More Myths, Busted

More Myths, Busted

Myth: Braces are bulky and painful

Fact: With continuous developments in orthodontic technology, the size of braces has been greatly reduced. In addition, the smaller size provides better aesthetics and also makes it easier for patients to keep their teeth clean. The wires that are now used give patients a gentle yet effective treatment experience as well. After an adjustment appointment, braces become more comfortable – just like when you buy a new pair of shoes and you have to break them in!


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Myth: Kids should be seen by an orthodontist only after they get all their adult teeth

Fact: The American Association of Orthodontists recommends children to have a consultation with a Certified Orthodontist Specialist by the age of seven. Although most children will grow healthily without the need of early orthodontic intervention, some children experience dental problems that should be addressed at an early age, to prevent the situation from getting worse. These problems may not be obvious and will require an assessment to determine the best course of action.


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Myth: Braces will ruin my lifestyle and prevent me from doing the things I love

Fact: You can do almost anything during orthodontic treatment – sing, play musical instruments, play sports, etc. You may have to adjust to doing these activities with braces such as wearing a mouth guard when playing a sport, but you will be able to still enjoy these activities.


Your Myths, Busted

Your Myths, Busted

Since braces have been around so long, people have developed these preconceived ideas on what they think or think they know about braces. Well, we’re here to get at the truths behind those myths.


Myth: I’m too old for braces, they’re only for kids!

Fact: Actually, one in five orthodontic patients is an adult. Age is not a problem as long as your teeth and gums are healthy. There are also various types of orthodontic appliances that are more aesthetically pleasing than traditional metal braces like Invisalign.



Myth: Only metal braces can straighten teeth!

Fact: There are many types of orthodontic appliances that can straighten teeth besides the traditional metal braces, such as ceramic (clear) braces, Invisalign, and lingual braces (braces that are mounted on the back side of the teeth). All these options are available to patients, and we will review which option is best for you.



Myth: I only have a little bit of crowding, but my smile looks fine. I don’t need braces!

Fact: Besides having a beautiful smile, having straight teeth makes it easier for you to keep your teeth clean. When teeth are crowded and overlapped, there are many crevices where food, plaque, and tartar can be trapped. This can lead to more incidences of cavities and periodontal disease if a person’s oral hygiene regiment is not satisfactory. Straight teeth make it easier to floss and brush, thereby reducing the chance of having bad dental problems. A bad bite can also cause abnormal wear of tooth’s surfaces and cause difficulty in chewing and speaking.


Have more myths or questions about braces? Contact us and we will get those myths busted too!




齒顎矯正的治療從第一個步驟開始就受到了科技進步的影響。還記得從前病人最討厭的就是取牙齒的模型嗎? 因為科技的進步,矯正牙醫師現在可以用iTero Scanner 數位掃描技術,運用內建的數位相機拍攝上百張牙齒的照片,經過獨家專利研發的電腦程式將其重組、轉換成立體3D畫面。這項科技不僅能夠讓醫師們獲得更精準的紀錄,但更重要的,它取代了傳統難受又麻煩的牙模過程,讓我們能提供給病人更大的舒適和方便!

說到舒適,就不能不提到另一項重要的科技創新: 冷光雷射治療 (Low Level Laser Therapy – LLLT)。

齒顎矯正的過程中,尤其是每個月來調整後,頭幾天常常會有覺得牙齒特別痠軟的感覺。雖然這個痠軟的感覺代表著牙齒正慢慢地移動到完美的位置,但也同時給病人造成了一些不便。為了減少不舒服的感覺,許多病人會使用止痛藥,例如Advil。但這些非類固醇消炎止痛藥其中一項副作用就是會減緩牙齒移動的速度,使療程時間加長。冷光雷射治療 (Low Level Laser Therapy – LLLT) 能夠減緩疼痛,加速組織的恢復力,已經在醫學界被使用多年,並有多項研究證實它的功效。近年來,冷光雷射治療也被齒列矯正牙醫師運用,減緩病人在矯正牙齒過程中所感到的疼痛。冷光雷射運用低能量的光柱,直接照射在疼痛的地方,因此沒有全身副作用。每次矯正約診時配合使用5-10分鐘的冷光雷射療程,能有效減緩矯正過程的疼痛!

齒列矯正治療的最終目的是將牙齒移動到完美、健康的位置,提供給病人美麗的笑容和咬合功能。牙齒移動的關鍵在於支撐牙齒的牙槽骨。牙槽骨需要被身體吸收掉後,牙齒才能移動到新的位置。所以,牙齒移動的速度其實是受牙槽骨的新陳代謝的速度所限制。一直以來,齒列矯正治療最讓人卻步的原因之一就是治療時間! 其實我們也很希望可以在彈指之間就可以幫病人把牙齒全都排列整齊。因此,矯正醫師們不停的研究如何安全的加快牙齒移動的速度,減少矯正治療的時間。經過幾十年來研究和改良,我們發現增加牙齒移動速度的關鍵在於增加牙槽骨的血液循環刺激牙槽骨的替換。如今我們已有數樣嶄新的科技已被臨床實驗證明,包括PropelVPro5 (利用高頻率震盪來增加血液循環) 和 Propel Excellerator (加速牙槽骨新陳代謝的速度) 。透過這些新的科技,矯正醫師們不但能有效地縮短病人治療的時間,甚至還能達成某些從前被認定為太困難的治療。





The Process of Getting Invisalign Braces: An Overview

The Process of Getting Invisalign Braces: An Overview

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!

How to Choose the Best Orthodontist For You

How to Choose the Best Orthodontist For You

Everyone has different needs they want addressed when choosing a medical professional. Whether it’s a personality fit or a budget fit, or something else, we get it. That’s why many orthodontists, including PacificWest Dental, offer a free initial consultation so you can get to know us better. Here are some things to consider when choosing the best orthodontist for you:

  1. First impression – What were your thoughts when you first walked into the office? Did you feel welcomed? Trusting your gut instinct applies with many decisions, and is arguably one of the more decisive factors when making a decision
  2. Location – Is the office located somewhere convenient for you? Think about where you will be coming from before an appointment, and where you will need to go afterwards. Is the office location on the way?
  3. Reviews – In the world of unlimited, easy access information, of course you are going to see what other people have to say about orthodontists! Braces are an investment, and we want you to make an informed decision on who you do your treatment with
  4. Hours – Think about whether it will be easy for you to take time off to go to an appointment, or you require weekend or evening appointments to fit around your schedule. Again, choose what is convenient for you!
  5. Professional relationship – When you went to your first consultation, how did you feel about the orthodontist? Did you feel comfortable and able to ask any questions you had? You will be seeing the orthodontist for at least a year, so make sure you are comfortable with him or her!
  6. Budget – At the end of the day, you’re probably looking at your budget and insurance coverage to see what would be most suitable for you. You should also look at the payment options available to you and whether or not it meets your needs
  7. Bonus offers – How does an orthodontic practice go above and beyond what is expected of them? Do they have a rewards program for patients? Or do draws throughout the year? These are offers that may make your treatment just that much more enjoyable for you

We know that braces are an investment and hope you are able to find the orthodontist that is best for you. With over 20 years of experience giving patients a beautiful smile, we believe the team at PacificWest Dental is the right choice for you. Feel free to contact us for your free initial consultation – we look forward to meeting you!

Technology and Its Role in Orthodontics

Technology and Its Role in Orthodontics

When people think about technology, braces is not usually the first thing that comes to mind. Technology has driven many developments in our lifetime so far, from smartphones to augmented reality. But, did you also know technology has been playing a role in improving orthodontic treatments?

Technology plays a role in the braces treatment process right from the beginning during the patient assessment. Traditionally, a physical impression is taken of your teeth to create a mould. This was a process that many patients did not like, as it was uncomfortable and unpleasant. Fortunately, orthodontists can now improve the patient experience with the iTero Scanner. The iTero Scanner has a small camera built in that takes hundreds of pictures of your teeth. The software then produces a digital 3D impression of your mouth and teeth using these pictures, eliminating the need for a mould! This allows orthodontists to more accurately examine your teeth and identify the necessary treatment. More importantly, it creates a stress-free process for patients!

To address the literal pain point of braces, laser therapy has been adapted to minimize the pain that is frequently associated with orthodontic treatment. When your braces get tightened at each appointment, you tend to feel general soreness in your mouth. That’s because your teeth are being moved into a new direction. While this pain is a sign of being closer to perfect alignment, the pain itself is not enjoyable. Painkillers, such as Ibuprofen, are commonly used to manage discomfort, but can also slow down your teeth’s movement and prolong the treatment. A new alternative to pain management is Low Level Laser Therapy (LLLT). LLLT has been used in the medical field for decades to reduce pain and promote healing. It uses low emitting lasers that is applied directly onto the area of discomfort, and has no systemic side effect to your body. LLLT can be used in conjunction with the initial appliance placement and regular adjustment appointments throughout the whole braces treatment; a 5-10 minutes sessions is all it takes to effectively reduce the pain and discomfort!

When you take a step back and think about what the goal of braces are, it’s to move teeth into a straight and healthy alignment. We talked about the science behind braces and how the bone changes around your teeth to allow for tooth movement. Building on that, devices like PropelVPro5 and Propel Excellerator have entered the market to offer accelerated orthodontic treatments. These tools work by increasing the blood flow and stimulating the turnover of the bone around your teeth. Studies have proven these procedures can significantly reduce treatment time and encourage certain movements that would otherwise be too difficult to achieve without these tools.

Thanks to these new options, you can think of braces as wearable technology. The treatment process is now more effective and efficient than we ever thought possible, making your braces experience that much better!



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