Common
questions

Below are some of the most frequently asked questions about the practice.

What is Orthodontics

Orthodontics is the branch of dentistry that specializes in the diagnosis, prevention and treatment of dental and facial irregularities. The technical term for these problems is “malocclusion,” which means bad bite. The practice of orthodontics requires professional skill in the design, application and control of corrective appliances (such as braces or Invisalign) to bring teeth, lips and jaws into proper alignment, thus achieving facial balance.

What is an Orthodontist?

An orthodontist is a dental specialist in the diagnosis, prevention and treatment of dental and facial irregularities. Dr. Lacoursière completed a 4 year Bachelor of Science degree in Anatomy and Cell Biology at the University of Saskatchewan. He then continued his university experience in Saskatoon to complete a 5 year Doctor of Dental Degree (with distinction). To become an Orthodontic Specialist, a dentist must then complete an additional two-to-three year residency program of advanced dental education in orthodontics recognized and accredited bMediciney the Canadian Dental Association (CDA).

Dr. Lacoursière holds a  3-year Masters degrees (thesis based) from the University of Alberta. Only dentists who have completed this advanced specialty education may be referred to as an orthodontist.

• Canadian Association of Orthodontists
• American Association of Orthodontists

What Causes Orthodontic Problems?

Most malocclusions are inherited, and some are acquired. Inherited problems include crowding of teeth, too much space between teeth, extra teeth, congenitally missing teeth and a wide range of differences between jaw growth and position, teeth and face. Acquired problems can be caused by trauma, thumb or finger sucking, airway obstruction by tonsils and adenoids, dental diseases and premature loss of baby or adult teeth. Many of these problems affect not only the alignment of the teeth, but facial development and appearance as well.

How Do I Know If My Child Needs Orthodontic Treatment?
It is usually difficult for you to determine whether treatment is necessary because many problems can occur even though the front teeth look straight. Some problems that look intimidating and complex may resolve on their own. Your general dentist is a good reference, but YOUR ORTHODONTIST IS YOUR BEST RESOURCE. Your initial exam is comprehensive and informative, and Dr. Lacoursière would be more than happy to see your child and make any recommendations necessary.
What are the Early Signs of Orthodontic Problems?

Although you may find it difficult to determine whether treatment is necessary, the following signs can help in prompting you to seek orthodontic advice:
– no spaces between any baby teeth;
– crowded or overlapping teeth;
– large gaps between the teeth;
– poor alignment of front top teeth with front bottom teeth;
– top front teeth that do not meet with the bottom front teeth;
– top front teeth that cover more than 50% of the bottom teeth.
If you see any misalignment or shifting of the jaw, your child may have a skeletal problem that could require early orthodontic treatment.

At What Age Should My Child See an Orthodontist?
Both the Canadian and American Associations of Orthodontists recommend that your child be evaluated by age 7. An orthodontic consult enables the orthodontist to detect and evaluate problems that exist, advise the parent on whether treatment will be necessary, and determine the best time for any treatment. Early detection of orthodontic problems is important so that early corrective action can be taken and more difficult treatment later can be avoided.
Can Adults Have Braces?
Absolutely! Age is not a factor in considering orthodontic treatment. Any adult in good general health with healthy gums and good bone support for the teeth is a good candidate for orthodontic treatment. About 25% of our orthodontic patients are adults, and that number is still growing!
Is Orthodontic Treatment Painful?

At Image Orthodontics, our doctors have chosen to use the latest technology that maximizes treatment efficiency. The braces used at Image Orthodontics are more comfortable, cleaner and use technology that significantly reduces irritation.

What are Phase I (Interceptive) and Phase II (Comprehensive) Treatments?
Phase I or Interceptive Treatmentusually starts around age 7 to 9, when the child has most of his or her baby teeth and a few permanent front incisors. The goal of Phase I treatment is to reduce the need for adult tooth extractions and/or surgery. These problems include skeletal discrepancies, crossbites, and severe crowding. Phase I treatment takes advantage of the early growth spurt and turns a difficult orthodontic problem into a more manageable one. This often helps reduce the need for extraction or surgery and delivers better long-term stability. Most Phase I patients require a second phase of treatment in order to achieve an ideal final bite.

Phase II treatment usually occurs a number of years later. Dr. Lacoursière will wait for the remaining permanent teeth to erupt, including second molars, before beginning Phase II. This most commonly occurs at the age of 12 or 13. The goal of Phase II treatment is to achieve an ideal bite with all of the permanent teeth.

Does Everyone Need Phase I Treatment?
Not every child needs Phase I treatment. Some children with certain bites will benefit from early interceptive treatment. It is important that every child be evaluated by age 7.
What is the Duration of Orthodontic Treatment?

Treatment length often varies between 6 to 30 months. Treatment time depends on the development of the dentition, severity of the problem(s), cooperation, and the treatment goals. Non-compliance with oral hygiene, elastics or appliance care usually leads to prolonged treatment time.

What is the Difference Between Extraction and Non-Extraction Therapies?

Our office’s treatment philosophy is very conservative and is focused on both dental and facial esthetics as well as long term stability. Dr. Lacoursière makes every effort to avoid extractions when possible. However, for severe crowding and severe jaw discrepancy, extraction(s) of specific teeth may be required.

Is Orthodontic Care Expensive?
Orthodontic treatment started at the proper time is less costly than treatment required to solve more serious problems that can develop years later. Orthodontic treatment is a valuable investment in your overall health and well being.

Please ask us about our treatment fees. All of our financial contracts come standard with an interest-free payment plan.

“ My passion for orthodontics is knowing that I have the ability to develop fantastic smiles for my patients that can help unleash their great potential. I consider myself very blessed to have been given the skills and education required to help change people’s lives."

Saskatoon Office

150-1820 McOrmond Drive Saskatoon, SK S7S 0A6

306-249-5300