Orthodontic FAQs

Smiling girl with bracesDo you have questions about orthodontics? It might surprise you to know that many of your questions are quite common. Today, we at New England Orthodontic Specialists will be introducing you to a few of the most frequently asked about topics in hopes that we may educate people and provide a service to future visitors. For any further questions you want answered, please call us at (978) 922-3462.

What is the difference between a dentist and an orthodontist?

If we compare a dentist to your family doctor, who covers a broad medical field (professional cleaning, checking gums, filling cavities, etc), an orthodontist would be the specialist recommended for more specific tasks. Orthodontists receive the same schooling and training as standard dentists but undergo an additional three-five years of training on top of that. Simply put, all orthodontists are dentists, but not all dentists are licensed orthodontists. Their expertise lies in straightening teeth (Ex- Braces).

Why is orthodontic treatment important?

Misaligned or crowded teeth are more challenging to properly clean and maintain a healthy smile. A poor bite can also lead to abnormal wearing down of your teeth’s surfaces, difficulty speaking and chewing, and exacerbating stress on the supporting bone and gum tissue. Without orthodontic treatment, a variety of problems may worsen and could necessitate additional dental visits later in life.

What is the appropriate age to see an orthodontist?

Orthodontists may treat people of any age-range; no patient is too old to benefit from their help. It’s generally recommended that children have their first visit to the orthodontist around age seven. By this age, problems with jaw growth and emerging teeth can be located while some baby teeth remain. Most people begin orthodontic treatment between the ages of 9-14. However, treatment is not exclusive to kids and teenagers. One out of every four orthodontic patients is over 21. If you’re considering treatment for yourself or a child, both are equally appropriate for an orthodontist.

Do I need a referral from my dentist to schedule an appointment with an orthodontist?

No, it is not necessary to ask for a referral from your general dentist before seeking orthodontic treatment. While several of our patients are referred by their general dentist, just as many take the initiative to schedule an evaluation or check-up on their own.

Can a child with baby teeth receive orthodontic correctional treatment?

Yes, some children’s orthodontic issues are severe enough to warrant early intervention. In cases where it’s decided that a patient is not yet ready for treatment, we will monitor that child’s growth and maturity until a more appropriate time to start treatment.

What happens during the initial examination appointment?

After arriving, the patient and his/her parent (or other loved one, such as a legal guardian) are seen by Diana Esshaki, DMD, MS or [[[clietnex:docname2]]] who will direct you to our office to prepare for the exam. We will take any/all necessary photographs and X-rays to reach a suitable diagnosis, after which Diana Esshaki, DMD, MS or Neil Flückiger, DMD will finish with a brief but thorough evaluation. If you are seeking immediate treatment, we will gladly do our best to get you on your way as soon as possible.

Do Braces hurt?

Fortunately, orthodontic science has made significant advancements in recent years. Modern technologies allow us to apply gentler force in re-positioning a patient’s teeth over a much shorter period. Today’s braces are smaller, more comfortable, and take less time for the procedure to be completed. You can expect some soreness in your teeth for a few days after braces are first bonded and after every future adjustment. This is necessary but not typically painful, and any discomfort can usually be relieved with an over-the-counter pain reliever (Use only as directed).

Remember, if you have any more questions related to orthodontics, call us at (978) 922-3462.


497 Cabot St
Beverly, MA 01915-2537


15 Main St.
Topsfield, MA 01983

Call Us:

(978) 922-3462

Office Hours:

Mon - 8:00 - 5:00
Tues - Closed
Wed - 8:00 - 5:00
Thurs - 8:00 - 5:00
Fri - 8:00 - 4:00