Frequently Asked Questions
- At what age should someone seek orthodontic treatment?
People can benefit from orthodontic treatment at any age. The Canadian Association of Orthodontics (CAO) and American Association of Orthodontics (AAO) recommend that every child should see an orthodontist as early as age 7.
There are many advantages to seeking early diagnosis as treatment options can become more limited once all the permanent teeth have come in and facial growth has slowed.
By guiding the growth of the jaws, issues such as crowded teeth can be addressed — often eliminating the need for complicated treatment, such as adult tooth removal or surgery.
In addition, some underlying causes of orthodontic problems — such as a dependency to breathe through the mouth instead of the nose, thumbsucking and dental decay — can be recognized early to prevent problems from worsening.
- Can adults benefit from braces?
Because the basic process involved in moving teeth is the same in adults as in children, orthodontic treatment can be successful at any age.
The health of the teeth, the gums, and the supporting bones will also determine the prospects for improvement. There are many options available for adult treatment, and we would be happy to discuss them with you and provide you with our recommendations for your treatment.
Invisalign, a clear plastic form of orthodontics, may be an alternative for adults who feel more self-conscious about their treatment and do not want to draw undue attention to their teeth. While these transparent aligners are removable and less noticeable, they cannot be used to treat all types of orthodontic cases.
A full orthodontic examination would be required to determine if a patient is a suitable candidate for Invisalign. Healthy teeth can be moved at any age, and an orthodontist can improve the smile of practically anyone. The health of the gums and the supporting bones will also determine the prospects for improvement through orthodontic treatment.
- Do you offer any other orthodontic options besides metal braces?
Yes, if you are an adult or a mature teen meeting certain conditions. A series of 3D computer-generated invisible aligners made by Invisalign can provide an alternative to metal braces. However, this technology does not correct bites that are due to jaw bone malpositioning, so not everyone will be a suitable candidate.
A full orthodontic examination can determine if a patient is a suitable candidate for Invisalign. Many patients will elect to have braces for a reduced period of time to address problems that are difficult for clear aligners to correct followed by Invisalign aligners to complete tooth alignment.
- How do I become a patient at myORTHODONTIST?
At myORTHODONTIST, no referral is necessary. However, your family dentist can often help with a recommendation and with more information on orthodontics.
As you consider your options, keep in mind that orthodontists are dental specialists who have met the exacting standards of education and experience set out by the Canadian Dental Association.
- How does Invisalign fit into my lifestyle?
With Invisalign, all you’ll need to adjust to is your straighter smile. In fact, it can allow for some flexibility, since it’s clear and removable.
- How much do braces cost?
Every patient's treatment plan is different. Costs vary depending on the severity of the problem and the amount of time it takes to correct the problem.
We always discuss fees and payment options before treatment begins. We offer no-interest, no-down-payment plans with options to suit your individual financial needs.
- How much does an initial consultation cost?
There are no fees due at your initial appointment and you are also under no obligation to proceed with treatment. At your consultation, orthodontic records will be taken and treatment recommendations will be made.
- If my child receives Phase 1 treatment, will they likely need Phase 2 treatment?
In most cases, yes. After the permanent teeth have grown in, treatment is usually necessary to complete the work that was started in the earlier phase. This completion of the earlier phase using full braces is often called Phase 2.
This is a period of growth and observation that will involve a combination of retaining the correction that has been made in Phase 1 and guiding the growth of the permanent teeth into more favourable positions. Because treatment timing is critical, a child’s growth and development are monitored very carefully during this period.
- Is Invisalign for me?
Invisalign can help to correct a broad range of dental and orthodontic issues including overcrowded teeth, widely spaced teeth, crossbite, overbite and underbite.
An Invisalign provider with orthodontic training and experience will work with you to create a custom-designed treatment plan to treat your specific dental or orthodontic issue(s). Your treatment program will consist of a full set of aligners, made for you and only you.
- What are some benefits of seeking early orthodontic treatment?
Early treatment provides the opportunity to:
- Guide the growth of young jawbones to create a better environment for the arrival of permanent teeth
- Guide incoming teeth into optimal positions
- Regulate jaw width
- Correct of harmful sucking habits
- Reduce the likelihood of teeth becoming impacted under the gums
- Preserve or gain space for arriving permanent teeth
- What are some health benefits of receiving orthodontic treatment?
A number of health benefits stem from orthodontic treatment. By aligning crooked or crowded teeth, orthodontic treatment makes one’s teeth easier to clean and maintain.
When food gets trapped between the teeth, it harbours bacteria that generate bad breath, in addition to tooth decay, gum disease and eventual tooth loss. The correction of a “bad bite,” or malocclusion, can also reduce speech impairments and the risk of dental injuries, such as chipped teeth.
Orthodontic treatment can also alleviate problems arising from the misalignment of the jaws — a complication that can cause jaw pain and chronic headaches. This specialized approach accomplishes the goal of straightening the teeth, producing a good bite and maintaining the patient overall facial aesthetics.
Orthodontists can also address uneven wear on the teeth, which may apply excessive pressure on the bones and gum tissue supporting the teeth, potentially causing pain in the face or neck.
- What are some reasons I might need to see an orthodontist?
At myORTHODONTIST, we recommend you seek the opinion of a REGISTERED SPECIALIST to ensure you have all the information required to make an informed decision regarding your dental health.
The following checklist will help you to identify orthodontic concerns with your child or yourself and select an orthodontist.
Identifying Orthodontic Concerns
Deep overbite: This refers to the excessive vertical overlap of the upper front teeth over the bottom front teeth.
Openbite: In this case, the teeth do not overlap enough or at all. The upper teeth stick out past the lower teeth. The tongue often rests in this space.
Protruding upper teeth: Protrusion is characterized by the upper teeth extending too far forward or the lower teeth not extending far enough forward.
Crossbite: The upper back teeth rest inside, instead of outside, the lower back teeth.
Crowding & narrow arches: When the dental arches are small, there is not enough room to accommodate the teeth.
Underbite: In this case, the lower front teeth bite further forward, in front of the upper front teeth.
Recessive chin: This refers to the appearance of the chin being recessed or pushed back, resulting in a facial disharmony between the upper and lower jaws.
Recessive upper jaw: This refers to the appearance of the chin protruding or pushing forward, resulting in a facial disharmony between the lower and upper jaws.
- What are the benefits of orthodontics?
Orthodontics can boost a person’s self-image as the teeth, jaws and lips become properly aligned, but a straighter smile is just one of the benefits. Alleviating or preventing physical health problems is just as important.
Without treatment, orthodontic problems may lead to tooth decay, gum disease, bone destruction, and chewing and digestive difficulties.
A “bad bite” can contribute to speech impairments, tooth loss, chipped teeth and other dental injuries. Other orthodontic problems can contribute to abnormal wear of tooth surfaces, inefficient chewing function, excessive stress on gum tissue and the bone that supports the teeth, or misalignment of the jaw joints.
These can lead to chronic headaches and facial or neck pain. Treatment by an orthodontist can be less costly than the additional care required to treat dental problems arising as a result of orthodontic problems. For most people, a beautiful smile is the most obvious benefit of orthodontics.
- What is an orthodontist?
An orthodontist is a dental specialist trained to diagnose and treat a poor bite and improperly positioned teeth, intending to improve the functioning of the teeth and their overall cosmetic appearance.
In addition to achieving the same degree as a general dentist, an additional three years of university are required to earn the specialty designation of an orthodontist.
Although general dentists can take continuing education courses to do some basic orthodontic procedures, more complex treatment needs require the advice of an orthodontist.
While we often think of only young people receiving orthodontic treatment due to the importance of early intervention, many adults also seek orthodontic care.
An orthodontist can advise you of concerns, such as crooked teeth, a poor bite or jaw problems, and they can also help identify the underlying causes of such problems.
Your family dentist will often diagnose an orthodontic problem and then refer you to an orthodontist; however, a referral is not necessary for an orthodontic consultation.
- What is Invisalign?
Your Invisalign treatment will consist of a series of aligners that you switch out approximately every two weeks. Each aligner is individually manufactured with exact calculations to gradually shift your teeth into place.
If you want a straighter smile without the need for braces, Invisalign may be ideal for you.
- Why should I seek an orthodontist for my treatment?
Just as there are specialists in medicine, there are specialists in dentistry. Orthodontists correct dental and facial irregularities every day and are experts at moving teeth, helping jaws develop properly and working with patients to ensure teeth stay in their new positions.
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