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Our team have gotten together and answered a few our most frequently asked questions for you.
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Why are new patient consultation appointments booked so far in advance?

Answered by Dr Emily

Orthodontics is a specialist dental practice. Our Orthodontists are committed maintaining the highest possible standards. This means ensuring we have enough time allocated for a thorough assessment, to plan and to carry out your treatment. We won’t take on more patients than we are able to treat to the best of our ability.

However, once you have been seen for your initial appointment, any necessary appointments can be quickly arranged for you.

Very few orthodontic situations require an immediate start. However, if your situation requires an emergency assessment, your dentist will be in touch with us and we will do our best to accommodate you.

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. 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 training in the speciality of Orthodontics, with an accredited university.

An Orthodontist is restricted to practicing only orthodontics. Orthodontists are registered with AHPRA as specialists and as a condition of our registration, we no longer perform general dental procedures. Therefore all of our continued learning is focussed on improving our skills in the area of Orthodontics.

Additionally all our Orthodontists are members of the Australian Society of Orthodontics (ASO), the peak specialist body for Orthodontists across Australia.

In Australia, to be an Orthodontist you must:

  • Complete a Bachelor degree in Dentistry (a 5-year full-time University course)
  • Complete a Masters 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)
Is Invisalign as good as normal braces?

Answered by Dr Emily

Invisalign, like braces, is a tool to move teeth.

An Orthodontist best understands how teeth move and will ensure that the aims of your treatment are achievable and realistic. Our aim for Invisalign patients is a finish as good as we provide for our patients in braces.

We are a platinum providers of Invisalign. This reflects that we consistently use Invisalign as a treatment method in the practice. But are also realistic in our selection of which patients are best suited for this type of treatment.

The main problem we experience with our Invisalign treatment is that it is reliant on great patient compliance. Unless the plates are worn 22 hours out of 24 for the duration of treatment, there is the potential for your treatment to go off track. Lost aligners and aligners worn infrequently will show up quickly as the planned tooth movements in each aligner are not completed.

Why has my friend’s kid got braces on and they still have baby teeth?

Answered by Dr Emily

Braces, plates, expanders, functional appliances etc. are all just alternative ways to move teeth.

In some cases a few braces or brackets may be placed in young children to more efficiently move teeth to a new position. For example, a tooth that has erupted in the roof of the mouth may be more quickly repositioned with some braces, rather than with a plate, and can require less compliance from a young child.

It is rare that a full set of braces will be placed when baby teeth are still present.

Do I need a referral to see an orthodontist?

You do not need a referral to see an orthodontist.

Do you offer payment plans?

Answered by Dr Dave

In order to help with the cost of treatment we provide interest free payment plans that extend over the course of your or your child’s treatment.

We are now able to offer you customisable plans where you are able to vary your initial deposit and monthly payments to better suit your family’s budget.

Why is orthodontic treatment such an investment?

Answered by Dr Emily

Without explanation, your orthodontic treatment can appear expensive.

Consider the average number of visits. Depending on the complexity of your treatment, in a complete case of braces, Invisalign etc. your number of appointments with us will vary from between 20 to 40 visits.

Following treatment, your appointments with us continue, and these are also covered for an average period of 3 years after treatment.

While the initial alignment of your teeth can occur quite quickly, complete correction of your bite and the alignment of your teeth usually takes between eighteen months to 2 years. Allowing the time to achieve a proper, high quality finish sets you up for a better functioning and more stable result.

The materials we use are of the highest quality. After all, consider for a moment that these materials are going in your mouth, and often for an extended period of time.

Croydon Orthodontics is careful to use only high quality product, manufactured by known, qualitycontrolled sources in America rather than cheaper product from untraceable sources.

Orthodontic treatment is very personal and very labour intensive. Everything used during your appointment is processed and is sterilised to the appropriate level. Before you are seated, the room is wiped down and adhesive barriers changed over. On our front desk, our staff are waiting to assist you in finding and changing your appointments.

Your retainers and your all your reviews are an included expense. Your treatment fee not only covers you for all of your adjustment appointments in treatment, but looking after you or your child after the braces come off. The retainers provided are individually tailored to keep the bite corrected and if cared for properly last for 6 – 7 years on average.

Three years of structured review appointments ensure that everything stays looking great. After this, you are welcome to stay with the practice, but there is a small fee for these appointments.

The highest possible level of training and experience an Orthodontist offers the highest level of possible training.

A specialist orthodontist has had exposure to all methods of treatment, from the archaic to the currently trending, and and is required to critically review all the available literature. The perspective a specialist orthodontist is able to offer is balanced, rather than skewed to a limited area of expertise.

Orthodontists are registered with AHPRA as specialists and as a condition of our registration, we are no longer perform general dental procedures. Therefore all of our continued learning is focussed on improving our skills in the area of Orthodontics.

Won’t the wisdom teeth move the teeth straight back?

Answered by Dr Emily

A lot of people are concerned about the impact of their wisdom teeth.
Increased crowding, particularly of the lower front teeth, is often seen to occur in the late teenage years and early 20’s.

While wisdom teeth are commonly blamed, the crowding that occurs during this time can also be attributed to late facial growth. This is supported by observations that crowding occurs with equal frequency in people with wisdom teeth and in those who naturally have no wisdom teeth.

To prevent unwanted movement after your orthodontic treatment in most cases a small segment of wire is placed behind the lower front teeth at the end of treatment. This wire is known as a ‘fixed retainer’. You will also be supplied with a set of upper and lower removable retainers, specifically designed to hold your teeth in a stable position. The retainers supplied at the end of treatment should be worn as directed by your orthodontist through your early twenties, and ideally, forever.

As part of your treatment we will assess and discuss the possible influence of your wisdom teeth on your treatment. In some people, the early removal of the wisdom teeth may be recommended. In others, they may be monitored only or even erupt to act as functional, cleanable additions to your dentition.

Am I too old to have orthodontic treatment?

Answered by Dr Dave

You are never to old to have orthodontic treatment, in some form. Contemporary options make orthodontic treatment more palatable than ever before for older age groups.

As a general rule we find adult patients to motivated, more considerate of their hygiene and diligent following instruction. For these reasons we have found the average treatment time of our adults is equal or less than that of the equivalent junior patient.

As an adult undergoing orthodontic treatment you may have some specific considerations, such a existing fillings, complex restorative issues and require the involvement of other specialties. This will all be discussed at your initial appointment.

My child hasn't lost all their teeth yet - is is too soon to come in?

An orthodontic assessment at around 8 years of age can allow problems with simple, interceptive solutions to be identified. This may allow you in some cases to avoid treatment, reduce the complexity of future treatment and prevent the need for the extraction of teeth at a later date.

An initial assessment at age 8 can put your mind at ease and allow you to plan for the future. If no treatment is required, or if treatment is best delayed, Croydon Orthodontics does not charge to keep your child under review.

Why do some kids start their treatment so early and why do some start so much later?

Answered by Dr Emily

Different orthodontic problems require different approaches and for this reason the ideal time to start treatment can vary.

Starting treatment at the correct time is the key to keeping your child’s treatment at short as possible and to achieving their best possible outcome.

8 – 12 years of age
There are some orthodontic conditions that respond extremely well to intervention at an early age, i.e. while the baby teeth are still present. These conditions will often be identified by your dentist but if you are unsure an initial consult at around 8 years of age can provide peace of mind.

If you would like more information please see early treatment.

12 years plus
In some teenage patients starting treatment while they are actively growing is important as it can be used to help achieve correction. In others treatment is only recommended when growth is near complete, as this approach will ensure that the results of their orthodontic treatment are stable.

Your Orthodontist can explain which approach is best for your case.

Good orthodontic treatment should be tailored to your child’s individual needs. This assessment includes taking into account their individual maturity and attitude to treatment. By having time to get to know your child

Do Braces hurt?

Answered by Dr Dave
Any time pressure is applied to teeth, a bruise-like feeling will be experienced. This feeling occurs with braces but also with plates, expanders, seperators, Invisalign etc.

The initial discomfort experienced when your braces are first placed is the combination of your mouth adjusting to your new appliances and your teeth starting to move. Most people experience less than a week of discomfort.

At Croydon Orthodontics we use small, low-profile brackets to minimise the discomfort felt from your braces on your lips and tongue.

Will it affect my speech?

Answered by Dr Emily
Braces are unlikely to affect your speech. However with some other appliances, your speech may be affected temporarily.

Things that interfere with your tongue touching against the inner surface of the upper front teeth and palate may effect your speech slightly in the short term. This is because some sounds such as the ‘th’ and ’s’ sounds are formed against this surface. Most people who have had treatment will tell you, the first day they get their retainers is an interesting one for speech! (On the flip side – it’s also a dead give away to your Orthodontist if you’re not wearing your retainer enough if you come to your retainer check appointment still speaking with a lisp!)

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 read to yourself out loud, repeating any words you stumble on until your pronunciation improves.

In adults, speech can be a little slower to adapt and you may even notice a very slight and temporary lisp if the position of your front teeth changes rapidly.

Can I play sport? Will I need mouthguard?

Answered by Dr Emily
A custom mouthguard offers the best protection and is highly recommended, especially once the braces come off. A custom mouthguard can be arranged through your general dentist.

Braces should not stop you participating in any of your regular activities. If you are in treatment and play a sport where anything is likely to come into contact with your mouth or face, a mouldable mouthguard while the teeth are moving is strongly recommended.

Braces themselves can have a slight protective effect, distributing the force of a blow among several teeth rather than to a single tooth. However, your lips and cheeks can become quite cut up should you receive a knock to your mouth.

What do I do if a bracket comes loose?

Answered by Ashleigh Gargano
During the course of your orthodontic treatment with braces you may find that a bracket comes loose. At the start of treatment it is more common, particularly as you are learning what foods you can and cannot eat. A diet full of sticky lollies and hard, crunchy foods is the most common cause of broken brackets.

If a bracket comes loose at the start of your treatment and it does not bother you then we will repair the loose bracket at your next visit. However, if it is bothering you then we can organise an emergency appointment to relieve any discomfort. If you are nearing towards the end of your orthodontic treatment then we recommend that you schedule an emergency appointment to have the loose bracket replaced to prevent your teeth moving.

What are separators and what do I do if one comes out?

Answered by Ashleigh Gargano
Separators are little rubber rings that are placed between teeth to gently and gradually move them slightly apart. Separators create space which allows us to easily band those teeth the following visit. It is important to avoid foods that are sticky to prevent the separators from dislodging. Foods to avoid include chewing gum, Minties, Redskins, Fantail lollies and chewy muesli bars, just to name a few. Furthermore flossing and toothpicks should not be used between teeth where the separators have been placed.

If a separator comes out a day or two before your banding appointment you do not need to make an additional appointment to have it replaced. However if a separator comes out several days before your next appointment it is ideal that we replace the separator to ensure your next visit is comfortable.