General


What is orthodontics?

Orthodontics is the branch of dentistry that specialises in the diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of dental and facial irregularities.

What is an orthodontist?

An orthodontist is a registered dental specialist who has completed an advanced education program following dental school to learn the special skills required to manage tooth movement and guide facial development.

What are some possible benefits of orthodontics?

  • A more attractive smile
  • Reduced appearance-consciousness during critical development years
  • Better function of the teeth
  • Possible increase in self-confidence
  • Increased ability to clean the teeth
  • Improved force distribution and wear patterns of the teeth
  • Better long-term health of teeth and gums
  • Guide permanent teeth into more favourable positions
  • Reduce the risk of injury to protruded front teeth
  • Aids in optimising other dental treatment

What are some signs that braces may be needed?

  • Upper front teeth protrude excessively over the lower teeth, or are bucked
  • Upper front teeth cover the majority of the lower teeth when biting together (deep bite)
  • Upper front teeth are behind or inside the lower front teeth (underbite)
  • The upper and lower front teeth do not touch when biting together (open bite)
  • Crowded or overlapped teeth
  • The center of the upper and lower teeth do not line up
  • Finger- or thumb-sucking habits which continue after six or seven years old
  • Difficulty chewing
  • Teeth wearing unevenly or excessively
  • The lower jaw shifts to one side or the other when biting together
  • Spaces between the teeth
  • Missing teeth from heredity or trauma

At what age should orthodontic treatment occur?

Orthodontic treatment can be started at any age. Many orthodontic problems are easier to correct if detected at an early age before jaw growth has slowed. Early treatment may mean that a patient can avoid surgery and more serious complications. The Australian Society of Orthodontists recommends that every child first visit an orthodontist by age 7 or earlier if a problem is detected by parents, the family dentist, or the child's medical doctor.

What is early treatment?

Early interceptive treatment is undertaken well before all of the permanent teeth have erupted. Such treatment can occur between the ages of six and ten and will often include use of expanders, removable appliances, functional appliances or partial braces. This treatment is often recommended to make more space for developing teeth, correction of severe skeletal discrepancies, crossbites, overbites, and underbites, or harmful oral habits.

Would an adult patient benefit from orthodontics?

Orthodontic treatment can be successful at any age. Everyone wants a beautiful and healthy smile. Over twenty percent of our orthodontic patients today are adults, some well on the smiling side of fifty.

How does orthodontic treatment work?

Braces and Invisalign use steady gentle pressure to gradually move teeth into their proper positions.
For braces, the brackets that are placed on your teeth and the archwire that connects them are the main components. When the archwire is placed into the brackets, it tries to return to its original shape. As it does so, it applies pressure to move your teeth to their new, more ideal positions.