Frequently Asked Questions

What is orthodontics?
Orthodontics is a division in dentistry which specializes in diagnosing, preventing, and treating dental and facial irregularities.
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Is orthodontic treatment necessary?
Orthodontics can help correct many bite abnormalities and prevent the undesirable occurrences of tooth wear, jaw trauma and possibly the loss of teeth due to a traumatic bite and facial profile deficiencies. Without orthodontics these problems can become worse over time and in some circumstances lead to the loss of teeth and jaw joint (TMJ) problems.
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At what age should I look for signs of a bad bite with my child?
You should carefully watch your child’s mouth as permanent teeth come in. Every child develops and matures at a different rate; however there are some developmental averages. Things to watch out for include:
  • Premature loss of baby teeth
  • Difficulty chewing
  • Teeth that are not contacting
  • Biting of the cheek or palate of the mouth
  • Wrong bite (under bites, over bites etc.)
  • Finger or pacifier habits continued beyond the age of 6
  • Jaw noises such as clicking and popping that cause discomfort
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When is the best time to schedule a consult appointment?
The American Association of Orthodontist recommends that children see an orthodontist by the age of 7. At this age children generally have enough adult teeth grown in and enough jaw growth has occurred to identify problems. An early screening appointment can help the orthodontist determine when treatment should start.
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Who should come to the consult?
Besides the patient, any and all parents/guardians who are going to be involved in the decision making process should come to the consult.
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What should I expect to take home with me from my consult?
After your consult we will provide you with a booklet for you to take home and read over. This booklet contains all of the information about you or your child’s treatment, the cost of the proposed treatment and all of our office policies.
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Will jaw growth self correct the crowding I see in my 8 year old?
The answer is No. Unfortunately there is no more room for the front teeth after the first permanent molars erupt at around the age of 6.
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What are the benefits to early treatment?
Early treatment can correct bite problems that may otherwise require surgery. As your child grows, the bones in the jaw become dense and the sutures where the bones meet fuse together which makes it impossible to correct with the methods that we use in early treatment. Early treatment can also shorten the length of time that your child will be in braces for in the future.
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What causes crowding?
Your mouth and its features are genetically predisposed to what your parents have. Some factors do however play a role. Habits such as finger sucking, pacifier sucking, tooth decay, premature loss of baby teeth, trauma and gum disease can all play a part. Any sucking habits should be stopped by the age of 6.
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Why should I have my teeth straightened?
Having your teeth straightened gives your mouth many benefits. Aside from having a beautiful smile, having straight teeth can also make it easier for you to clean your teeth by eliminating food traps caused by crowding. This can greatly reduce and help to eliminate gum disease. Having straight teeth also creates an even wearing of your teeth allowing you to keep them for a lifetime.
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How do braces work?
Small brackets bonded onto the teeth by the Orthodontist. These are then all connected together by the arch wire. This arch wire exerts a force on your brackets which begins the process of moving your teeth. Even though it may not feel like it to you all the time, while in orthodontic treatment your mouth is constantly changing.
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Will my teeth look worse before they look better while I am in orthodontic treatment?
As teeth are up righted with the braces, spaces can open up and it may appear that midlines shift. Don’t worry it is all part and par for the course. Those spaces are closed up and midlines are monitored to ensure that they end up where they are supposed to be.
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Can my teeth be straightened with out braces?
There are "invisible braces" that consist of a series of trays that can align teeth without braces called Invisalign. However, it all depends on the severity of your crowding/spacing and bite. Ask us if your bite can be treated to our standards with Invisalign.
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Do braces cause discomfort?
Discomfort generally occurs due to pressure on the teeth after the initial appointment and after any arch wire changes. The discomfort does not usually last more than 3-5 days and for the most part does not interfere with normal day to day activities. Any discomfort due to pressure that does occur can be lessened with cold beverages/food or an over the counter anti-inflammatory such as Advil, Motrin or Ibuprofen. If there is something other than discomfort from the pressure, such as poking from a wire that has shifted or come out of a bracket, orthodontic wax or sugar free gum over the area will alleviate the irritation until you can come in to the office and have it looked at.
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Can you be too old for braces?
No. As long as you have sufficient bone support around the roots of your teeth and your other tissues are healthy, there is no reason that braces are not an option for you.
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How long does treatment typically take?
Treatment takes approximately 2 years depending on how severe your case is. This is also affected by patient compliance and oral hygiene.
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Will my child require additional treatment after having an early treatment (generally called Phase I)?
More than likely yes, your child will require additional treatment. Phase I treatment typically corrects jaw problems and guides any adult teeth that your child has into the correct spot while allowing room for the permanent dentition to erupt. An additional phase, called Phase II, finishes the job of correcting the bite once all of the adult teeth have erupted. Phase II treatment consists of braces on all of the teeth and more than likely involves elastics.
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What can happen between a phase I and a phase II treatment?
This growth/observation period will involve a combination of retaining the correction that has been made in Phase I while guiding the growth of the permanent teeth into a more favorable position. Because treatment timing is critical, your child's growth and development is monitored very carefully during this period.
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How is room created for permanent teeth?
When there is not enough room for permanent teeth to erupt successfully, appliances are used to create room in the dental arches. Some of these include:
  • Palatal expander – an appliance that is either removable or bonded to the teeth. It has a screw at the center of the palate, the screw is turned at home as prescribed by the orthodontist in order to apply pressure to the teeth and expand the palate.
  • Twin Block – a removable retainer with 2 parts, that help to position the lower jaw forward. In function, these two appliances interlock at the 70 degree angle set into the bite blocks and posture the mandible forward into the ideal bite.
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Do I need to have teeth extracted?
With the use of new technology, we are able to treat most of our patients without the removal of healthy permanent teeth. However, extractions can be indicated in a small percentage of patients.
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Can my teeth shift after orthodontic treatment?
Yes. If retainers are lost, broken, or simply not worn after braces are removed, teeth can shift. Retainers keep your teeth in position while the fibers that hold your teeth to the bone and tissue create new memory. If something does happen to your retainers please contact us as soon as possible.
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Is orthodontic treatment expensive?
Orthodontic treatment costs for the majority of cases can vary anywhere from $3000 to $9000 depending on the case. Our office offers payment plans to make this cost more affordable. Also, most insurance companies now offer some type of coverage for orthodontic treatment.
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Do I need a referral from my dentist?
No referral is necessary. Many patients come in due to word of mouth from friends, family or neighbors.
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F.A.Q. List

  1. What is orthodontics?
  2. Why should I go to an orthodontic specialist?
  3. Is orthodontic treatment necessary?
  4. At what age should I look for signs of a bad bite with my child?
  5. When is the best time to schedule a consult appointment?
  6. Who should come to the consult?
  7. What should I expect to take home with me from my consult?
  8. Will jaw growth self correct the crowding I see in my 8 year old?
  9. What are the benefits to early treatment?
  10. What causes crowding?
  11. Why should I have my teeth straightened?
  12. How do braces work?
  13. Will my teeth look worse before they look better while I am in orthodontic treatment?
  14. Can my teeth be straightened with out braces?
  15. What are self ligating braces?
  16. Do braces cause discomfort?
  17. Can you be too old for braces?
  18. How long does treatment typically take?
  19. Will my child require additional treatment after having an early treatment (generally called Phase I)?
  20. What can happen between a phase I and a phase II treatment?
  21. How is room created for permanent teeth?
  22. Do I need to have teeth extracted?
  23. Can my teeth shift after orthodontic treatment?
  24. Is orthodontic treatment expensive?
  25. Do I need a referral from my dentist?

call us today:
403.730.6400

#140 - 12024 Symons Valley Rd, NW
Calgary, AB T3P 0A3