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Getting braces or any other type of orthodontic treatment can seem daunting, so at Olsen Ortho Studio we want to make the process as easy as possible. Whether you’re thinking about getting braces for your child or teenager, or if you’re interested in getting braces as an adult, the following information can help you learn more about the process generally as well as questions you might have about our office.


It’s best for the orthodontist to see children by age 7 to advise if orthodontic treatment is required and it is the best time for that patient to be treated. The first permanent molars and incisors have usually come in by that time and crossbites, crowding, and other problems can be evaluated. When treatment is begun early, the orthodontist can guide the growth of the jaw and guide incoming permanent teeth. Early treatment can also regulate the width of the upper and lower dental arches, gain space for permanent teeth, avoid the need for permanent tooth extractions, reduce likelihood of impacted permanent teeth, correct thumb-sucking, and eliminate abnormal swallowing or speech problems. In other words, early treatment can simplify later treatment.

Orthodontic treatment can be successful at any age and adults especially appreciate the benefits of a beautiful smile. One of every five patients in orthodontic treatment is over 21. Adults may have experienced some breakdown or loss of their teeth and bone that supports the teeth and may require periodontal treatment before, during, and/or after orthodontic treatment. Bone loss can also limit the amount and direction of tooth movement that is advisable.

For most people, a beautiful smile is the most obvious benefit of orthodontics. After your braces come off, you’ll feel more self-confident. During your treatment, we want you to feel as comfortable as possible.

Orthodontic appliances can be made of metal, ceramic, or plastic. They may be removable or they may be brackets bonded to the teeth. By placing a constant, gentle force in a carefully controlled direction, braces slowly move teeth to a corrected position. This is a great time to wear braces! Gone are the days when a metal band with a bracket was placed around each tooth. You can choose brackets that are clear or metallic color. Wires are also less noticeable than they used to be and the latest materials move teeth faster with less discomfort to patients.

Treatment time typically ranges from one to three years, depending on the growth of the patient’s mouth and face and the severity of the problem. Patients grow at different rates and will respond variously to orthodontic treatment, so the time to case completion may differ from the original estimate. The patient’s diligent use of any prescribed rubber bands is an important factor in achieving the most efficient treatment. Interceptive, or early treatment procedures, may take as few as six months.

While your dentist is often the one to recommend a visit to an orthodontist, a doctor or dentist referral is not required. You can call Olsen Ortho Studio anytime to schedule an appointment for yourself or a family member.

Our friendly staff will help you pick a date that works with your schedule. If you are a new patient or have been referred to our practice, you may schedule your appointment online or call us at your convenience.

In addition to our orthodontic offices in Billings, Montana and Lander, Wyoming, we also have offices in Laurel, Montana; Rawlins, Wyoming; Riverton, Wyoming and Worland, Wyoming.

Great question! Your consultation is your opportunity to get to know us and share any concerns you may have about your smile. These private appointments are tailored just for you and help in consultation rooms comfortable and roomy enough for family members to come with you.

During your consultation, we’ll discuss your concerns and answer any questions you might have. We’ll also take detailed images which allow us to evaluate:

  • Whether braces are needed
  • Treatment options and length
  • How much treatment will cost, including financing and payment options
  • Next steps and what to expect

Although from time-to-time we do have to take impressions using traditional trays, almost all of our dental impressions are taken using digital technology. Taking only minutes to complete, these images are convenient, comfortable and just as effective as standard trays.

We accept most major insurance policies, although coverage does vary by company. We are happy to file your claims for you and work with your insurance company to provide any paperwork necessary. For specific information about your policy, including any deductibles or other criteria, we suggest you contact your insurance provider directly.

Absolutely. We understand that not every insurance plan covers braces for adults, teens or children. That’s why we offer no-interest financing, which allows you to make payments directly to our office over the course of treatment.

As an orthodontist, Dr. Olsen has worked with a number of different types of braces. He chose to undergo more than a year of training exclusively in the use of Damon braces because of the exceptional results it offers our patients as well as its ability to work quickly, with fewer appointments

Yes! In fact, it’s even more important that you visit your dentist regularly while you are receiving orthodontic treatment. Sometimes braces can catch food in places that your toothbrush can’t reach, causing bacteria to build up in your mouth. Dr. Olsen and his team are happy to work with you and your dentist to make sure your teeth stay clean and healthy.

In case of emergency, be sure to immediately check your mouth and your appliance for any damage that may have occurred. If you notice any loose teeth or if your appliance has been damaged, please contact our office right away. You can temporarily relieve the discomfort with wax or by rinsing your mouth with warm salt water.

  • To prevent cavities and keep your mouth clean and healthy, brush your teeth at least three times a day with a fluoride toothpaste and floss at least once daily.
  • Avoid foods with excess sugar, as it increases the amount of bacteria that grows in your mouth. Excess bacteria can cause more plaque and possibly cavities.
  • Never eat with a removable retainer in your mouth. For permanent retainers, avoid sticky and chewy foods (caramel, chewing gum, gummy bears) or any foods that could dislodge your appliance.
  • When you take out your retainer to eat, brush your teeth and floss, remember to store it safely in its container to prevent damage or loss.
  • Keep your retainer clean by brushing it gently with a toothbrush and toothpaste. You may also use denture cleaner twice a week. Never use hot, boiling water or the dishwasher.

What is the advantage of two-phase orthodontic treatment?
Two-phase orthodontic treatment is a very specialized process that encompasses tooth straightening and physical, facial changes. The major advantage of a two-phase treatment is to maximize the opportunity to accomplish the ideal healthy, functional, aesthetic result that will remain stable throughout your life.

What if I put off treatment? The disadvantage of waiting for complete eruption of permanent teeth and having only one phase of treatment for someone with a jaw discrepancy is facing the possibility of a compromised result that may not be stable.

First Phase Treatment: Your foundation for a lifetime of beautiful teeth The goal of first phase treatment is to develop the jaw size in order to accommodate all the permanent teeth and to relate the upper and lower jaws to each other. Children sometimes exhibit early signs of jaw problems as they grow and develop. An upper and lower jaw that is growing too much or not enough can be recognized at an early age. If children after age 6 are found to have this jaw discrepancy, they are candidates for early orthodontic treatment.

Planning now can save your smile later Because they are growing rapidly, children can benefit enormously from an early phase of orthodontic treatment utilizing appliances that direct the growth relationship of the upper and lower jaws. Thus, a good foundation can be established, providing adequate room for eruption of all permanent teeth. This early correction may prevent later removal of permanent teeth to correct overcrowding and/or surgical procedures to align the upper and lower jaws. Leaving such a condition untreated until all permanent teeth erupt could result in a jaw discrepancy too severe to achieve an ideal result with braces.

Making records to determine your unique treatment Orthodontic records will be necessary to determine the type of appliances to be used, the duration of treatment time, and the frequency of visits. Records consist of models of the teeth, x-rays, and photographs.

Resting Period In this phase, the remaining permanent teeth are allowed to erupt. Retaining devices are not usually recommended since they may interfere with eruption. It is best to allow the existing permanent teeth some freedom of movement while final eruption of teeth occurs. A successful first phase will have created room for teeth to find an eruption path. Otherwise, they may become impacted or severely displaced.

Monitoring your teeth’s progress In other words, at the end of the first phase of treatment, teeth are not in their final positions. This will be determined and accomplished in the second phase of treatment. Selective removal of certain primary (baby) teeth may be in the best interest of enhancing eruption during this resting phase. Therefore, periodic recall appointments for observation are necessary, usually on a six-month basis.

Second Phase Treatment: Stay healthy and look attractive The goal of the second phase is to make sure each tooth has an exact location in the mouth where it is in harmony with the lips, cheeks, tongue, and other teeth. When this equilibrium is established, the teeth will function together properly.

Movement & Retention At the beginning of the first phase, orthodontic records were made and a diagnosis and treatment plan established. Certain types of appliances were used in the first phase, as dictated by the problem. The second phase is initiated when all permanent teeth have erupted, and usually requires braces on all the teeth for an average of 24 months. Retainers are worn after this phase to ensure you retain your beautiful smile.