Orthodontic FAQs

In your own words, what is dentistry?

Orthodontics is a branch of dentistry that focuses on correcting the alignment and positioning of teeth and jaws. Orthodontists are dental specialists who diagnose, prevent, and treat dental and facial irregularities, such as misaligned teeth, overbites, underbites, and crowded teeth. They use various appliances, such as braces, aligners, retainers, and other devices, to straighten teeth and improve oral health and aesthetics. Orthodontic treatment not only enhances the appearance of the smile but also helps to improve bite function and overall dental health.

What should patients look for when choosing an orthodontist?

When choosing an orthodontist, patients should consider several factors to ensure they receive the best possible care:

Qualifications and Experience: Look for an orthodontist who is board-certified and has extensive experience in the field. Check their educational background, training, and any specialized certifications.

Reputation and Reviews: Research the orthodontist's reputation by reading online reviews, asking for recommendations from friends or family, or consulting with your general dentist. Positive testimonials and a strong reputation in the community are good indicators of quality care.

Treatment Options: Inquire about the orthodontic treatments offered by the orthodontist. They should offer a variety of options, such as traditional braces, clear aligners (e.g., Invisalign), and other orthodontic appliances, and tailor treatment plans to meet individual needs.

Technology and Facilities: Consider the technology and facilities available at the orthodontic practice. Advanced equipment and techniques can enhance treatment effectiveness, comfort, and efficiency.

Consultation Process: Schedule a consultation with the orthodontist to discuss your concerns, treatment goals, and any questions you may have. Pay attention to how the orthodontist communicates and whether they listen to your needs and address your concerns.

Cost and Insurance: Inquire about the cost of treatment and payment options available, including insurance coverage and financing plans. Choose an orthodontist who offers transparent pricing and works with your budget.

Location and Convenience: Consider the location of the orthodontic practice and its proximity to your home, work, or school. Choose a convenient location that makes it easy for you to attend appointments regularly.

Comfort and Atmosphere: Evaluate the atmosphere of the orthodontic practice and how comfortable you feel during visits. A friendly, welcoming environment and caring staff can make the treatment process more pleasant.

By considering these factors, patients can make informed decisions when choosing an orthodontist who will provide high-quality care and achieve their desired treatment outcomes.

Why is visiting the dentist so important?

Visiting an orthodontist is important for several reasons:

Correcting Dental and Facial Irregularities: Orthodontists specialize in diagnosing and treating dental and facial irregularities, such as misaligned teeth, overbites, underbites, and crowded teeth. By addressing these issues, they can improve the function and aesthetics of the teeth and jaws.

Improving Oral Health: Orthodontic treatment can help improve oral health by making it easier to clean the teeth and gums, reducing the risk of tooth decay, gum disease, and other dental problems. Properly aligned teeth are also less prone to excessive wear and damage.

Enhancing Smile Aesthetics: Orthodontic treatment can enhance the appearance of the smile by straightening crooked teeth, closing gaps between teeth, and correcting bite alignment. A beautiful smile can boost self-confidence and improve overall quality of life.

Preventing Future Problems: Addressing orthodontic issues early can help prevent more serious dental and jaw problems from developing later in life. Early intervention in childhood or adolescence can often result in shorter and less complicated treatment.

Improving Bite Function: Orthodontic treatment can improve bite function and jaw alignment, making it easier to chew food, speak clearly, and prevent jaw pain or discomfort associated with bite problems.

Tailored Treatment Plans: Orthodontists develop personalized treatment plans based on the specific needs and goals of each patient. They use a variety of orthodontic appliances and techniques to achieve optimal results.

Monitoring Growth and Development: Orthodontists monitor the growth and development of the teeth and jaws to identify any potential orthodontic issues early on. This allows for timely intervention and more effective treatment outcomes.

Overall, visiting an orthodontist is important for maintaining oral health, achieving a beautiful smile, and addressing any dental or facial irregularities that may impact a person's quality of life.

What’s involved in the first visit?

The first orthodontic visit, also known as the initial consultation, typically involves several key components:

Examination and Assessment: The orthodontist will conduct a thorough examination of your teeth, jaws, and facial structure. They will assess the alignment of your teeth, bite relationship, and any existing dental or orthodontic issues.

Medical and Dental History: You will be asked to provide information about your medical history, dental history, and any previous orthodontic treatment you may have had. This information helps the orthodontist understand your specific needs and tailor treatment accordingly.

Diagnostic Imaging: The orthodontist may take diagnostic imaging such as X-rays, photographs, and/or digital scans of your teeth and jaws. These images provide detailed information about the position of your teeth and the underlying bone structure, helping the orthodontist develop an accurate diagnosis and treatment plan.

Discussion of Treatment Goals: You will have the opportunity to discuss your treatment goals, concerns, and expectations with the orthodontist. They will explain the available treatment options, potential risks and benefits, and what to expect during the course of treatment.

Treatment Recommendations: Based on the examination findings and your treatment goals, the orthodontist will recommend a personalized treatment plan. They will explain the recommended treatment approach, including the type of orthodontic appliances that may be used and the estimated duration of treatment.

Financial Considerations: The orthodontist will discuss the cost of treatment and any available payment options, including insurance coverage and financing plans. They will provide you with a clear understanding of the financial aspects of treatment and answer any questions you may have.

Scheduling Follow-Up Appointments: If orthodontic treatment is recommended, you will schedule follow-up appointments for further evaluation, treatment planning, and initiation of treatment.

Overall, the first orthodontic visit is an important step in the treatment process, as it allows the orthodontist to evaluate your oral health, discuss treatment options, and develop a customized plan to help you achieve a healthy, beautiful smile.

Most Common Orthodontic issues treated

Some of the most common orthodontic issues include:

Malocclusions: Malocclusions refer to misalignments of the teeth or improper positioning of the jaws. This includes conditions such as overbites, underbites, crossbites, and open bites.

Crowding: Crowding occurs when there is insufficient space in the dental arch for all of the teeth to align properly. Crowded teeth can overlap or become crooked, making them difficult to clean and increasing the risk of tooth decay and gum disease.

Spacing: Spacing issues involve gaps or spaces between the teeth. This can be due to missing teeth, small teeth, or abnormal tooth development. Spacing can affect the appearance of the smile and may also lead to food trapping and gum problems.

Protruding Front Teeth: Protruding front teeth, also known as buck teeth or overjet, occur when the upper front teeth extend too far forward beyond the lower teeth. This can affect the appearance of the smile and may increase the risk of dental injury.

Crossbites: Crossbites occur when the upper teeth sit inside the lower teeth when the jaws are closed. This misalignment can affect chewing function and facial symmetry and may lead to uneven wear of the teeth.

Open Bites: Open bites occur when there is a space between the upper and lower front teeth when the jaws are closed. This can be caused by habits such as thumb sucking or tongue thrusting and can affect speech and chewing function.

Underbites: Underbites occur when the lower teeth protrude further forward than the upper teeth when the jaws are closed. This can affect facial aesthetics and may lead to jaw joint problems and difficulty chewing.

Overbites: Overbites occur when the upper front teeth overlap excessively over the lower front teeth when the jaws are closed. Severe overbites can lead to excessive wear of the lower teeth and may affect jaw function.

Orthodontic treatment aims to address these issues by straightening teeth, correcting bite alignment, and improving overall oral health and aesthetics. Treatment options may include braces, clear aligners, retainers, and other orthodontic appliances, depending on the specific needs of the patient.

Services Provided

Orthodontic services encompass a range of treatments aimed at correcting dental and facial irregularities. Patients should choose us because we only provide treatment for our patients that we would provide for our own family! We offer flexible, interest-free payment plans, free consultations and family discounts. We strive to deliver excellent treatment and excellent customer service. Some orthodontic services we provide include:

Traditional Braces: Traditional braces consist of metal brackets bonded to the teeth and connected by wires. They apply gentle pressure to gradually move the teeth into proper alignment. These braces are effective for correcting a wide range of orthodontic issues.

Clear Braces: Clear braces use ceramic or tooth-colored brackets and wires to blend in with the natural color of the teeth, making them less noticeable than traditional metal braces. They offer a more discreet orthodontic treatment option.

Clear Aligners (e.g., Invisalign): Clear aligners are custom-made, removable trays that gradually move the teeth into alignment. They are virtually invisible and offer greater comfort and convenience compared to traditional braces. Invisalign is one of the most popular brands of clear aligners.

Retainers: Retainers are custom-made devices worn after orthodontic treatment to maintain the position of the teeth and prevent them from shifting back to their original position. They can be removable or fixed (bonded) depending on the patient's needs.

Palatal Expanders: Palatal expanders are devices used to widen the upper jaw to create more space for crowded teeth or correct bite issues. They are often used in children during their growth and development phase.

Early Intervention (Interceptive Orthodontics): Early orthodontic treatment, also known as interceptive orthodontics, may be recommended for children to address orthodontic issues and guide proper jaw growth and tooth development.

These are just a few examples of the orthodontic services available. Orthodontists customize treatment plans to address each patient's specific needs and goals, utilizing various appliances and techniques to achieve optimal results.

Accreditations/certifications/awards/specializations for various types of orthodontics received?

Dr. Shane Black attended the University of Toronto, where I obtained my Doctorate of Dental Surgery in 1998. This was followed by an Advanced Education in General Dentistry residency at the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry/Eastman Department of Dentistry. Continuing my education, I then attended Boston University, completing an Advanced Graduate Study in Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopedics. I have practiced orthodontics since 2001.

Dr. Derek Leung attended Western University, where I completed my Bachelor degree in Health Science. Next came my Doctorate of Dental Surgery, through Western University Schulich School of Dentistry, and a General Practice Residency Certificate from the University of British Columbia. Moving south to the University of Colorado, I completed my orthodontic training, Specialty Certificate, and Master of Science degree. I have practiced orthodontics for about ten years.

Dr. Sunny Dhingra attended Howard University, in Washington, DC, where I received my Doctorate of Dental Surgery. That was followed by a one-year General Practice Residency at Yale-New Haven Hospital and then my Orthodontic Specialty Certificate at Montefiore Medical Center in New York. I have practiced orthodontics for over ten years.

Dr. Mark Eckler received my dental education at the University of Western Ontario School of Dentistry, where I graduated in 1993. I attended McGill University Multi-Disciplinary Residency Program before continuing on to the St. Louis University's Graduate Orthodontic Program in 1997.

We offer Time Value Treatment where we do more at each appointment. This does not extend the overall treatment time but means less appointments for patients. We strive to run on time and deliver excellent customer service and excellent treatment. Our Golden Rule is to only provide treatment for our patients that we would provide for our own family. We offer free consultations, virtual consultations, flexible, interest-free payment plans and work with you if you do have insurance. Our office has been established for over 50 years and we have treated 10s of thousands of patients even seeing many 3rd generation family members now.

Why did you choose to become a orthodontist?

Being an orthodontist is an amazing career. I love that I get to interact with people of all ages and to give each the confidence to smile! It is deeply rewarding to get to know our patients personally, and to see how they gain confidence. By the time treatment is finished, patients have improved oral health, stronger self-esteem, and a smile they truly love!

Being an orthodontist means being able to impact people’s lives in a positive way, while hearing people’s stories, sharing laughs, and learning about their lives. I love witnessing the changes in people, from visit-to-visit, as they see the change in their appearance. Their self-esteem blossoms and they feel and act happier. The day when treatment is finished, and a person sees their new smile, is the best: they can’t stop staring in the mirror and beaming at all they’ve accomplished!

As an orthodontist, I am delighted to be part of a profession that can make such a positive impact on people’s lives. Not only do I get to create a transformation, physically and personally, but I get to interact with wonderful people and their families. Making personal connections, and seeing each person grow with us, is deeply satisfying – almost as wonderful as the joy on patients’ faces with their new smiles!

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