About Orthodontics

When it comes to orthodontics, we can treat all ages, from 7 and up, as long as you have teeth! The Orthodontic industry has been improving their products over the years, so that we can fit your lifestyle and preferences. Braces come in all different colors for an aesthetic approach, and Invisalign is extremely popular in patients of all ages, not just adults! It’s become more of a statement piece, than something you have to go through. Embrace your treatment!

Orthodontia is not merely for improving the aesthetics of the smile; it is a specialized branch of dentistry that focuses on the prevention and correction of malpositioned teeth and jaws. By treating some of the underlying problems that lead to tooth decay and tooth loss, orthodontists help their patients maintain healthy teeth and gums as well as boost their confidence with a beautiful smile. In some cases, seeing an orthodontist for preventative orthodontic treatment and care can help avoid more costly dental procedures later.

Orthodontics can affect the way you smile, chew, clean your teeth or feel about your smile. Ultimately creating an overall healthier you.

Orthodontic appliances like brackets or aligners, work by slowly and constantly moving teeth into a proper position until they are aligned. Orthodontists promote oral health by targeting issues like malocclusion, improper jaw alignment, crooked teeth, spacing, missing teeth and crowded teeth. Malocclusions occur as a result of tooth or jaw misalignment. According to studies by the American Association of Orthodontists, untreated malocclusions can result in a variety of problems:

What age should you start orthodontics?

The American Association of Orthodontics advises children to be examined by the age of 7. By the age of 7, the first molars erupt, establishing the back bite. Dr. Courtney has a conservative approach on this – if she finds that orthodontic treatment is not needed at this time she will advise to simply monitor your child’s growth to determine the best time to intervene.

Phased Treatment

By taking advantage of two-phased treatment, an orthodontist has a better chance at correcting dental problems while a child is still growing. What are the advantages of interceptive treatment? Some of the most direct results of interceptive treatment are:

Influencing growth with orthodontics

An orthodontist can’t change your genetics, but as a child is still growing, an orthodontist can influence skeletal growth with interceptive orthodontics. Most common issues such as narrow palates can be widened with a palate expander before the upper jaw is fully formed and bone is fused. Another example would be using a reverse pull headgear called a facemask to help redirect underbite growth.

When skeletal issues are present, it can result in misaligned bite or teeth. For example, if your child has a thumb sucking habit, that can adversely impact the development of straight teeth and growth of upper and lower jaws.

What to expect at your first visit

Once you are checked in, one of our orthodontic assistants will acquire a series of diagnostic records, which consists of a series of photos, x-rays and a digital scan of your mouth using our 3d scanning software to evaluate the position of your teeth and bite. Followed by a thorough exam by dr. Courtney, reviewing your scans and dental history to devise a custom treatment plan.

Dr. Courtney will answer all of your questions and clearly explain each treatment option, including pros and cons, offering her expert opinion and honest guidance. Once you’ve decided on a course of treatment that fits your lifestyle, our treatment coordinator will review financing options that maximize any dental benefits, and help to design a payment plan that fits your budget.

We offer treatment for all ages


Early intervention for Children ages 7-11


Treatment for growing Teens ages 11-16


Aesthetic options that fit your lifestyle for ages 18+

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Start a virtual consultation today or schedule an in-person examination at our Playa Vista location. Your free consultation includes recommendations for orthodontic treatment


Once your orthodontic journey comes to an end and your teeth are straight, you will receive a clear plastic, removable appliance called a retainer, or a metal and acrylic retainer called a Hawley (after completion of Phase One). Our bodies are dynamic and have a tendency to shift over time and as we age, so a retainer is a life-long commitment as long as you want your teeth to remain as they are. We recommend full time retainer wear in the beginning, then only when you sleep on-going. This will ensure nothing shifts so that you can maintain the perfect smile you worked so hard to achieve.


The cost of traditional braces or Invisalign ranges from $2,000 – $7,550

We accept the majority of PPO dental insurance policies. We also submit all the claims on your behalf to help maximize your benefits. We are out of network with all plans.

Yes. Our Financial Coordinator will consult with you on your HSA/FSA requirements and advise you on how we can help maximize your benefit. Flexible Spending Accounts or Health Saving Accounts are great options to save on the cost of treatment. 

Invisalign tends to be slightly more expensive than traditional metal braces, but not if you choose ceramic or gold, however, in most cases Invisalign tends to be faster than braces, which then equates to the same cost.

Invisalign now has the capability to move teeth similarly to conventional braces. Invisalign requires you to commit to wearing them 22 hours a day, so the biggest factor to determine if you are a good candidate is if you have the compliance to do so. Invisalign is not efficient for all types of movement, such as rotating a tooth 40 degrees. If that is a movement you would like to see accomplished, you might want to consider alternative options.

Treatment length is obviously dependent on the complexity of the case, as well as the compliance from the patient. In general, treatment times can range anywhere between 6 months to 2.5 years. The ‘average’ time frame a patient is in treatment is approximately 18-24 months. We can give you a personalized timeline once your teeth have been examined by Dr. Courtney.

Usually between 12 months to 24 months for teens. Teen treatment can be shortened if Phase One was completed. Severely misaligned teeth or bite problems may take more time. Non-compliance of the orthodontic appliance, frequency of visits and even poor hygiene can contribute to extended treatment.

The American Association of Orthodontists recommends the first visit to an orthodontist at age 7. A certain number of primary teeth vs permanent teeth are present in order to initiate an orthodontic appliance. The majority of early screening appointments result in an observation stage, where monitoring of your child’s dental and skeletal development are imperative for the prevention of more costly future treatments.

Some issues merit a certain type of orthodontist appliance, but in most cases braces or Invisalign can treat any issue. the right treatment option for your child and your family is highly dependent on the level of responsibility, as well as lifestyle. At Playa Orthodontics, Dr. Courtney and her Treatment coordinator will discuss day to day details, as well as pros and cons for each treatment type, so that you and your family will feel confident in your


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