Did you know that most orthodontic issues arise at an early age from seemingly unrelated problems such as allergies, enlarged tonsils, mouth breathing, jaw position, and tongue position? When such issues are corrected early, many young patients can completely avoid extensive orthodontic procedures in their adult life. This highlights the importance of scheduling orthodontic services at the recommendation of your dentist. 

In Medicine Hat, Park Meadows Dental offers both orthodontic and functional orthopedic appliances to help correct problems associated with the shape of your oral cavity. While orthodontics and orthopedics are often used interchangeably, there are key differences between the two. 

The difference between orthodontics vs orthopedics 

Orthodontics is an area of dentistry that addresses misaligned bites and mal-positioning of the teeth and jaw. Orthodontic appliances include braces or clear aligners to gradually move the teeth into the desired position. 

  • Traditional braces – The most common orthodontic treatment involves the use of wires, brackets, bands, and other parts.
  • Invisalign® A series of clear aligners that gradually straighten the teeth with no brackets or wires required.

Orthopedics are devices that may be a part of an overall orthodontic treatment plan. Functional orthopedics devices are typically the first step in treating crooked or misaligned teeth in children. Unlike orthodontic appliances, functional orthopedics are short-term and removable such as retainers or other devices that promote appropriate facial growth and jaw structure. 

Frequently asked questions

Am I eligible for functional orthopedic devices as an adult?

This depends on a case-by-case basis. While you may be eligible for functional orthopedics, these devices have a higher success rate in young children when the jaw and facial muscles are growing. They help promote the proper development of the jaw and aid in preventing orthodontic issues. In adults, jaw development is set and orthodontic treatments focus more on diagnosis and correction than prevention. 

Am I eligible for Invisalign® to correct my bite and teeth?

Invisalign® technology has improved over the years and more patients are now eligible to receive clear aligners for their orthodontic treatment. However, patients that need extensive orthodontic work and those with severe cases may not be eligible for Invisalign®. The best way to find out is to schedule an appointment with us at Park Meadows Dental where one of our qualified dentists can determine the best course of action for your specific situation.

Are orthodontic services and functional orthopedics covered by insurance?

In most cases, orthodontics and orthopedic treatments are covered by insurance in partial or full payments depending on your policy’s coverage limit. At Park Meadows Dental, your initial consultation will include details about the total cost of treatment. We offer 0% payment plans for treatments over $500 that can be spread over a period of 6-24 months and direct billing to insurance for your convenience. We strive to make dental services affordable and available to all of our patients. 

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