Our Blog


10 questions to ask when choosing an orthodontist

February 8th, 2018

You have many options when choosing an orthodontist - the goal is not only to find an experienced, competent clinician, but also to find a practice that meets and exceeds your expectations when it comes to service.
We encourage you to ask the following questions on a new patient phone call, make sure you ask us these same questions!

1- Are the office and staff welcoming? Am I always greeted with a "hello"?
2- Does the office offer early, evening and Saturday hours to better fit my schedule?
3- Does the office offer zero interest, easy financing?
4- Is the new patient exam an actual clinical exam with the doctor, or is it simply a meet and greet?
5- Does the doctor take time, free from distraction, to review my records and formulate a treatment plan and subsequently discuss that plan in detail with me prior to commencing treatment?
6- Will I see the doctor at every treatment appointment, or are there some appointments when I'll only see an assistant?
7- Does the office offer braces and aligners (i.e. Invisalign, ClearCorrect)? Does the doctor feel confident using aligners?
8- Are emergency visits, the first set of retainers and 2 years of post treatment followup, including x-rays, included in the treatment fee?
9- Does the office use digital records, including a digital intraoral scanner, which is more accurate and less uncomfortable than traditional impressions, and digital x-rays which use much less radiation than traditional film x-rays?
10- Are patients seen in a timely fashion? Can I schedule a new patient exam promptly? Do you respect my time and see me at my scheduled appointment time?

The doctors and staff at Westwalk Orthodontic Group welcome these questions, and any others you may have. We find that the more educated our patients are, the more value they derive from our level of service.

So, give us a call, ask us the hard questions - we're up for the challenge!

What does it mean to be ABO certified?

February 1st, 2018

On occasion, we are asked about our training and board certification, and what it means in orthodontics.  Some people are surprised to hear that all orthodontists are dentists who have pursued further training to become a specialist.

Drs. David, Gary and Steve all attended college, then 4 years of dental school. They scored well on their exams in dental school and chose to further their education as dental specialists. At the conclusion of their orthodontic training (2-3 years), they were granted a certificate as a specialist in "Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopedics."

Our doctors voluntarily chose to challenge the American Board of Orthodontists exam to achieve the highest level of certification available to orthodontists.  All three of our doctors are board certified and work hard every day to provide our patients with scientifically backed diagnoses and treatment regimens.

What does this mean for you?

It means that your doctors at Westwalk Orthodontic Group provide the very best in orthodontic treatment for you and your children.

Until next week,

Drs. Steve Cagliostro and Gary Romeo


X-Rays: Diagnostic need and dosage

January 25th, 2018

Today's topic for discussion is x-rays.

The proper use of radiographs is integral to a complete and personalized diagnosis and treatment plan.

Here at Westwalk we routinely take 2 x-rays as part of our diagnostic criteria prior to treatment. These are:
A panoramic x-ray to look at the upper and lower jaw bones along with their respective teeth to evaluate the health of these structures and to evaluate eruption of permanent teeth
And a cephalogram to evaluate the position of the upper and lower jaw bones to each other and the upper and lower front teeth to each other, along with evaluation of potential jaw growth.

We are frequently asked about x-ray exposure, and we want to assure you that every step is taken to minimize your exposure while in our office.
Importantly, we use a state-of-the-art digital pan/ceph machine. The x-ray exposure is approximately equal to the exposure you would receive on a one-way flight from New York to Florida.
Interestingly, according to the CDC, every year the average American is exposed to approximately 3.11mSv of naturally occurring radiation. The x-rays we take as part of your initial records are 0.027mSv, which is approximately 0.8% of your annual average natural radiation exposure.

More importantly, we are mindful to suggest the use of radiographs only when they are needed diagnostically.

We hope today's blog post allows you to feel a bit more comfortable when discussing x-ray need and exposure in our office!

All the best,

Drs. Steve Cagliostro and Gary Romeo


Efficient orthodontics

December 11th, 2017

We live in a world of instant rewards - all we have to do is tap a few times on the screen you're currently looking at and goods or services can be rendered with near immediacy.  In dentistry this can mean same-day implants and crowns. In orthodontics, we work hard every day to most efficiently deliver a service to our patients within the biological constraints of the human body.

Here at Westwalk, we pride ourselves on providing the best quality orthodontic care - this not only means that we take the time to get to know you and your concerns, but we are also up-to-date on our research, use consensus driven processes to determine treatment methodologies, and implement new technology in the practice that is proven and accepted within the community to increase the efficiency and decrease discomfort associated with orthodontic treatment.

Some of these technological advances that we use to increase the efficiency of your treatment are listed below:

  • Nickel-Titanium wires that produce light and continuous, biologically friendly forces, especially during the initial alignment phase of treatment
  • Digital radiography that use much less radiation than traditional radiography and allows for greater manipulation and study
  • Digital study models that are more accurate than traditional impressions for better fitting and faster turn-around with Invisalign aligners, along with faster turn-around for study models for space and tooth size analyses
  • Digital treatment planning of aligner cases
  • Digital scheduling and payment systems
  • And the list goes on....

Things that you can do to increase the efficiency of your orthodontic treatment include:

  • Do a good job keeping you teeth and gums clean, clean teeth not only look better at the end of treatment, but are also proven to move faster!
  • Wear you're prescribed elastics the full duration that we ask - compliant patients almost always finish treatment before non-compliant ones
  • Keep your appointments! - unfortunately, we can't move your treatment along remotely, so please come see us at your regularly scheduled intervals

There are new technologies out there everyday that are gaining prominence within the orthodontic community - most of them have something to do with treatment efficiency and rapidity.  Our promise to you is to continue to review how to best serve our patients while providing the most efficient and time sensitive service we can. If you have a question about a new technique or appliance please ask us! There is a good chance that we have already reviewed it and can help you understand why we have chosen to implement it or not.

Until next week,

Drs. Steve Cagliostro and Gary Romeo




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