Prior to commencing orthodontic treatment or during the course of a treatment there will be a series of questions that will go through your mind. This is not a bad thing as it shows that you are thinking and questioning things carefully. Here are some of the more common questions that patients have asked us. If you are still in doubt please feel free to contact our practice.
Do I need orthodontic treatment? Does my child need orthodontic treatment?
This is a very difficult question to answer. The need for treatment is commonly identified as poorly aligned teeth, an unattractive smile due to crowded teeth, a large overbite, the inability to chew properly or a poor bite. Often you will know what the problem is before you see the dentist.
Asking your dentist is a good start but coming in to see us for a direct consultation would be the best option. Orthodontists are trained to pick problems and give appropriate advice regarding treatment.
When does orthodontic treatment need to be commenced?
Timing of orthodontic treatment is very important in treating the child patient. This is because a child is growing and the orthodontist can utilise this growth process to help overcome and correct skeletal imbalances. This early correction can help minimise the need for complex treatment in the future such as jaw surgery, extraction of several teeth and an extended treatment time.
Early treatment is also called phase 1 treatment, which normally is done to correct a skeletal problem and to minimise the chances of trauma to the teeth. This is when a plate of some sort is customised and constructed for your child.
It is recommended by the Australian Orthodontic Association that children should have their orthodontic consultation around the age of 7-8 years.
For the adult patient, the most common question is, "Am I too old to have orthodontic treatment?" The answer is NO. Teeth can be encouraged to move to an ideal position at any age, the only difference being it may take slightly longer to do so. Currently 50% of our patients are adult patients. Sometimes the adult patient finds that their teeth have moved since the time they had orthodontic treatment as a child/teenager, and are concerned about the irregularity and the appearance of their teeth. They can be very easily and effectively treated resulting in a very aesthetic pleasant smile.
How long will my treatment take?
Generally with the state of the art systems we use at our practice, the average length of time for treatment is between 12 and 24 months. However, this time period may be variable depending on the complexity of treatment and patient compliance. Our ultimate goal is to achieve an excellent, aesthetic and functional bite.
Does having braces hurt?
Honestly, there is no pain associated with the process of moving teeth as it is done very slowly within the biological environment. However, you would experience some discomfort as the teeth start moving, which may last for up to 5 days on average. As braces are not a natural part of your mouth, they may initially cause a few ulcers as the tissue rubs against them. This however will subside. We do also give our patients some tips to help minimise this and avoid ulcers in some cases.
How often do I have to come to the surgery to get adjustments made?
In general following the first long visit, where your appliance is inserted, all the remaining appointments are short quick ones. The time interval between visits varies depending on what we are trying to achieve and the choice of appliance. On average it would be between 8-10 weeks between visits.
What do I do if I break a bracket?
This may happen at times and if it does you will need to make an appointment as soon as possible to have it replaced. This is not a serious emergency. If in doubt about any concerns, we are just a phone call away.
What are the different types of braces?
You can have the standard metal braces or a more aesthetic option of clear/ceramic braces. You may also be suitable for braces that are placed on the inside of your teeth or the back of your teeth. This is more technically difficult for the orthodontist but gives an excellent result. The state of the art system we use works very fast to help achieve a perfect smile without anyone knowing you are straightening your teeth. However, with lingual braces it may take a little getting used to.
Can I have Invisalign/clear aligners to correct my teeth?
Invisalign is a system of aligners that are custom made for each patient. It is very aesthetic and comfortable to use. In order to determine if it is the best treatment option for you, you will have to have a consultation appointment, where we will analyse your bite and your skeletal pattern to determine suitability.
Do I need to take special care during treatment and do I need to see my dentist?
Yes, it is very important to keep your teeth and gums clean and healthy during treatment. It is difficult to clean with braces on thus you will be given special instructions at your banding appointment. We also recommend that you keep your regular 6 monthly visits with your dentist.
What will orthodontic treatment cost?
The cost of orthodontic treatment depends on the complexity, as well as the choice of appliance. Our prices are extremely competitive and you will have a result that will last a lifetime.
In order to make orthodontic treatment affordable and manageable we will work with you to offer a manageable payment plan.
I have had braces in the past, my teeth have moved
Teeth move because of growth changes or inadequate retention following braces treatment. These cases can be very quickly and efficiently treated.