Family Orthodontics

The Touro Dental Health Orthodontic Practice is home to outstanding professionals equipped with the latest digital technology to provide the most advanced care and the best outcomes for children and adults in need of braces, Invisalign® and other orthodontia. Our orthodontists have decades of experience in private dental practice and bring that expertise to every patient, all while training the dentists and orthodontists of the future.

Our two board-certified and licensed faculty members treat our orthodontic patients, while students assist and observe their work. This unique relationship as a teaching clinic benefits patients because it allows us to provide care at approximately 20-50% less than private orthodontists in Westchester County, New York.

Katelyn Lombardo: When I see my smile now I'm definitely way more confident. I used to hate smile with my teeth because I thought I looked strange because my jawline was off. And my teeth were just not straight. I mean, honestly, at first, I did not want to get braces, I was scared about how it was going to look on me and I didn't know how I'm going to feel about them.

Annie Lombardo, Katelyn’s mom: Katie was embarrassed to smile and pictures didn't like to do group photos, but always shy away from the camera.

Howard Fine, DMD, Director of Orthodontics at Touro College of Dental Medicine: When Katie first came to us, we evaluated her with all our diagnostic tools and realized that her if you look at her bottom jaw, he was set back relative to her top jaw. As a result, she had a significant what we call overjet, which colloquially some people call overbite and, and her teeth were pretty much sticking out. They were they were forward. And this is what gave her concern.

Annie: We were so nervous when we first came here. I just wanted Katie to be happy. And we came in Dr. Fine was just made us feel so comfortable. Right from the start. We knew this was the place for us.

Katelyn: He was always just really funny and making jokes and making sure that I knew what was happening, what he was doing.

Dr. Fine: When Katie presented. Although she was only 12, we were concerned that there was not going to be significant growth during the course of her treatment.

Annie: As the weeks went by, and the different steps occurred, you could just see the difference. It was really incredible.

Katelyn: When I saw the clinical before and after pictures, I cannot believe the difference in my appearance. I just remember like Dr. Fine, you took everyone around me and like made sure everyone saw how great a look like he pulled a bunch of random people just from all over. I was just like, look at it. I don't think teenagers realize that getting braces will change your life and is very easy.

Dr. Fine: Thankfully, Katie did have enough of a growth spurt to produce the result that we wanted. And she was a terrific rubberband wearer which is one of the mechanisms that we use to correct these cases. We were able to produce an ideal result in a case that was very difficult, not only from a dental perspective, but from a facial balance perspective.

Katelyn: I definitely feel more confident posting pictures of my smile, and I feel more comfortable and I feel more like myself and I feel like my smile is more genuine. I would tell other kids when they come to Touro to definitely be excited about it and to be patient with the process.

Annie: It's just such a relief to have your child smile for pictures and just feel more confident about themselves.

Katelyn: Most of my friends didn't even realize I had braces on and they didn't know when I took them off. So it's like I woke up and I had a perfect smile.

Dr. Fine: Sometimes orthodontists don't appreciate when a patient comes in the door, what their fears are, how they actually feel about themselves. And it's very gratifying that we can produce nice results. Give them a beautiful smile that they can be proud of. And it also warms our hearts that we can actually do this for them.

Orthodontics by the Numbers:

  • 50% - 70% of American children will need braces at some point in their lives
  • Early orthodontic intervention (starting at 7 years of age) can improve outcomes
  • In Westchester County, orthodontia obtained in a private practice can cost up to $10,000 or more
  • 20% of the U.S. population does not have a properly aligned bite
  • 1 in 5 orthodontics patients in the U.S. is an adult

Orthodontics for Children

Why is it important for your child to receive orthodontic care?

If parents opt not to undertake recommended orthodontic treatment, the patient might end up having functional or aesthetic issues that might necessitate more aggressive treatment such as surgery later in life.

When should I request a consultation for my child?

The American Association of Orthodontists advises that a child be evaluated by an orthodontist by age 7. Even at such a young age, when the patient still has baby teeth, the orthodontist can evaluate growth issues and dental problems and address them early, if needed. The pediatric or family dentist, being the primary care practitioner for these patients, is the one to monitor these cases and refer to the orthodontist when appropriate. By age 9, dental problems resulting from improper eruption of the permanent teeth can be seen on x-ray, so observation and interceptive treatment by an orthodontist is even more important.

Does the work start before my child’s permanent teeth come in?

Orthodontic care is often undertaken in two phases. The first phase occurs prior to full eruption of the permanent teeth, and addresses issues more of a skeletal or habitual nature. For example, overbites or underbites, which are skeletal problems, can be corrected while the patient is growing, regardless if all the permanent teeth have erupted. Habit-related problems, such as thumb sucking, should also be addressed at this time. Appliances such as palate expanders or night braces are typical in this stage.

When will my child be ready for braces?

The second phase of orthodontics is undertaken when the permanent teeth have erupted, and involves more dental correction. The second phase of treatment is typically done with full braces. Patients might also be treated as having only one phase of treatment, assuming no early intervention is required.

Overview of Orthodontic Treatment and Costs

What is the next step after the consultation?

The patient will be evaluated and a tentative treatment plan will be discussed, as well as the fee structure. If the patient desires to pursue treatment, the next step involves compiling orthodontic records. This includes any necessary x-rays not provided by the general dentist, digital models of the teeth, and photographs of the patient. These records allow the orthodontist to diagnose the problems inherent in the case and design a custom treatment plan for the patient. The orthodontic records also allow the practitioner to assess the progress of the case as compared to the start of treatment.

What will orthodontic care at Touro Dental Health cost?

The cost of braces varies significantly in different parts of the country and even between adjacent counties in New York. The average cost at Touro Dental Health is 20%-50% less than private practices in Westchester County. This price includes orthodontic records such as x-rays, digital models and photographs, orthodontic appliances and retainers. Extra fees might be incurred for lost or broken appliances, cooperation issues, etc.

Two-phase treatment will typically add some cost to the treatment because the patient will be in treatment for a longer time overall. Dental insurance may cover a portion of the total cost of orthodontics, assuming orthodontic coverage is included within the dental policy. Touro Dental Health’s orthodontic practices offers a payment plan which allows payments to be spread out over a portion of the treatment time.

Touro Dental Health accepts Medicaid patients. Standard Medicaid procedures and requirements apply.

How often do patients need to see the orthodontist?

Patients are usually seen by the orthodontist every 4-6 weeks. At these visits, the appliances are adjusted and wires can be “tightened”; these basic manipulations of the appliances will help the patient achieve alignment of the teeth. Cooperation with brushing and elastics is also assessed at each visit because the patient’s overall cooperation with the treatment plan is critical to a successful outcome.

What happens when treatment is completed?

Once the case is complete, where the jaws are aligned, the teeth are straight and the face is well balanced, the braces are ready to be removed. This will start the retention period, when the patient wears retainers to maintain the correction achieved. Retainers can be either removable or cemented to the back of the teeth, depending on the potential for relapse of the initial problem. Removable retainers should be worn nightly, at least through the growing years. It is up to the patient to maintain the correction with continued wear of the removable retainer. Cemented retainers, being cemented to the back of the teeth, require the patient to be diligent with oral hygiene.

Invisalign® Treatment

Invisalign® vs. Traditional Braces

There are two main options for orthodontic treatment: traditional metal braces or Invisalign®. While both options can be used to straighten teeth, Invisalign is often preferred for aesthetic reasons and the ability to remove your aligners. Children and adults alike can use Invisalign®. However, there are some instances where traditional braces may be preferred or even necessary. Metal braces are sometimes needed for more complex orthodontic treatment, and in general, you’ll get faster results with metal braces.

About Invisalign® Aligners

Invisalign® uses clear, medical-grade plastic trays to straighten teeth. The trays fit directly over the teeth making them invisible to those around you. Patients must wear the aligners 22 hours a day to create the outcome desired by our team and you, the patient.

Invisalign® trays are comfortable and rarely cause abrasions. While the aligners are typically worn most of the day, you can take them out when eating, drinking, brushing, and flossing. This means you do not need to change your diet or oral hygiene habits to accommodate Invisalign®.

How do Invisalign® aligners work?

Aligners are made by scanning your teeth with a 3D camera. We then create a virtual 3D model of what your teeth look like now and we use the computer to modify that model to create your new smile. Once we know where we are starting and where we would like to finish, a series of virtual models are created. Each model moves your teeth a fraction of a millimeter, a tenth of a degree, eventually creating your one-of-a-kind smile.

What is the treatment time with Invisalign®?

Treatment time with aligners is often the same and occasionally less than that of traditional braces. Office visits can be less frequent and can also be several months apart. Our patients are instructed to change their aligners anywhere from every four to seven days to ensure efficient and comfortable alignment and maintain the clarity of the aligners cosmetically.

As with traditional braces, we offer several methods of accelerating tooth movement and reducing discomfort using new and exciting technologies.

Can I have my teeth whitened during Invisalign® treatment?

Whitening your teeth during Invisalign® treatment is easy and available professionally or with many commercially available products.

Faculty Director

photo of Howard Fine

Howard A. Fine, D.M.D.

Director of OrthodonticsClinical Associate Professor of Dental Medicine