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Frequently Asked Questions

What is an Orthodontist?

An Orthodontist is a Certified Specialist in the correction of maligned teeth and jaw irregularities

What are Braces?

The Orthodontic Appliance (commonly called braces) helps the Orthodontist control and move the teeth with maximum accuracy and efficiency. 
Rubber Bands provide a force which helps teeth move. This is usually done by applying pressure of one group of teeth against the other. Unless otherwise instructed, rubber bands must be worn 24 hours per day. Failure to do so would cause the teeth not to move properly. 
Arch Wires are the guide or track for the teeth to be moved. The arch wires will be changed as you progress in your treatment. 

1. Is it required that I be referred by my family dentist to schedule an appointment with Dr. Parker?

2. At what age should I schedule an appointment for an orthodontic screening?

3. Will my child's teeth straighten out on their own as they grow?

4. How do I schedule an appointment for an initial exam?

5. Is there a cost for the initial examination?

6. What will happen at the initial examination appointment?

7. What will I learn from the initial examination?

8. Will I have to have any teeth removed for braces?

9. How long will it take to complete treatment.

10. How much will braces cost? Are financing options available? How does my insurance work?

11. How often will I have appointments?

12. Can I have all of my appointments after school?

13. Can I drop my child off for an appointment?

14. Do braces hurt?

15. Can I return to school the day I receive my braces?

16. Do you give shots?

17. Do you use recycled braces?

18. Can I still play sports and/or musical instruments while in braces?

19. Do I need to see my family dentist while in braces?

20. Are there foods I cannot eat while I have braces?

21. How often should I brush my teeth while in braces?

22. What is an emergency appointment? How are those handled?

23. What if the emergency occurs after normal office hours?

24. Can any orthodontic correction occur a child still has some baby teeth?

25. Will my child need an expander?

26. Is it too late to have braces if I am already an adult?

27. Can I wear braces even though I have crowns and missing teeth?

28. Can I refer my family and friends?

 

1. Is it required that I be referred by my family dentist to schedule an appointment with us? No, it is not. Although most of our patients are referred by their family dentist, many patients who have concerns about their health and appearance and want to be evaluated as to the need for orthodontic care, take the initiative themselves to schedule an initial examination.
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2. At what age should I schedule an appointment for an orthodontic screening? The Canadian Association of Orthodontists recommends an orthodontic screening at age seven. By this age, the six-year molars and several permanent teeth in most children have erupted allowing us to effectively evaluate most developing orthodontic problems.
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3. Will my child's teeth straighten out on their own as they grow? No, they will not. The space available for the front teeth does not increase as a child grows. In most people, after the permanent 6-year molars erupt, the space available for the front teeth actually decreases with age.
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4. How do I schedule an appointment for an initial exam? If you think you or your child would benefit from orthodontic treatment, simply call our office and we will be happy to schedule an appointment for you. You can reach us at (416) 237-9535. During the call to schedule your appointment, our front office staff will gather some very basic information concerning you and your child.
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5. Is there a cost for the initial examination? No, there is no cost for the initial examination. we believe that the relationship established during a patient's first visit is much more important than an "office visit" charge.
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6. What will happen at the initial examination appointment? Upon arriving at our office, each patient and parent will be greeted and asked to fill out a patient information card that includes some personal information and a brief medical history. we will conduct a brief but thorough examination of the patient's mouth to determine if there is a need for orthodontic treatment. Dr. Parker will be looking to determine if there enough room to hold all of your teeth, if the top teeth are lined up correctly with the bottom teeth, if any teeth are crooked or not growing in the right position and if there are missing or extra teeth? She will also be asking the patient if they are experiencing any breathing problems, have they had any finger or tongue habits and have they experienced any jaw joint problems?
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7. What will I learn from the initial examination? There are five important questions that will be answered during the initial examination.
Is there an orthodontic problem and if so, what is it? What must be done to correct the problem? Will any permanent teeth need to be removed? How long will the treatment take to complete? How much will the treatment cost?
In addition to these, we will take the time to answer any other questions a patient or parent may have.
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8. Will I have to have any teeth removed for braces? Removing teeth is sometimes needed to get the best orthodontic result. Straight teeth and a balanced facial profile are always the goal. However, because today's technology has resulted in advanced orthodontic procedures, the need for removing teeth has been greatly reduced.
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9. How long will it take to complete treatment. Treatment time obviously depends on each patient's specific orthodontic problem. In general, treatment times range from 15 to 28 months. An "average" time a person is in braces is approximately 22 months.
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10. How much will braces cost? Are financing options available? How does my insurance work? It You can spread out your payments with no interest charge to do so. Is impossible to give an exact cost for treatment until we have actually examined you. The exact cost and financial options will be discussed after the diagnostic records are complete. We have a financing option available and will be happy to review this with you. We also offer a discount for fee paid in full. Proper orthodontic treatment to correct a problem is often less costly than the additional dental care required to treat the more serious problems that can develop in later years. We'd be happy to help you with your insurance coverage.
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11. How often will I have appointments? Appointments are scheduled according to each individual patient's needs. Most patients in braces will be seen every six to 10 weeks. If there are specific situations that require more frequent monitoring, appointments may be scheduled more often.
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12. Can I have all of my appointments after school? This is a very common question. Unfortunately, we can not schedule all appointments for all student patients for after school hours. However, because most appointments are scheduled six to 10 weeks apart, most patients miss very little school because of orthodontic appointments. 
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13. Can I drop my child off for an appointment? We are very understanding of busy schedules and working parents' desires to run errands while their child is at our office. On some occasions we may want to speak with parents when you return, so please we request that parents check in with the front desk staff as they schedule their next appointment.
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14. Do braces hurt? As a general rule, braces do not "hurt." After some visits, teeth may be sore for a few days. In these situations, pain medications such as Advil or Tylenol can be used to ease the discomfort. However, after most visits, patients do not feel any soreness at all! We often remind our patients, it does not have to hurt to work!
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15. Can I return to school the day I receive my braces? Yes. There is no reason to miss school because of an orthodontic appointment.
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16. Do you give shots? No. Dr. Parker has NO needles in her office.
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17. Do you use recycled braces? Absolutely not! It is our belief that each patient should be provided with their own braces to achieve the very best orthodontic result possible. We would never use worn, used or recycled braces.
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18. Can I still play sports and/or musical instruments while in braces? Yes! We will provide you with a sport guard at a nominal fee. Please inform us when you need a sport guard.
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19. Do I need to see my family dentist while in braces? Yes. Regular checkups with your family dentist are very important while in braces. Your family dentist will determine how often you should be seen for cleaning appointments while you are in braces.
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20. Are there foods I cannot eat while I have braces? Yes. Once treatment begins, very complete instructions and a comprehensive list will be provided regarding foods to avoid. Some of those foods include: ice, hard candy, raw vegetables and all sticky foods, i.e. "Snickers", caramel and taffy. No gum is allowed. Many emergency appointments to repair broken or damaged braces can be avoided by carefully following instructions regarding foods.
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21. How often should I brush my teeth while in braces? Patients should brush their teeth at least four times each day: after breakfast, lunch (or as soon as they get home from school), supper and before going to bed. We will show each patient how to floss their teeth with braces on and we also suggest a flouride rinse to help protect teeth.
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22. What is an emergency appointment? How are those handled? Please refer to our section on ORTHODONTIC EMERGENCIES
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24. Can any orthodontic correction occur a child still has some baby teeth? Yes. However, we do not require braces for every patient who visits our office. Some orthodontic problems that significant enough to require early intervention. However, if a patient is not yet ready for treatment, we will follow that patient's growth and development until the time is right for treatment to begin.
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25. Will my child need an expander? At the completion of the initial examination, we will determine whether a patient will require expanders or not.
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26. Is it too late to have braces if I am already an adult? Over 30 percent of our patients are adults. If fact, orthodontic treatment for adults is one of the most gratifying areas of our practice for both patients and staff members. Health, happiness and self-esteem are vitally important to adults. No patient is "too old" to wear braces!
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27. Can I wear braces even though I have crowns and missing teeth? Yes. A tooth with a crown will move just like a tooth with a simple filling. When teeth are missing, orthodontic treatment will aid in the alignment of the remaining teeth so that the space where the teeth are missing can be properly restored.
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28. Can I refer my family and friends? Absolutely. We are very grateful for expressing your confidence in our office by referring your friends and family. 
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