Answers to Common Questions
Orthodontists are dental specialists who diagnose, prevent and treat dental and facial irregularities.
This means they're better qualified to give you the smile of your dreams than you could get from aligners in the mail.
They receive an additional two to three years of specialized education beyond dental school to properly align and straighten teeth.
Only those with this formal education may call themselves “orthodontists,” and only orthodontists may be members of the American Association of Orthodontists (AAO).
Dr. Ken Dillehay and Dr. JK Dillehay from Dillehay Orthodontics have achieved this specialization and are active members of AAO.
Dr. Ken Dillehay or Dr. JK Dillehay and the American Association of Orthodontists recommend an orthodontic screening at age seven. By this age, most children have several permanent teeth erupted, letting us evaluate their orthodontic needs.
By this age, Dr. Ken Dillehay or Dr. JK Dillehay can spot subtle problems with jaw growth and emerging teeth while some baby teeth are still present.
That’s important because some orthodontic problems may be easier to correct if found early. Most orthodontic patients at Dillehay Orthodontics begin treatment between ages 9 and 14.
Orthodontic treatment can be successful at almost any age. In fact, about one in every four orthodontic patients at Dillehay Orthodontics is over age 18.
Wichita-area adults find treatment appealing thanks to today’s smaller, less visible, and more comfortable orthodontic appliances, including metal braces, ceramic braces, and Invisalign.
Patients who need orthodontic treatment generally have one to three years of active treatment at Dillehay Orthodontics.
Dr. Ken Dillehay or Dr. JK Dillehay can determine this for you at a free consultation at our office in East Wichita, West Wichita, Derby, or Pratt.
The cost of orthodontic treatment depends on many factors, including the severity of the problem, how complex the problem is, and how long treatment lasts.
Dr. Ken Dillehay or Dr. JK Dillehay will be glad to discuss the cost of treatment and your financing options with you before treatment begins.
The good news is that braces are more affordable today than ever. Our team also works with insurance companies and offers payment plans that meet your family’s budget.
Most orthodontic problems are inherited. These genetic problems include crowding, spacing, protrusion, extra or missing teeth, and jaw growth problems.
Other oral problems are caused by thumb- or finger-sucking, dental disease, accidents, the early or late loss of baby teeth, or other causes.
Crooked and crowded teeth are hard to clean and maintain.
A bad bite can also cause abnormal wear of tooth surfaces, difficulty chewing and speaking, and excess stress on supporting bone and gum tissue.
Many problems worsen without treatment and require additional dental care later in life.
Orthodontic treatment is a partnership between you and your orthodontist.
Dr. Ken Dillehay or Dr. JK Dillehay will provide custom-made fixed or removable appliances that use gentle pressure to move teeth into their proper positions.
Your job is to follow Dr. Ken Dillehay or Dr. JK Dillehay's instructions, keep scheduled orthodontic appointments and maintain excellent oral hygiene to get the best results.
You must also see your general dentist to continue your dental care.
If you notice an unwanted change in your smile or bite, contact us for a free consultation.
You might need an orthodontic tune-up to regain proper alignment.
The fact is that throughout your lifetime, even though you’ve had orthodontic treatment at Dillehay Orthodontics, you can expect your teeth to shift positions.
Many factors at work may cause teeth to shift. Such changes are different for everyone in the Wichita area; most of the time, they are hardly noticeable.
However, changes can occur that disappoint you and Dr. Ken and JK Dillehay. Changes in tooth position aren’t a failure of your orthodontic treatment. They’re a natural process.
We expect changes in our bodies as we age, and teeth are the same. To help control and limit these changes, Dr. Ken and JK Dillehay prescribe retainers after removing your braces.
The small changes after braces are removed are due to settling in as you use your teeth for biting and chewing. The more serious and unwanted changes may be traced to genetics or later-than-normal growth, which is unpredictable.
Movement is most common in lower front teeth. This is particularly true if the teeth were extremely crowded before treatment. Changes in tooth position are a lifelong and naturally occurring phenomenon.
The best way to keep your teeth from shifting is to wear your retainers as prescribed. If you notice movement after your braces are removed, please contact Dillehay Orthodontics.
Not necessarily. Research suggests that wisdom teeth don’t always cause teeth to shift.
In most cases, wisdom teeth are removed for general dental health rather than orthodontic health.
Your family dentist and Dr. Ken Dillehay or Dr. JK Dillehay can help determine whether or not your wisdom teeth need to be removed.
Dr. Ken Dillehay or Dr. JK Dillehay will recommend how long to continue wearing your retainers, whether they are removable (the kind you put in and take out) or fixed (bonded behind your teeth).
Wearing your retainers as prescribed is the best way to keep your teeth from moving after your orthodontic treatment.
There are many reasons teeth may move following orthodontic treatment. Teeth are not set in concrete, they are in bone.
Because the bone around your teeth continually changes (breaking down and rebuilding), your teeth may shift after your braces are removed.
By wearing your retainers, your teeth are more likely to remain where Dr. Ken Dillehay or Dr. JK Dillehay has placed them through braces treatment.
*Some Text Courtesy of the American Association of Orthodontists