FAQ

Lompoc (805) 736-3486

Solvang (805) 688-1862

Santa Barbara (805)965-4915

What is an orthodontist?

An orthodontist is a specialist who can diagnosis and treat dental and facial irregularities. Their years of training are extensive. They must complete college requirements, attend a three to five year dental school advanced training through an ADA accredited orthodontic program. Only dentists who have completed the advanced specialty education programs may call themselves an orthodontist.

What is orthodontics?

Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopedics is a specialized branch of dentistry. Orthodontics treats patients who have malocclusions, this means patients whose teeth, lips and jaws are not properly aligned which can cause a "bad bite". Orthodontics uses "appliances" or braces, headgears, retainers etc. in order to correct the tooth and jaw alignment. The correction of these problems will lead to a healthy smile.

Why do people have orthodontic problems?

Tooth crowding, spacing, jaw growth problems and extra/missing teeth are often inherited conditions. However, some malocclusions are developed over time and can be caused by thumb-sucking, poor dental hygiene, accidents, mouth breathing, poor nutrition etc. Whatever the cause, an orthodontist can usually treat the condition.


Does your office have any discounts?

Our office does offer a discount for military families, families with multiple members in treatment and a discount for payment in full. Ask our front office for details.


Why should these conditions be treated?

There are many benefits to orthodontic treatment. Crowded and crooked teeth can be hard to maintain and clean which can lead to other dental problems such as tooth decay, periodontal (gum) disease and tooth loss. The surfaces of the teeth may wear abnormally and can lead to possible jaw joint pain. Without treatment, problems can grow worse over time and may become more difficult to correct.

Does your office take my insurance?

Our office does accept a variety of insurance plans. At your complimentary consultation exam, please bring your insurance card with you so that we may verify your orthodontic coverage. At this time, our office does not accept Medi-Cal/Denti-Cal or Healthy Families.

Can I afford orthodontic treatment?

Orthodontic treatment costs vary depending on the severity of the problem, the length or treatment and the complexity of your case. Our office offers a variety of payment plans.  We offer a flexible payment with no down payment and easy monthly payments. You may schedule a complimentary consultation examination and at that time, treatment fees will be discussed. Note our office has no hidden lab fees.

How long does treatment take?

Treatment time varies depending on age, patient compliance and the severity of the condition. On average, a comprehensive case will take approximately two years. The result; correctly aligned teeth that provide ideal jaw function as well as a great smile! Teeth are easier to clean and more resistant to gum disease.

When should I bring my child in for their first exam?

The American Association for Orthodontists (AAO) recommends your child’s first exam at age 7.  This is a good age to evaluate your child, see if there would be any benefit from starting a Phase I treatment when their jaws are still developing.

What if my child still has baby teeth?

If Phase I treatment is recommended (when children have a mixture of permanent and baby teeth), early treatment can correct jaw disproportions, manage crowding, eliminate damaging habits such a thumb sucking.  Other advantages include reducing the need to remove permanent teeth, shorten and simplify Phase II treatment, give children additional confidence.

Do I need a referral?

No.  You do not need a referral for orthodontic treatment.  You can schedule a complimentary exam with us at anytime and at that exam Dr. Harper will give you all of your treatment options and answer any questions that you might have.