Frequently Asked Questions
You may be wondering what all the initials mean after an orthodontist’s name, or perhaps you want to know if orthodontic treatment hurts. We’ve got the answers to these frequently asked questions – and many more – below.
What is orthodontics?
Orthodontics is a specialist arm of dentistry that focuses on straightening a patient’s teeth and ensuring their jaw is in correct alignment. Not only does this improve a patient’s appearance and overall confidence, it also has health benefits as a correctly aligned jaw enables a patient to chew and digest food properly.
How do you become an orthodontist?
To become an orthodontist you must first qualify as a dentist. This involves a full time 5 years university degree (BDSc). After two-to-four years of general dental practice, one then applies to do a specialist orthodontic degree (MDSc). This is a further three-year full time university course.
Do I need a referral to have orthodontic treatment?
No. At Smile Style Orthodontics we are happy to treat patients who have come directly to us. We do work with dentists who refer patients as well.
What happens if I don’t have orthodontic treatment?
Not everyone needs orthodontic treatment and the severity of each case does differ between patients. Some patients may only need a crooked front tooth straightened, in which case this tends to only require minor treatment. Other patients need much greater work to treat malocclusions, also known as bad bites (see below). However, if you need orthodontic treatment and don’t follow up on this, problems could get worse over time and may lead to tooth decay, gum disease, and destruction of the bone that holds teeth in place, as well as chewing and digestive difficulties.
Does orthodontic treatment hurt?
No. Orthodontic treatment doesn’t hurt, but it might cause you some mild discomfort at various stages of your treatment. This usually occurs when you have your braces tightened or your Invisalign aligners changed. However, this discomfort only lasts a day or two and can be treated with over-the-counter pain relief.
How long does orthodontic treatment take?
There is no one answer to this because every patient is different. Depending on the age of the patient and the severity of the problem, orthodontic treatment can take between six and 30 months.
Is orthodontic treatment expensive?
Orthodontic treatment is an investment but we do have finance plans and payment options in place to help make treatment affordable. It’s important to remember that you’re paying for the experience of a highly qualified, specialist orthodontist so you are getting your money’s worth! It’s also worth noting that treating orthodontic problems early may be less costly than the restorative dental care required to treat more serious problems that can develop in later years.
Do I have to wear braces as an adult patient?
There are a number of different treatment options available to our adult patients. The virtually invisible Invisalign aligners are one option. Other options include discreet braces, such as clear braces which blend in with the colour of your teeth and lingual braces which sit behind your teeth.
Is Invisalign as effective as braces?
Yes! And in some instances, it may be even more beneficial to have Invisalign. Dr Tselepis is recognised as a diamond provider of Invisalign which means he’s highly experienced using this discreet treatment method. You will be advised which type of orthodontic treatment will be most beneficial for you at your free Invisalign consultation.
Invisalign aligners are a registered medical device, you should always read and follow the label and the instructions of your treating orthodontist.
What problems does an orthodontist treat?
Malocclusion is the official name given to orthodontic problems and essentially means a “bad bite”. Most malocclusions are inherited, although some can be acquired. Acquired malocclusions may be instigated by accidents, early or late loss of baby teeth, or sucking of the thumb or fingers for a prolonged period of time.
Malocclusions which may be fixed through orthodontic treatment include:
When there is not enough space in the mouth for all of your teeth.
When there is too much space between teeth.
When either the top or the bottom teeth overlap.
When front teeth protrude out at a sharp angle.
Under bites and over bites
When either the top or the bottom teeth and jaw protrude forward of the other.
When a tooth has trouble breaking through the surface of the gum.
What does treatment cost?
At Smile Style we are committed to giving everybody an affordable amazing smile!
Depending on how difficult your bite problem is, our treatment fees can start from as little as: $55 per week.
How can I get my child to stop sucking their thumb?
If your child has a thumb-sucking habit, the repeated pressure can pull their front teeth out of alignment. To prevent that, and help your child kick the habit, we have a fixed device called a thumb crib. This crib prevents their thumb from making contact with the back of their teeth.