Wednesday, June 15, 2011

When is the best time to begin orthodontics?

This is a question we are asked often and it is a good one!  Although seeing an orthodontist can enhance a smile at any age, there is an optimal time period to begin treatment. Beginning treatment at an early age ensures the greatest result and the least amount of time and expense. The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that the initial orthodontic evaluation should occur at the first sign of orthodontic problems or no later than age 7. 

By the age of 7, the first adult molars erupt, establishing the back bite. During this time, Dr. Luis can evaluate front-to-back and side-to-side tooth relationships. For example, the presence of erupting incisors can indicate possible overbite, open bite, crowding or gummy smiles. Timely screening increases the chances for an incredible smile. 

Early evaluation provides both timely detection of problems and greater opportunity for more effective treatment. Prudent intervention guides growth and development, preventing serious problems later. When orthodontic intervention is not necessary, Dr. Luis can carefully monitor growth and development and begin treatment when it is ideal.

You can request a complimentary consultation with Dr. Luis and he can answer all your questions about your child’s orthodontic treatment.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Invisalign: Are You Getting Your Money's Worth?

When seeking Invisalign treatment, price should not be the deciding factor.  Considering who is going to do your Invisalign treatment should be a key consideration.  As with any procedure, it's essential to find an experienced doctor that you can trust. 
An orthodontic specialist will typically charge slightly more for an Invisalign case than a general dentist will  because orthodontists specialize in straightening teeth and correcting bites. Furthermore, orthodontists undergo three additional years of training after the required four years of dental school.  This fact is important when comparing fees for Invisalign treatment in the Waterloo Region, since fees can range anywhere from $4,000 to $7,000. Therefore, if you are comparing Invisalign prices, it is important to factor in whether it is a dentist or an orthodontist who will be doing your Invisalign treatment.

If you decide to have an orthodontist help you with treatment, something else to be aware of is that not all orthodontists are equal, especially when it comes to Invisalign. Many orthodontists decide against treating patients with Invisalign because they are not familiar with this technique and are more comfortable treating patients with braces. Before making your decision, ask your provider if they are Premier or Elite providers.  Alternatively, visit to locate the right provider.  
You want to make sure that you select an Invisalign provider that has achieved a significant level of experience in treating patients with the Invisalign system.

Treatment price will also be affected by the complexity and the duration of your treatment. If your case requires more than just straightening your teeth, it is worth the extra cost to get those problems also resolved. These could include functional issues like how your teeth come together or if they are in their proper positions.  Many of these issues can be resolved with Invisalign treatment by an experienced provider as well, although it may be more involved and of course, more expensive. So, if you are told that you cannot be treated with invisible aligners, always seek a second opinion.

Finally, after you select a dental professional, you might then wonder why the cost of Invisalign, even if it is by the same doctor, will frequently be $500-$1000 more expensive than braces treatment.  The higher cost reflects the lab fee that the dentist or orthodontist must pay for the Invisalign trays. This may not be necessarily the case at all offices but if it is at the office you attend for a consult, you will now know why there is a difference in cost.

In the end, we recommend you take your time to search for an experienced Invisalign provider if you are seriously considering being treated with invisible aligners. As with any investment, always remember that if it sounds too good to be true, it usually is.