What should you do if you need both orthodontics and general dentistry care?

By In Braces Care December 3, 2017

Some of our patients need both orthodontic treatment and general dentistry treatment at the same time.   Given the busy work-life commitments of many patients, many may come in with a bad dental occlusion, while also having tooth ache, need a few fillings, dental cleaning, etc.  They know they need both treatment but not sure of the treatment sequence and financial obligation and timing.   Knowing these options will help you propose a plan and a time table for financial planning and treatment stages.

What the orthodontist can do?

Orthodontists are specialist of the jaw, teeth and lower face.  They can address the position of the teeth and the alignment of the two jaws to fit probably and give you a stable bite.  Most of the time, it is helpful to think of orthodontics with the analogy of building a house.  To build a house, construction involves around planning the foundation of the house and the interior design to allocate functions and spaces.  Similarly in orthodontics, the orthodontist plans the set-up of your smile.  He or she create treatment plans to put your teeth in specific spacial design and plan your upper and lower jaws to relate in a stable and harmonious position.

What the general dentist can do?

General dentists do exams, cleanings and repair and damages to your teeth such as doing fillings, root canals, crowns, implants.  They also monitor the bone and gum attachment of your teeth.  Some procedures need to be done prior to orthodontic treatment; while others are done at the end of orthodontic treatment.

In general, when it comes to disease, you need that fixed right away.  For example, if you have a cavity, you need the decay fixed right away before the disease spread to other teeth.  If you have inflammation or infection of your gum and bone, you need to fix that disease right away. 

When it comes to the need of restorations in a healthy environment, you should wait until completion of orthodontics first before proceeding to the restoration.   For example, if you have a missing tooth and need to have implants, you will wait to complete the orthodontic treatment before initiating on crowns, veneers or implants.

What is the game plan?

It takes some communications from your orthodontist and your general dentist to customize your treatment plan and plan a treatment time table. 

Next time if you or your family members are in a situation that need both orthodontic and general treatment, schedule an orthodontics examination first with our orthodontist, Dr. Nancy Phan. She can advice you on what is the proper first step. 

Visit us at or contact Care Orthodontics in San Jose CA at 408-971-2885.  Dr. Nancy Phan is a Board-certified orthodontist and dedicated many years to find and bring out the true beauty of your smile.


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Care Orthodontics
88 Tully Rd., Ste. 113 San Jose, CA 95111.
Phone: (408) 971-2885
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