FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Not at all. If you have any concerns about your own or your child’s teeth, then give us a call, email, or book online.
All orthodontists were dentists first. It takes five years of university study to become a dentist, and a further three years of full-time post-graduate study to become a specialist orthodontist. Following this extra study, an orthodontist only provides orthodontic treatment. Basically, all we do is braces! You might think that doing only braces all day, every day would be boring but there are so many different malocclusions that there is literally never a dull moment or boring day in orthodontics (well we don’t think so anyway).
Although we don’t usually start comprehensive treatment until most, if not all, of the adult teeth are present (usually around 12 years old), we love meeting little people around 8-10 years old. This is just in case there are any early issues that we might be able to intercept. We then continue to keep an eye on growth and development so that we can plan any future treatment together.
Alternately, it is never too late for treatment. More and more adults are enquiring about improving their smiles and we are happy to help!
Having the braces placed is not painful, but as the teeth start to move several hours later, you may experience some discomfort. This can be managed with simple pain relief and is unlikely to last more than a few days. Each time the braces are adjusted, the teeth may be a little tender again temporarily.
It can take a week or so for your lips and cheeks to get used to the metal brackets and hooks, and some people get ulcers in the early stages of treatment. We put wax in your take-home pack and show you how to use it, in case this does happen.
Most cases treated by orthodontists do not require extractions! Unfortunately, sometimes there is just not enough space for all the teeth (due to big teeth, little jaws or a combination of both). The most important thing is that your teeth end up in a healthy, aesthetic, and stable position within your face. We only recommend extractions after careful consideration, and only if it will improve your outcome in both the short and longterm.
Sometimes we suggest starting without extractions, and depending on your growth/response to treatment, we might make the decision together to remove teeth several months into treatment. The good news is, in some extraction cases, there may be enough space for wisdom teeth which would otherwise have required extraction.
Absolutely! Your dentist and hygienist are still the people that will check your teeth and gums and provide treatment as required. It is much trickier to care for your teeth with braces so it’s more important than ever to get regular check-ups. If we see anything of concern, we will of course let you and your dentist know. We are happy to coordinate appointments to remove wires for x-rays, fillings or a thorough clean, if required.