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Who offers this?

Q: Do you have to see a Specialist to get 'Shorter-term' Orthodontics?

A: Any orthodontic provider can provide alternative orthodontic treatment which may offer shorter treatment times. If you prefer a general dentist (Dr. Michael Zuk) in Red Deer is licensed to use the High Speed Braces trademark and if you live closer to Calgary you could visit Dr. Dwayne Kowalchuk (general dentist).

The more complex the orthodontic condition, the higher the chance you will be referred to an orthodontic specialist. Only orthodontic specialists can use the term 'orthodontist' but sometimes general dentists use the term and in Alberta this is a violation.

Orthodontists are offering assorted choices that include shorter-term orthodontics for patients who desire this alternative to conventional treatment. Dr. Michael Zuk is a general dentist who makes orthodontic treatment time a priority but cannot guarantee a specific treatment estimate. While he was the first in Red Deer to focus his advertising on this style of treatment in 2005, there are now many dental professionals advertising different ways to reduce treatment time.

In 2017 the Alberta dental authority stated advertising of this brand was a violation of the advertising rules - this is currently being appealed to court and an update will be posted on this website. Dr. Zuk argues that the dental authority unfairly chose to target and push for a ban on this trademark while neglecting changes in the profession that recognize the benefits of shorter term orthodontics and the fact that long list of other brands related to reducing orthodontic treatment time are currently in use across North America. Dr. Zuk continues to practice while fighting a suspension for this alleged advertising violation. He has reduced his orthodontic practice to make room for his son who graduates summer of 2017 and now only accepts occasional new patients.

The ADA&C authority admitted that Dr. Zuk has never advertised as being an orthodontist (but recently an Alberta general dentist was found to be doing this, and a response from the dental authority who polices the use of words and phrases by dentists is expected). The authority's concern was some terminology (words) implied that he was, but an extensive investigation failed to find one incident. That didn't stop the ADA&C lawyers from pushing for the most extreme advertising punishment in the history of dentistry. Could it be that Dr. Zuk, while on council, shared his concerns about the complaint system and recommended significant changes that could have affected the people in these positions? Certainly Alberta stands out in its level of punishment for dental advertising infractions, which would be perfectly acceptable in other parts of North America.

Now the question is how will the dental authority respond to evidence of a general dentist actually advertising blatantly with the term 'orthodontist'? Technically the word can be considered a dentist who straightens (ortho) teeth...which can be true. In the USA, courts have overruled the restrictions on the use of the word 'specialist' which can simply imply an area of focus or experience.

Confused yet? A person could think that even if they saw a specialist, the treatment would be equal to every other specialist. Even this is not the case and your choice of specialist is also important. Choosing one recommended by your general/family dentist may be an idea since it is important the specialist and the dentist be compatible.

Apparently times are changing, since at one time a former president of the Canadian orthodontic society stated 'it isn't possible to fool nature' (to make teeth move faster) -reporting a competitor with an 87-page complaint - and now a provincial society of orthodontists that also filed a complaint has a webpage titled 'Accelerated Orthodontic Treatment' and previously stated they can offer 'limited treatment' (which is one version of shorter term orthodontics) as well. 

"While there are some gimmicks sold to dentists that claim to speed tooth movement (some studies are inconclusive), the one system that seems to have the highest potential to provide this benefit involves a minor surgical procedure that seems to increase the speed of tooth movement by up to 50%. We are not allowed to say faster treatment is superior, but many people would prefer to have braces on for a shorter period of time. Studies in the orthodontic journals suggest reducing treatment time lowers the risk of decay, gum disease and root damage -but these problems can still occur even with short treatment times."
- Michael Zuk DDS (General Dentist)

Dr. Zuk refers to orthodontic specialists including Dr. Vick Cheba when conditions are outside his area of skills. He is currently lobbying the Health Minister and ADA&C for relaxing the restrictions on rules that ban the use of 'before & after treatment' photographs, advertising free consultations and testimonials.

Q: Can Specialists provide 'shorter-term orthodontics' and why is it not mentioned very often?

A: The Orthodontic Society of Alberta recently acknowledged in a public statement that orthodontic specialists are also able to provide shorter-term orthodontics which has been popularized by several programs primarily advertised by general dentists under various tradenames. Treatment time is not always a priority for both the practitioner and the patient, but in an independent survey of orthodontic websites it was discovered that about 75% mention some method employed to increase the efficiency/speed of treatment. There is growing awareness that shortening the treatment time may provide a reduced risk of complications from orthodontics and this has been confirmed by an expert associated with the Alberta Dental Association & College.


Orthodontic specialists often advertise various ways they reduce treatment time. Some examples include:
  • Choice of brackets/wires
  • Certain procedures which may speed treatment
  • Limited treatment vs comprehensive/surgical
  • Devices that may reduce treatment time
The list of orthodontic specialists in Red Deer that may offer quick treatment includes:

1) Dr. 'Vick' Cheba - offers several types of braces and clear aligner - and several ways to speed orthodontic movement
2) Dr. Saleh Al-Daghreer -advertises 'Wilkodontics' with claims of moving teeth 4x faster (link attached mentions other ways that may reduce treatment time by 20-30%).
3) Dr. Ryan Edwards
4) Dr. Ivan Hucal 
5) Most orthodontists offer various 'quick' alternatives to traditional orthodontics.
 

Note: General Dentists are licensed to provide orthodontic treatment in Alberta and many offices provide treatment for their patients, referring to a specialist when necessary. On average the fees for the same treatment may be slightly lower at a general dentist's office but patients are encouraged to get at least two estimates for the service to compare. Specialists are typically able to provide more 'ideal' results based on the treatment standards they learn with extended training. One form of short term treatment is 'limited orthodontics' which uses a non-conventional standard based on improving some significant cosmetic concerns.




This article (shown above under #8 from the American Journal of Orthodontics August 2015) 
explains how many adults are more interested in limited orthodontic treatment that improves the appearance of the front teeth.


This article also discusses the problem with treating patients with TMJ problems (called TMD by dentists). It is usually best to have a troublesome jaw joint treated separately and prior to any orthodontic treatment. As recommended in the article, there are professionals that concentrate on this type of care. 



Information in Spanish about High Speed Braces(TM) 
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