Question & Answer with DR. Fong
Question: Why did you choose orthodontics as your major interest in your practice?
Dr. Fong: Ever since I was a teenager, I was fascinated by people's smile and what a difference it could make on a first impression. For that reason, I choose dentistry as my career when I was finishing high school. During my dental school years, I was quite captured by cosmetic dentistry and the technical aspect of the profession. After graduation, I practice general dentistry and provided every aspect of its service to the community. I maintain my interest in cosmetics and eventually came to realize that orthodontistry is a major part which helps orchestrate a perfect smile. Crowns and veneers can certainly improve the appearance of a damaged tooth but orthodontics will create the symmetry and the perfect alignment of a beautiful smile.
Question; How do patients find you?
Answer; My patients come to my practice in many ways. The majority of them through referrals from other patients that are happy and satisfied with my service. I also get referrals from fellow dentists whom I strictly provide orthodontic treatment and the patients are sent back to their office for their routine treatment. My other source of referrals come from the Invisalign website, newspapers advertisements and Google search engine.
Question; Why do you prefer Invisalign over conventional braces?
Answer; To me, Invisalign is like 'the best thing since slice bread" it's technology and simplicity has revolutionized how orthodontic treatment is done. Most of all, this service can be done by a general dentist like myself with great success. I do have an extensive background in conventional orthodontics and in my practice we do almost 50% of each type of service. I still prefer conventional braces for early teens and severe jaw development such as functional Orthodontics. Otherwise Invisalign wins hands down when it comes to the pros and cons.
Question; What do patients expect if they have a consultation with you?
Answer; My consultations are free of charge and I spend a good 15 minutes with each patient if they are sincerely interested. I review the patient's main concerns, goals and their expectations. Upon examination with X-rays, I would explain to the patient why they have their problems, the cause of it and what they can expect as a final outcome. I would also give them an approximate price and how long it would take for the treatment to be completed. I show them a sample of how the treatment is done with one of the 1000 plus treatments that I have done. I also show some before and after results of a case similar to theirs from my website InvisalignResults.ca which contain 400+ before and after treatment of my patients.
Question; Is it true that patients treated with Invisalign will have their teeth go back to the way they were?
Answer; It's a complete myth. Regardless of how teeth are aligned, relapse is strictly due to patients being uninformed as to how they have to maintain their teeth. I tell my patients if they want straight teeth for life, they have to wear a retainer for life.
Question; Can you go over what the patient can expect from their first appointment to the last appointment?
Answer; Yes, I am more than happy to explain each and every appointment that my Invisalign patients attend to. Appointment one; patient comes in for their record and scanning appointment. All general dentistry including fillings and cleaning has to be done prior to this appointment. The scanning is done with the most advanced scanner, Itero that will instantly produce a simulated final outcome of what the patient's smile will look like. The goals are determined with the patient and my instructions along with the scan is sent through the Internet to Invisalign headquarters. The second appointment, a week later, I will review the Invisalign's proposed treatment, the amount of time to complete their treatment and the final outcome of their perfect smile. The third appointment, two weeks later, the patient will get their first two Invisalign trays. All the instructions are given to the patient with a handout plus a YouTube video link that describes this appointment in more detail. Generally, the patient will wear the trays for one week each. The fourth appointment, patient will receive the next 6 to 8 Invisalign trays and they will come back for more trays once they have finished the trays that have been given to them. During each visit, the patient's progress is monitoredand compared with what the movements should have been. The number of visits will be based on how many total trays the patient have and in general they are seen every 6 to 8 weeks. Average treatment time is one year. On their last visit, retainer trays will be given to the patient with proper instructions to guarantee a successful and long lasting smile. Question; What about the gooey stuff that famous for taking impressions? Answer; We have done away with that by incorporating a scanning system that allows us to send information digitally to Invisalign's headquarter located in Southern California. It cuts down the process time by one week and the information is much more accurate.
Question; Do you have any failures?
Answer; Yes, of course, the biggest reason for failure is patient compliance. Patients that don't follow our rules and do not wear their trays accordingly is certainly the recipe for failure. Over the years, I have been able to figure out these patients and successfully resolve these issues. I do have cases where we switch to conventional braces so we may have better control over their treatment.
Question; Have any patients ever quit?
Answer; rarely but we did have one patient in which his pain tolerance and his manual dexterity prevented him from wearing Invisalign trays properly. I switched the patient to conventional braces and everything went very well after that.
Question; Does your office provide any adjunctive services to speed up the orthodontic treatment?
Answer; Yes, we used 2 additional adjunctive services, Acceledent and Propel. Acceledent, is a plastic device that is used for 20 minutes a day which creating gentle micro pulse that speeds up the remodeling of bone tissue for faster and safer tooth movements. Propel is a technique in which small micro bone perforation is made in areas near the teeth that are expected to have difficulty in moving. It creates an inflammatory reaction in the area which helps the teeth movements.
Q; Where do you see in Invisalign 10 years from now?
A; Invisalign is a phenomenal product. I've seen similar companies coming and go and nothing can compare with Invisalign’s standards. During the last 13 years since I've been providing Invisalign it has progressed so much and with their R & D department, they have continued to evolve to a level of its own. As well, Invisalign has really helped the general dentist, get involved with orthodontics. I'm doing my part with my courses and study club that I present to the general dentists here in Ottawa..