What is orthodontics?
Orthodontics is the branch of dentistry that specializes in the diagnosis, prevention and treatment of dental and facial irregularities which the public often refer to as “crooked teeth” and a large “overbite”. The technical term for these problems is “malocclusion”, which means “bad bite”.
The practice of orthodontics requires professional skill in the design, application and control of braces and plates. The aim of treatment is to bring teeth, lips and jaws into proper alignment and achieve facial balance and harmony.
Straight teeth can give you increased self confidence and can boost self-image. These are important treatment aims.
What is a specialist orthodontist?
Ours is a specialist orthodontic practice. To become a specialist orthodontist we first must study at university to become a dentist. We are then required to go back to university for a number of years and obtain a higher degree ( a Master of Dental Science) in the speciality of orthodontics. This then allows us to be given specialist registration.
As well as the higher degree, all the orthodontists in our practice have a number of years experience in specialist practice.
Who can benefit from orthodontic treatment?
Almost anyone really. Although most of our patients are teenagers, some younger children may benefit from a short period of orthodontic treatment & one in eight of our patients is over 18.
The process of moving teeth is the same for adults and children. It is easier, however to move teeth for patients who are growing. On average, most of our patients are treated in the rapid growth stage which for girls occurs between 12 and 14 and a little later for boys.
Why you should get orthodontic treatment?
The goal of orthodontic treatment is a good bite—meaning straight teeth that fit well with the teeth in the opposite jaw. A good bite makes it easier for you to bite, chew and speak. This can enhance your dental health and your overall health, and may improve self-esteem.
Orthodontic treatment is often part of a comprehensive dental health care plan. With good care, including orthodontic treatment when necessary, teeth can last a lifetime. Treatment in children or teenagers who are still growing may yield results that may not be possible once the face and jaws have completed their growth.
When is the best time to have orthodontic treatment?
This is where we can be very useful to you with our advice.
We are trained to know both when orthodontic treatment is needed and also, just as importantly, when orthodontic treatment is not appropriate.
Perhaps things will get better by themselves with further growth and facial development, but sometimes, even at a young age, interceptive treatment is required.
Patients differ in both physiological development and treatment needs. The goal of an orthodontist is to provide each patient with the most appropriate treatment at the most appropriate time
This is more information about this for you to see in the treatments provided section of our website.
When should I have my first consultation appointment, and what happens there?
It is probably best to regard the initial consultation appointment as a fact-finding visit. It is a good practice for children to have an orthodontic check-up from the age of 7 years, but this does not necessarily mean that any treatment is needed. Sometimes the immediate benefit of a timely orthodontic evaluation is a parent’s and patient’s peace of mind – knowing that while things might not be perfect, it is OK to wait for more growth and more teeth to come through. Most often though we might not initially see someone for a consultation until they are in late primary or early high school, and we also see many patients who are well into their adult life as well. So being older is not a barrier to having orthodontic treatment. If you don’t like the way your teeth look, we can help, at any age.Correct timing of treatment is very important. If it is too early to start, we have an efficient recall system to help you keep track.
What does an average treatment with braces involve?
It’s important to understand why teeth are being straightened, treatment plans, the importance of brushing after every meal and flossing daily. Avoiding hard and sticky foods and minimising sugar in your diet, always wearing elastics and other appliances as needed, keeping all appointments and arriving on time and reporting lost or broken appliances are responsibilities you must uphold. We will cover the technical side and will require your cooperation for ultimate results.
Discomfort is common at the start of having braces, so you may find it difficult to bite into things. The first few days will be different, be patient.
Orthodontic appliances must be adjusted every 6-8 weeks for treatment to proceed as planned. Early morning and afternoon appointments are reserved for short appointments. Longer consultations and appointments, such as “braces on” appointments are usually scheduled during the middle of the day or in the early evening. Patients will from time to time miss school time, but we do our best to run to schedule to ensure the interruption is minimal. Our schedule is carefully crafted and arriving late or missing appointments can cause a problem, as it may not be possible to fit in a time between other scheduled appointments for other patients. Please let us know as far in advance as possible if you are unable to keep an appointment or if you are likely to be late. This will enable us to find a suitable time and not disrupt the continuity of your treatment.
How much does orthodontic treatment cost?
Cost, of course, depends on the nature of the problem. Many orthodontic problems require only limited treatment and the price tag may be lower than you think. However, if someone needs braces on both top and bottom teeth to fix a complicated problem with the teeth and the bite, treatment can take about 2 years.
The cost of this treatment will depend on the severity of the problem. The fee can be paid off over 18 months and many Health Funds give refunds for orthodontic treatment. Our cost includes one set of removable or fixed retainers after the braces are removed.
At your consultation appointment, the treatment, the cost and the method of payment will be fully explained and a written quote will be given to you. We accept cheques, cash, Bpay, EFTPOS and credit cards for payment whichever is the most convenient. While it is important to keep in mind the long term benefit orthodontic treatment offers, we know you have specific questions so don’t be afraid to ask.
What are the Surgery hours and how to contact you?
We have surgeries at Hurstville, Parramatta and Epping:
Suite 503, 12-14 Ormonde Parade
HURSTVILLE NSW 2220
Phone: 9570 8133
Fax: 9579 4756
Surgery hours: Monday – Friday, 8:30am – 5pm
Suite 1 / Level 5
35 Smith Street
PARRAMATTA NSW 2150
Phone: 9633 4466
Fax: 9893 7484
Surgery hours: Monday – Friday, 8:30am – 5pm
Suite 109, 2 Pembroke St
EPPING NSW 2121
Phone: 9869 7666
Fax: 9868 5621
Surgery hours: Monday – Friday, 8:30am – 5pm, and two Saturday mornings each month
The American Association of Orthodontists (AAO) recommends that all children have a check-up with an orthodontic specialist no later than age 7.
Reasons for this Examination:
• The posterior occlusion(bite) is established when the first molars erupt. At that time, one can evaluate the antero-posterior and transverse relationships of the occlusion, as well as discover any functional shifts or crossbites.
• Incisors ( the front teeth) have begun to erupt and problems can be detected such as crowding, habits, deep bites, open bites and some jaw discrepancies.
• For some, a timely evaluation will lead to significant treatment benefits; for others, the principal immediate benefit is a parent’s peace of mind.
We do not advocate comprehensive orthodontic treatment at age 7.
However, interceptive treatment may be appropriate in the certain kinds of problems .