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Your First Visit

September 30th, 2019

Your First Visit

When you make the choice to pursue orthodontic treatment with Dream Orthodontics, it can be exciting. After all, improving your oral health and straightening your smile is a pretty big deal! But like any other big decision, it can also feel a little overwhelming. This is especially true if you don’t know much about orthodontics, or what to expect from the treatment process. 

Orthodontic treatment is one of the most important investments you can make for your health. We value the trust you’ve placed in our practice, and will always do our best to ensure that you always feel confident in the orthodontic process and your personalized treatment plan. We’re proud to provide top-quality orthodontic care to patients of all ages in our community, and that begins with your very first visit! Let’s take a look at what you can expect from this initial consultation, and what the next steps in your orthodontic journey could be. 

Your first visit with Dream Orthodontics

Your first visit to our South Surrey office is one of the most important appointments you’ll have, so we do our best to make it a positive and stress-free experience. This is our chance to meet and get to know each other a little better, as well as explore orthodontic options after an oral examination. Because we’re packing a lot into one appointment, it might last slightly longer than subsequent visits! We also take our time during this consultation so no one feels rushed.  

When you arrive, you’ll be greeted warmly and given a quick tour of our office to help you feel more comfortable and relaxed with your surroundings. We’ll then take some basic information from you before proceeding with the diagnostic records and exam.  

One reason this first visit is so important is because this is when Dr. Morra will determine if there any orthodontic issues present that require treatment. She will also assess whether that treatment should begin immediately, or if it would be better to wait until a later time. Part of this process involves taking photographs of the teeth in their present state. We may also do a set of panoramic x-rays. These images let us see what’s happening underneath the gums, like the position and growth of the bones and joints, along with any teeth that are still below the gum line.

After we get the images we need, Dr. Morra will perform a thorough examination. Besides looking in your mouth, she may also ask you a few questions, such as whether your jaws make any noise when the mouth is opening or closing, or if there are noticeable problems with chewing or swallowing. When taken together with the images and health information already collected, this exam will allow Dr. Morra to make a proper diagnosis and create a custom treatment plan.

Whether you're planning to begin treatment now or later, this appointment is the best time to discuss any questions or concerns you may have. You can expect us to discuss the following topics with you, but be sure to ask if there’s anything you don’t understand or are unsure about. 

  • Any oral issues you’re experiencing
  • If treatment is needed immediately
  • What treatment options are available to correct the problem
  • If any teeth will need to be removed
  • An estimate of how long we expect your treatment to take
  • The total investment required for treatment
  • Any payment or financing options we have available to you

We take an individualized approach to orthodontic care here at Dream Orthodontics. When creating a treatment plan for you, we will always take into account your specific needs, your lifestyle, and the goals you have in mind. This allows us to consistently produce superior results and a rewarding orthodontic experience for all of our patients.

Your First Visit

Investing in a straighter, healthier smile

Your consultation will include a breakdown of all applicable treatment fees. We will always ensure that you understand all the costs involved before any treatment begins!

Our practice is dedicated to providing patients of all ages with affordable, effective orthodontic care. We have a variety of payment options for every budget, and we’ll be happy to help you verify your ortho coverage and maximize any orthodontic insurance benefits you do have. 

The next steps in your orthodontic journey

Once your initial consultation is complete, we’ll schedule an appointment for you to receive your orthodontic appliance. After your appliance is placed or fitted, you’ll have  follow-up appointments with us every 4-8 weeks or so, depending on your particular treatment plan. During these visits, Dr. Morra will monitor the movement of your teeth, check that everything is progressing as it should be, and adjust your appliance if necessary.

Because these visits are an essential part of your orthodontic treatment, we encourage you to cancel or reschedule only if it’s absolutely necessary. We do our best to schedule appointments that are convenient for you, but we do understand that you may sometimes be running late or have to cancel unexpectedly. If this occurs, we ask that you simply let us know as soon as possible. We’ll be happy to accommodate you by rescheduling your appointment for another day to keep your treatment on track!

It is very important that you continue to visit your family dentist for regular check-ups during orthodontic treatment. If extra dental care is needed, we’re happy to coordinate with your family dentist to make sure that you are receiving the best care possible across the board.

Get the smile you’ve always wanted at Dream Orthodontics

Your smile is too important to trust to just anybody! Our expert team has many years of experience creating beautiful smiles for patients of all ages in South Surrey, White Rock, and the surrounding communities. Our innovative techniques and cutting-edge technology will give you the best results in the shortest amount of time possible, and you can trust us to provide the highest quality orthodontic care in a calm, relaxing environment. 

Would you like to learn more about how orthodontic treatment can benefit you or your family? Get in touch with us today to schedule your FREE consultation, and take the first step toward the healthy, beautiful smile you deserve!

All About Invisalign

August 28th, 2019

Modern orthodontics has seen some incredible advancements in both technology and technique the last several years, giving patients more treatment options than ever before. One of these options is Invisalign, a popular alternative to traditional braces that offers the same results without any brackets, wires, or bands. If you’re contemplating treatment with Dream Orthodontics, but want to avoid the appearance of braces and keep your normal routine intact throughout the process, Invisalign could be a great choice for you! But what exactly is Invisalign? How does it work? For more information on this innovative system, keep reading below!

What is Invisalign?

Unlike braces, which are a fixed appliance, the Invisalign system uses a series of removable clear plastic trays to gently move the teeth into a straighter smile over time. The design is deceptively simple; the trays are made of a special thermoplastic resin that’s strong enough to correct a variety of orthodontic issues. To achieve this, the customized aligners are switched out at regular intervals throughout the treatment process.

How does Invisalign work?

The first step in your orthodontic journey will be an initial consultation with Dr. Morra in our South Surrey office. During this appointment, she will thoroughly examine your mouth, discuss any orthodontic needs, and let you know if your smile is a good fit for Invisalign. We can then begin mapping out a precise treatment plan for you based on a highly detailed 3D scan of your teeth and gums. This plan will include the exact movements we want your teeth to make while you’re in aligners. It also gives us an indication of how long your treatment is likely to take.

Once your plan is in place, we’ll begin custom designing your aligners using the 3D scan and Invisalign’s special SmartTrack® material. SmartTrack® is durable, comfortable, and virtually invisible! Although the total number of aligners needed will vary from patient to patient, the average is usually somewhere between 10 and 48. The total treatment time also varies from about 6-18 months.

As we mentioned briefly above, traditional braces are a fixed orthodontic appliance. In contrast, Invisalign aligners are removable, so patient compliance is necessary for the treatment to work properly. In order to maximize the effectiveness of your aligners, you’ll be instructed to wear them for 20-22 hours every day, throughout the course of treatment. Depending on your specific treatment plan, you’ll also switch to a new set of aligners every 1-2 weeks. We’ll schedule regular check-ups for you approximately every 6-8 weeks, so Dr. Morra can check the movement of your teeth and ensure everything is proceeding as it should. 

What are the benefits of Invisalign treatment?

The benefits of Invisalign go beyond comfort and invisibility! Food restrictions can be one of the biggest learning curves for braces patients. To protect the wires and brackets, they must steer clear of anything too chewy or crunchy until treatment is complete. That means avoiding things like whole apples and carrots, popcorn and most chips, and lots of different candy, too. While it’s definitely worth the effort in the end, it can be a bit frustrating at times. Invisalign aligners, however, are designed to be removed when you eat or drink anything other than water, so all your favorite foods are still on the table!

Removable aligners can also make it easier to care for your teeth and gums throughout treatment. Oral hygiene is especially important when you’re an orthodontic patient, but the wires, brackets, and bands that come with traditional braces can make proper brushing and flossing difficult and time-consuming. With Invisalign, aligners are simply taken out before brushing and flossing. Cleaning them couldn’t be easier, either. There are special kits designed to clean Invisalign aligners, or you can gently clean them using denture crystals and a soft toothbrush.

Removable aligners are also useful for those who play contact sports (the aligners can be removed and replaced with a regular or orthodontic mouthguard) and musicians (no wires or brackets to get in the way.) They’re also perfect for special occasions where you want your natural smile to shine through, such as weddings, prom, and senior pictures.  

Invisalign aligners

Who is a good candidate for Invisalign?

In general, we recommend Invisalign for teen and adult patients who have mild to moderate orthodontic issues. Cases that are complex or severe may require more precise tooth control than a removable aligner is able to achieve. During your free consultation with us, Dr. Morra will be able to determine if Invisalign is a good fit for you or your child. If she feels that a more traditional treatment method would be better for your smile, that will be recommended to you instead. We only endorse the treatment we feel will give you the best results based on your unique smile!

What happens once Invisalign treatment is complete?

Even after orthodontic treatment of any kind, the teeth will retain memories of their previous place in the mouth. Over time, there’s a natural tendency for them to drift back to their original positions. Wearing a retainer regularly will prevent this drifting and help maintain your newly straightened smile! Once your Invisalign treatment is complete, we’ll provide you with a retainer. To keep your smile in place, you should always wear it exactly as directed by Dr. Morra.

Find your best smile with Invisalign and Dream Orthodontics

As an alternative to traditional braces, Invisalign continues to gain popularity and change the way people view orthodontic treatment every day! If you’re interested in learning more about the Invisalign clear aligner system and what it can do for you, contact us today to schedule a FREE consultation with our expert team. We’re here to help you find your very best smile!

Why Your Child Should See An Orthodontist By Age 7

July 20th, 2019

Young girl with braces

It’s not uncommon for people to associate orthodontics with teens in traditional braces. This is a pretty persistent stereotype, even though patients of all ages can benefit from orthodontic treatment, including children. In fact, the American Association of Orthodontists recommends all children have their first orthodontic evaluation by around the age of 7! Because most kids this age still have some baby teeth left, as well as a developing mouth, you may wonder why we encourage a visit to the orthodontist so early. It’s all part of the preventative care approach we take to oral health here at Dream Orthodontics! 

When you schedule an appointment for your young child with Dr. Morra, it will give her the chance to examine their mouth for any existing or potential orthodontic issues before they have the chance to become more serious. This helps to reduce the risk of those problems having a negative impact on your child’s future permanent teeth and bite.

We treat a number of younger patients in our practice, so we’ve had the opportunity to observe firsthand how starting treatment at the right time can make a positive difference to a child’s overall oral health. If you have a child ready for their first orthodontic appointment, we’d love to schedule a Free consultation for them so we can take a look at how their mouth is developing! To learn more about some of the things our team will be checking for during this initial evaluation, keep reading below.

Tooth loss and eruption

It’s tempting to think that baby teeth don’t really matter since they eventually fall out anyway, but these primary teeth are actually placeholders for our permanent teeth. That means where they’re located and when they are lost matters more than you might think. They also tend to fall out in a fairly specific order, so any significant deviation from that pattern may signify a developmental issue that could need further attention from Dr. Morra.

At this stage in their dental development, most children will have at least four permanent molars and up to four permanent incisors. Any more or less than this could indicate a problem with missing, crowding, or extra teeth. When this occurs, we may choose to remove a primary tooth early. In others, simply maintaining a space where a tooth has been lost prematurely may be sufficient to keep the neighboring teeth from crowding it.

Crowding and spacing

Spacing issues can show up when a tooth is lost prematurely, where one has never developed, or with teeth that are too small or spaced too far apart. If crowding is the problem, it can often be corrected by expanding the arches or removing certain teeth. An experienced orthodontist like Dr. Morra will generally be able to tell relatively early in a child’s life if they’re experiencing problems with excessive crowding or spacing of their teeth, or if these seem like problems that may develop later on in life.

Misalignment

Crooked teeth have more than just a cosmetic impact. They are also more difficult to clean effectively, and more susceptible to uneven damage and wear. If left untreated, misalignment can compromise the surrounding gum tissue, affecting the shape and position of it. While we’re able to align teeth at almost any age, getting a head start on this can help prevent some of that damage in children, giving them a great shot at developing and maintaining a healthy smile throughout their lives.

Overbite (protrusive front teeth)

Front teeth that protrude can be a cosmetic concern, but they may also cause pain in the jaw, and can even affect normal speech patterns, too. Although we will sometimes need to wait until your child’s mouth has finished growing before permanently correcting an overbite, there are still a number of things we can do in the meantime to help reduce the risk of pain and traumatic injury.

Underbite

Most underbites we see are caused by problems with either the teeth or the jaw. The most difficult scenario involves the lower jaw growing too far forward. In a difficult case like this, we will typically need to wait until the patient has finished growing to begin their treatment. This is usually somewhere in their mid- to late-teens. However, early treatment still has an important role to play here by helping patients avoid any bite-shifting or damage to the front teeth. In addition, underbite patients who receive early treatment between the ages of 7-10 or so are less likely to need jaw surgery when they get older.

Posterior Crossbite

A posterior crossbite can lead to crowding, and may also cause the jaw to shift from one side to the other. Expanding the upper jaw in earlier childhood may allow us to reduce crowding and create space for the front teeth to come through uninterrupted. Expansion can also eliminate any shifting that may be present due to a constricted upper jaw.

Anterior Open Bites and Deep Bites

When a child has a deep bite, the top teeth can completely cover the bottom ones when biting, possibly indicating a small lower jaw. In an open bite, the overall bite doesn’t overlap enough. This is often caused by poor oral habits, including extended finger or thumb sucking. If this is a problem with your child, we’re happy to work with you to eliminate any destructive habits early on, allowing their oral development to continue normally.

Young boys smiling with braces

Give your child the gift of a healthy smile with an early evaluation from Dream Orthodontics

When you know a little more about the potential issues younger patients can face, it’s easy to see why early orthodontic evaluations are an important part of maintaining your child’s oral health! Timing the key factor, since a child’s jaw bones continue to harden as they get older, and will eventually stop growing. Any orthodontic procedures needed after that point will often take more time and be more invasive, such as tooth extractions or oral surgery.

Having your young child examined by an experienced orthodontist like Dr. Morra can help prevent the need for orthodontics as an adult. It can even make comprehensive orthodontic treatment faster and more efficient! If you have a child around 7 years of age who’s ready for their first orthodontic appointment, get in touch with us today to schedule a FREE exam. This is the perfect time to take the first step towards your child’s best smile!

myths and misconceptions about orthodontics

May 8th, 2019

While everyone understands that a dentist takes care of teeth, not everyone is aware of what an orthodontist does. This confusion sometimes leads to misunderstandings about what our practice does for our patients and how exactly we can help them. Let’s take a closer look at a couple of the myths and misconceptions about orthodontics.

Perhaps the biggest misconception about the orthodontist is that we’re just like your family dentist. The truth is, we are actually very different. Orthodontists go to school for additional years to specialize in the movement of teeth!

While it’s true that both orthodontists and dentists care about helping you enjoy a lifetime of good dental and oral health, we go about achieving this goal in different ways. For instance, if you need to have a cavity filled, you won’t make an appointment to see us. Dentists are the health professionals to see if you’re concerned about a cavity or need a filling. Actually for any sort of restorative procedure, including crowns, bridges or veneers, a dentist is the correct professional to see. A dentist can also treat gum disease, tooth decay, toothaches, and other common oral health problems.

People see an orthodontist for very particular services. Most of the patients we see on a daily basis are here because they have braces, or they need to be fitted with braces or another form of tooth-straightening device. In other words, they consult an orthodontist when they are concerned about the alignment of their teeth. Correcting misaligned teeth not only results in the important esthetic benefit for a beautiful smile, but as importantly allows your teeth and gums to remain healthy as your bite is properly balanced, and you can more easily care for your smile. As a child grows up, his or her teeth may grow in crooked or have gaps between teeth. This can happen for a number of reasons, so it’s important for an orthodontist to take a look at a child’s teeth at about seven years of age. At that age, it’s possible to detect any problems that have not become too advanced and more easily treat those. Your family dentist may also refer your child to an orthodontist once the adult teeth have fully grown in.

Another common misconception about orthodontists is that we only treat children. It’s true that when you visit an orthodontic clinic you’re apt to see a lot of young kids, but you’ll also see teenagers, college students, and adults. Because crooked teeth can be caused by a number of different factors, it’s entirely possible for someone to require or proceed with orthodontic treatment at any age.

If you want to know more about the practice of orthodontics or what Dr. Amani Morra can do for you, we invite you to simply ask us.

It’s best to get answers to your specific questions directly from the person who will be treating you. While you’re sure to find Internet resources helpful, there really is no substitute for the personal attention you’ll get during your appointment at our practice.

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