodontic treatment on health or aesthetics?

The answer is: on both. It is difficult to clean and maintain crowded and crooked teeth healthy. This may contribute to the appearing of cavities, periodontal diseases and dental loss.

Other orthodontic problems may cause abnormal wear of the dental surfaces and excessive stress on the bones and gingival tissues, which support the teeth.

The importance of an attractive smile should not be underestimated. A good appearance is a vital attribute for the self-confidence of a person. The orthodontic treatment may help social and professional success, as well as improve the general attitude toward life of a person.

Overview of patient care and services

Patients are treated by the orthodontic  residents under close supervision of the part-time or full-time faculty members in the program of orthodontics.

Orthodontic residents are dentists who are being trained for 26 1/2 months in our school as specialists in orthodontics. Orthodontic faculty are dentists who have completed two to three years of specialty training in an accredited orthodontic residency program beyond their four years of dental school training. under close supervision of the part-time or full-time  members in the orthodontics program.

Orthodontic treatment typically occurs in the following order (times of appointments may vary):

  • Free initial consultation examination: (10 to 15 minutes) The consultations are offered by appointment only, during clinic hours, and are performed by a faculty member. Once a patient/family selects the day/period of the week, the patient is assigned to an orthodontic resident and faculty supervisor according to the selected day. The remaining visits throughout the entire orthodontic treatment will take place on the same day of the week, ensuring coverage by the same faculty at each appointment and, thus, continuity of care.
  • Initial records appointment: (1 to 2 hours) The resident performs a thorough clinical examination, acquires X-rays, takes photographs and makes impressions of the teeth for study models. This information will be used by the resident to develop a diagnosis and a treatment plan in conjunction with the attending faculty. Full or partial payment is due at this time; please consult the staff for financial arrangements. Patients who elect not to have treatment at the Orthodontic Clinic after records are taken receive a refund of their initial payment minus the records fee.
  • Treatment planning session: (30 minutes) After gathering all required information (records), residents meet with the attending faculty to formulate a diagnoses and treatment plan options, which are presented to the patient at this appointment. After a discussion about the treatment options, the patient (and family, if applicable) and resident determine a final treatment plan. The resident then explains clinical procedures and patient compliance issues, e.g., oral hygiene, elastic wear, headgear wear, TMJ problems, etc. The consent forms for treatment are also reviewed and signed. Separators may be inserted in this session. Separators are small rubber O-rings or metal springs inserted between specific teeth to create space for orthodontic bands. This takes only a few minutes. Patients typically come in one week later to have their braces placed..
  • Initiation of treatment: (1 to 2 1/2 hours) Braces are usually placed during this placement. However, in a few cases, it is necessary to start treatment using some auxiliary appliances, like a rapid palatal expander, headgear, etc. Brackets may have to be placed in a future appointment.
  • Routine appointments: (15 minutes to 1 hour) These appointments are required to keep the case under control. Some appointments may be short, and some may take longer than usual. The procedures performed during treatment are dependent upon patient cooperation, case progress, patient response to therapy, time for faculty to evaluate, etc.
  • Removal of braces and placement of retention appliance: (usually two visits: 1 to 2 hours) Appliance removal is done when the attending faculty finds the case is complete. Braces removal may be performed all at once or, sometimes, one arch is removed before the other. A retainer is almost always recommended to maintain teeth in the final position or allow for small movements after braces removal. Many different types of retainers are available. Each attending faculty will recommend whichever is best for the case.
  • Retention appointments: (10 to 15 minutes) Retention is in itself another part of the orthodontics treatment. It is extremely important to maintain the results achieved with treatment. These visits are usually scheduled one to two months after braces removal. A three-month visit is sometimes also required. After that, patients should be seen every six months for about two to three years. Patients are dismissed from retention visit if the case remains stable. However, the retainers may need to be used for much longer than this period.
    The patient is requested to sign a RETENTION CONTRACT, agreeing to follow the recommended retainer instructions. The initial retainer is included in the cost of the orthodontic fees. If you need to replace a retainer because of loss breakage, etc.), there is a replacement fee.

Insurance and payment

At this time, the Graduate Orthodontic Clinic does not accept Title 19 or Badger Care insurance. Patients seeking orthodontic treatment must make necessary arrangements for payment. Orthodontics fees do not include the costs for extractions, periodontal surgery, orthognathic surgery or other adjunctive dental procedures requested by the orthodontists.
The clinic will accept FORWARD HEALTH/BADGER CARE after the initial pre-approval has been received from the insurance company before the consultation appointment. Please call the Orthodontic Clinic to receive the information on the pre-approval process.

Location

The Graduate Orthodontics Clinic is located in room 243 (second floor) of the Marquette University School of Dentistry, 1801 W. Wisconsin Ave., Milwaukee, WI 53233. Patients should go directly to the second floor when presenting for the initial consultation in orthodontics.

Infection control

All modern techniques are practiced, and the one best suited for your treatment will be recommended. For your protection, we adhere to Infection Control Procedures known as Universal Precautions. We use the same infection control measures for each patient. Parents/guardians should remain in the waiting area while patients are being treated in the clinic floor.

Comments and complaints can be made to ADA Accreditation Review Board

The program's compliance with accreditation standards is determined by the Commission on Dental Accreditation. The commission is interested in the sustained quality and continued improvement of dental and dental-related education programs and will receive any complaints. However, the commission does not intervene on behalf of individuals or act as a court of appeal for treatment received by patients or individuals in matters of admission, appointment, promotion or dismissal of faculty, staff or students. A copy of the appropriate accreditation standards and/or the commission's policy and procedure for submission of complaints may be obtained by contacting the commission at 211 E. Chicago Ave., Chicago, IL 60611-2678 or by calling (800) 621-8099, ext. 4653.