About Dr. Burleson

My name is Dr. Dustin Burleson, and I’m an orthodontist! When people hear what I do for a living, they almost automaticall . . . wince! They try not to be too obvious about it. (Hey, orthodontists have feelings, too!) But it’s usually there, if only for a brief moment. It’s okay; I’m used to it. The fact is, the less you know about orthodontics, the more reason you have to be afraid of it. Once upon a time, orthodontists meant one thing: heavy, ugly, tight and painful metal braces.

They were hard to put on, hard to keep on and painful to remove. They meant avoiding certain foods and even activities for a long, long time. Many people still cling to the unfounded notion that all braces are created equal; and are performed the same way they were back in 1982!

The fact of the matter is that orthodontics is more than just braces. How much more? Technically speaking, orthodontics is the specialty of dentistry devoted to building beautiful smiles by bringing teeth, lips and jaws into proper alignment.

Straight teeth simply function better, are easier to clean and are more likely to last your lifetime. Properly aligned jaws may reduce the risk of jaw joint dysfunction (TMJ). Orthodontics is a wonderful investment with life-long returns, and yet people still fear sending their child to the orthodontist for one simple reason: fear of pain!

In fact, the one recurring theme I hear about folks going to the orthodontist is that it’s going to hurt. (Short answer, it doesn’t!) But there are lots of other fears that keep people from coming to see me and my colleagues.

What are some of them and, what’s more, how many of them are there? I will say that, in my experience, the following are The Top- 5 Reasons People Avoid Seeing the Orthodontist:

  1. Patients are afraid it’s going to hurt. Pain is the number one reason most people avoid going to the orthodontist. In point of fact, modern technology – and choosing the right orthodontist! – can ensure that your child enjoys a pain-free orthodontist experience.
  2. Patients are afraid it’s going to cost too much. Not only are most orthodontic procedures more affordable than ever, but insurance, payment plans and a variety of other financing options make this all but a moot point for most of my patients. Remember, orthodontists aren’t in this to get rich; they’re here to make sure that your child’s teeth, smile and jaw are aligned to make his or her life better – period! We’re not going to let something like price get in the way of creating a better, safer, healthier smile for your child.
  3. Patients are afraid it’s going to take too long / miss too much school or work. Regardless of the type of orthodontic procedure your child needs, time is of the essence. Modern technology and ease of access allows us to work around your child’s school schedule with a minimum of absences. After initial visits and barring the actual procedure itself, most visits and/or adjustments are routine and can take anywhere from 15 to 45 minutes.
  4. Patients do not see the need to take action. Eroding, crooked or unaligned smiles can take time to happen, but the time to act is now. Orthodontic irregularities don’t just heal on their own or “go away” if you ignore them. Your child’s smile, and his overall dental health, is too important to ignore out of questions of pain, convenience or even price.
  5. Patients have been treated in the past with an attitude of indifference. Let’s face it, not all doctors are created equal. Every profession has its “bad apples,” and to say dentistry is the exception would be to write fiction instead of fact. There is no room for indifference when it comes to your child’s healthcare. Find an orthodontic specialist that offers not only state of the art technological advances to your child, but state of the art service as well. Orthodontic specialists know what it’s like to sit in the chair, and should provide every opportunity for patients, especially our younger patients, to feel comfortable, safe and secure in our care.

If you’ve shared any of these concerns, hopefully this brief discussion has put your mind at ease. But don’t stop now; there’s much more to explore here. In my practice, I see parents like you every day. You’re worried about your child’s teeth, but none too eager to put him or her through a painful, costly procedure that may take them out of school for hours or even days at a time.

But we see children as well; children that are self-conscious about their crooked teeth, who have taken to hiding their smiles to avoid others seeing their mouths, even if the misalignment is minor.

This book is called Stop Hiding Your Smile because there is simply no reason for your child not to have a straight, clean, easy to care for, safe and healthy smile! The world of modern orthodontics is not what it was when you or I grew up and had painful, cold, sterile and metal braces.

What you and your child need aren’t more questions, but answers. You don’t need more doubts, you need results. Well, you’ve come to the right place. I’m an orthodontist and I’m here to help.

What do I do? How do I do it?

When should you come see me?

I’m glad you asked: my best patients are active participants in their healthcare decisions. Providing your child with a beautiful smile is an important investment. The time and effort you spend researching orthodontics now will lead to a confident decision in the type of care you receive and when you receive it. Simply stated, effort equals result. Be an active participant in your child’s healthcare now and reap the rewards for a lifetime.

This short book is meant as a guide for parents who are unfamiliar with orthodontics. Maybe you never had braces as a child, but you want to provide this important investment for your children. Like any unfamiliar endeavor, the initial steps can be overwhelming. Giving you the confidence to make decisions about the timing of your child’s orthodontic treatment is the basic goal of this publication.

In fact, this book answers over two dozen of the most commonly asked questions about orthodontics. Stop Hiding Your Smile is easy to read and will serve as a quick reference and valuable resource in the journey of improving your child’s smile.