All posts by AO Smiles

Orthodontics Budget

Can I use a Health Savings Account (HSA) or Flex Spending Account (FSA) for Orthodontic Care?

One of the most common questions we get here at Advanced Orthodontics is how to save money on orthodontic treatment. We get it. You want great results at a great price, who doesn’t! That is why we offer many ways you can pay for your treatment as well as an array of treatment options.

What’s better: HSA, FSA or Traditional Insurance for Orthodontics?

Some of our patients find that paying for orthodontic care through an HSA (Health Savings Account) or FSA (Flex Spending Account) allows them to save money! Contributions to an HSA or FSA are tax-deductible, or if made through a payroll deduction, they are pretax. The funds can be used to pay for medical and dental expenses, like orthodontics! While health savings accounts can be accumulated over time, flex spending accounts must be used by the end of the calendar year.

Traditional dental insurance is another way to help lower your out of pocket cost for orthodontics, but it is important to look closely over your plan before deciding. Most orthodontic insurance plans with cover the cost of treatment at a given percentage, up to a certain dollar amount. For example, a plan might cover 50% of the treatment cost up to a $1,500 maximum. There are several limitations to orthodontic benefits to be aware of when deciding on orthodontic insurance, such as age limitations and waiting periods.

Health Savings Accounts or Flex Spending Accounts can be used in conjunction with your orthodontic insurance benefit, further lowering your out of pocket cost for orthodontic care. Orthodontic insurance can be quite tricky, so a member of the Advanced Orthodontics Team is happy to answer any questions you have.

Facts about Flex Spending Accounts (FSA’s):

FSA’s are limited to $2,600 per year per employer. Your spouse can also contribute $2,600 into an FSA through their employer. With those funds, you can pay for care for yourself, your spouse, and your dependents. This is great for parents looking to get traditional braces or Invisalign for Teens.

As always, we are here to work with you and your insurance company to make sure that we price out an appropriate course of action to get the smile you deserve. Contact us today to talk through your options or schedule a virtual consultation!

Dr. Sharma

Meet Our New Associate: Dr. Sharma

We are excited to announce that we are continuing to grow the Advanced Orthodontics Team and are proud to introduce you to Dr. Prashansa Sharma-Makwana, DMD. She officially joined our Team as an associate on October 19th, 2020. Dr. Sharma will co-treat alongside Dr. Larrabee providing the best in orthodontic care for our patients and their families. She joins us with the highest recommendations, great enthusiasm, and a vibrant new energy.

Originally from Chicago, Dr. Sharma completed the dental program at Case Western Reserve University and the orthodontic program at Tufts University. She has been practicing in Arizona for the last 5 years. Dr. Sharma is an avid dancer, even appearing in a music video with Snoop Dog!

We are so excited to welcome her to our Team and continue to provide every patient with the best in orthodontic care.

If you are looking for more information on orthodontists in Mesa, Arizona or Chandler, Arizona get in touch with us or schedule a Virtual Consultation today!

Nightline with Invisalign® for Adults: A Safe, Discreet Option

Do you long for a bright, straight, beautiful smile?

You’re not alone. Many adults are opting to invest in orthodontic treatment. Some had braces back in their youth but might not have been as diligent as necessary with maintenance protocols. Still, others either didn’t get the opportunity or opted out of it due to aesthetics.

These days, adults can have their cake and eat it too with Invisalign® for adults, especially when coupled with a new product called Propel®.

Discreet, Overnight Braces: Why Use Propel® with Invisalign® for Adults

The main reason why so many adults opt for Invisalign® orthodontic treatment is that they get to straighten their teeth without having to wear metal braces. Invisalign® straightens your teeth using clear aligners, which you change every few weeks.

In many cases, Invisalign® for adults is a faster, more aesthetically pleasing option. Plus, you’re allowed to remove the aligners for up to two hours per day, allowing you to eat in comfort and practice dental homecare with ease.

Propel® – Taking Invisalign® Treatment to the Next Level

Advanced Orthodontics utilizes a product called Propel® in conjunction with Invisalign® aligners.

Propel® allows you to limit how long you need to wear your clear aligners. Instead of having to wear them for 22 hours each day, you can simply wear them overnight.

How it works:

  • After dinner, brush and floss your teeth
  • Put in your Invisalign® trays
  • Place the Propel® device over your aligners and wear it for five minutes
  • When finished, keep your Invisalign® trays in as part of your overnight orthodontic care
  • When you wake up in the morning, remove your aligners and clean them
  • Make sure you plug the Propel® device in so it can charge

The Propel® device uses vibration to gently encourage your teeth to move. Overnight braces can be just as effective as aligners alone, too, so you don’t have to worry that you’ll undergo orthodontic treatment any longer than is necessary.

Overnight orthodontic care is ideal as you don’t have to worry about:

  • Learning how to talk with your aligners
  • Taking the aligners out to eat and forgetting to put them back in
  • Losing your aligners

Advanced Orthodontics – Orthodontic Treatment with You in Mind

The team at Advanced Orthodontics considers your needs and desires when creating your custom orthodontic treatment plan.

Whether you’re an adult who is finally ready to take the plunge and invest in treatment as long as its discreet, or you’re a parent that’s concerned about your child’s orthodontic compliance – your dental team will take it all into consideration.

When you’re ready to get the smile of your dreams, contact Advanced Orthodontics right away. You’ll learn about Invisalign® for adults, what type of treatment you’re an ideal candidate for, and whether overnight orthodontic care is best for your needs.

Interested in learning how you can get a straighter, healthier smile discreetly? Contact us today to schedule a free consultation!



Covid 19 Orthodontic Safety Measures

Advanced Orthodontics: COVID Safety Update

It has been an unprecedented past few months for everyone with the Coronavirus putting our health and normalcies of daily life to the test. We closed our offices early to abide by the regulations set forth and are happy to have reopened with the proper safety measures in practice.

Virtual Orthodontic Visits

To limit the amount of foot traffic in our physical office, we are offering the option of virtual visits for new and existing patients. We understand many patients still feel uncomfortable coming into the office and we are happy to accommodate the same level of care as an in-office visit. If you are interested in a virtual orthodontic visit the Advanced Orthodontics team will schedule a time for you to meet with a member of our team through a HIPPA secure video. You can access this virtual visit on a desktop or smartphone. When scheduling you may be asked to provide photos for Dr. Larrabee to review and get a good sense of how to go about treatment.

In-Office Visits

For patients who are choosing to come into the office, we are limiting the number of patients in our locations to allow for social distancing. Patients can text or call when they arrive. As a courtesy, a Team member is walking each patient from their car to the chair/assistant at the time of their appointment so that the lobby/waiting room is not utilized. Once the appointment is complete, you will again be escorted back to your car and a parent is briefed on what was done today and when we would like to see you back.


Office Cleanliness

We always maintain a clean environment, by OSHA standard, but are also making sure our non-clinical areas of the office are being cleaned more frequently as well. We make sure all tools are indeed sanitized between patients as always, wear gloves during examinations, and continue to wear masks in our offices to limit the spread of any viruses.

None of us know how long this pandemic may last. If you are on the fence about beginning orthodontic treatment during this time, rest assured all safety measures are in place to ensure your safety and the safety of our staff. Call today for a virtual consultation.



Covid-19 - Advanced Orthodontics

Advanced Orthodontics COVID-19 Response: Our Dedication to our fellow Arizonans

**This is subject to change as we await the Arizona Dental Associations decision to recommend closing all together.

As a member of the community, we care deeply about the health and well-being of our patients, their families and our Team members. We are taking steps to ensure the safety and health of our patients, their families and our Team members. Understanding that the situation is fluid, here are some of our current implementations as we head in to the week:

  1. Dr. Larrabee and the Advanced Orthodontics Team will essentially be closing our reception area. We ask that only the patient (and a parent/guardian when necessary) enter the office. Siblings, friends etc. should remain in the vehicle.
  2. Our patient check-in computers will be disconnected. Our amazing scheduling coordinators will happily check you in by name for your appointment.
  3. We will be removing magazines, books, tablets and other toys from our reception and Kids Club areas. We also will temporarily be discontinuing the use of our coffee bar and cookies baskets to reduce the potential surfaces of contact where cross-contamination can occur.
  4. Our toothbrush stations will be closed as well. Please make sure to brush prior to your appointment.
  5. Dr. Larrabee or a member of our Team will gladly FaceTime or call any parent waiting outside to update them on the treatment status.
  6. If any patient due for an appointment would prefer to conduct their visit remotely for their own safety, we are happy to accommodate this.
  7. Dr. Larrabee and our clinical Team already care for every patient and our clinical surroundings to outstanding OSHA standards. We will continue to uphold this standard and extend it to our reception for your safety and comfort.

Thank you for your understanding as we navigate this new challenge. It is a great pleasure to have you as part of our AO Family. We look forward to getting through these next few weeks together and resuming our normal office atmosphere as soon as possible!

If you have any questions at all during this time please give us a call or text at (480) 357- 4900 (Mesa) or (480) 550-5500 (Chandler).