When you want to get your teeth straightened, there’s usually a nagging voice in the back of your head that already wants to know when the braces can come off. Braces are known to be a timely, and sometimes uncomfortable process, so a new school of thought has come about to combat the length of treatment. Accelerated orthodontics is a new method whose goal is to shorten the length of time needed to straighten the teeth. Some studied claim that accelerated orthodontics can reduce treatment time by between three and eight months.
Accelerated orthodontics require orthodontic devices (ie. Metal or ceramic braces, Invisalign, or lingual braces), and in some cases may also include a minor surgical procedure. The following are some of the currently used accelerated orthotics practices.
PROPEL System – this system follows the idea that creating a small amount of trauma to the mouth will stimulate bone growth, and aid in the braces moving the teeth more quickly. This means that before the braces are placed, an orthodontic surgeon shaves the gums and bones into a shape that allows the teeth to slide more easily into their desired positioning. Some research shows that this method can reduce treatment time by up to 50 percent.
AcceleDent – this system is similar to the PROPEL system but does not require the same amount of invasive surgery. Instead, it relies on a device that emits micro-pulses that encourage bone growth and help the teeth to move more quickly. The patient will wear a mouthpiece around the orthodontics and turns it on for 20 minutes per day. This is considered a safe method to accelerate treatment and is FDA approved.
The biggest reason that many patients opt for an accelerated method is to reduce treatment time – some are aiming to have their teeth straight by a specific day (for a wedding, or graduation for instance), and some would simply rather be done with braces as quick as possible. No matter the reason, accelerated orthodontics are a safe and efficient method for straightening your teeth.
The process of getting Invisalign is a relatively easy process for patients, but it is an important dental and financial decision for your long-term dental health. To begin the process, you will be given an initial consultation to discuss your needs and to evaluate if the Invisalign treatment is right for your needs. This will also give you a chance to become comfortable with your Invisalign provider, like PacificWest Dental, and to discuss any questions or concerns you may have before starting the treatment.
During the consultation, a specialized scanner will be used to create a precise digital image of your mouth. Physical impressions may also be taken. From these images, a treatment plan will be mapped out for you, including the movement of your teeth and the expected length of treatment. If you decide to go ahead with treatment, your first set of aligners will be ordered for you.
Once your aligners are ready, you will be instructed to wear them between 20 to 22 hours per day for best results. You will be asked to take the aligners out in order to eat, brush, and floss daily. You will likely be switching to a new set of aligners approximately every week, and will be expected to go in for checkups around every six weeks. Throughout the weeks, your teeth will gradually start to shift into their intended places.
When treated is finished, a retainer may be recommended for you. These retainers are custom made for your mouth using the same technology as the Invisalign aligners. Upon the finishing of your treatment, your smile will be ready to go out and show to the world!
All Canadians receive medically necessary doctor visits, diagnostic tests, and hospital care – largely through the taxes we pay as citizens of our wonderful country. However – dental care is not covered under the free health care we receive and often has to be paid for out-of-pocket by the patient. In BC, there are a few great health care plans to choose from which can be added on to an existing health care plan, or purchased individually – but not all of these dental plans cover orthodontic care, which as many as 20 percent of Canadians end up needing within their lifetime.
The following health care plans, which are available in BC, include options for orthodontic care:
Pacific Blue Cross
Pacific Blue Cross’ group plan includes an option for an enhanced dental add-on. This included orthodontic coverage – for dependent children only, with benefits beginning in year 3. Lifetime maximum for orthodontic coverage under Pacific Blue Cross’ plan is $1000 per dependent child.
Manulife offers two options that include orthodontic treatment: either their ComboPlus Enhanced plan, or their Dental Plus Enhanced plan. Both plans cover orthodontics after year 3, and to a maximum of $1,250 per person, per three-year period.
BCAA offers one add-on option to all plans called the “Dental 3” option. This option covers 60 percent of expenses in years 1 and 2, and 80 percent of expenses in all subsequent years. Anniversary year maximums are as follows: year 1 – $700, year 2 – $900, year 3 and subsequent years – $1,200 per year.
SunLife offers orthodontic care under their group benefit plans. They have four plans to choose from: Omnident, Multident, MultidentPlus, and Flexident, which range in the balance between coverage and affordability. These plans cover orthodontic care only if there are a minimum of 10 participants in the group plan.
To avoid paying out-of-pocket for costly dental expenses such as orthodontic care, it may be useful to look ahead and cover yourself and your family through one of the many-available extended dental plans in BC. That way, when the time comes for braces – you know you are covered.
The world of orthodontics has come a long way in aesthetics and technology. Your Surrey orthodontist offers so much more than traditional metal braces. Now there are many more options to consider when choosing orthodontics for yourself or your child.
Metal braces are still used regularly and are considered to be highly effective, but there are many other great options available. For example, braces can now be gold, ceramic, clear or lingual. Each new option has its own benefits and considerations to keep in mind.
Gold braces have a luxurious look to them but they are actually stainless steel underneath. While they look expensive, they aren’t really that out of reach relative to some of the other options available.
Ceramic braces are clearer and thus less noticeable than traditional metal braces. They are a great way to wear braces without looking like you’re wearing anything on your teeth. One disadvantage is that they can be brittle, meaning that they are more suited for top teeth rather than lower teeth.
Invisalign aligners are invisible appliances that help improve your bite with a series of appliances over time. You can take them off to eat or drink which means no awkward moments getting food stuck in your braces. They are custom made for your teeth on an ongoing basis throughout your treatment.
Lingual braces hide behind the teeth so nobody can tell you’re even wearing them. They are custom made to fit your mouth and perfect for orthodontic treatment options that look natural.
Your Surrey orthodontist can provide you with the information you need to choose which option is going to work best for you and your budget. Orthodontics don’t have to break the bank and nobody needs to know your teeth aren’t naturally perfect. The world of orthodontics has come so far and straight, natural looking teeth will take you even farther.
As your smile is being adjusted when you begin wearing braces, you will probably feel some discomfort that will make chewing a little more difficult. While this feeling will subside, there are some foods that are hard on your teeth and jaw that should be avoided when you are getting orthodontic treatment. Damaging your braces and gums during treatment can cause problems and interfere with the process, therefore, you should avoid some of these foods as much as you can.
- Hard candy
- Crunchy Snacks
- Raw vegetables such as carrots
- Beef jerky
- Sticky candy like gummies
- Hard rolls or baguettes
- Corn on the cob
- Hard taco shells
- Hard cookies or crackers
Generally, avoid all foods that are sticky, hard or chewy. Your Vancouver orthodontist will also recommend that you avoid biting into hard foods with your front teeth, and if you must eat something hard, to break it up into small pieces. Chewing on hard foods can pop brackets and wires, causing you to have to visit the orthodontist for repair and in some cases, impede your treatment. Soft foods are recommended because they are easier on your mouth hardware. Maintaining a nutritious diet during treatment and throughout the rest of your life will help you to maintain a healthy mouth and smile.
Some recommended soft foods to enjoy are:
- Fruit and vegetable smoothies
- Macaroni and cheese
- Bananas, peaches and applesauce
- Yogurt and soft cheeses
- Mashed potatoes
There are a number of proteins and vegetables that can be prepared in such a way to be enjoyed. For example, instead of frying your chicken, with a hard crispy coating, it can be cooked soft and shredded. They key is to still enjoy healthy and nutritious foods during your orthodontic treatment, keeping your body filled with the nutrients that your bones need. The orthodontists at Pacific West Dental can give you more information about caring for your mouth and teeth during your orthodontic treatment.