Thursday, December 24, 2009

Markham Orthodontist and Team Contribute to Markham Food Bank

As a part of the holiday season, your Markham braces and Richmond Hill Invisalign orthodontist asked TeamMCO to contribute to our holiday food drive. Many of you decided to bring in non-perishable food items, as well as toys, in exchange for TeamMCO VIP points. A week before Christmas, we dropped off several bags of food to the Markham Food Bank near Markham Road and Highway 7. Thank you to all of our patients and families who helped contribute to those less fortunate in our wonderful community of Markham.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Happy Holidays from TeamMCO!

Thanks for making us the choice for Markham braces and Richmond Hill Invisalign this decade. All the best for a healthy and happy holiday season. We look forward to continuing to serving the community for decades to come!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Toronto Damon Braces and Richmond Hill Self-Ligating Braces... What does the evidence say?

Markham Invisalign and Unionville braces patients know MCO to be a high-tech, modern clinic offering exceptional patient care. New patients often ask us about the types of braces used to correct improper alignment and bites. In the last several years, many orthodontic companies have pushed self-ligating (SL) brackets including Damon braces, SmartClip Speed, and Innovation R. Patients have referred to them as “braces that don’t require extraction” or “new technology braces” or “painless braces”. These braces do not require an elastic tie to secure the wire as there is generally some sort of sliding door mechanism. The manufacturers make several claims as pulled directly from their websites:

  • Straighten teeth faster due to reduced friction
  • More comfortable/painless treatment
  • Reduce the number of tooth extractions
  • Reduce the number of visits
  • Reduced amount of root resorption

Here are some of the common questions we hear about these braces...

Are self-ligating or Damon braces better than traditional braces?

Do Damon Braces or Self-Ligating braces work faster?

Are Damon Braces or Self-Ligating braces pain-free?

In 2008, Miles published a paper in one of the most highly respected orthodontic journals, Angle Orthodontics, confirming Kusy’s findings in the late 90s, describing friction in conventional vs SL braces. He noted that the friction of the wire against the corners of the brace (2nd order friction for those physicists and engineers out there!) was the major factor in the speed of tooth movement rather than the force of the elastic against the wire. This property is present in every brace. He was unable to validate manufacturer’s conclusions that SL braces move teeth faster.

This year, in 2009, Fleming also published in the same journal. He wrote that “clinical trial data do not support the contention that treatment time is reduced with SL brackets”. He went on to say that, in fact, there may be a greater number of visits due to a greater number of wire changes required. Patients complained of greater discomfort at their visits from the increased pressure required to open and close SL bracket doors. Speed of tooth movement is independent on bracket type and there is no difference in the amount of root resorption. Braces themselves do not hurt, as evidenced by no pain during the time braces are being put on. It is the mobilization of teeth that causes the teeth to be sensitive, and no brace thus far, has been able to change this biological process.

Do Damon Braces or Self-Ligating braces reduce the need for extraction?

The debate of extraction versus non-extraction is extremely controversial. The bottom line is that extractions can be of benefit in certain situations. There are limits as to the amount of jaw expansion that will remain relatively stable and healthy with respect to the gum and bone structure. Various studies have shown that bone does not regenerate around the teeth, despite using Damon braces, as the company asserts. Sometimes, extractions will improve the profile, as in individuals who cannot close their lips without strain, or who have a protrusive profile. Extractions do not need to mean dished in faces. With proper orthodontic movement, the right amount of retraction of anterior teeth, and protraction of posterior teeth will yield excellent results.

So why are many orthodontists offering Damon braces and SL braces?

The amount of chair time may be reduced for the person changing your wire to flip a door closed rather than ask you what coloured elastics you would like followed by securing them to each individual brace. Also, in our ever-demanding consumer world, who wouldn’t go and see the orthodontist who claims to offer painless, faster treatment? Orthodontic suppliers are providing all of this marketing, the general public has adopted their claims, therefore driving up business. Unfortunately, the orthodontic literature shows there is no advantage, and in some cases there are disadvantages, in using SL brackets. As a profession, orthodontists must remember that we are business, but first and foremost, a health care industry based upon science.

So what's the bottom-line?

Despite the aesthetic nature of orthodontics, it is important that health care treatment be evidence-based. In other words, scientific studies should confirm any claims made. There is a significant amount of physics and biology behind the way your teeth move. At Markham Centre Orthodontics, our team strives to stay up to date on the most advance technologies in order to provide the best care possible. We have chosen not to use Damon braces or self-ligating braces since most modern day braces work the same and they can all produce excellent results. The experience and skill of your orthodontist and their team will be the factors that make the difference.

Toronto and Markham braces patients deserve the most scientific, aesthetic, comfortable, cost-effective, and shortest treatment possible. A lot of our patients enjoy the fun of choosing colours to match their schools, teams, and holidays. At Markham Centre Orthodontics, whether it is braces or Invisalign, rest assured that you will receive the most up-to-date, scientifically-based treatment around. Factor in world-class customer service in a contemporary, comfortable environment, and you’ll discover why we are the secret behind some of Markham’s best smiles. Click here if you would like to book your complimentary examination with us today.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Markham Invisalign and Richmond Hill Invisalign Teen Day a Great Success!

It seems like a lot of people out there are getting the message that we are one of the top Greater Toronto Invisalign practices, with a reasonable cost of Invisalign, excellent results, and fantastic service. Markham Centre Orthodontics always works to provide the best treatment possible, and in this case, straight teeth with invisible braces :). Remember that Invisalign is a technique, not a product, so not all Invisalign certified doctors are the same.

On November 19th, Markham Centre Orthodontics hosted Invisalign Day, a day with special promos for those interested in Invisalign and Invisalign Teen. We had a full schedule of consultations and tried to accommodate the walk-ins as well. Ages ranged between 12 to 72 coming locally from Markham, Unionville, as well as Toronto. Our office has far exceeded the annual Invisalign proficiency requirements, but we would have met these numbers on Invisalign Day alone!

Click here if you would like to schedule your complimentary orthodontic assessment and get on your way to a beautiful, straight smile!

Monday, November 9, 2009

Markham Braces Holiday Food Drive and Candy Cane Contest

Your Markham braces orthodontist encourages TeamMCO to bring in 1-2 non-perishable food items for our holiday food drive. At this time of year it is important to remember those less forunate than ourselves. To encourage you, we will be giving out 5-10 TeamMCO points to those who wish to contribute.

Also, at your next visit, make sure you swing by the front desk and count the candy canes. Closest guess wins. Good luck!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Invisalign Braces in Toronto... Dr. Tam Lectures at George Brown College

Successful before and after Invisalign braces in Richmond Hill requires an experienced doctor and a well-trained team. Invisalign is not magic and should not be viewed as a product. It is simply another orthodontic technique to move teeth, just like braces or other appliances. Our patients at Markham Centre Orthodontics benefit from a highly knowledgeable team, including a few who have had Invisalign treatment themselves!

Saturday, it was Dr. Tam's turn to provide a lecture on Invisalign as a part of the dental hygiene orthodontic module at George Brown College. Dental hygienists from all over Ontario came for this informative session, learning tips from a high quality and high volume Invisalign practice. Dr. Tam also provided a hands on demo on impression taking.

If you're looking for braces or Invisalign treatment in the 905 area, look to your Markham Invisalign orthodontist. Send us an email to book your complimentary assessment today!

Monday, October 26, 2009

Richmond Hill Braces Orthodontist Answers: Do I/ How long do I need retainers?

Your Markham braces specialist answers another common question about retainers.

Question: How long do I need to wear my retainer?

Answer: As long as you want your teeth to stay straight :).

Scientific articles published in the "American Journal of Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopedics" show an enormous variation in how long you need to wear your retainers. These articles indicate that there is no way to predict how teeth may move without retainers. About half of the undesired tooth movement takes place in the first two years after you stop wearing your retainer.

The literature has conflicting information on the influence on wisdom teeth on crowding of teeth. Generally, orthodontists do not believe that wisdom teeth will be the cause or sole cause of malalignment after treatment. Still, it is generally recommended to have wisdom teeth taken out, as we have more than enough teeth for proper function, and this minimizes the possibility of complications from partially impacted teeth, such as acute gum infections, pain, and swelling.

Some crowding of the lower front teeth may be part of the natural aging process similar to greying hair and wrinkled skin. There are still pressures on the teeth after treatment, such as food, the tongue, grinding, and muscle tone. Unfortunately, everything in the world has a tendency towards disorder. Teeth are not an exception. As such, the only way to ensure continued satisfactory alignment is by the use of retainers to some degree, for life.

When it comes time to take braces off, our team of orthodontic professionals will discuss various retainer options with you. Generally, we place a fixed lingual retainer in the lower arch, and provide a removable retainer for the upper jaw. We also offer essix (clear-style mouthguard) retainers. Each option has its inherent and disadvantages, and we will try to find the options that best suit your individual situation.

Our Markham braces patients start off on a full time schedule of wearing retainers for the first few months. They then taper wear down about an hour per month until wearing aligners only at night. We advise our patients to wear retainers to sleep indefinitely. Many of our patients become accustomed to wearing retainers and feel that it is awkward if they go to bed without them! Let it be known that those who maintain straight teeth have a secret... they still wear their retainer!

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Thursday, October 8, 2009

Invisalign Day at Markham Centre Orthodontics

Dr. Tam and the team at Markham Centre Orthodontics, your Premier Provider of Invisalign in Markham, Richmond Hill, Scarborough, Toronto, Stouffville, Pickering, Ajax, Thornhill and North York present:

Invisalign Day at Markham Centre Orthodontics

Thursday, November 19th, 2009 from 1PM-6:00PM

**Special Promotions**

-Complimentary exam

-$380 discounted from your treatment fee

-Complimentary whitening to first 20 new Invisalign patients

Ever thought about straight teeth without traditional braces? Now is your chance to take advantage of this limited offer with one of Greater Toronto's top Invisalign Offices. Call us at 905-477-7750 to reserve your visit as appointments are limited!

Note that this day is for those who wish to start treatment on this day. We ask that you confirm your insurance coverage prior this visit. Should you wish to find out more information, please visit our website or schedule a consultation with us before November 19th.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Toronto Invisalign Braces Specialist Provides Trip Report from Costa Rica Study Club

Outside Align Technologies in Costa Rica

At Markham Centre Orthodontics, we strive to be at the forefront of all aspects of care for our patients. As a Premier Provider of Richmond Hill Invisalign braces and Markham Invisalign Teen, Dr. Tam was fortunate to be invited to attend the Invisalign Study Club in Costa Rica for Top Invisalign doctors. This experience included a tour of the Invisalign tech centre, special lectures about Invsalign 1.5, details of the manufacturing and ClinCheck process, as well as clinical discussions with some of the top Invisalign providers in Canada and America. This entry will detail Dr. Tam's trip to the Invisalign centre.

Invisalign Reception Area

Prior to going into the facility, Dr. Tam was asked to sign a non-disclosure regarding proprietary information. Therefore, as much detail will be provided as possible, without infringing upon this agreement.

The tour began with an informational session about Invisalign in their impressive 63,000 sq ft facility, housing around 730 employees, including 543 different techs, 49 team leaders, 65 customer service reps, 48 in finance and IT, as well as 26 doctors, of which 6 are orthodontists. Any patient information is sent digitally from Mexico, and there is no physical data present in Costa Rica. All employees are eligible for complimentary Invisalign treatment in the Invisalign clinic, allowing them to straighten their teeth, while gaining a deeper understanding of the product they work with.

Invisalign on-site employee clinic

Invisalign has chosen Heredia, Costa Rica for its tech plant because of its political stability, solid IT infrastructure, high literacy rate of 96%, high level of education, and quality of dental schools. With no army, the country is able to provide free medical care, basic dental care, and college education for its citizens. Techs are selected from a large pool of applicants and if chosen, undergo 15 weeks of training before being allowed to work on patient cases. This training is known as “Treat University”, and involves using the “Treat” software, developed in Russia, to learn how to receive data, segment the teeth, set the bite, produce a tooth set up, and figure out the location of the gingival margins. There is some training about basic orthodontic principles and the new techs work with new Invisalign doctors, with the assumption that their cases are less complicated. This becomes a problem when these new doctors send in cases that are beyond the scope of a less experienced provider, and has lead to the development of Invisalign proficiency requirements.

One of the two rooms of Invisalign Techs

There is also a team of experienced techs who work with Premier Providers. They work with fewer different doctors, but tend to work with a higher volume of more challenging cases. These techs are supervised by a team leader, who has previously worked as a tech. Dr. Tam’s particular team leader works with with the top doctors from Canada, New York, and Texas. The team leaders are in turn supervised by a staff dentist who may or may not be an orthodontist. Important to note is that the techs have an understanding of basic English, but may rely on their team leaders to provide further clarification. This makes it even more important that the tech understand the preferences of the doctor.

Our Invisalign Technician Auxi working on one of our ClinChecks

Dr. Tam was very excited to meet his dedicated Invisalign technician, Auxi, and her team leader, Alex. They were able to sit down to talk about his preferences, facilitating a better understanding of Dr. Tam’s Invisalign treatment goals. This minimizes the amount of time required to approve a ClinCheck, provides more optimum treatment, and leads to an expedited production of the aligners. Together, they spent a few hours working with Dr. Tam on some new and existing ClinCheck simulations.

L-R: Team leader Alex, Dr. Tam, Invisalign Tech Auxi

Both Auxi and Alex are extremely talented at their work and were extremely friendly. However, they made a point to state that they are not allowed to make treatment decisions, and rely on the doctor’s expertise, prescription, and modifications to produce optimal treatment. This reinforces the concept that successful treatment requires an experienced provider who understands how to move teeth with Invisalign.

Overall, it was an extremely valuable experience to see how Invisalign works behind the scenes. Their software is constantly being developed, the employees are hard-working, and are in a world-class facility. Dr. Tam would like to thank Align Technology for selecting him for this elite Invisalign meeting.

Please feel free to contact us if you are interested in getting started on the way to a straighter smile without braces.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Markham Braces Team Member Megan in Montreal for Rosemary Bray

This past August, Megan flew up to Montreal to meet with orthodontic consultant, Rosemary Bray. They met at Korne Orthodontics in Westmount, the orthodontic office of Dr. Paul Korne. Joining her on the trip was Dawn from Scarborough Town Orthodontics. The goal of the one-day meeting was to learn ways to improve customer service, provide the best financial plans, and orthodontic treatment value for our patients.

At Markham Centre Orthodontics, we understand that there may be various challenges to obtaining orthodontic treatment. Whenever possible, we try to remove these barriers and deliver the best Invisalign and braces experience possible. We look forward to continuing to provide Unionville and Markham with some of the area’s best smiles!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Invisalign Braces... The Next Generation of Invisalign coming in October.

This is a breaking story on Invisalign`s next generation product. They have compiled research as to what makes treatment more predictable and successful, and are attempting to improve general outcomes. It is basically a revision of the best practice protocol, with data taken from some of the most successful offices.

If you are looking at Invisalign treatment, it`s advisable to seek an experienced Invisalign provider since every treatment is different, and requires the expertise of the orthodontist or dentist.

SANTA CLARA, Calif., Sept. 15 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Align Technology, Inc. (Nasdaq: ALGN) today introduced new and enhanced product features designed to provide improved results for everyday clinical demands, including extrusion and rotation of teeth, root movements, and interproximal reduction (IPR). The new features will help deliver the great outcomes doctors expect from Invisalign treatment.

"This continued evolution of our product line and our technology is based on extensive customer research and the treatment data and experience gained through more than one million Invisalign cases," said Sheila Tan, Align Technology's vice president, marketing and chief marketing officer. "We believe that these improvements will give doctors greater confidence in what they can achieve with Invisalign, and help deliver the outcomes doctors expect in more clinical applications."

The new product line features are designed to overcome barriers to treatment by addressing clinical issues that doctors have traditionally perceived as challenging in Invisalign treatment, such as extrusions and rotations, and by implementing improvements and best practices frequently requested by doctors:

-- New Optimized Attachments for extrusions and rotations are now custom designed to be patient-specific and tooth-specific to consistently deliver the correct aligner forces to the teeth, helping to increase predictability of the desired movement.

-- Power Ridges(TM), previously available only with Invisalign Teen(TM), are used in place of attachments to provide additional force in cases where certain types of movements, including lingual root torque, are prescribed.

-- Velocity Optimization provides more controlled movements for the entire tooth, including the root, and is designed to limit the speed of tooth movements to optimal ranges. Previously, doctors had to identify movements that might require velocity adjustments and request those changes as part of the treatment planning process. The velocity adjustment will now be accounted for automatically in the case set-up.

-- Interproximal Reduction (IPR) Protocol Improvements address a frequent doctor request regarding timing of IPR during treatment. IPR can now be set up in later stages of treatment when teeth are better aligned and contact points may be easier to access.

-- New Invisalign Attachment Kit and attachment material deliver greater bond strength, wear resistance, accuracy, and ease of use.

All new and enhanced product features are available at no additional cost and
are being released through a phased roll-out with full availability to all
Invisalign-trained doctors in North America by mid October.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Markham Invisalign Team Member Mandy Discusses “What is Invisalign Teen?”

While many Markham dentists and Unionville and Richmond Hill orthodontists have advertised this product, most patients still don’t know what makes Invisalign Teen different from regular Invisalign. Teen was introduced to the worldwide market in 2009. Dr. Tam and his team at Markham Centre Orthodontics was one of the offices selected to be in the pilot project to develop the product. To date, there are only 4 orthodontic practices in the Greater Toronto Area designated as Invisalign Teen Providers, in Mississauga, downtown Toronto, and us in Markham.

Watch as Mandy describes Invisalign Teen’s new features. Stay tuned to watch her undergo her own Invisalign treatment!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Markham Invisalign Orthodontist Presents Our Word Search Contest!

Markham Centre Orthodontics, your Invisalign Richmond Hill and braces in Markham, is happy to announce our next office contest. From now until the end of October, our patients are free to participate in our word search. It will be available in the office or you can print up a copy below.

Good luck and we look forward to your entries!

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Markham Centre Orthodontics Softball Team Competes in Unionville

Markham Centre Orthodontics is happy to support our patients in various sports or activities. This summer, one of our patients and coach of the team, Michael, approached Dr. Tam for sponsorship of a team in the peewee/bantam division of UMSC. The team sported royal blue jerseys and has had a lot of fun.

Last week, Dr. Tam and Wanda went out to one of the games to support their team. Each player was given an MCO bag and BPA-free Nalgene water bottle. Unfortunately, the field crew were unable to get the lights on, and the game had to be canceled.

TeamMCO wishes the team all the best as they approach the playoffs!

Monday, August 17, 2009

Markham Invisalign Orthodontist Breaks the Story on Settlement Between Invisalign and Ormco

SANTA CLARA, Calif., Aug. 17 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Align Technology, Inc. (Nasdaq: ALGN) today announced that it has reached a settlement with Ormco Corporation (Ormco), a subsidiary of Danaher Corporation (NYSE: DHR), to end all pending litigation between the parties and to begin a new strategic collaboration. As part of the settlement, Align will make a cash payment of approximately $13 million to Ormco and issue approximately 7.6 million shares of Align's Common Stock to Danaher Corporation, Ormco's ultimate parent, that after issuance will be equal to approximately ten percent ownership interest in Align. Based on the closing price of Align's Common Stock on Friday, August 14, 2009 the value of the shares is approximately $77 million. The issuance of a portion of the shares is subject to clearance under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act of 1976, as amended. For a summary of the terms of the transaction, please refer to the Company's Form 8-K filed today.

Align and Ormco have also agreed upon an exclusive collaboration over the next seven years to develop and market an orthodontic product that combines the Invisalign(R) system with Ormco's Insignia(R) orthodontic brackets and arch wires system to treat the most complex cases. Each party will retain ownership of its pre-existing intellectual property, and each party will be granted intellectual property licenses in their respective field for jointly-developed combination products.

"We are pleased to resolve this ongoing litigation with Ormco and to begin a new relationship that meets our shared goals of providing innovative products and excellent service to our orthodontic customers," said Thomas M. Prescott, Align Technology president and CEO. "This collaboration with Ormco, a fellow innovator in digital orthodontics, gives us the ability to compete for a segment of the market that is difficult to treat with Invisalign alone, and accelerates our long-term plan for a combination product."

Per the terms of the agreement, Ormco and Align have requested that judgment be entered on the claims resolved by the jury and all remaining claims in the litigation between the two parties be dismissed with prejudice. Additionally, as part of the settlement agreement, Ormco has agreed to release all past claims asserted by Ormco against Align based upon the '444 patent and has agreed not to sue Align for any claim of infringement based upon the '444 patent as a result of Align's relating to removable aligners.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

New Markham Braces and Richmond Hill Invisalign Team Members Join MCO!

If you’ve been in the office lately, you will have noticed a few new faces at Markham Centre Orthodontics. As we continue to grow, we are committed to bringing on only the best orthodontics team members possible, in keeping with our high standards for treatment and customer service. In this way, we hope to continue to be your choice for Markham braces and Richmond Hill Invisalign.

We are happy to have Jenny join Megan at our reception area to serve you better. Interestingly, we met Jenny as she was referred to our office as a patient by her dentist. She joined our team mid-treatment and is currently in the process of closing up 4 spaces where premolars were extracted for optimal facial aesthetics and profile. Fluent in chinese, particularly cantonese and with a working knowledge of mandarin, Jenny is here to help you with payments, statements, and scheduling your appointments. Be sure to see her or Megan before you leave the office to schedule your next visit!

Aya is the newest member of our clinical team. A dental hygienist for over 7 years, she was educated at George Brown College, where she also took part in the orthodontic study module for dental hygienists. She has completed the local anaesthesia course at the University of Alberta, but is happy that we don’t need to give needles at MCO :). Aya will be seeing you for your adjustment visits, placing/replacing braces, and on that awesome day when your braces are removed! Recently married, and now living in York Region with her husband, Aya is extremely excited to join our team at MCO.

Don’t forget to welcome both team members to TeamMCO. We thank you for your support as we continue to grow as your choice for braces in Markham and Invisalign in Toronto!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Markham Invisalign Specialist Visits California and Elite Invisalign Orthodontists

Dr. Tam and his wife Amelia recently took a trip to California. They flew into San Francisco, drove up to Napa wine country, and took the scenic drive down the Pacific Coast Highway to Los Angeles. As a part of his recent trip, your Markham braces and Toronto Invisalign orthodontist also spent some time with two of the top Invisalign doctors in California and the world.

The trip began in San Francisco where they saw the Golden Gate Bridge, Union Square, and ate some great food at area restaurants. They managed to get through a 4am hotel fire on the 2nd floor (while staying on the fourth) to take this picture of a huge chair in the lobby of the Clift Hotel, a few blocks from Union Sq.

Following a tour through Napa Valley, it was time to start going down the coast. Along the way, Dr. Tam met Dr. David Shen at a local outdoor mall in Palo Alto, just minutes from Stanford University. Dr. Tam first came to know of Dr. David Shen at the 2007 and 2008 Invisalign Summits, a multi-day Invisalign conference with some of the best Invisalign practices around. Dr. Shen owns 9 practices in the Bay Area and is recognized as one of the top 10 Invisalign doctors in the world. He has been an Elite Invisalign Provider for many years, and has been recognized by CEO Thomas Prescott for his work. These top Invisalign doctors discussed their successes and challenges with Invisalign braces, including extractions with Invisalign, use of elastics and attachments , and various treatments involving a combination of Invisalign and clear, invisible braces. It was a beneficial meeting for them both, ending with Dr. Tam presenting a bottle of ice wine to Dr. Shen, to show him a unique taste from Canada.

Dr. Tam and Amelia then spent a few days driving down the coast, enjoying the beautiful scenery of the Pacific Coast. It was quite chilly around the Bay Area, but began to warm up slightly as they hit the famed Hearst Castle halfway down the coast. This estate property, built in the early 1900s, features 3 large swimming pools, and a 70,000 square foot main house. It couldn't have been easy to build, as tourists must take a bus 8 miles up the mountain to view the property!

Following a few more days down the coast with stops at Pismo Beach and Santa Barbara, Dr. Tam and his wife finally made it to Los Angeles where they met with Dr. Charles Brodsky from Brodsky Orthodontics in the Lakewood/Longbeach area of Los Angeles. Dr. Brodsky, an Elite Invisalign provider and classmate of Dr. Tam’s at Boston University, presented one of the top 5 cases at the 2008 Invisalign Summit. They discussed various office efficiencies, Inviaslign treatment, use of mini-implants in conjunction with fixed orthodontics, and orthodontic customer service.

On the way back to Toronto, Dr. Tam saw a familiar face in the security line at LAX. It was none other than NHL hockey star Paul Kariya. He was nice enough to wait for Dr. Tam to pass through security for a short chat and a pic.

Dr. Tam and Amelia had a wonderful mid-summer break together. It was a very eye opening experience to see the Golden State of California. Dr. Tam also feels very fortunate to be amongst the best group of Invisalign orthodontists in North America. Even on vacation abroad, he is committed to finding out how to provide the best Richmond Hill Invisalign and best Toronto braces for our patients. To schedule your complimentary consultation for Markham Invisalign or Thornhill braces, please contact us at 905-477-7750.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Invisalign's Align Technology Update on Litigation wtih Ormco

Align Technology Provides Update on Patent Litigation with Ormco Corporation

SANTA CLARA, Calif., July 21, 2009 -- Align Technology, Inc. (Nasdaq: ALGN) today provided an update on the a lawsuit brought by Ormco Corporation (Ormco) against Align Technology, Inc. (Align) in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California (District Court), which was tried by jury June 9 through June 25, 2009.
As previously disclosed, on June 26, 2009, the jury delivered a verdict against Align. Ormco alleged that Align infringed claims of Ormco’s 6,616,444 patent. Align claimed non-infringement, invalidity, as well as unenforceability of the patent and equitable defenses. The jury found the claims asserted by Ormco in the 6,616,444 patent to be infringed and valid. The jury also issued an advisory verdict that Ormco did not engage in prosecution laches or unclean hands, equitable defenses raised by Align. The jury only determined liability. Any monetary damages will be determined in a later trial, which has not been schedule, but would likely occur in early 2010. The jury verdict does not preclude Align from selling its Invisalign System. We have not accrued any liability for the judgment related to the Ormco litigation as such amounts are not reasonably estimable at this time. This is due to a number of factors, including: that the Court has not yet entered judgment; that discovery regarding possible damages is a lengthy and time consuming process involving testimony of experts and has not yet begun; and that determining a reasonable royalty rate is highly fact specific and there are many complicated factors to consider in this case.

The Court requested and has received briefing on the equitable defenses raised by Align and is expected to rule on the equitable defenses later this week. Align believes the facts and the law do not support the jury’s findings of infringement and validity and therefore has filed a motion for judgment as a matter of law on all issues seeking to set aside the jury’s verdict of liability. The Court has set a hearing on our motion for August 3, 2009, after which the Court is expected to enter judgment. Depending on the judgment entered by the Court, we may file various post-trial motions and if unsuccessful, we intend to appeal the liability decision and request a stay of the damages phase of the case pending appeal.

On July 13, 2009, Ormco filed a motion for permanent injunction against Align seeking to enjoin the sale of the Invisalign System through the January 2010 expiration of the 6,616,444 patent, as well as other injunctive relief including the destruction of all material, including software, created by Align from September 2003 to the present, the discontinuation of certification programs and the decertification of doctors certified from September 2003 to the present and the destruction of sales representatives’ records developed during this time period. The Court has scheduled a hearing on the motion for permanent injunction for August 17, 2009. Ormco seeks unusual injunctive relief that we believe is unwarranted and not supported by the law or facts of the case. Align will contend that an injunction would cause irreparable harm to Align, its employees and those doctors who include Invisalign as a large part of their practice, and would interrupt patient treatment and services currently underway. In addition, a balancing of hardships weighs heavily in Align’s favor as the issuance of the injunction would require Align the cease the sale of its sole product, the Invisalign System, while the denial of the injunction does not harm Ormco. Finally, any harm Ormco claims to have suffered would be sufficiently compensated by money damage. For these reasons, we strongly believe that Ormco’s motion for a permanent injunction should be denied and we will vigorously oppose the motion. In the unlikely event that the Court grants a permanent injunction, we would immediately appeal to the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals and seek to stay the injunction.

Ormco Patent Litigation Background Previously Disclosed:
Align has had ongoing patent litigation with Ormco, since 2003 when Ormco sued Align for patent infringement and Align won a sweeping summary judgment. Ormco appealed that decision and in August 2007 the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that 86 of Ormco’s 92 claims (related to 6,616,432, '243, '861 and '444 patents) were invalid and not infringed by Align. Ormco pursued the six remaining claims, which relate generally to a process of gathering and organizing tooth data, in the lawsuit against Align in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Our Patient Reviews: Richmond Hill Invisalign, Markham Braces, and Thornhill Orthodontics Experiences

At Markham Centre Orthodontics, Dr. Tam and his team of professionals understand that everyone expects straight teeth and a beautiful smile from their orthodontic treatment. We also know that there are various motivations and a lot of choice for seeking orthodontic care in Markham and Toronto. That is why the success of our work is measured not only by providing you with a beautiful smile, but with a wonderful experience along the way, that you can share with your friends, family, and colleagues.

We thank our patients for providing us with the following online reviews from our website. It is extremely gratifying for us to receive affirmation, from both adults and teens, that we are providing the wonderful care and environment that we strive for. We look forward to continuing to be your choice for Invisalign in Richmond Hill, braces in Pickering, and orthodontists in Markham. Contact us at 905-477-7750 to schedule your complimentary consultation!

Braces and Invisalign Reviews of Dr. Jason Tam and Markham Centre Orthodontics

I never thought I'd have straight teeth because I just will not wear braces and needed some serious movement. Doctor Tam plotted out, what seemed impossible, a treatment using Invisalign and he moved a tooth from behind my main row of teeth to the front. It's been a long road (2 years+) but my teeth are straight and awesome! And no braces! I can't overstate how impressive this Dr.Tam, his staff, and the facility are. If you need orthodontics and are in the Markham area do yourself a favour and at least check MCO out.
-Rajesh K.

I have been a patient of Markham Centre Orthodontics for nearly two years and just recently had my braces removed. Working with Dr. Tam and his team has been a pleasant and an enjoyable experience. Markham Centre Orthodontics offers a modern and contemporary style, as well as a well kept and clean environment. This clinic is very welcoming and is great for patients of all ages. I am very happy with my results, and would recommend this clinic to anyone in need of orthodontic treatment.
-Erin L.

I have been with MCO for almost a year, and I've been seeing great results. The customer service is amazing and Dr. Tam and his team make you feel right at home. I would recommend Dr. Tam to anybody who's looking for a perfect smile!
-Lyshelle B.

I had a great experience with Markham Centre Orthodontics. I wanted the invisalign treatment done as soon as possible and they made driving from far away worth it. The facility is modern and clean. The MCO staff addressed all my questions and concerns and helped make the procedure quick and easy. In less than a year my teeth are straight. I recommend getting the invisalign treatment here. Thank you MCO. -Cory O

I cannot say enough good things about Dr Tam and his staff. They are an excellent team and the facility is state of the art! If you need braces, MCO is the place to go! Being an adult, getting braces was one of those things that I wanted to get done for a very long time but was afraid of the process. After going for consultations at several other orthodontists with no success, my dentist recommended Dr Tam. I immediately felt comfortable with him. The initial consultation was very thorough with xrays, pictures and assessments done on the spot. When it came time to get my braces on, I was pleasantly surprised that Dr Tam had a more efficient way of getting the brackets on that took little time and wasn't as painful as I thought it would be. All procedures are explained to me and I was told what to expect every step of the way. I have had my braces for 15 months now and the progress has been amazing. I actually started seeing dramatic results at my second visit!
-Pauline T.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Pros and Cons of Invisalign- Richmond Hill Invisalign and Scarborough Invisalign Teen Premier Provider

As a Greater Toronto Invisalign Premier Provider office, we see patients interested in Invisalign from Richmond Hill, Scarborough, North York, and Unionville. Being in the top 5% of all Invisalign providers, our patients are willing to see us in Markham. We are often asked about the pros and cons of Invisalign braces vs traditional metal braces or clear ceramic braces. Here are some of the pros and cons of Invisalign in Thornhill, Markham, Pickering, Ajax, and Whitby. Should you wish to schedule your free Invisalign consultation, please call 905-477-7750 or visit for more information.


Removable- easier to maintain oral hygiene, can eat what you want, take out for sports and playing instruments

Virtually Invisible- more aesthetic than metal braces and clear braces so no one need to know you are undergoing orthodontic treatment

Comfortable- no wires or brackets against the inside of your mouth

3-D simulation- video gives patient an idea of the treatment goal prior to starting treatment and may be a motivating factor

Fewer Emergencies- no poking wires or broken brackets

FDA approved material- safe and no concern over metal allergies

Treatment of choice- for certain malocclusions, it may produce a better result in a shorter amount of time

Straight Teeth, No Braces- many patients wish to align their teeth, would never get fixed braces, but would use Invisalign


Require excellent cooperation- if they aren't worn as directed, the teeth won't move

Require removal for eating- take aligners out for anything but water, followed by brushing or flossing, before replacing aligners

Cost- generally more expensive than braces (not the case in our office due to Invisalign volume but will differ by provider)

Transient lisp- whether with brackets or aligners, there is an adjustment period and a slight lisp should be expected at the beginning

Changing treatment- treatment set once the ClinCheck is accepted. Direction of treatment changed by new impression and starting again

New aligner every 2 weeks- while this doesn't mean you see the orthodontist/dentist every 2 weeks, you will have new pressure on your teeth that often. Most patients experience some tooth discomfort for a day or two with each new aligner

The final word: Depending on your malocclusion, Invisalign can be an excellent method of straightening your teeth and providing you with a perfect bite. Keep in mind that Invisalign is an ever-evolving technique and requires the orthodontist/dentist to have a firm grasp of tooth movement using a removable appliance. Currently, the majority of certified Invisalign providers do not have a firm understanding of moving teeth with Invisalign, as there is a big difference between how teeth should and can be moved in terms of order and direction. Invisalign isn't applicable for all tooth movements, but an experienced provider will be able to address a wider variety of situations.

If you would like to schedule your complimentary consultation for braces or Invisalign, please call 905-477-7750.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Summer is here. Your Markham Orthodontist Reminds you to Protect Yourself in the Sun!

It looks like summer has finally made it. School has ended, exams are done, and the hot weather is here. Our phone is going off the hook with patients scheduling consultations for braces and Invisalign. If you wish to schedule your complimentary evaluation, please call us at 905-477-7750.

Your Unionville braces and Richmond Hill Invisalign team at Markham Centre Orthodontics wish all of our patients and family a wonderful and safe summer. Stay cool and protect yourself from the sun. Below is information from Health Canada regarding fun in the sun.

Exposure to UV radiation, primarily UVB, can cause sunburns and may eventually result in skin cancer. It is important to note that while sunscreens can help reduce sunburn, they are not as effective against the other harmful effects of UV rays, such as premature aging of the skin and depression of the immune system.

All sunscreens have a sun protection factor (SPF) on their labels. The SPF represents the length of time that sunscreen-protected skin can be exposed to UVB rays before a minimal redness (erythema) appears, compared to the length of time it takes on unprotected skin. In other words, it indicates how much longer you can be exposed to the sun before getting a sunburn.

The amount of time it takes for unprotected skin to burn depends on skin type. In general, fair skin burns more quickly than darker skin. If you have the type of skin that would burn after 20 minutes in the sun without protection, then the proper application of sunscreen with SPF 15 would allow you to spend up to 300 minutes (15 times longer) in the sun without getting a sunburn. However, this does not mean that your skin is protected from all UV effects. Damage to your skin, other than sunburning, may have already started.

The SPF varies depending on the nature of the sunblocking ingredients in the product. Since the SPF refers only to protection against UVB, it is important to choose a "broad spectrum" sunscreen that also protects you from UVA radiation.

How Sunscreens Protect Your Health

There are many different brands of sunscreen available. They are classified according to their active ingredients, as some products contain chemical filters, some contain physical filters, and some contain both.

* Chemical filters absorb some of the UV radiation and convert it into heat. There are more chemical filters that absorb UVB rays than absorb UVA rays.
* Physical filters are small particles (usually zinc oxide or titanium dioxide) that scatter and reflect both UVB and UVA rays.

Minimizing Your Risk

Protect your health by using a broad spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of at least 15. Look for claims on the label indicating that the product has staying power (e.g., water resistant, very water resistant, waterproof).

For best results, be sure to follow the instructions on the product label. Use the recommended amount of sunscreen and respect the waiting period between application and exposure to the sun. Reapply sunscreen 20 minutes after you go out, so that the product stabilizes on your skin and gives you maximum protection. If you are sweating heavily or swimming, reapply sunscreen frequently to get the best protection.

Here are other steps that Health Canada recommends you take to protect against UV exposure:

* If possible, avoid being in the sun between 11:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m.
* Look for shade, stay under a tree, or use an umbrella.
* During outdoor activities, wear sunglasses to protect your eyes. When the UV index is three or higher, you should also wear protective clothing and a large-brimmed hat.
* Remember to apply sunscreen to all exposed areas of your skin.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Your Markham Braces and Richmond Hill Invisalign Orthodontist Says That Gum Disease Can Affect Your Heart

Recent research shows that there is a direct connection between gum disease (also known as periodontal disease) and heart disease. There are several theories that explain the connection between gum disease and heart disease, but the most common theory contests that gum disease is caused by teeth that are not aligned properly. Plaque causing bacteria will begin to form on and between the teeth. The bacteria can be carried into the body’s blood stream causing blood clots that restrict nutrients and oxygen from reaching the heart.

The connection between orthodontics and periodontics is so important that Dr. Tam attended the February 2009 American Association of Orthodontics and American Academy of Periodontolgy Joint Specialties Conference in Orlando. Continuing education is an extremely important part of Dr. Tam's ongoing attitude towards providing the most up-to-date treatment possible.

By brushing your teeth at least twice a day, flossing and undergoing orthodontic treatment if your teeth are not perfectly aligned, you can prevent plaque buildup that results in heart complications. Remember, your teeth are a part of your body; and just like any other part of your body, your mouth is just as susceptible to disease!

Here's a 7 minute video clip from ABC on the subject.

Call (905)477-7750 for your complimentary orthodontic consultation with braces and Invisalign in Markham, Toronto, Unionville, Richmond Hill, Scarborough, Pickering, Ajax, Stouffville, York Region, Downtown Markham, North York, Thornhill, and the rest of the Greater Toronto Area. Let Markham Centre Orthodontics show you the Secret Behind Markham and Greater Toronto's Best Smiles!

Monday, June 8, 2009

ClearCorrect Tries to Woo Doctors Unhappy with Invisalign Proficiency Requirements

There has been a lot of talk about Invisalign's new proficiency requirements for their doctors. Your Markham Invisalign and Richmond Hill Braces orthodontist broke the story for you last week. It seems perfect timing for another company, ClearCorrect, to come out and try to take some market share. Currently, they have FDA approval, but are still waiting to get into the Canadian market.

Here is an email that was forwarded to me by a colleague:

ClearCorrect is based in Houston, Texas and according to the company, was founded by some of the biggest users of aligners. They offer two products. A two year treatment of up to 64 aligners, or a limited treatment of up to 12 aligners. The mid-course correction and refinement are included, as long as the treatment stays within the number of allotted aligners. Refinements of up to 4 sets are available for an additional cost. Their price point for doctors is about 70% that of Invisalign. Another difference to orthodontists or dentists is that one set of retainers is provided in the lab cost (may or may not make a difference to the patient cost). They are also provided with a model in case they wish to fabricate additional retainers in-office.

Although there is no literature or video published on the manufacturing process, they claim to have a similar process compared to Invisalign. All work is done in-house in Houston. They claim to cut costs by not requiring field reps in each territory. They also claim that their aligners are more clear. Online certification is available for doctors to discuss the process, and like Invisalign, does not show doctors how to move teeth. Other than that, it does not appear that there is any online continuing education. Invisalign now has over 200 hours of CE online as a part of their pathways to proficiency.

This is the second major company that has tried to compete with Invisalign. OrthoClear, started by the one of the founders of Invisalign, was bought out by Align within a very short period of time. They had promised lower prices, better service, etc for doctors unhappy with Invisalign. It caused a tremendous problem for doctors and patients who were left stranded in the middle of treatment. Invisalign took the high road and offered to continue treatment for these patients after the buyout. It is far too early in the game to see if ClearCorrect will be able to survive in this market dominated by Invisalign. From our standpoint, Markham Centre Orthodontics will not use ClearCorrect unless it is proven to be superior to Invisalign, and shows longevity in the market. Our patients deserve to be treated as over one million Invisalign patients, rather than with a company we cannot yet vouch for.

Invisalign does not seem too worried about ClearCorrect. The goal of their proficiency requirements was to prevent less experienced doctors from using their product, often incorrectly. This includes both orthodontists and GPs, resulting in claims by both doctors and patients that "Invisalign doesn't work". Many of the doctors who are upset with Invisalign are those that wish to offer it as a "bait and switch", but usually tell patients they will need alternative treatments. Invisalign seems happy to let these doctors who treat one or two patients annually, work with another company.

Remember that proper treatment planning and diagnosis is the key to successful Invisalign in Markham and braces in Unionville. To schedule your complimentary examination with your Richmond Hill orthodontist, call 905-477-7750. We look forward to the opportunity to meet you!