Have you ever wondered what you need to ask your insurance provider before beginning orthodontic treatment? Our wonderful treatment coordinator, Patricia, has made a video letting you know the 4 questions to ask to fully understand your benefits. As always, we are here to help. Feel free to contact us by phone or email if you require more information!
A regular occurrence for me at the office is people smiling wide with lips as far apart from their teeth as possible to show me something. Often, the comment is “Can yellow teeth be whitened?” or “Do you think these look too yellow?” or “This is hopeless, isn’t it?
My response is generally a smile and a giggle and then some reassurance that everything to do with teeth is modifiable or fixable. That is why I love working on teeth so much…I can do almost anything!
Why Are My Teeth Yellow?
Teeth can be yellow for a number of reasons. The most common is simply that this is the natural colour of your teeth. The inner layer (dentin) of your tooth determines the shade that you project. This shade can be white, yellow, brown or gray. Whitening products can lighten all of these colours but is most effective on white and yellow base colours.
Above is a nice photo of a slice through a tooth. The outer layer is enamel and it tends to be quite translucent. The next layer (depicted in yellow here) is the dentin and this determines the colour of your teeth. The innermost layer is the nerve and blood vessel of the tooth and this is never visible unless a tooth has been broken or cut-into.
Whitening Products On The Market
A quick search of teeth whitening will overwhelm you with possibilities. All at-home whitening products fall into the following broad categories:
Whitening Blue Lights
Whitening gels and trays
The long and short of it is that Crest Whitestrips are simple, effective and affordable. They are often my first recommendation to someone that wants to start whitening for the first time. It is hard to do it wrong and most people are quite content to lighten their teeth a few shades.
Crest Whitestrips are also very easy to find and purchase. Many online retailers as well as local grocery and drug stores carry a variety of them at all times.
I stated earlier that natural tooth colour is often the reason for them being yellow. Whitening toothpastes do not help with this issue. Whitening toothpastes are generally very good at removing stain from teeth. This stain can be from coffee, tea, wine, smoking, etc.
Whitening toothpastes are more abrasive than non-whitening toothpastes and they also contain ingredients that help to break-down stains. If your teeth are discoloured due to all the yummy things you are consuming, this would be an excellent choice to incorporate into your daily routine.
Whitening toothpastes are very affordable and since you are brushing your teeth twice a day (the dentist in me is wagging my finger in your direction) anyways, your routine and habits don’t have to change to see a nice result.
One note of warning here though. Using a whitening toothpaste that is VERY abrasive can damage your teeth irreversibly. Please stick to trusted brands and not fads.
Whitening Blue Light Systems
A system that has been around for decades in dental offices is Zoom Whitening. With this system you lay in a comfy dental chair, have a gel applied to your teeth and a blue light positioned over you until the process is complete. It only takes one appointment and is pretty powerful stuff.
It is no surprise that a do-it-yourself product has arisen on the marketplace to save people some money and make it convenient to whiten at home.
All of these systems use some form of gel or paste that you apply to your teeth and then a device with a light in it that you usually insert and wrap your lips around. This is often a slightly more expensive option to those listed above but results are very quick. Instant gratification comes at a premium!
I had to do a little research on whitening toothpaste as I was writing this. I have the least experience with this type of product and I was curious what the claims and methods were.
My research led me to the conclusion that it works much the same as a whitening toothpaste would. The goal with this product is to remove surface stains from your teeth. Many of the companies that sell whitening mouthwash encourage their customers to pair it with a whitening toothpaste for maximum results.
Whitening Gels and Trays
This product also mimics what you may receive at a dental office if you went in asking for professional whitening. You can often purchase only the gel (great if you have trays you can use already) or an entire kit. I even came across several that included a blue light too.
These products require use for a number of days to get maximum results. It is important that you closely follow all directions as leaving this solution for too long or using it for too many days in a row can result in very painful teeth.
Surface stain is not the target of this product. The gel is targeting the internal colour of your teeth to lighten and brighten them.
Pick The Product That Is Right For You
With so many amazing options in the marketplace these days, you just have to decide which one is right for you. It has never been easier to turn those yellow teeth white from the comfort of your own home.
As a professional, I will add one more warning here (in case you missed the first one). Although trusted companies use safe and tested ingredients, you can permanently damage your teeth if you do not follow instructions as written.
All the best to you on your journey to a brighter, whiter smile!
#teethwhitening, #impactorthodontics, #drjen
I can only speak to the cost of Invisalign in Calgary, at my office, where I practice, at Impact Orthodontics.
The short answer is – “It depends!”.
Orthodontic treatment can be as simple as moving 1 tooth and as complex as moving every single tooth in the mouth. In general, the cost of treatment is directly related to how difficult or time-consuming it will be to correct the teeth and/or bite.
Let’s start with the most simple of cases and work our way through the most complex. I will illustrate some case examples below. All example cases are patients that Dr. Jen treated with Invisalign at Impact Orthodontics in Calgary.
If you are curious about whether or not you can have Invisalign and how much it will cost – simply complete the virtual consult on our website and Dr. Jen or Dr. Dena will let you know within 5 business days.
Correction of 1-4 teeth (generally, someone that has had orthodontic treatment previously)
Cost is $2500 (payments as low as $50/week)
This case was treated in 3 months time to straighten the upper front 4 teeth. When there are only 1-4 teeth to be corrected, treatment in Invisalign will take less than 6 months. Many cases are completed in as little as 2 months.
Any time that teeth are moved, retainers are required. After the teeth have been lined-up, clear retainers are provided to be worn while sleeping. Teeth have a tendency to move back to where they came from so retainers are very important.
Our treatment fee includes, all records (photos, x-rays, 3D teeth scan, etc.), your customized Invisalign aligners, appointments to ensure your teeth are moving well and are on-track and enough retainers to last a lifetime.
Correction of more than 4 teeth (no major changes to the bite)
Cost is $5000 (payments as low as $50/week)
Upper and lower teeth had to move here in order to make teeth straight. Elastics were also used to bring the left canine (eye-tooth) down and into position.
This type of tooth movement usually takes around 12 months. However, everyone is different, and it can be as short as 9 months and as long as 18 months.
Invisalign aligners are basically clear, removable braces. Plastic is used instead of metal to move the teeth into the correct position. Attachments (tooth-coloured bumps) and elastics (aka rubber bands) are used to push, pull or slide the teeth into the correct location.
Correction of most (or all) teeth including the bite
Cost is $7400 (payments as low as $50/week)
The phrase used most often in our office to describe this type of Invisalign treatment is comprehensive orthodontics. Correction of the position of all teeth is completed as well as achieving a perfect bite.
Comprehensive orthodontics can be done in children, teens and adults using Invisalign clear aligners. These corrections generally take 18-30 months to complete.
Elastics are used quite often and appointments at the office are every 10-16 weeks.
Invisalign is a great option for anyone that would like to avoid the look of braces, wants the ease of maintaining their current oral hygiene routine and does not want to change their diet while improving their smile and bite.
Feel free to comment below with questions or comments.
#invisalign, #drjen, #impactorthodontics
Yes! Yes! Yes!
We are asked regularly if Invisalign can fix a whole host of smile and bite problems. I think the most common question is about overbite. When people talk to me about overbite they are usually are referring to the upper teeth being ahead of the lower teeth. In orthodontic terminology this is actually called overjet. See below the examples of normal overbite (vertical overlap of upper and lower front teeth) and normal overjet compared to extra overbite and extra overjet.
Normal Overbite (top left), Normal Overjet (bottom left), Extra Overbite (top right), Extra Overjet (bottom right)
In orthodontics, there are always many different ways that the bite can be fixed. Extra overbite and extra overjet are bite problems. They are fixed in order to protect your teeth from damage over time, make the forces on your teeth even, improve the way your lips cover your teeth and make your smile look better.
Some appliances used to fix overjet over the history of orthodontics include:
As you can see, there are many ways to correct the bite. There is not one way that is better than the other. The choice made by your orthodontist has to do with their training and comfort level with the different appliance types.
I like to do overjet correction with elastics and/or mandibular advancement wings when in Invisalign. Some of my patients prefer the wings to avoid taking elastics in and out all of the time, but the choice is usually yours!
Below are a few of Dr. Dena and my patients that have had their overjet corrected with Invisalign.
If you have extra overbite or overjet and would like to have it fixed, come on in for a free consultation. You can book online! If you would rather get this information from home, click on virtual consult and Dr. Jen or Dr. Dena will send a video consult to you.
Thanks for reading! Dr. Jen
#impactorthodontics, #overbite, #drjen
During a regular week in the office, many of my new patient consultations are with families or individuals that are seeking a second, third, or fourth opinion. The reason for this additional opinion varies widely and, personally, I think that all of them are valid.
Let’s look at some of the reasons you may be seeking, or want to seek, an additional opinion.
1. You heard something at the first opinion that didn’t feel right.
Orthodontists all practice differently and some of the things we like to do sound great to people and some sound not so great. Depending on our training and experience, you may hear 3 completely different opinions from 3 different orthodontists.
This is not to say that one way is better than another, it is just different. I’m a firm believer in completing treatment with an orthodontist that you trust. This means that the plan has to make sense to you and seem reasonable. If there is a mismatch in philosophy or opinion, look elsewhere until you find a good fit.
All of the orthodontists in Calgary expect that not everyone is a good fit for our style of practice. We do not take any offence in someone seeking multiple opinions.
2. You really want Invisalign and it was not presented as an option.
Children as young as 7 and adults as mature as 80 can all have Invisalign. Clear plastic aligners are a great way to move teeth around without changing your life too much. That being said, not all orthodontists love using Invisalign.
Many practitioners feel much more comfortable using traditional braces, so that is the treatment that they offer. It makes sense that they would choose the appliance they know they can get the best result with.
Moving teeth with Invisalign is a very different process than moving them with braces. It takes learning a completely new system and practicing with it until you are an expert. If Invisalign is what you want, simply look for an orthodontist that does a lot of it.
3. The cost of treatment was too high or the payment plans were not flexible.
Orthodontic treatment is a substantial investment. The total cost of treatment varies throughout the city of Calgary. As the fees for treatment are set by each individual office, it would make sense to check with a few places if you are concerned about the fee that was presented.
I am happy to say that I do not know of a single orthodontic office in Calgary that does not follow the Alberta Dental Fee Guide.
Payment plans are another place where offices can differ. Some will require a down payment, some will not. Many will in-house finance over 6 months, 12 months, 18 months or longer. Some will extend payment plans as long as 60 months.
Finding a payment plan that works within your budget is key to making the process easy. Take the time to find the best fit for you and your family.
How Do You Go About Getting Another Opinion?
The internet is a great resource for finding all of the orthodontic specialists in Calgary. All offices have a website that will describe a little about what they do.
A few, like ours, offer a way to do a consultation from home so you can get another opinion without taking more time off of work or school.
There are not any orthodontic offices in Calgary that require a referral from a dentist in order to be seen. This means that you can go and see anyone you like. Simply call another office or book online.
I wish you all the best in your search for the perfect orthodontic fit!
I am asked daily if someone is a candidate for Invisalign. Actually, let me re-phrase that. I am told almost daily that someone was informed that they are NOT a candidate for Invisalign.
I then proceed to explain that almost everyone is a candidate for Invisalign at Impact Orthodontics. Dr. Dena and myself treat patients as young as 7 and as old as 80 in Invisalign clear aligners.
Invisalign is simply a tool that is used for tooth movement. When used correctly, with a good orthodontic treatment plan, it is just as efficient and accurate as traditional metal or clear braces.
The descriptions and before/after photos below are of Dr. Jen’s treated patients. All of these patients were treated with Invisalign clear aligners.
Feel free to comment below with questions you may have. I would love to provide insight.
TREATMENT FOR A 10 YEAR-OLD:
This Invisalign treatment was completed in 16 months. For our younger patients (10 and under), parents are often concerned that their children will lose their aligners. The good news is that this does not tend to be a problem.
We coach the kids on having a routine with their aligners and to always put them in the same place. Always using the case or a lunch bag ensures that they know where to find them at all times.
Should an aligner go missing, no worries, it is usually fine to jump ahead to the next number in the sequence.
Each aligner is worn for 1 week and then switched. The next aligner will feel quite tight if the previous one was not worn for the full week, but that subsides quickly in young kids as their teeth move very easily.
TEEN INVISALIGN TREATMENT:
This teen case was treated in about 22 months. The open bite and severe crowding that were present at the beginning are very difficult to treat with braces (it would have required tooth extraction to get an acceptable result).
Teenagers tell me that they love Invisalign because it does not change their everyday life. They are able to eat whatever they want, brush and floss normally and continue on with sports and instruments with no changes.
Many people are surprised that Invisalign is not just for making the smile more aesthetic. Yes, that is part of it, but significant bite corrections can also be done using clear aligners.
ADULT INVISALIGN TREATMENT:
Invisalign treatment took 16 months in this case. Correction of both the crowding of the lower teeth as well as the bite was completed. The vast majority of adult patients that I see want to have Invisalign. They much prefer the look of it over braces.
Invisalign treatment also requires fewer visits to the office. Everyone is very busy these days and finding the time to get to the office can be a challenge.
EVERYONE IS A CANDIDATE
I believe that every patient is a candidate for Invisalign treatment. There are times that both braces and Invisalign are needed to achieve an optimal result, but this is only in 5-10% of patients.
If you think that Invisalign is the way you want to correct your smile and/or bite, find an Invisalign provider in your area.
Please feel free to post questions or comments below.
#invisalign, #impactorthodontics, #drjen
Maybe you’ve been thinking you should look into #braces or #Invisalign, or your dentist let you know that you should take your child to the orthodontist for a consultation. That’s where Dr. Dena, myself and the entire team at Impact Orthodontics comes in.
Doing something for the first time can be scary, anxiety-inducing, exciting and fun. This post is to walk you through the new patient appointment here at Impact Orthodontics. Whether you are coming in for yourself or your child, the process is the same.
Your appointment can be scheduled by phone or online – whichever is easiest for you. If you call the office
(403-256-7797), you will likely have the pleasure of speaking to Teesha. Teesha will find a day and time that works for you, collect a little info about you or your child and email you an appointment confirmation and welcome letter.
Our building is conveniently located just off Macleod Trail S and has a large parking lot with free parking. There are stalls at the back of the lot (facing Macleod Trail) that are labeled for Impact Ortho and are for the use of our patients. There are also a dozen visitor parking spots located next to the main doors that you are welcome to use.
We are located on the 2nd floor of our building. If you enter through the main doors, take the elevator to the upper level and follow the signs to Suite #208. If you park at the rear of the building, there is a door that will lead to stairs you can take directly up to our entrance.
Teesha will greet you and check you in when you arrive. We offer complimentary coffee, water and snacks in the reception area and there are iPads and toys for the kids. Take a seat, and Patricia, our treatment coordinator will be out to get you shortly.
Patricia will walk you through the entire new patient process while you are in the office You will be with her for 30-45 minutes. There is some paperwork to be filled out and then photos and x-rays (if needed) will be taken to assist Dr. Dena and myself with determining what treatment might be needed. These photos, x-rays and exam are all complimentary. We will send a copy of any x-rays we take to your dentist so they also have them on-file.
After all of that information is gathered, Dr. Dena or myself will have the pleasure of meeting you and/or your child to discuss if any treatment is needed.
Before you leave the office, you will have complete information on:
1. Treatment recommendations (braces, Invisalign, appliances, retainers, etc.)
2. Ideal treatment timing
3. Length of treatment
4. Complete costs of treatment
5. All financial options available
Dr. Jen (in yellow) Dr. Dena (in purple)
We schedule a full hour for these appointments so that there is plenty of time to answer any and all questions that you or your child may have.
The team at Impact Ortho looks forward to meeting you!
If there is anything else you would like to know about receiving orthodontic care at our office or the new patient process, please comment below.
All the best on your orthodontic journey!
As Invisalign Diamond Providers, Dr. Dena and myself talk about Invisalign Teen all day long at the office.
Sometimes the parents of the teen are curious about Invisalign as an option, but more often, the teen is the one that wants to know more.
Teens are excited about the aesthetic appearance of Invisalign aligners and their ease of use. Many teens had braces when they were in elementary school and don’t like the idea of braces again!
Parents like the idea of reduced risk of cavities and fewer appointments at our office.
All teenagers are candidates for Invisalign Teen at Impact Orthodontics…the choice between braces or Invisalign is yours.
Braces and Invisalign are the most common orthodontic appliances used for teenagers that need their teeth moved. Both systems are effective, but they are quite different.
Here I will highlight the main differences between braces and Invisalign.
Braces are attached to your teeth like stickers. The brackets (little metal square) are all connected by a wire and the wire is what moves your teeth around.
Braces can be on the teeth for 6-36 months, depending on the complexity of treatment needed. As they can not be removed during this time, extra care and attention will be needed to keep the teeth clean and prevent the braces from breaking off.
Special dental tools will be provided to you by your orthodontist to aid in brushing and flossing. It will take twice as long to brush your teeth and three times longer to floss with braces than without them.
Meticulous oral hygiene is important to prevent cavities from forming on the teeth.
Popcorn is the only no-no food in our office but care must be taken when eating crunchy, sticky, hard or chewy foods as these can all cause breakage.
If braces break off during treatment, it can lengthen the time that they are needed or cause tooth movements that are not desired.
Braces are working 24/7 since they are attached to the teeth. Braces also can not be lost as they are glued on.
Invisalign aligners are clear, removable braces.
A 3D scan of the teeth is taken and Dr. Jen or Dr. Dena use a computer
program to digitally place all of the teeth in the correct place. A series of Invisalign aligners are then made for each teen patient.
The Invisalign aligners are switched every week. Each aligner is slightly different than the one before and this is how they move the teeth into the planned position.
Invisalign aligners are removable so there are no changes to dietary or oral hygiene routines. Aligners are removed to eat and brush and are worn the rest of the time. The goal is 22 hours/day.
Loss of Invisalign aligners tends to be parents’ number one concern. Loss has not proven to be a problem for our teen patients, but on the rare occasion that it happens, most teens can jump ahead to the next aligner. The new aligner will feel tighter than normal as the previous one was not worn for the full week. As long as this is not a regular occurrence, jumping ahead a few times during treatment is fine.
It can be a tough decision for teens and parents alike. Dr. Dena and myself are here to help you make that decision. Come on in for a consultation or do our virtual consultation online from home. Consults are always free with no obligation and we pride ourselves on providing comprehensive and detailed information to all of our patients.