FAQ - Frequently Asked Questions

Who is an Orthodontist?

Your dentist may do basic orthodontic treatment or refer you to an orthodontist. Orthodontists are uniquely qualified specialists who diagnose, prevent and treat dental and facial irregularities to correctly align teeth and jaws. Orthodontist receive an additional two to three years of specialized education in orthodontics beyond dental school at an accredited orthodontic program. (AAO)

What is the optimal age to bring young children in for a consultation?

Early consultation allows Dr. Ghilzon to determine the optimum time for treatment to begin. In some cases, satisfactory results are unattainable once the face and jaws have finished growing. Seven years old is a good rule of thumb for a child to be examined, unless you see a noticeable problem earlier. Signs of potential orthodontic problems may not be initially visible or obvious so an exam and X-ray allows us to provide the best choices for treatment options when done at an early age. By correcting small problems in the early stages, bigger problems are prevented down the road when adult teeth come in.

How much do braces cost?

Braces can cost anywhere between $3,500 to $7,500 Canadian depending on the work that needs to be done. Orthodontic treatment can range from a simple appliance for a short time to a long complicated treatment which may last many years. Fees are based on the length of treatment, how complex the orthodontic treatment is and how many different types of appliances are used.

Orthodontics at any age.

People of any age can benefit from orthodontic treatment. Straight teeth are easier to clean, less likely to get tooth decay, injured, as well as the gum tissue and bone structure will be healthier.

Age is not a factor. Our patients range in ages from 6 years to 74 + years. Healthy gums, normal bone and good teeth are essential for ideal orthodontic results. Even if patients have had periodontic (gum) treatment, orthodontics can still be performed. Orthodontics may be required to obtain optimal position of the teeth for future crowns, bridges and implants. In other words, the bite (occlusion) has to be as ideal as possible. Orthodontics improves the integrity of oral health and overall well-being.

How accurate is the estimated treatment time?

The estimated treatment time is usually within 3 to 6 months either way. Missed appointments and broken brackets will increase treatment time.

Why do deciduous (baby) teeth and permanent teeth need to be removed?

Baby teeth will sometimes interfere with the eruption of permanent teeth. The permanent teeth will be blocked toward the tongue or toward the lips and cheeks. Also when deciduous teeth are removed at certain times, permanent teeth will erupt more rapidly. This will allow young patients to have braces at an earlier age; which means that more critical high school subjects will not be missed when orthodontics is performed in high school.

How do you determine if jaw surgery is needed?

Jaw surgery is necessary when there is a large discrepancy between the upper (maxilla) and lower jaw (mandible). A surgical decision requires careful analysis of a person's skeletal anatomy. This is normally done with special x-rays of the profile (lateral ceph). Sometimes these skeletal problems are quite obvious and very easy to diagnose. Ideally surgery should be performed after patients reach full maturity. This happens usually after age 21. Also, certain surgeries can be avoided if patients are treated early (between age 9 and 12)

How important is cooperation during orthodontic treatment?

Cooperation is extremely important to a successful case. Patients must follow specific instructions on how to keep their teeth clean and must wear elastics and appliances as instructed. Poor cooperation with the above will result in less than ideal orthodontic results.

Do braces hurt?

Initially, there will be some discomfort which will require Advil or Tylenol. Everyone's pain tolerance is different and each appointment is different. After some visits you will feel very little discomfort and other times you may feel more. Eating softer foods like soup, pasta and fish will be easier than a steak or a hamburger on sensitive teeth.

Are braces going to change my appearance?

Your lips may appear fuller. Braces are only about 1 mm thick but initially this will feel about 1 cm. After approximately 2 weeks, the soft tissues adapt to the brackets and you will not even be aware of the fact that you have braces on.

Are baces required on both the upper and lower teeth?

For best results, upper and lower braces are recommended. It is impossible to achieve an ideal bite (occlusion) without placing braces on both arches. Elastics may be required to achieve an ideal bit and the lower braces are needed as anchorage for the elastics.

Do braces come in different colours?

The brackets are available in traditional stainless steel (silver) or cosmetic ceramic (clear). Orthodontic wires are held in place by small elastics called "O" rings. These "O" rings are available in clear or many colours - even colours that glow in the dark.

What is the difference between clear and metal braces?

There is no difference in how clear and metal brackets work. Clear brackets are used mostly on the upper front teeth only.

Why do I need a new wire?

At the beginning of treatment, thin wires are used to align crowded teeth. As the teeth straightened, we gradually work up to larger wires.

Do I have to wear headgear?

Headgear is rarely, if ever used at our office.

Do I have to wear elastics and why?

Elastics are worn near the end of treatment to improve the way the teeth fit together. Elastics are also sometimes worn to close spaces. Cooperation with elastic wear is very important. Orthodontic treatment is delayed when elastics are not worn as requested.

How long do I have to wear retainers after braces and why?

Retention is a very important phase of orthodontic treatment.  Teeth always have a tendency to move back toward their original positions.

After treatment is complete we use special transparent retainers to hold teeth in place and to protect the teeth when patients are sleeping at night. Teeth are sitting in bone. Bone is a very lively body tissue which is broken down and built up continually for normal body functions. Even without orthodontics, teeth will continue to shift throughout a person's life.