What we do – Orthodontic treatment

Committing to Orthodontic treatment is a rewarding decision. A beautiful smile and healthy appearance are important assets, improvement in these can greatly improve one’s self confidence. Crooked or crowded teeth can also be a health risk causing tooth decay and gum disease. Extreme cases can cause excessive wear on tooth surfaces, stress on the bones and even cause the jaw joints to move out of alignment.

Everyone knows braces straighten crooked teeth but you may not realise that the scope and purpose of Orthodontic treatment is much broader than beautiful smiles

What is Orthodontics?
Orthodontics is that branch of dentistry that specialises in the diagnosis, prevention and treatment of dental and facial irregularities. The technical term for these problems is ‘malocclusion’ which means ‘bad bite’. The practice of orthodontics require skill in the design, application and control of corrective appliances (braces) to bring teeth, lips and jaws into proper alignment and achieve facial balance and harmony for a lifetime of beautiful, healthy smiles.

Why do Dental and Facial Irregularities Occur?
Most malocclusions are inherited, but some are acquired. Inherited problems include crowding of teeth, too much space between teeth, extra or missing teeth, cleft palate and a wide variety of other irregularities of the jaws and face.
Acquired malocclusions can be caused by thumb or finger sucking, tongue thrusting, dental disease, or premature loss of teeth. Whether inherited or acquired, many of these problems affect not only alignment of the teeth but facial appearance as well.


Why is Orthodontic Treatment Important?
Everyone wants a beautiful smile – and everyone ought to have a healthy one. Crooked and crowded teeth are hard to clean and maintain. This may contribute to conditions which cause not only tooth decay but eventual gum disease and tooth loss. Other orthodontic problems can cause abnormal wear of tooth surface, excess stress on supportive bone and gum tissue, or malalignment of the jaw joints. An attractive smile and a pleasing appearance are vital assets to one’s self confidence. A person’s self esteem often improves as treatment brings teeth, lips and face into harmony.

What about your child?
The following signs may indicate your child needs to see an Orthodontist:

  • Thumb or finger sucking
  • Overlapping or crowding or erupting of permanent teeth
  • Broken or missing teeth
  • Difficulty chewing
  • Open mouth breathing
  • Jaws that tend to ‘click’ or ‘pop’
  • A developing underbite, overbite or other abnormal bite

When is the best time for treatment?
Each problem determines its own best starting time. Most orthodontic problems are inherited and therefore cannot be totally prevented. An early examination however, allows us to determine when a child’s particular problem should be treated for maximum improvement with the least time and expense.

What about Adult treatment?
Orthodontic treatment can be successful at any age. The biological process involved in tooth movement is the same in both adults and children. The health of the individual’s teeth, gums and supporting bone is what is the most important part in determining the prospects for improving an adult’s smile and dental health. Since adults facial bones are no longer growing certain corrections cannot be accomplished with braces alone. However, dramatic facial changes are now achieved with a combined approach of surgery and orthodontics for individuals who need this type of treatment.

How is Treatment accomplished?
Custom made appliances, or braces, are prescribed and designed according to the problem being treated. They may be removable or fixed (cemented and/or bonded). All braces have one goal – to use gentle pressure to move teeth into their proper positions. Under this pressure the body builds new tissue to support the improved position of the teeth. There are a few inconveniences but most patients adjust to braces quickly. Certain treats such as hard and sticky sweets and chewing gum are off limits; and the teeth may be tender after adjustments. We also provide removable plates or Invisalign treatment where these are appropriate options to correct the teeth.

How long does Treatment Take?
In general, active treatment with appliances ranges from one to two years. The actual time depends on the growth of the patients mouth and face, the co-operation of the patient and the severity of the problem.
After the braces are removed, a patient may have to wear a retainer for some time to keep the teeth in their new positions. The length of time if will be worn will be determined by individual cases. Most patients remain under supervision following active treatment for a period to assure that the teeth remain in satisfactory alignment.

How Important is Co-operation?
Successful orthodontic treatment requires co-operative effort between the orthodontist and patient (and the parent when the patient is a child or adolescent). We will provide the expertise, the treatment plan and the appliances to straighten teeth. The patient must follow instructions carefully so that the teeth move properly and on schedule. These patients who brush thoroughly; avoid hard sticky foods; wear their rubber bands and keep their appointments usually finish treatment on time with good results. Regular visits to the family dentist or dental Therapist should continue during orthodontic treatment because good dental care remains important. Through a co-operative effort, the treatment goal is achieved – a healthy mouth and a beautiful smile.

What will Treatment Cost?
The actual cost of orthodontic treatment depends on the severity of the problem. We will be glad to discuss fees with you before treatment begins and convenient financing with progress payments can be arranged.