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Frequently Asked Questions

At OPD Smiles, we always want our patients and families to feel confident about visiting us for ongoing care. That’s why Dr. Michael, Dr. Russell, and the rest of our team are happy to answer any questions – all you have to do is contact us. For added convenience, we’ve compiled some of the most popular FAQs we hear regularly and their answers below. We also have several orthodontic FAQs available here.

When should my child visit the dentist’s office for the first time?

Our doctors believe that it’s never too early to schedule a first visit! Even if your son or daughter is too young to undergo an examination, they can still interact with our team and become used to the sights and sounds of the practice, which will help them start to form a positive relationship with the dentist right away.

Generally, a first proper appointment should be scheduled when the child’s first tooth pushes through the gum line or when they reach their first birthday – whichever comes first.

What’s the difference between a pediatric dentist and a family dentist?

Pediatric dentists like Dr. Russell have undergone multiple years of specialty training beyond the typical dental school education, learning how to treat infants, young patients with special needs, and children of all ages. Because of their precise focus, they are better equipped to handle behavioral difficulties, complex care needs, and other situations that a family dentist may be incapable of addressing. You wouldn't take your child to your own physician. You would take them to a pediatrician. This is the same as taking your child to a pediatric dentist.

Are baby teeth really THAT important?

Yes! Baby teeth are the building blocks of a child’s smile, helping them learn how to speak clearly and chew food properly. They also lead the way for developing permanent teeth, holding space open in the mouth for their eventual emergence. If your son or daughter loses one or more baby teeth extremely early, be sure to let our team know.

Should I be worried if my child sucks their thumb?

In most cases, parents shouldn’t worry too much unless this “bad habit” starts to go on for a very long time. Most children will grow out of sucking their thumb soon enough, but if they’re still regularly doing so past the age of three, we ask that you let us know.

What ages do you see for orthodontic treatment?

There’s no limit! Dr. Michael is happy to treat adolescent children, teenagers, parents, and even grandparents, helping every member of the family determine the best orthodontic solutions for their unique smile needs and goals. Phase 1 Orthodontic Treatment can even help our younger patients get a headstart on the improvements they need to enjoy a healthier, more confident set of teeth. Don’t hesitate to contact us in Lucas, TX if you’d like to schedule a first consultation.

I want to straighten my teeth, but I don’t want to wear metal braces. Is there another option?

Absolutely. In addition to the traditional braces model, teenagers and adults may be prime candidates for Invisalign® clear braces. Instead of brackets and wires, our patients will wear clear, custom-made aligners that are barely even noticeable when worn. Clear/ceramic braces are another image-friendly option with a much subtler and more aesthetically pleasing appearance.

Will you take my dental insurance?

OPD Smiles is an in-network provider with several major dental insurance plans, and we are happy to file claims on your family’s behalf as well to maximize available benefits. Please visit our new patients page to learn more.