FAQ About Orthodontics

As your local Erie, PA orthodontist, we at Doleski & Wolford aim to educate patients about general orthodontics and orthodontic treatments. Here you'll find our answers to commonly asked questions about orthodontic care and treatment.


General Orthodontics

  • Why should I choose an orthodontic specialist?
    Orthodontic specialists have extensive and specialized training that enables them to provide their patients with professional, personalized treatments. Teeth, and sometimes entire facial structures, are permanently changed by orthodontic treatment. It is important that the treatment be appropriate and properly completed.

  • Will my teeth straighten out as they grow?
    No, they will not. The space available for the front teeth does not increase as you grow. In most people, after the permanent molars erupt, the space available for the front teeth decreases with age.


Orthodontic Appointments

  • Is it required that my family dentist schedule my appointment with Dr. Doleski or Dr. Wolford?
    No, it is not. While many of our patients are referred to us by their family dentist, there are other patients who take the initiative to schedule a visit to our Erie, Lawrence Park, or Corry, PA office themselves.

  • How do I schedule an appointment for an initial exam with Doleski & Wolford Orthodontics?
    We'd be happy to determine if you or your child can potentially benefit from orthodontic treatment. Simply call one of our three office locations, email us, or fill out our appointment request form to schedule an appointment with us. When schedule your appointment, our front office staff will request some basic information from you.

  • How often will I have appointments?
    Orthodontic appointments are scheduled according to each patient's needs. Most patients in braces wi

  • ll be seen every five to 10 weeks. If there are specific situations that require more frequent monitoring, we will schedule appointments accordingly.

  • Can I schedule all of my appointments after school?
    Unfortunately, we cannot schedule all orthodontic appointments for students during after-school hours. However, because most appointments are scheduled five to 10 weeks apart, most patients will miss minimal school due to their orthodontic treatments. We will, however, make a sincere effort to meet your scheduling needs.

  • Can I drop my child off for an appointment?
    Yes. We understand your busy schedule, and we are happy to help you make the most of your time. On some occasions, we may request to speak with a parent, so we ask that parents check in with their patient manager before dropping off their child.

  • What is an emergency appointment? How are those handled?
    If your braces are causing extreme pain or if something breaks, you should call our office. In most cases, we can address these issues over the telephone. If you require an emergency orthodontic appointment, you will be seen promptly. For guidance on what to do in case of an emergency, see our Orthodontic Emergencies page.

The Initial Orthodontic Examination

  • At what age should I schedule an appointment for an orthodontic screening?
    The American Association of Orthodontists recommends a patient receive an orthodontic screening at age 7. By this age, several permanent teeth have erupted in most children, allowing our team to effectively evaluate your orthodontic condition.

  • What will happen at the initial orthodontic examination appointment?
    Upon arriving, each patient and parent will be seen by the staff and doctor who will welcome you to our office and prepare for the initial orthodontic exam. We will then take the necessary photographs and X-rays to allow us to make a proper diagnosis. The doctor will then complete a brief, but thorough, exam. To learn more about what to expect at your first appointment, see our First Visit page.

  • What will I learn from the initial orthodontic examination?
    There are five essential questions that we will cover during the initial orthodontic examination:
    - Is there an orthodontic problem, and if so, what is it?
    - What must be done to correct the orthodontic problem?
    - Will any teeth need to be removed?
    - How long will the orthodontic treatment take to complete?
    - How much will treatment cost?

Orthodontic Treatment

  • Can orthodontic correction occur while a child has baby teeth?
    Yes. Some orthodontic problems are significant enough to require early intervention. However, if a patient is not yet ready for orthodontic treatment, we will follow that patient's growth and development until the time is right for treatment to begin.

  • What is Phase One (early) treatment?
    The primary objective for Phase One treatment is to address significant orthodontic problems to prevent them from becoming more severe and to improve self-esteem and self-image. Phase One treatment, if necessary, is usually initiated on children between the ages of 7 and 10 and lasts about 12-21 months.

  • Will my child need full braces if he/she has Phase One treatment?
    It is best to assume that your child will need full braces even after Phase One orthodontic treatment. 

  • The period following Phase One treatment is called the "resting period," during which growth and tooth eruption are closely monitored. Throughout this period, parents and patients will be kept informed of future orthodontic treatment recommendations.

  • Will my child need an expander?
    At the completion of the initial examination, we will determine whether a patient will need an expander.

  • Do you give shots?
    No. Shots are not necessary in orthodontic treatment.


Orthodontic Braces

  • Will I need to have teeth extracted for braces?
    Removing teeth is sometimes required to achieve the best orthodontic result. Straight teeth and a balanced facial profile are the goal of orthodontics. However, because new technology has provided advanced orthodontic procedures, removing teeth is not always necessary.

  • Can I wear braces even though I have crowns and missing teeth?
    Yes. A tooth with a crown will move just like a tooth with a simple filling. When teeth are missing, orthodontic treatment will aid in the alignment of the remaining teeth.

  • Is it too late to have braces if I am already an adult?
    No. A surprising number of our patients are adults. In fact, 25% of all orthodontic patients are adults. Health, happiness, and self-esteem are vitally important at every age, so no patient is "too old" to wear braces! Contact us to learn more about adult orthodontic treatment.
  • How long will it take to complete treatment?
    Treatment time depends on each patient's specific orthodontic problem. In general, treatment times range from 12 to 30 months. The "average" time a person is in braces is approximately 22 months.

  • How much will braces cost? Are financing options available? How does my insurance work?
    It is impossible to give an exact cost for orthodontic treatment until we have examined you. We will cover the cost and financial options during the initial orthodontic examination. We have many financing options available to accommodate your needs, and we will review these with you. We will also review your insurance policy and help to maximize your benefit and file your claims.

  • Do braces hurt?
    Generally, orthodontic braces do not "hurt." After certain visits, teeth may be sore for a few days. In these situations, pain medications such as Advil or Tylenol will ease the discomfort. However, after most visits, patients do not feel any soreness at all.

  • Can I return to school the day I receive my braces?
    Yes. There is no reason to miss school because of an orthodontic appointment.

  • Do you use recycled braces?
    Absolutely not! It is our belief that each patient should be provided with his or her own braces to achieve the best orthodontic result possible.

  • Can I still play sports while wearing braces?
    Yes. But we recommend to also wear a mouth guard for all sports.

  • Do I need to see my family dentist while in braces?
    Yes! Regular checkups with your family dentist are important while in braces. Your family dentist will determine the intervals between cleaning appointments while you are in braces.

  • Are there foods I cannot eat while I have braces?
    Yes. Once treatment begins, we will explain the complete instructions and provide a comprehensive list of foods to avoid. Some of those foods include: ice, hard candy, raw vegetables, and all sticky foods (i.e. caramel and taffy). You can avoid most emergency appointments to repair broken or damaged braces by carefully following our instructions.

  • How often should I brush my teeth while in braces?
    Patients with braces should brush their teeth at least four times each day - after each meal and before going to bed. We will show each patient how to floss his or her teeth with braces and may also provide a prescription for a special fluoride, if necessary.

Contact Your Erie, Lawrence Park, and Corry, PA Orthodontist

If you have any other questions about orthodontics or orthodontic treatment, please contact our friendly and knowledgeable staff who will be happy to assist you. If you would like to schedule an appointment for your initial orthodontic examination or need to schedule a routine appointment, you can call our offices or use our online form. Whatever your reason for visiting us, we look forward to seeing you!