COMMITTED TO EXCELLENCE IN ORTHODONTICS DR.ALY KANANI
CREATING BEAUTIFUL SMILES
CHANGING FACES $ FUTURES
Vancouver Orthodontist Dr. Aly Kanani is one of the leading orthodontics care providers in Canada, and in the top 1% of Invisalign orthodontic providers in all of North America according to the Align Technology website. His focus isn’t just on dentistry, but in promoting overall health, self-confidence, and self-esteem in the patients and community that he serves. He was the first South Asian orthodontist in the lower mainland and has a strong following of patients and parents seeking his office’s expert services. We had the opportunity to talk with Dr. Kanani and ask him about his drive on a personal and professional level.
CAN YOU PLEASE TELL US ABOUT YOUR EDUCATIONAL BACKGROUND AND EXPERTISE?
I received my Bachelor of Science degree from McGill University, and a Masters in Economics and Management at the London School of Economics, in England. I then completed my formal primary care dental training and another Masters in High Education Administration at the University of Pennsylvania. Finally, I completed my post-graduate university residency training in orthodontics for two additional years in Michigan earning a Masters of Science degree in Orthodontics and Dento facial Orthopedics. I also served for two years as a clinical assistant professor at the University of British Columbia Dental School. We are specialists in braces, clear braces, Invisalign, Invisalign Teen, and in orthodontic appliances for younger children, teens, and adults.
WHAT KIND OF EDUCATIONAL CREDENTIALS ARE NEEDED TO BECOME AN ORTHODONTIC SPECIALIST?
In addition to being a licensed primary care dentist, an orthodontic specialist receives an additional 2-3 years of rigorous formal education compromising by some estimates to be 6000-7000 hours of additional training in specifically orthodontic treatment supervised by educators at the university level.
THE BC ORTHODONTICS GROUP WEBSITE INDICATES “COMMUNITY GIVING COMES FIRST” – CAN YOU TELL ME WHAT THIS PERSONALLY MEANS TO YOU, AND WHY DO YOU FEEL THIS IS SUCH A PRIORITY FOR YOUR ORGANIZATION?
We are proud to be donors to various charities and community events. We founded the BC Good Deed Awards, which is a series of awards given out annually in five lower mainland cities, to recognize youth for completing good deeds. The idea here is to help encourage local youth in the community to make a positive impact on others. To date, over 500 awards have been given.
One of our proudest moments has been in our donation to the UBC Faculty of Dentistry in the naming of “Kanani Conference Room 1” and “Kanani Conference Room 2” for use by dental students, university faculty, and professors. We are proud of our close relationship with the University of British Columbia and Dean Charles Shuler who has been a great supporter of our charities and donations to UBC.
DR. KANANI, WHAT IS AN ORTHODONTIC SPECIALIST?
An orthodontic specialist is first a primary care dentist that has gone on to study the science and function of the entire occlusion. It isn’t simply just straightening the appearance of the teeth, but improving the way the entire mouth works together as a whole.
YOU ARE BORN AND RAISED IN THE LOWER MAINLAND, THOUGH YOU HAVE STUDIED AND WORKED ALL AROUND THE WORLD – WHAT BROUGHT YOU BACK TO THE VANCOUVER AREA?
Ultimately being ‘back home’ was something I felt called to do, and it gives me the sense of fulfillment when I can see what types of influences I have at helping to better the community that I grew up in. It’s a great place to live.
WHAT IS THE BEST WAY SOMEONE CAN MAINTAIN STRONG ORAL HEALTH?
Manage the bacteria in your mouth, removing it thoroughly twice each day with proper tooth brushing, flossing, and regular visits with your hygienist or primary care dentist. If crowding or crooked teeth keep you from being able to clean your teeth effectively, orthodontic treatment can correct that.
IS THERE ANYTHING MORE SPECIFIC THAT SOUTH ASIANS NEED TO BE AWARE OF AROUND MAINTAINING STRONG ORAL HEALTH (I.E. BASED ON DIET/LIFESTYLE)?
As with any diet, you want to have one that is balanced with enough fruits, vegetables, and nutrients that promote healthy oral tissues. A diet too heavy in starches like rice can encourage excess bacteria buildup.
AS AN ORTHODONTIST SPECIALIST, HOW DO YOU GO ABOUT DIAGNOSIS AND TREATMENT PLANNING FOR YOUNGER GROWING PATIENTS?
As we grow up, our facial features grow as well. If something in the mouth makes a person more prone to tooth misalignment, then minor growth modification can be performed with an orthodontic appliance such a jaw expander, preventing lengthy treatments and potential jaw surgery later on. It is a commonly known fact that every child should have an orthodontist consultation around age 7“ for an evaluation. Many parents are not aware of this, especially in the South Asian community, which is the reason we started to offer complimentary no charge evaluations for children as a community service at all of our locations.
WHAT DO YOU LOVE MOST ABOUT BEING AN ORTHODONTIST?
I’m able to form relationships with my patients over the course of their treatment. Orthodontics impacts so many aspects of people’s lives, especially because it improves self-esteem. It’s wonderful to be a part of something that is a great experience for other people. Being an orthodontist means a lot to me, and I can’t imagine doing anything else!
WHICH TYPE OF TEETH AND BITE PROBLEMS ARE THE MOST DIFFICULT TO DEAL WITH AND WHY?
Severe under bites or overbites do provide more of a challenge when it comes to correcting a person’s occlusion, but with comprehensive care they can usually be brought into a healthy jaw position.
ARE THERE ANY NEW METHODS UNDER DEVELOPMENT TO TREAT AND PREVENT TOOTH DECAY, APART FROM THE USUAL REGULAR BRUSHING OF THE TEETH, FLOSSING, AND DENTAL CLEANINGS AT LEAST TWICE A YEAR?
Fluoride varnish has been found to be one of the most effective mineral delivery methods not only to prevent tooth decay, but to eliminate sensitivity. Some dental schools are still experimenting with re-growing tooth enamel, but at this point the best treatment is still prevention.
HOW EFFECTIVE ARE DENTAL SEALANTS AND HOW LONG DO THEY LAST?
Placing a dental sealant in the chewing surface of the back teeth is one of the best things you can do to prevent decay from forming. Small grooves aren’t always accessible with a toothbrush, so the sealant prevents bacteria from entering into those narrow areas. Most sealants will last 10 years or more, but a good primary care dentist will usually replace it for free if it comes off for some reason.
Our goal is to make your entire orthodontic treatment a wonderful experience. From the moment you call our office or step through the door, to the time when your braces are off and you’re headed out, we want you to enjoy being a part of our practice. Our staff is here to offer their care and attention to make this an enjoyable experience, from start to finish. Being a proud member of the BC Orthodontics Group assures our patients that we are one of the member orthodontists of a highly progressive, academically oriented, and respected group of orthodontic offices providing braces, Invisalign, and Invisalign Teen treatments in several convenient locations across the lower mainland.
WHAT MADE YOU DECIDE TO BECOME AN ORTHODONTIST?
When I wore braces I was given a front row seat to exploring the rewarding profession that an orthodontist has. I was fascinated with the art and technology and saw firsthand how a great smile can impact a person’s life.
WHAT ARE SOME OF THE MAIN SERVICES YOU PROVIDE?
Our practices offer a wide range of orthodontics specialty treatments ranging from interceptive orthodontics for young children to full metal, clear, and invisible Invisalign braces. We also work with several of the leading primary care dentists and dental specialists in the area who provide ancillary services including periodontists (gum specialists) and oral surgeons (for corrective jaw surgeries in adults to address large overbites and underbites, for example). We have been recognized by Align Technology, the inventors of the clear Invisalign system, as one of their most progressive offices in North America. We take care of our patients at heart.
Dr. Kanani belongs to the BC Orthodontics Group – a group of orthodontic specialists providing care in several cities in the lower mainland. In addition to serving on the board of several companies and his financial support of esteemed dental educational facilities, he and his wife Aliya are also devoted philanthropists in their communities. Investing in the community as a whole has driven Dr. Kanani to become one of the most respected orthodontics healthcare providers in the lower mainland. As an orthodontic specialist with a young family, it is our firm belief that earning a livelihood to support our immediate family in it of itself is not the only goal, but also a means to a much greater goal of giving back.”