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Frequently Asked Questions

Some of the most frequently asked:

What is orthodontics?

Orthodontics or dentofacial orthopaedics is a branch of dentistry that focuses on the diagnosis, prevention, and correction of misplaced or poorly positioned teeth as well as facial abnormalities.

What is an orthodontist?

An orthodontist is a dental professional or specialist whose primary focus is to treat the malalignment of teeth and the bite. Their goal is to diagnose and treat malpositioned teeth and to improve the function of the bite. They develop custom treatment plans that are specific to each individual patient.

Why should I see an orthodontist?

Orthodontic treatment not only straightens your teeth, but it also promotes a well-functioning bite and healthy jaw joints. There are other reasons people consider orthodontic treatment for themselves and their family including: achieving a more confident smile and correcting teeth that are too spaced apart or too crowded, which often causes tooth decay and gum disease.

What is the best age to visit the orthodontist?

The Canadian Association of Orthodontists suggests that children should have their first visit around the age of 7. However, this is not a firm age, as some dentists may recommend a consultation earlier. It’s also important to note that braces and orthodontic treatment in general are not unique to children and teens. Orthodontic treatment can begin at any age, even into adulthood, depending on the patient’s individual needs.

How old is too old for treatment?

It is never too late to straighten your teeth and to improve your smile. Our team at North Okanagan Orthodontics even treat patients in their 80s!

Do I need to be referred by my dentist to have a consultation?

No, you do not, feel free to give us a call or send a message online and we will schedule you in for an initial consultation. Some of our patients are referred by their family dentist, but many are referred by friends or family and schedule a consultation themselves.

How do I know if I need treatment?

There are many reasons orthodontic treatment may be recommended. Most often it begins with wanting to straighten the teeth and to make the smile more beautiful and confident. At your initial consultation, our team including one of the doctors will evaluate your teeth and bite. Treatment is recommended when the bite is misaligned and does not allow the teeth to come together in a position that is healthy for the teeth, gums, and bones that support the teeth. If there are signs of damage to the teeth, gums, jaw joints, and bone that is related to the bite or if there is pain and difficulty on chewing then orthodontic treatment is definitely warranted.

Will teeth straighten as they grow in or over time?

Unfortunately, in most people after the permanent molars erupt, the space available for the front teeth does not increase. The opposite typically occurs in which the space available decreases with age and crookedness of the teeth worsens over time. Sometimes it is important and beneficial to provide treatment before jaw growth has slowed, or these problems may become more complex and require surgery or extraction of teeth to resolve.

Will I need teeth removed for treatment?

Every individual is different, and so is their ideal treatment plan to achieve the best results. Removing teeth is sometimes required to achieve the best possible orthodontic result. An aesthetic smile and a balanced facial profile are the goals of orthodontic treatment. We try to avoid extractions of teeth if it provides great results, but in some cases it is the most appropriate option.

How long will I be in treatment for?

The length of time in treatment varies depending on each individual patient and complexity of the orthodontic problem. Typically, treatment can last anywhere from six to thirty months. Our doctors will ensure to inform you on what would be the most efficient treatment plan that would yield the best results. We are confident to say that most of our patients are done within or before the estimated completion date.

How often will I have my appointments?

In general we see patients every 6-8 weeks but this can vary based on what stage of treatment you are in. Often at the initial stages, time between visits are longer and at the final stages the time between visits may be shorter. Patients who work or go to school out of town greatly benefit from clear aligner treatment with Invisalign as treatment progress can be monitored virtually.

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

Absolutely. The most important part of orthodontic treatment is to maintain excellent oral health and oral hygiene. Visiting your dentist for regular checkups and cleanings are essential.

Do you direct bill my insurance?

We do not direct bill your insurance provider, however, our experienced team will assist you in every step to make the process as easy and seamless as possible.

Do you have payment plans?

The team at North Okanagan Orthodontics will work closely with you to determine the best treatment for you while keeping your budget in mind. We offer interest-free payment plans. For your convenience, we provide payment plan options tailored to your treatment time. We accept monthly payments in many forms. Please consult with our team and we will be happy to discuss which payment option is best suited for you.

Our most frequently asked questions about braces.

Our most frequently asked questions about Invisalign clear aligners.

New Patient? Book A Consultation

North Okanagan Orthodontics
#300 - 3126 31st Ave
Vernon, BC
T: (250) 542-4118
F: (250) 542-4652
Operating Hours: 8:30am to 5:00pm