Sunday, December 30, 2012

Everyday Habits That Damage Your Teeth

A recent article in the WebMD Magazine reviewed the damaging effects that certain habits may have on your teeth. Most people do not give much thought to the negative impact that certain foods or beverages can have on their pearly whites. According to the article, 25% of U.S. adults over the age of 65 have lost all their teeth.  Here is how to not lose your teeth!
We should now all know that sugar is the No. 1 enemy of your teeth, and the longer it stays in your mouth, the worse it is. Sugar is consumed by acid-producing bacteria in your mouth. The acids eat away at tooth enamel. Avoid foods like jelly candies, which stick in your teeth longer than other foods and bathe them in sugar. Dried fruit such as raisins are no better. Reach for fresh fruit instead.


Beverages and Teeth

Soda is just plain bad for teeth, sugar-free or not since you are creating an acidic environment in your mouth. Your teeth do not like acid!  Club soda is harmful, too, also because of its acidity, and so are juices with added sugar.

Alcohol, even just a glass of wine, is also acidic and can erode the teeth. In addition, alcohol dries out your mouth, reducing saliva production. Saliva has a protective function which lowers the risk of decay caused by bacterial acids. Always rinse your mouth with water between drinks to lower the risk of acid attacks.

Other Risks to Teeth

If you use your teeth to snap off bottle caps, remove clothing tags, or open plastic bags, stop immediately. Smokers should also consider how the habit affects oral health. Nicotine yellows teeth and can also cause oral cancer. Chewing tobacco is even worse because the tobacco and associated carcinogens come into direct contact with the gums and soft tissues and stay there for a long time.

Also, ask your doctor or pharmacist if your medicines might cause dry mouth. According to the American Dental Association, more than 500 medications -- from pain relievers to antihistamines -- can do so. Dry mouth inhibits saliva production and increases your risk of cavities.

If you play contact sports, pick up a mouth guard at a sports store or have your dentist make you a custom one for maximum protection and comfort. You don't even have to be awake to damage your teeth. Approximately 8% of Americans grind or clench their teeth, especially at night. If this is you, make an appointment with your dentist right away.

Reference: Georgie Binks, WebMD the Magazine - Feature

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Adopt-A-Family Program

It's that time of year again! RiteBite Orthodontics is very excited to participate in the Adopt-A-Family program in affiliation with Family & Children's Services for the 3rd year in a row. We are so proud to give back to families in the surrounding communites that are experiencing financial hardship. Family and Children's Services does a fantastic job of organizing this program and matching our business with larger families that we can give back to during the 
Christmas season.

This program couldn't come at a better time each year. We are matched with our family at the beginning of November and the gifts are due at Family and Children's Services at the beginning of December. It is such a great way for our staff to get into the Christmas spirit by working together to provide the best Christmas we can for a family in need. We work together to budget a certain amount for each child, and try to make it so that each child has a similar amount of presents (big and small) to open on Christmas morning. We all agree that Christmas is mostly for the kids and we try to make it really special for them. On the families' wish lists, we have noticed that parents often don't put anything down for themselves, because they too just want the best for their kids, so Dr. Luis usually takes care of the parents with a generous grocery gift card so that they can have the best Christmas dinner possible. The past three years, our adopted family summaries have been as follows:

2012 – Family of 6 (2 parents, 4 children aged: 8, 5, 3, 0 - newborn)
2011 – Family of 5 (2 parents, 3 children aged: 8, 4, 2 years)
2010 – Family of 5 (2 parents, 3 children aged: 10, 4, 2 years)

We look forward to spoiling our adopted family this year once again! If you would like more information on this great program, please visit:

Happy Holidays from your friends at
RiteBite Orthodontics

Monday, November 19, 2012

Invisalign Orthodontic Summit 2012

Viva Las Vegas! This weekend, team awesome attended the very prestigious Invisalign Orthodontic summit in Las Vegas, Nevada. Having been invited to this conference is an extreme honour. Dr. Luis and the team will be with the best Invisalign doctors and teams in the world learning about the latest advances and techniques used with Invisalign. Our goal is to continue to be the leading Invisalign provider in the Waterloo region and continue proving that every patient is a candidate for Invisalign! 

At the summit, Invisalign introduced SmartTrack, a highly elastic aligner material that delivers gentle, more constant force to improve control of tooth movements with aligner treatment. This new aligner material could be one of the best advances that Invisalign has launched in the last few years. It has been compared to the introduction of Nickel Titanium wires which revolutionized the world of braces by providing gentle, more constant force delivery. Dr. Luis indicated that "these are exciting times for Invisaglin and Invisalign providers".


Sunday, November 11, 2012

Smiles of Innocence Gala

By raising funds for research, education and technology, The Smiles of Innocence Memorial Charity has touched many areas of SickKids.

Smiles of Innocence was inspired by Daniel Povegliano, who spent much of his four short years at SickKids. John and Anna Povegliano, Daniel’s parents, wanted to make a difference, and in 1998 founded Smiles of Innocence. Their fundraising efforts are in memory of Daniel who passed away from a rare dermatological disease.

Since then, their fundraising growth has been tremendous. In their first year they raised an amazing $45,000 from their gala which has become their annual fundraising event. 

Over the past years, that fundraising total has grown to over two million dollars, with the addition of a number of other annual events being held to support Smiles of Innocence. 

Anna and John say that the secret to their success has been the passion and dedication of their Smiles of Innocence committee members who generously give of their time for the cause.

At the fifteenth annual gala ion November 10th, 2012, Smiles of Innocence reached an incredible milestone of $2,500,000 raised for SickKids.  Our own Dr. Luis was at the Gala and was happy to have RiteBite Orthodontics donate $1000 to this wonderful cause. It is his belief that everyone should "Live Life Smiling"!

Monday, October 22, 2012

The “Spooky” Truth about Halloween Candy

With Halloween and trick and treating around the corner, it’s a great time to hear the negatives about these wonderful treats. Like most things, all candy are not created equally. So before you or your child munches down on their Halloween candy, read this sugar disclaimer!

Top Candies to Avoid:
The Bad: Sugar filled snacks-Candy corn, chocolate, pixie sticks. All of these are high in sugar and   can cause dental cavities.

Even more Bad: Chewy and Sticky candy. This candy is also filled with sugar but due to the sticky consistency it sits in tiny pits and grooves on all surfaces on your teeth. Saliva has a hard time washing and cleaning the sugar away from the tooth’s depressions.

The Worst: Sour Candy- These candies are very acidic and can easily break down the outer tooth shell called the enamel. This leaves a softer enamel and higher chances of dental decay.

Better Candies to Enjoy:
Two Words-SUGAR FREE: Sugar-free gum, lollipops and candy. Gum chewing in general can actually help stimulate saliva to relieve dry mouth as well as avoiding cavities. Many candies are acidic sugar free or not, but stimulating saliva helps neutralize the acids that can cause tooth decay.

Most Importantly: Wait 30 minutes after eating sugary-acidic candies to brush your teeth. This time will allow the saliva to neutralize your mouth. Of course, don’t forget to floss! Flossing is the only way to remove the sugar and bacteria left between the teeth.

Happy Trick or Treating!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

What is Orthognathic Surgery?

Orthognathic surgery is sometimes called "Surgical Orthodontics" because, just as an orthodontist repositions teeth, an oral and maxillofacial surgeon uses orthognathic surgery to reposition one or both jaws. Just as "orthodontics" means "straight teeth", "orthognathic" means "straight jaws". In fact, because moving the jaws also moves the teeth, orthognathic surgery is usually performed in conjunction with orthodontics so that the teeth are in proper position after surgery. The objective of orthognathic surgery is the correction of a wide range of minor and major facial and jaw irregularities, and benefits include an improved ability to chew, speak and breathe. In many cases an enhanced appearance can also result.

People who can potentially benefit from orthognathic surgery include those with an improper bite and those with jaws that are positioned incorrectly. Jaw growth is a slow and gradual process, and in some instances, the upper and lower jaws may grow at different rates. The result can be a host of problems that can affect chewing function, speech, long-term oral health, and appearance. Injury to the jaw and birth defects can also affect jaw alignment. While orthdontics alone can correct many "bite" problems if only the teeth are involved, orthognathic surgery may be required if the jaws also need repositioning.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Oral hygiene, Orthodontics and your Child

At RiteBite Orthodontics, we do everything we can to encourage our patients to maintain excellent oral hygiene throughout orthodontic treatment so they can have a beautiful result after treatment that they can be truly proud of. The bottom line is that it is up to the patient to motivate themselves to take care of their teeth; easier said than done!

We understand that braces are a huge investment of both time and money for our patients and parents. With that being said, many parents become frustrated as they try to help their children understand that braces are not ‘a luxury’ that their own parents could afford to provide them with when they were youngsters. We often hear “you don't know how good you have it… I would have given anything to have braces when I was your age!” Try to think about things from their perspective. Kids often don't understand that they only get one set of adult teeth to last them a lifetime. For example, if they are six and have a cavity on one of their baby teeth, let them know: “If you already have a cavity on your baby tooth, that lets you know you have to take even better care of your adult teeth because they have to last you the rest of your life!”

It is important that we spend a lot of time educating our patients about the effects of not maintaining proper oral hygiene throughout orthodontic treatment. One of the most common culprits is demineralization stain. Demineralization stains are permanent white scars that can form in the shape of the bracket, often caused by plaque sitting around the bracket for long periods of time. When patients come in for regular appointments and we point out demineralization staining around the brackets, many are defensive; we often hear “I plan to have my teeth whitened when I am finished my treatment.” Although this is a great idea for many, we have to remind our patients that you cannot whiten away demineralization stain.

Enough about the teeth, what about those gums?

We try to highlight one major point to all of our patients: Healthy gums never hurt and never bleed. All too often people make excuses for themselves: “I don't floss because it hurts/bleeds,” but what many don't understand is that if they only brushed and flossed more diligently, that hurting/bleeding would subside. Particularly during orthodontic treatment, puffiness and bleeding of the gingiva can be more common due to the gums becoming irritated from the tooth movements, and all of the wires and brackets making plaque build-up more of a problem.

Most patients can't justify spending the time and effort to brush and floss their teeth as much as we tell them to because quite simply, they didn't really like their teeth before they had braces, so it is labouring to take care of something so diligently that you don't even like! We often remind our patients that they will LOVE their teeth when they are finished their braces, so it is important to take care of them now, otherwise they will wish that they had! Remember: braces are not forever, so encourage your child to make the best of it while they are in treatment, and they will have a smile that you can all be proud of in no time!
By: Jennifer Drever, RDH

Monday, July 16, 2012


Helping reduce litter where we live, work, and play!
At RiteBite Orthodontics we strive for the highest quality of care. Part of this quality of care involves taking part in our community as well. In April 2011 we decided, as an office, we wanted to give back to our community in a way that would be beneficial and make a difference. We became part of the Waterloo Region Adopt-a-Road Program. Currently 70 organizations participate in Adopt-a-Road.

There were several safety rules and regulations that we needed to follow in order to keep ourselves safe. The Region provides safety training, safety vests, flags and trash bags, and collects bagged litter after a cleanup. While we cleaned the road we all needed to be wearing the bright orange safety vests. This was one of the safety precautions so vehicles passing by were able to see us from a distance and be careful while driving past us. It was recommended that we wear safety gloves as well while picking up the garbage. We realized very quickly that long pants were beneficial, especially in the tall grass. During one of our cleanups, one of our team members, Jenna, decided to take safety to the next level and dress head to toe in fluorescent clothing; sporting lime green leggings, a bright pink tank top, and a lime green sweatshirt. She definitely turned a few heads that day!

In the spring/summer of 2011 we, as a team, did our first clean up on Fountain Street, between Woolwich St. and Menno St. We had a great turn out with members of our team as well as their family members. It was a scorching hot day but we rallied together to get the job done. We were able to clean the 2km stretch of road in approximately 2.5 hours. Picking up garbage may not sound very entertaining or glamorous but it was a great team building experience. In total we picked up 13 bags of garbage during our first road clean up. It was very surprising to us all how much garbage there was in such a small area. Our second road clean up for 2011 was in September. We didn’t have as much garbage to pick up during that outing but we still filled 8 garbage bags full. Again, shocking!! 

We are privileged to participate once again in the Adopt-a-Road program. We completed our first clean up on May 25, 2012. We were able to fill 12 bags and completed this in 2 hours with a group of 8. More than 6,200 bags of garbage have been collected to date through the Adopt-a-Road program. We look forward to the next time we can get back out there and keep our road beautiful!

Monday, July 9, 2012

Braces? At my age?

Recent article featured in WebMD on adult orthodontics 

Feel a little self conscious about your crooked teeth? You aren’t alone. Thankfully, braces aren't just for kids any more. Today, adults make up nearly 20% of brace wearers, says Michael B. Rogers, DDS, president of the American Association of Orthodontists.
Although there are many reasons for adults to consider braces, most people simply want to look and feel their best. Here are a few leading reasons to make a trip to the ortho:

A straighter smile. It’s no surprise that many people want to perfect their pearly whites to achieve a winning smile. And, those smiles pay off. A recent study compared people's reactions to photos that were manipulated to show either straight or crooked teeth. People with straight teeth rated higher on scores of leadership, popularity, and sports ability. (The only score that didn't change was intelligence.)
Shifting teeth. Just because you had braces as a kid doesn’t mean you’re off the hook. "Teeth tend to move a little throughout your life," Rogers says. "Your teeth may shift a little back toward their original positions."
Better oral health. It’s no surprise that straight teeth are easier to brush and floss. So -- if you’re doing your part -- expect less decay and healthier gums, says Pamela K. McClain, DDS, president of the American Academy of Periodontology. Antibacterial mouth rinses can also help keep your teeth and gums free of plaque-causing bacteria.
Braces can help people manage some more serious issues too, like bite problems that cause jaw pain. In some cases, braces are necessary to change the position of neighboring teeth for a new bridge, crown, or implant.

New Options

Thankfully, we’ve come a long way from the days when kids were called "Brace Face." Today’s options are barely noticeable. They include:
  • Ceramic braces made of a clear material that is much less obvious than traditional metal braces.
  • Brackets attached to the back of teeth to hold the wires that pull teeth into a new position.
  • Customized plastic aligners that fit like tooth guards over teeth, gently moving them into a new position.

What to Expect

How long you'll need to wear braces depends on what you have done. Most treatments range from 12 to 44 months. "Adult teeth sometimes take longer than children's teeth to move into new positions,” Rogers says. “But in many cases there's no real difference."
Once teeth are in the desired position, you are likely to need to wear a retainer. Many orthodontists now recommend permanent retainers that are fitted and attached to the back of teeth.
Cost also varies widely depending on the extent of treatment. The typical range is $4,000 to $8,000. A growing number of dental plans cover all or part of orthodontic treatment. Many orthodontists offer discounts if you pay the entire fee up front. If you can't spring that, talk to your orthodontist about monthly installments or other payment plans.

By Peter Jaret
WebMD Feature

Monday, June 25, 2012

Why do patients seek orthodontic treatment?

It has long been believed that orthodontic treatment facilitates proper oral hygiene which reduces the incidence of periodontal disease and dental cavities. In addition, a better bite can help prevent temporomandibular joint disorders. However, it seems that the main reason to have orthodontic treatment is to improve one's esthetics. A person's smile has been identified as the second most observed facial characteristic when it comes to evaluating someone's physical attractiveness. Psychosocial research has shown that a bad bite has a negative impact on one's self-satisfaction with their appearance. This in turn tends to impair social functioning.

A recent study from Brazil looked at the oral health related quality of life of young adults who had completed orthodontic treatment compared with untreated adults. The authors found that untreated individuals had 5X higher oral health impact profile scores when compared to treated individuals. The most frequent impact was "been self-conscious". It was concluded that young adults who receive orthodontic treatment had significant better oral health-related quality of life scores than did the non-treated group of young adults.

Another Brazilian study assessed the changes in esthetic self-perception of adolescents after orthodontic treatment. The authors found that orthodontic treatment improved individual's self-perception compared to those that never received treatment. Individuals who did not receive treatment had significantly worse self-ratings.

We recognize that many people seek and undergo orthodontic treatment to improve esthetics and not necessarily address dental problems that may lead to physiological dysfunction or destruction of tissues in the oral cavity. Whatever the reason, at RiteBite Orthodontics we will provide you with both a beautiful and healthy smile!

Feu et al., Influence of orthodontic treatment on adolescents' self-perceptions of esthetics. Am J Orthod Dentofacial Orthop 2012;141:743-50.

Palomares et al., How does orthodontic treatment affect young adults' oral health-realted quality of life? Am J Orthod Dentofacial Orthop 2012;141:751-8.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Lifetime Retainer Wear

Doctor Luis, how long do I need to wear my retainers? Most of our patients are suprised when the answer is FOREVER!  Research conducted at the University of Washington followed thousands of orthodontic patients over 20 years. The purpose of the study was to determine stability after orthodontic treatment. That is, how long did straight teeth stay straight after braces were removed. Their findings are the basis of our current retention protocol.

They discovered that the patients that had the straightest teeth also had retainers that they were consistently wearing. That was the number one reason for their straight teeth was continued and consistent retainer wear. It did not matter whether you had third molars removed, or other teeth removed. Retainer wear fluctuated from a day to several days a week. Of course, every individual will vary in the amount of relapse and some patients will be more prone to relapse and tooth movement after treatment thus, some patients will need to wear their retainers to keep their teeth straight more often than others.

So what does this really mean for you? RiteBite Orthodontics knows that retainers are a very important part of the success in keeping your teeth straight for a lifetime. That is why we offer a Vivera Retainer program for all patients who want or need retainers. This program provides 4 retainers just in case you ever lose or break one of your retainers. Feel free to contact our offices for more information.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Paths Are Made By Walking

by Nipun Mehta, May 14, 2012
[Offbeat Graduation Speech Gets Standing Ovation: 2012's Baccalaureate speaker at the University of Pennsylvania was an unconventional choice for an Ivy League school. To address their newly-minted graduates, aspiring to dazzling careers, they picked a man who has never in his adult life, applied for a job. A man who hasn't worked for pay in nearly a decade, and whose self-stated mission is simply "to bring smiles to the world and stillness to my heart". This off-the-radar speaker launched his address with a startling piece of advice. Following up with four key insights gleaned from a radical 1000 km walking pilgrimage through the villages of India. As he closed his one-of-a-kind Graduation Day speech, the sea of cap and gowned students rose to their feet for a standing ovation. What follows is the full transcript of the talk by Nipun Mehta. --DailyGood Editors]
Thank you to my distinguished friends, President Amy Gutmann, Provost Vincent Price and Rev. Charles Howard for inviting me to share a few reflections on this joyous occasion. It is an honor and privilege to congratulate you -- UPenn’s class of 2012.
Right now each one of you is sitting on the runway of life primed for takeoff. You are some of the world's most gifted, elite, and driven college graduates – and you are undeniably ready to fly. So what I’m about to say next may sound a bit crazy. I want to urge you, not to fly, but to – walk. Four years ago, you walked into this marvelous laboratory of higher learning. Today, heads held high, you walk to receive your diplomas. Tomorrow, you will walk into a world of infinite possibilities.
But walking, in our high-speed world, has unfortunately fallen out of favor. The word “pedestrian” itself is used to describe something ordinary and commonplace. Yet, walking with intention has deep roots. Australia's aboriginal youth go on walkabouts as a rite of passage; Native American tribes conduct vision quests in the wilderness; in Europe, for centuries, people have walked the Camino de Santiago, which spans the breadth of Spain. Such pilgrims place one foot firmly in front of the other, to fall in step with the rhythms of the universe and the cadence of their own hearts.
Back in 2005, six months into our marriage, my wife and I decided to “step it up” ourselves and go on a walking pilgrimage. At the peak of our efforts with ServiceSpace, we wondered if we had the capacity to put aside our worldly success and seek higher truths. Have you ever thought of something and then just known that it had to happen? It was one of those things. So we sold all our major belongings, and bought a one-way ticket to India. Our plan was to head to Mahatma Gandhi’s ashram, since he had always been an inspiration to us, and then walk South. Between the two of us, we budgeted a dollar a day, mostly for incidentals -- which meant that for our survival we had to depend utterly on the kindness of strangers. We ate whatever food was offered and slept wherever place was offered. 
Now, I do have to say, such ideas come with a warning: do not try this at home, because your partner might not exactly welcome this kind of honeymoon. :-)
For us, this walk was a pilgrimage -- and our goal was simply to be in a space larger than our egos, and to allow that compassion to guide us in unscripted acts of service along the way. Stripped entirely of our comfort zone and accustomed identities, could we still “keep it real”? That was our challenge.
We ended up walking 1000 kilometers over three months. In that period, we encountered the very best and the very worst of human nature -- not just in others, but also within ourselves.
Soon after we ended the pilgrimage, my uncle casually popped the million dollar question at the dinner table: "So, Nipun, what did you learn from this walk?" I didn't know where to begin. But quite spontaneously, an acronym --W-A-L-K -- came to mind, which encompassed the key lessons we had learned, and continue to relearn, even to this day. As you start the next phase of your journey, I want to share those nuggets with the hope that it might illuminate your path in some small way too.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Dental X-Rays and the Risk of Brain Cancer

A recent article in the Journal Cancer has been getting a lot of attention in the media since it is highlighting a potential link between dental x-rays and brain cancer. Although this study is fraught with problems, most people including your patients will not be aware of this. Unfortunately, what most people will take away from all this media attention is that they might get brain cancer if they have dental x-rays taken. A colleague of mine, Dr. John Graham, who is an orthodontist in Arizona recently reviewed this research and had this to say:

"This study is fraught with troubling variables that, on their own cast significant doubt as to the validity of the study, but when compounded really degrade the veracity of any of its findings.

Let's just talk about five:

FIRST: This is a self-reported study.  This study doesn't examine ANY dental records. Only medical records are used, and this is only  to identify the tumor cohort.  As such, the study soley relies upon the memories of subjects going back before the age of ten.  Let's think for a moment about an individual who unfortunately has been diagnosed with a brain tumor.  A tough, tragic and shocking diagnosis to anyone.  Even before contacted by examiners to participate in the study, I wouldn't be surprised if those with tumors hadn't already spent a lot of time thinking about why they might have had a brain tumor.  More than any other tumor in the body, thinking about dental radiation would be a natural mental exercise.  Thinking about ANY radiation around the face, head and neck in an individuals past would be something I would expect from any patient with a brain tumor.  Now, have an examiner call by phone, and spend 50 minutes discussing their history of dental x-rays.... it wouldn't surprise me at all to think that the bias in the patient would lean towards a more acute recollection of dental x-rays.  Think about it as compared to an individual control who never gave it any thought at all until the examiner posed the dental x-ray questions. THE COMPARISON OF THESE TWO COHORTS OF PATIENTS BASED ONLY ON PERSONAL REPORT SHOULD RAISE SERIOUS QUESTIONS AS TO THE VALIDITY OF THIS STUDY.

SECOND:  The time span which this study encompasses includes (and heavily weights) radiation delivered prior to the common use of digital radiography or even faster speed films.  In my opinion it is safe to say that radiation delivered today is a fraction of what it was during the scope of time covered with this study.  THIS FACT ALONE SHOULD ALLOW ALL PRACTITIONERS TO CONFIDENTLY DISCUSS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN TODAYS RADIOGRAPHIC STUDIES VS. THE CONCLUSIONS DERIVED FROM THIS STUDY.


FOURTH - AND THE MOST TROUBLING FOR THE AUTHORS OF THE STUDY: There was a statistically significant increased risk of meningioma for patients who reported having bitewing radiographs, yet no statistically significant increase for patients with full-mouth films.  THIS CONFOUNDING FINDING IN THE STUDY IS NOT ADDRESSED BY THE AUTHORS, AND FLYS IN THE FACE OF THEIR CONCLUSIONS. VERY, VERY TROUBLING, YET NEVER ADDRESSED. IT MAKES NO SENSE WHATSOEVER.

FIFTH (CIRCLING BACK TO THE FIRST) - The problems with this study are discussed in the paper: "Limitations of this study include the possibility of either under-reporting or over-reporting of dental x-rays by study participants." YA THINK? WHAT IF UNDER REPORTING BY HEALTHY INDIVIDUALS AND OVER REPORTING OF AFFECTED INDIVIDUALS OCCURRED IN THIS STUDY?  IT CAN'T BE AND ISN'T DISPUTED IN THE PAPER THAT THIS IS POSSIBLE.  WHAT IF THE OVER/UNDER REPORTING BIAS ERASES ALL STATISTICAL SIGNIFICANCE?

The only strength in the study is the number of patients.  Large numbers gives any study statistical POWER.  Yet without truth in the variate, even POWERFUL studies aren't valid."

I hope you find this information helpful and that you share it with friends and family members. It is important to note that not all research is created equal and that we always have to question new findings and not automatically accept everything we here as fact, even if it comes from Yale.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Ortho Telecom - Making Things Simple!

I recently needed to cancel services with our telecommunications provider and I had the unfortunate experience of having to go through a very time consuming and frustrating experience. I still do recall a time where we were not charged for every single additional service, customer service still existed, and if you ever wanted to cancel services you would be able to so without a hassle. More importantly, I never remember having to fight to have monies returned, that were rightfully mine. How things have changed over the years.

What if we ran our orthodontic office like some of these companies that are “committed” to providing exceptional customer service? Here would be just a few examples:

“We are entering the finishing phase of treatment and you will need elastics to make your teeth fit better. Here are two packs of elastics which should last until your next appointment. It is $10 for the two packs today or we can bundle all your elastics during your entire treatment duration into one value pack price of $49.99.”

“We know your orthodontic problem is important to us so please stay on the line. However, we are currently experiencing a higher than normal call volumes. Your current average wait time to speak with our scheduling coordinator is up to 45 minutes.”

“The $50 charge for the additional office visit is correct. We were more than happy to show little Jimmy how to brush his teeth again, however, we do charge for our time so I would suggest he pay closer attention during his appointment when instructions are given.”

“Thank you for calling our office. We would love to help you with your orthodontic problem. Let me schedule an appointment to see our orthodontist. We can schedule an appointment between 8-5 or in the morning between 8-1. Let us know which one works better in your schedule. For whatever reason, if the doctor does not show up during this appointment time, we will go ahead and reschedule the appointment for another day and/or time.”

"We can ship you the wires and instruments to you or you can pick them up at one of our many offices. If you'd like the doctor to come over and help you, there will be a fee. You can also refer to our website for additional assistance”!
“I know that you are moving and you would like to stop treatment with us. We usually require 90 days of notice and you signed a contract for the entire 2 years of treatment. Please submit a written request stating that you no longer are interested in continuing with your treatment and we will have someone review your request. Please allow for 4-6 weeks for this to be processed. In the meantime, we will continue to charge you until this issue is resolved”.

It is nice that we pride ourselves on patient care and outstanding service. We do the best we can to make our patients happy. We don’t just say it. Although there may be occasions where we might run 5 minutes behind, or we may need to glue a bracket back on once in awhile, just be glad that you are coming to see us and not one of those telecommunications giants!

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Invisalign Outcome Simulator To Use Digital Scans to Help Patients Visualize Treatment Benefits

According to Global Newswire, Align Technology is previewing the Invisalign Outcome Simulator, the Company's first chair-side application powered by the iTero intra-oral scanner. This interactive application is designed to increase patient acceptance of Invisalign treatment by showing prospective patients -- in a matter of minutes -- an image of how their teeth will look after Invisalign treatment.

The Invisalign Outcome Simulator is an easy-to-use software application that will help Dr. Luis educate his patients about the benefits of Invisalign treatment. The application uses iTero digital scans of the patient's own dentition to create a detailed, highly accurate image of the teeth. Then, within minutes, the application creates a simulation of how the patient's teeth will look after Invisalign treatment. Dr. Luis can then use the Invisalign Outcome Simulator's dual view layout to show the patient his/her current dentition next to their simulated final position. Intuitive tools in the Invisalign Outcome Simulator allow Dr. Luis to modify the final position in real time, making it easy for the him to show the patient the benefits of Invisalign treatment.

The Invisalign Outcome Simulator is currently being tested in-market, with general availability expected this summer.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Digital Impressions...The Time is Now!

Many orthodontists have been waiting to buy an intraoral scanner until the technology delivers additional benefits to their practice and their patients. The time has arrived! iOC® combines the efficiency of an impression-free practice with a breakthrough imaging technology for exceptional accuracy and ease-of-use. RiteBite Orthodontics and Dr. Luis are bringing this technology to Waterloo, Kitchener, Cambridge and surrounding areas.

     10X Fewer Rejections:Invisalign production data shows that only 0.4% of intraoral scans are rejected compared to 4% of impressions. iOC can minimize the need to recall our patients and re-take impressions.

      7% Fewer Fit Issues:An Invisalign study conducted in 2011 found seven times fewer fit issues occurred with scanning versus PVS impressions. Better fitting aligners help improve treatment efficiency.

      Faster ClinCheck Setups:ClinCheck cases using iOC scans typically are posted in two days, compared to seven or more using PVS impressions. This allows Dr. Luis to treatment plan cases quicker thus allowing our patients to get their Invisalign treatment earlier.

      Better Patient Experience:The iOC scanner eliminates the mess and gagging associated with PVS impressions. This will make our patient experience that much better!

Sunday, January 8, 2012

It is Time to Rethink Braces for your Teen!

Most teenagers realize that their smile can be improved greatly through orthodontics and up until the past 4-5 years have had only one choice….fixed braces and wires.

Now with Invisalign Teen, teenagers do not need to have fixed braces placed on their teeth during their most self-conscious years and can still achieve a beautiful, healthy smile.

A survey done by Align Technology found that 94% of teens prefer Invisalign over braces. Our experience in our offices verifies this fact: Teens want a beautiful smile, but they DO NOT WANT braces.

We have finally realized this to be true. While most children under the age of 12 are very excited about silver braces and all the great colors that go on the teeth, by the time these children reach junior high school, the excitement about silver or clear braces, has all but disappeared.

Besides the fact that teens do not want fixed braces on their teeth, there are some significant advantages to Invisalign for the parents of these teenagers.

Most parents are both working or have other children that need to be driven to sports practices, music lessons and school events. With Teen Invsialign, there are no more broken brackets at 8pm at night or a wire that is poking through the cheek at 7am. Parents will not need to make extra time for emergency visits to get a bracket replaced or a wire trimmed.

Another huge advantage is sports. Your average teenager today is involved in sports that often means travel out of the area. What do you do when you are 100 kilometers from home and it is Saturday at the hockey tournament and your son just got hit in the face and half his braces are hanging out of his mouth?

With Invisalign the aligners can be worn during all sporting activities and can actually protect the teeth from injury. No need to worry about a Saturday night visit to the emergency room to get braces removed that have been embedded into your child’s cheek.

Another big advantage for the parents and teens with Invisalign, is the fact that you do not need to change your diet. No special foods or dinners need to be prepared for your child during his or her Invisalign treatment. They take out their aligners and eat their favorite foods, brush their teeth and put them back into place.

Since they are removable, oral hygiene is a breeze and the permanent stains that can sometimes occur with fixed braces, will not happen with Invisalign due to ease of brushing and flossing.

In general, you will have less visits and less time spent in the orthodontic office and your end result will be as good if not better than fixed braces.

Why do parents still choose fixed braces for their teens?

One reason is the perceived cost. When Invisalign first came out in 1999 it was very expensive compared to fixed braces. Since that time, the technology has improved and the costs have come down significantly to where in most offices, it is the same price as fixed braces.

A second reason, is that parents are worried their child will not wear them or lose their aligners. Thousands of doctors who have be polled, all have had the same experience we have had, that is, the teens wear their aligners better than most adults and they rarely misplace them.

The good news is that up to 6 aligners can be reordered at no charge if needed. We often find this not to be necessary as the patient has worn the misplaced aligner long enough to just move forward to the next one a few days early.

We believe that clear removable braces, like Invisalign, are the future of orthodontics and the best choice today for both Teens and adults seeking a beautiful, healthy smile.