FAQ

Straight Smiles - FAQInitial Visit

Do you charge for an initial visit?

No. As a courtesy to you and your family dentist, we will always discuss the feasibility of braces or tooth straightening at no cost to you.

At what age do you start seeing patients?

As a rule of thumb, we like to evaluate young patients after the 6-year molars erupt and the front permanent teeth just start to appear. This is usually between the ages of 6 and 8.

Why do you evaluate patients so young?

The purpose of early evaluation is to inform and observe, more than to start treatment. At this early age, the eventual needs may be identified and discussed. A small percentage of this young group may need some form of intervention such as braces, an expander or a retainer.  Habits are evaluated, medical issues are discussed and an observation schedule is arranged.

How long will the first visit take?

The first visit can last anywhere between 30 minutes and 1 hour depending on how ready the patient is for treatment. We may just do a visual exam and explain the situation or we may suggest one or more X-rays and complete diagnostics including 3D models of the teeth with photographs.

Do you take patients transferring from out of town?

Yes we do. We handle a patient transferring into our office from another office just like a new patient. We gather complete diagnostic records to show the current status and propose treatment to complete the work that has been started. We do not ask for a large down payment but merely assess a monthly fee to complete the treatment in progress.

Do you have any adult patients?

Absolutely. A growing percentage of our patients are adult. New, more cosmetic appliances are making adult treatment much more comfortable and convenient.

What is the difference between an orthodontist and a dentist?

An orthodontist is a dentist that has had 3 more years of full-time training after dental school.  This additional education results in a nationally recognized specialty certificate.  An Orthodontist is an expert in teeth and jaw straightening techniques, so you can be sure you are receiving the best care available.  To ensure you are receiving treatment from a certified orthodontist, look for the “FRCD” designation in their educational qualifications.

Do you see patients for emergencies?

Yes, all patients receive Dr. Pasquale’s personal cell phone number in case of emergencies.  Also, our contact information for an emergency is posted on the website as well as the phone answering machine.

Financial

Can we make payments?

Yes. Whether or not you have insurance or a dental plan, we will structure a convenient payment plan that will allow you to pay for necessary services over a period of time that usually coincides with your treatment plan.  Payment plans can be set up via auto debit, auto credit card processing, or post-dated cheques.

How do you handle insurance?

After verification of coverage, we will prepare the necessary forms you will need to receive reimbursement from your dental insurance plan.  However, we ask patients to understand that if coverage ceases or changes, the patient or guardian is ultimately responsible for the agreed upon fee.

Do you take Master Card and/or Visa?

Yes.

Do you have direct debit?

Yes.

Do you charge interest?

No we do not.

Do you give family discounts?

We have special programs and fees for multiple patients from the same family.

Types of Treatment

What is Phase 1 Treatment (also known as “Early Treatment”)?

Phase 1 treatment (or “Early Treatment”)  is delivered early and before all permanent teeth have erupted. The purpose of this early care is to start correcting harmful malocclusions that may be more difficult to correct later. Phase 1 treatment does not eliminate the need for conventional orthodontics done during adolescence. Examples of phase 1 treatment include correcting individual tooth or jaw crossbites and severe underbites and overbites where function, esthetic or psychological concerns are identified.

What is phase 2 Treatment?

Phase 2 treatment is conventional orthodontic treatment involving full braces. It may start while the last baby teeth are falling out and continue until the 12 year molars have been evaluated or straightened. This treatment usually lasts between 18 and 24 months.

How do I know if Phase 1, 2 or both type of treatments are necessary?

The Canadian Association of Orthodontists and the Canadian Dental Association recommend all children be screened by an Orthodontist by age 7.  Dr. Pasquale will advise you about the pros and cons of all treatment options and help you make an informed decision.  About 10 to 20 percent of young patients may benefit from phase 1 treatment. Most other patients are observed until the appropriate time to initiate care.  The average age for phase 1 treatment is between 6 and 9 years old.  The average age for full braces is between 11 and 13 years old.

Does early treatment ensure a better result?

Experience and research shows that early treatment achieves meaningful goals but the quality of the overall result is determined at the end of phase 2 (after full braces).  For this reason, we only recommend early treatment when research shows that a significant benefit can be achieved.  The only way to determine if your child would benefit from phase 1 treatment is to have him evaluated by Dr. Pasquale.  We will explain the pros and cons of all treatment options with you so that you feel comfortable with your decisions.

How long do braces take?

Treatment times vary depending on the complexity of the case.  Some cases can be completed in as little as 6 months, while more complicted cases can take 2-3 years.

How do braces work?

Quite simply, crooked teeth are gradually moved into desired positions by taking tiny shaped wires and gently attaching them to brackets bonded on the teeth.  Dr. Pasquale bonds the braces on your teeth in a specific position so that the wire can guide it into the correct alignment.  It is for this reason that Dr. Pasquale personally places the braces on his patients.  Most orthodontic offices delegate the bonding of braces to staff, however at Straight Smiles Orthodontics, you will have the benefit of having an experienced Orthodontist performing this crucial step.

Retainers

Do retainers need to be worn after braces?

Yes, retainers are worn full-time for about 6 months followed by nighttime wear.

Why do teeth get crooked after wearing braces or aligners?

Teeth move throughout life whether you have worn braces or not.  It is part of the natural aging process.  The only way to prevent this from happening and keep your teeth perfectly straight is to follow the recommended retainer wear schedule that was recommended to you by Dr. Pasquale.   This is why long term night time retainer wear is often recommended to maintain your orthodontic results.

How about retainers glued to the backs of teeth?

For some patients, bonded retainers are attached to the back of lower teeth to keep them in place. This requires special hygiene procedures and regular recalls to the family dentist.