Ronald C. Kobernick, DDS, MScD, PA
10601 Seminole Blvd, Largo, FL & 111 2nd Avenue NE, St. Petersburg, FL

Orthodontic Patients: Frequently Asked Questions

What is unique about your office?

In addition to Dr. Kobernick's specialty practice treating periodontal (gum) disease, placing implants, our office also provides adult orthodontic treatment.  We believe adults and children require different considerations prior to, during, and after orthodontic treatment, and therefore we do not provide  orthodontic treatment for children.  We have many patients whose treatment plan consists of various combinations of periodontal, orthodontic, implant and restorative treatment, while other patient’s treatment needs are much simpler.

Dr. Kobernick's multiple specialties allows advantages in treatment planning complex cases.

What is the difference between adult and children’s orthodontic needs?

We believe adults feel more comfortable in a setting which provides greater privacy and individual attention.

Besides the difference in environment, adults are more at risk to develop periodontal problems during orthodontic treatment as compared to children.  Because of our periodontal specialty, we actively screen our patients prior to beginning orthodontic treatment to make certain there are no untreated periodontal problems present. Untreated periodontal disease can jeopardize post-orthodontic stability which might create periodontal complications during or after treatment.

We treat to an occlusal (bite) position, as developed by Dr. Peter Dawson to further achieve post orthodontic stability.

We use light, gradual forces for adults to lessen their discomfort and reduce the potential for damage to roots and/or surrounding bone.

We take digital radiographs every year for each of our patients during treatment to reduce the potential for negative tooth/bone changes to go unrecognized during orthodontic treatment. 

We actively monitor our patients’ periodontal health during tooth movement to minimize the potential for periodontal complications to occur during treatment.  This helps assure that we achieve outstanding results.

Providing cleanings in our office with our periodontally trained hygienists every other cleaning, alternating with your dentist, allows us at an early stage to recognize any developing periodontal problems.

Finally, we are able within our office to treatment plan and provide specific periodontal treatment to improve esthetics post orthodontic treatment.  (Cosmetic Periodontal Surgeries).  Additionally, we are able to treatment plan and place implants, in conjunction with your dentist, when they are considerations in replacing missing teeth. 

Can you be too old for braces?

No, age is not a factor, only the health of your gums and bone which support your teeth.

Will it hurt?

Orthodontic treatment has improved dramatically. As a rule, braces make your teeth sore for a few days, but it is not painful. This annoyance can be relieved with an over-the-counter pain reliever. Today's braces are smaller, more comfortable and use technology that reduces the discomfort. We use the latest in miniature braces and the highest quality of orthodontic materials in order to reduce discomfort and treatment time.

Can I still have braces if I have missing teeth?

Yes.  When teeth are missing, adjacent teeth will drift into the empty space. This will cause a functional, esthetic or periodontal problem. Orthodontic treatment will correct and prevent these problems and will also provide proper alignment for your restorative dentist to replace the missing teeth.

What is the length or duration of orthodontic treatment?

Braces may be on between 6 months to 30 months, depending on the severity of the problem, your cooperation, and the degree of movement possible.

How often will I be seen for orthodontic adjustments?

Orthodontic visits are scheduled approximately every three to four weeks during active treatment to control the forces used to move teeth and to precisely direct tooth movement.

What are extraction and non-extraction therapy, and what are the advantages and disadvantages of each?

Extraction therapy is a technique where some teeth are removed to make room for the other teeth when significant crowding is present. This is in contrast to non-extraction therapy where space is able to be created in cases of mild crowding by slightly reducing the width of some individual teeth. 

How do fixed brackets (braces) straighten crooked teeth? 

Braces use constant, gentle pressure, which over time move teeth into their proper position. The two main components of your braces are: the brackets that are placed on your teeth and the main archwire that connects them. The bracket is a piece of shaped metal or ceramic that is attached to each tooth. The archwire is bent to reflect your "ideal" bite. In other words, it reflects the way we want your teeth to be positioned after treatment.

The arch wire threads through the brackets and, as the wire tries to return to its original shape, it applies pressure to move your teeth.  Elastic forces are applied to your braces to assist in movement of the teeth.

What is Invisalign Treatment?

Invisalign treatment depends on a series of clear “trays” to slowly move teeth.  Impressions are taken at the Orthodontic records appointment and submitted for a computer “virtual” correction to be established.  From a precise computer program, trays are created which allow a small series of progressive corrections to be made in tooth position until the final results are achieved 

How does Invisalign treatment progress?

The clear Invisalign trays are worn at least 20 hours per day.  Your trays are changed approximately every three weeks. 

Frequently, prior to or during Invisalign treatment, we will reduce the width of individual teeth by IPR (Interproximal reduction) to create space to straighten crowded teeth.  The thinning of the teeth is minimal, and it does not make them more prone to cavities or breakdown.

Can Invisalign Treatment be used in all orthodontic treatment?

Our patients love Invisalign treatment, but this technique is often limited to less extensive and less difficult cases.  Root movement is limited with Invisalign treatment.

10601 Seminole Blvd., Largo, FL 33778 P: 727-397-8503 F: 727-398-2679

390 4th Street North, St. Petersburg, FL 33701 P: 727-397-8503