Patient FAQs

Expert Orthodontic Treatment
in Scotia, NY

At Hoskinson Orthodontics, we strive to help patients throughout the Scotia and Schenectady, NY areas achieve beautiful, healthy smiles through quality orthodontic treatment. We’re proud to offer a variety of treatments for patients ranging from children and teenagers to adult professionals, and we work hard to customize treatment to fit into your lifestyle. But in addition to helping you achieve a new smile, we strive to be a comprehensive resource to our patients – so we’ve compiled a list of some common questions and answers about orthodontic care.

Hoskinson Orthodontics

Frequently Asked Questions
About Orthodontics

Not at all! While many of our patients get referred by a family dentist, we welcome patients who take the initiative to schedule a consultation themselves.

In keeping with the American Association of Orthodontists, we ask parents to bring their children in for an initial screening by age 7.

Unfortunately, no. Orthodontic problems almost always get worse with age, and the only way to solve them is through treatment.

Scheduling your initial exam is easy! Just give us a call at 518-372-3424, reach out to us at our contact page, or use our easy online form to request an appointment.

First, we’ll ask for your insurance card and have you fill out our new patient forms if you haven’t already. After we have you in our system, you’ll meet with your Scotia orthodontist for a comprehensive orthodontic exam, including taking diagnostic tests such as X-rays, photographs, or impressions. Finally, you’ll talk with Dr. Hoskinson about your orthodontic situation and treatment options.

We’ll take time to answer any questions you have at your consultation, but we’ll make sure to go over a five essential questions:

  • Do you have an orthodontic condition? What is it?
  • What are your potential treatment options?
  • Do we need to extract any teeth?
  • How long do we expect treatment to take?
  • What will treatment costs look like?

While in some cases extraction is the best way to achieve a great smile, tooth extraction is rarely necessary for most patients, and we strive to avoid extraction if at all possible.

Treatment time can vary drastically from patient to patient, and it depends on the specifics of your orthodontic condition. That said, treatment can last anywhere from 6 to 36 months, with the “average” treatment lasting about 22 months.

We believe that finances should never stand between you and a beautiful smile, and we offer a variety of financial options to make treatment more affordable. We offer flexible in-house 0% financing plans, third-party financing through CareCredit, and discounts for full cash payments and families. We take most major forms of insurance, and we’ll work with you to help you maximize your benefits and get the most coverage you’re entitled to.

The frequency of your orthodontic checkups depends on your specific treatment needs, but we’ll see most patients every 4 to 5 weeks. We may have you come in more or less frequently depending on your specific treatment method.

Because after school time is in high demand, we can’t guarantee that we can schedule every appointment outside school hours. That said, we strive to make treatment convenient and will work with you to make treatment fit your schedule as much as possible, and because appointments are infrequent, orthodontics rarely causes most patients to miss much school.

We understand how busy things can get, and we welcome parents to drop their children off for appointments. We may need to speak with you before picking up your child, though, so we ask that you check in at the front desk before dropping off your child.

Braces don’t necessarily “hurt.” It’s common for patients to feel some discomfort or soreness for the first few days after getting braces or having an adjustment, but discomfort is usually mild and easy to manage with Advil or Tylenol. Generally, though, patients feel little to no soreness, and any discomfort that is present fades in a matter of days.

Definitely! You won’t need to miss school outside of your appointment.

No, no shots are necessary for orthodontic treatment.

Never. We only use brand new, custom-made orthodontic appliances.

Many of our patients are athletes, and you’re welcome to play sports or play wind instruments while wearing braces – all you’ll need is a custom-made mouthguard.

Absolutely. Dental hygiene is doubly important during treatment, so it’s important to maintain regularly-scheduled dental appointments.

Yes, you will. Certain foods can damage or break braces. We’ll provide a comprehensive list when we fit you with braces, but in general, you’ll need to avoid any hard, crunchy, sticky, gooey, or sugary foods.

Oral hygiene is extremely important for successful treatment, so we recommend brushing your teeth at least four times per day: once after each meal and once before bed. We’ll provide detailed instructions for brushing and flossing with braces, as well as any necessary supplementary treatments.

Orthodontic emergencies are rare, but they can happen. If your braces are causing you serious pain or something breaks, please call our office as soon as possible. We can handle most issues by phone, but if we need to repair your braces, we can also schedule you an emergency repair appointment as soon as possible.

Absolutely. For some patients, we’ll recommend early orthodontic treatment, which happens while the patient still has baby teeth. This isn’t always necessary, though.

Phase One treatment, also called early treatment, is an initial phase of orthodontic treatment that happens between the ages of 7 and 10. This generally seeks to address developmental issues and influence jaw growth for a better smile. After Phase One, there will be a resting period of a few years, after which we’ll start with Phase Two (adolescent) treatment.

Yes, almost all Phase One patients need a second treatment phase. This is because Phase One treatment works to treat underlying developmental problems, while Phase Two focuses on the alignment of the permanent teeth.

We’ll determine if your child needs an expander based on their initial examination.

Absolutely! We can straighten healthy teeth at any age, and in fact, roughly 25% of our patients are adults.

Any dental restoration will move just like natural tooth, and braces can often help fix alignment issues if you’re missing teeth. We encourage you to schedule a consultation!

Orthodontics is a highly complicated science that uses advanced techniques to make permanent changes in the alignment of the teeth, jaws, and facial structure. To learn these techniques, orthodontists go through an extra 2-3 years of specialized training on top of dental school. That’s training that dentists simply don’t have – so to ensure a healthy smile, you should always seek treatment from a board-certified orthodontist.

Schedule a Complimentary Consultation
with Your Schenectady, NY Orthodontist

We hope you found these answers helpful, and if you still have questions about your orthodontic treatment or want to pursue treatment for yourself, we’d love to help. Contact us today or use our easy online form to request your free consultation. We can’t wait to hear from you, and we’re excited to help you achieve a gorgeous new smile!


The NYS Dental Association has closely monitored all developments with the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).

As we are aware the COVID-19 situation in New York is one of the most serious in the nation.  At this time it is highly recommended that dental offices only provide emergency care for our patients; and close for a minimum of 3 weeks.  As a professional office we want to be responsible and slow the spread of COVID-19. We will follow this urgent recommendation- the office will be closed for patient care starting Wednesday 3/18/2020.  As of now the office plans to tentatively reopen 4/13/2020.  Dr. Hoskinson will be available to see emergency patients –  a patient experiencing discomfort. The office will reach out to our patients and  reschedule all appointments once we know an exact date for reopening.

This is an extremely fluid, unprecedented event in our country.  We are being faced with many unknowns and personal challenges at this time.

Happy & Healthy Wishes to all,

Hoskinson Orthodontics

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