What is orthodontics?

Orthodontics is the branch of dentistry that specializes in the diagnosis, prevention and treatment of dental and facial anomalies. The technical term used to refer to this kind of problem is “malocclusion”, which means improper alignment between teeth and/or jaws. Orthodontics requires professional skills on several levels, particularly for the conception, use and control of dental corrective appliances (braces and others) to align teeth, lips and jaws in order to obtain harmonious facial balance, optimal function and excellent oral health.

What is an orthodontist? In what regard is he different from a dentist?

An orthodontist is a certified specialist in orthodontics. He must initially follow a four- to five-year university program in dentistry to become a dentist. Then, he must complete a two- to three-year full-time specialty program in orthodontics in a recognized university. Only dentists who have successfully undergone such training and passed all specialty examinations have the title of orthodontist. In addition to his advanced academic education, an orthodontist’s experience is unmatched because he practices only orthodontics, which makes him the expert for the alignment of teeth, lips and jaws.

What are the benefits of orthodontics?

- Improves smile esthetics and facial harmony, which increases self-esteem and self-confidence.
- Makes oral hygiene easier, thus decreasing the risk of cavities and gum problems.
- Promotes better chewing and also greater comfort when teeth bite together.
- Prevents tooth wear associated with an improper bite.
- Leads to better distribution of chewing forces, thus preventing additional stress on the bone that supports teeth and on jaw joints.
- Decreases the risk of injury to teeth that are flared forward.
- Corrects speech problems that are caused by improper tooth position.
- Helps to prevent abnormal development of the jaws and face in children.
- Allows optimization of other dental treatments in adults, particularly by aligning teeth before proceeding with restorations (bridges, etc.).
- Improves general health in certain cases: for example, by having a positive effect on breathing following the correction of jaw position. In this way, orthodontics can be involved in the treatment of conditions such as sleep apnea.

Do I need to be referred by a dentist to be able to get a consultation with an orthodontist?

No, it is not necessary to be referred by a dentist or another health care professional to obtain a first consultation appointment. However, we always appreciate the referrals of colleagues and, if such is the case, rest assured that we will work in close collaboration with them.

At what age should my child be evaluated by an orthodontist?

The American Association of Orthodontists recommends a first visit to the orthodontist at age 7. At that age, several adult teeth are already in place and many types of problems can already be accurately identified, some of which can worsen or lead to other problems if they are not corrected early on.

Will my child’s front teeth get straighter when his or her other adult teeth grow into place?

Severe crowding does not correct spontaneously since space available for the front teeth does not change significantly during growth. Jaws do grow in children and teenagers, but space is created at the back rather than the front to allow the adult molars to come into place.

I am an adult, is it too late for me to seek orthodontic treatment?

No one is too old to begin orthodontic treatment! Actually, more than a quarter of our patients are adults. Teeth can be aligned at any age, so it is never too late to improve your smile and optimize your oral health. Moreover, with the options available nowadays which allow treatment to be very comfortable and almost invisible, you should not hesitate to see an orthodontist for a consultation!

How can I schedule an appointment for a consultation?

If you wish to schedule an appointment for a first consultation in orthodontics with Dr. Quintin, you can reach us by telephone, by e-mail or by filling out the consultation appointment request form. We will be happy to make an appointment that suits your schedule.

How do you move teeth?

Teeth move when they receive light and continuous pressure. To obtain efficient and well-controlled dental movement, braces and other dental appliances apply a gentle pressure over a long period of time.

Do braces hurt?

Putting braces on does not cause any pain and does not require any anesthesia (needle). After an adjustment, some discomfort can sometimes be felt for a few days, but if that is the case, it can generally be well managed by taking painkillers such as Tylenol® or Advil®. Rest assured that we use techniques and appliances that apply gentle pressure on teeth in order to minimize that period of discomfort.

How long is an orthodontic treatment?

The length of orthodontic treatment depends on the specific needs of each patient. However, in most cases, treatment time can be expected to be 6 to 12 months for interceptive treatment in children and 12 to 30 months for complete treatment in teenagers and adults.

How often will I need to come for appointments during treatment?

Appointments are scheduled according to the individual needs of each patient, but the expected frequency is usually one visit every four to ten weeks.

What is the cost of orthodontic treatment?

In orthodontics, it is impossible to provide the exact cost of a treatment before having performed a consultation examination since the cost depends on several factors such as severity of the condition, anticipated length and type of appliances that will be used. Financing plans are proposed during the consultation, such as spreading payments over the whole treatment time, interest-free. Combined with reimbursement from insurance plans and income taxes, this makes it so that orthodontic treatment is easier to afford than you think! Also, do not forget that a healthy smile is an investment for life!

While I am wearing braces, are there any foods I need to avoid?

Most foods can be eaten while wearing braces, but the modification of one’s habits is required for some types of foods. Among other things, it is necessary to cut or slice crunchy foods, like raw fruits and vegetables, into smaller pieces. Certain foods must be avoided completely, especially those that are very hard or sticky, such as hard candy and toffee.

Can I continue to play sports?

It is perfectly fine to play sports while wearing braces. If it is a contact sport, it is always recommended to wear a mouth guard. With braces, it is simply necessary to frequently remould the mouth guard so that it stays well adjusted despite the changes that are taking place in the mouth.

Do I need to keep seeing my dentist?

Oral exams and cleanings are important while wearing braces, so regular check-ups at your family dentist must be maintained. Your dentist will determine the ideal frequency for cleanings during your orthodontic treatment.

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