Orthodontic FAQs

1. Do I need a referral ?

No you do not need a referral to book in with us for a free consultation however, if your dentist has recommended that you seek specialist advice please bring along any radiographs or referral letters you may have.

2. What is the difference between your dentist and an orthodontist?

All orthodontists are dentists first. Dentists undertake many years of study in either undergraduate or graduate programs in Australia and overseas and as part of their registration they must undertake continual education with AHPRA (Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency). Orthodontists are dentists who have done a further three years of full time post-graduate training in the specialty of orthodontics, with an accredited university. An orthodontist only practices the specialty of orthodontics and all our continued learning is focused on improving our knowledge and skills in the area of orthodontics. In addition all our orthodontist are members of the Australian Society of Orthodontics (ASO), the peak specialist boy for orthodontists across Australia.

In Australia, to be an Orthodontists you must:

  • Complete a Bachelor degree in Dentistry (a 5-year full-time university course).
  • Work as a general dentist for a minimum of 3 years.
  • Complete a Masters or Doctorate degree in Orthodontics (a 3-year full-time University course).
  • Be registered as a specialist in orthodontics by the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA).

3. Why is orthodontic treatment so expensive?

Without an explanation and understanding, your orthodontic treatment can appear expensive Consider the average number of visits. Depending on the complexity of your treatment, in a complete course of braces, Invisalign etc.. your number of appointments with your orthodontist will vary between 20-40 visits over an average of 18 months. Once your treatment is complete, your appointments with us will continue and these are also covered for an average period of 2 years after your treatment while you are in retention.

The materials we use are of the highest quality. After all, consider that that materials we use are going in your mouth for an extended period of time and we want to ensure that the top quality products are used for our patients. Orthodontist treatment is very personal and very labor intensive. Everything used during your appointment is processed and sterilised to the appropriate level and we ensure our clinic is a clean, safe medical environment for each patient we see. We have a highly trained team of staff that ensure top quality care is taken for all our patients.

4. Do you have payment plans?

In order to help with the cost of treatment we provide interest free payment plans through Denticare that extend over the course of you or your child’s treatment. We can customise the payment plan to suit your needs and reduce the financial burden and stress.

5. Am I too old to have orthodontic treatment?

Simply put… NO! you are never too old to have the smile you deserve. Contemporary methods to straighten teeth have come al long way and we can achieve incredible results without the need for bulky braces. As an adult you may have some specific considerations such as existing fillings, missing teeth or implants that may require attention, however this will be discussed at your initial consultation appointment.

5. When should I bring my child in?

An initial assessment at around age 7-8 years of age can allow problems with simple, interceptive solutions to be identified which may allow your child to avoid or reduce the complexity of future treatment and prevent the need for extractions or surgery later in life. Link to early treatment. If no treatment is required, or if treatment is best delayed, we do not charge to keep your child under review. Timing of treatment is essential to optimise many orthodontic problems and this will be different for each child. Your orthodontist will guide you with understanding the best time to start your child’s smile journey.

6. Do braces hurt?

Each patient has a different level of pain, however the feeling of initial discomfort when braces are first placed is a combination of your mouth adjusting, and your teeth beginning to move. The feeling is like a bruise where pressure is applied to the tooth it can be uncomfortable however, if you keep your teeth and gums clean and avoid hard or chewy foods this sensation only lasts for a day or two.

7. Will my speed be affected?

Braces or Invisalign trays are unlikely to affect your speech. However, some patients do feel that their speech is initially affected but luckily our brains are keen to adapt and most find their speech returns to normal within 1-2 days. If you want to speed the process, be sure to talk a lot or practice saying the words that you struggle with the pronunciation.

8. Can I play sport? Do I need a mouthguard?

A custom mouthguard offers the best protection and is highly recommended for contact sports such as foot-ball, especially once the treatment is complete. Having braces or Invisalign will not stop you playing in your regular sporting activities and we recommend a re-mouldable mouthguard during active orthodontic treatment which can be re-shaped as required throughout your treatment. Braces and Invisalign trays themselves can have a slight protective effect, distributing the force of a blow among several teeth rather than to a single tooth and can reduce the prominence of some of the front teeth during treatment.

9. Do I need my wisdom teeth removed? Will they affect the alignment of my teeth?

A lot of people are concerned about the impact of their wisdom teeth and believe that they put will affect the alignment of their teeth later in life. Increased crowding, especially in the lower front teeth is commonly observed in the late teenage years and early 20’s. To prevent relapse and changes with the alignment of your teeth we recommend long-term retention and wearing your orthodontic retainer most nights which you will be provided with at the end of your treatment. As part of your treatment we will assess and discuss the possible influence of your wisdom teeth and in some patients we may recommend to have them removed. Please ask your orthodontist if you have any concerns.

10. How do I get started with my Invisalign and can I eat with them in?

At your initial consultation a video scan using our specialised scanners is undertaken to aid in our assessment and treatment planning. Once your records are submitted to Invisalign and your treatment plan is formulated which usually takes 3-4 days our team will reach out to book your appointment to have the appliances placed. It usually takes 2-4 weeks for the aligners to be manufactured and sent from overseas. This appointment usually takes 45-60mins as we ensure you are comfortable and our friendly team will go through all the instructions at this time. The aligners work best if they are worn as much as possible (22 hours a day) but can discolour if certain foods and drink are consumed. This is why we recommend removing the aligners for eating and drinking (other than water) and also advise to brush your teeth along with rinsing the aligners after eating and before putting them back in. Special cleaning agents can aid in keeping them clean and allow you to maintain those pearly whites throughout treatment.

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