1. Do I need a referral to see the orthodontist?

No, you do not. Many of our patients are referred by their family dentist, others schedule an appointment themselves.

2. At what age should I schedule an appointment for an orthodontic screening?

We recommend an orthodontic screening at age 7 or 8, which is when the adut front teeth are erupting. By this age, we can assess whether any early treatment is required, either to address a specific problem, or to minimise problems later on.

3. Will my teeth straighten out as I grow?

In some people the front teeth do straighten as the jaws grow and more space becomes available. In other people, even with that growth, there still isn't enough space.

4. How do I schedule an appointment for an initial exam?

If you think you or your child could benefit from orthodontic treatment, simply call our office, send us an e-mail, or fill out our appointment request form online. We will be happy to schedule an appointment for you. When you call to schedule your appointment, our friendly reception staff will request some basic information from you.

5. What will happen at the initial examination appointment?

Upon arriving, you will be greeted by our receptionists who will make you feel welcome. You will then be taken through to meet Andy, who will ask you some questions (not difficult ones!!). Then he will look at your teeth, and talk with you about what treatment options there are. You will probably need to have an x-ray too.

To read more about your first visit, see our First Visit page.

6. What will I learn from the initial examination?

There are several essential questions that we will cover during the initial examination:

  • Are there any orthodontic issues, and if so, what are they?
  • What are the options for correcting these issues?
  • How long will the treatment take to complete?
  • When should we start treatment?
  • How much will the treatment cost?

7. Will I need to have teeth extracted for braces?

Straight teeth and a balanced facial profile are the goal of orthodontics. Removing teeth is sometimes required to achieve the best orthodontic result. However, removing teeth is not always necessary for orthodontic treatment.

8. How long will it take to complete treatment?

Treatment time obviously depends on each patient's specific orthodontic problem. In general, treatment times range from 12 to 30 months. The "average" time that a person has braces is approximately 18 months.

9. How much will braces cost? Are financing options available? How does my insurance work?

It is impossible to give an exact cost for treatment until we have examined you. We will quote you the exact cost and explain the financial options during the initial examination. We have many financing options available to accommodate your needs, and we will review these with you.

10. How often will I have appointments?

Appointments are scheduled according to each patient's needs. Most patients who have braces will be seen every 6 to 12 weeks. If there are specific situations that require more frequent monitoring, we will schedule appointments accordingly.

11. Can I schedule all of my appointments after school?

Unfortunately, we cannot schedule all appointments for students after school hours. However, because most appointments are scheduled 6 to 12 weeks apart, most patients will miss minimal school due to their orthodontic treatments.

12. Can I drop my child off for an appointment?

Yes. We understand your busy schedule, and we are happy to help you make the most of your time. On some occasions, we may request to speak with a parent when they return, so we ask that parents check before dropping off their child.

13. Do braces hurt?

Generally, braces do not "hurt." After certain visits, your teeth may be sore for a few days. In these situations, pain medications such as Panadol will ease the discomfort. However, some people do not feel any soreness at all!

14. Can I return to school the day I receive my braces?

Yes. There is no reason to miss school because of an orthodontic appointment - sorry!

15. Do you give injections?

No. Injections are not necessary for orthodontic treatment.

16. Do you use recycled braces?

Absolutely not! Never, ever.

17. Can I still play sports?

Yes. We recommend a mouth guard for all contact sports. Ask us for more details.

18. Do I need to see my family dentist while in braces?

Yes. Regular checkups with your family dentist are important while you have braces. Your family dentist will determine the best intervals between check up appointments.

19. Are there foods I cannot eat while I have braces?

Yes. Once treatment begins, we will give you guidance as to which foods to avoid. Some of those foods are ice, hard lollies, raw vegetables, and all sticky foods (i.e. caramel and toffee). You can avoid most emergency appointments to repair broken or damaged braces by carefully following our instructions.

20. How often should I brush my teeth while in braces?

You should brush their teeth at least four times each day - after each meal and before going to bed. We will show each patient how to floss their teeth with braces and may also provide a prescription for a special fluoride, if necessary.

21. What is an emergency appointment? How are those handled?

If your braces are causing pain or if something breaks, you should call our us as soon as possible. In most cases, we can address these issues over the telephone. If you require an emergency appointment, we will arrange an appointment as soon as possible for you. Please let us know if there is something broken so that we can make time to fix it for you.

22. Can orthodontic correction occur while a child has baby teeth?

Yes. Some orthodontic problems are significant enough to require early intervention. However, if you are not yet ready for treatment, we will follow your growth and development until the time is right for treatment to begin.

23. What is early treatment?

Early, or interceptive treatment, is sometimes necessary for children between the ages of 7 & 10, and usually takes 6 to 12 months. The main objective for early treatment is to address specific problems, such as buck teeth and crossbites, to prevent them from becoming more severe, and to improve self-esteem and self-image.

24. Will my child need full braces if he/she has early treatment?

Early treatment is usually provided to address a specific problem. Once completed, you will need to wait for all your permanent teeth to erupt before we can assess whether you need full braces or not.

25. Will my child need an expander?

At the completion of the initial examination, we will determine whether expansion is required.

26. Is it too late to have braces if I am already an adult?

A surprising percentage of our patients are adults. Health, happiness and self-esteem are just as important to adults. No patient is "too old" for orthodontic treatment!

27. Can I wear braces even though I have crowns and missing teeth?

Yes. A tooth with a crown will move just like a tooth with a simple filling. When teeth are missing, orthodontic treatment will aid in the alignment of the remaining teeth.

28. Why should I choose an orthodontic specialist?

In order to become a specialist orthodontist a dentist must spend an extra 3 years of full time postgraduate study learning how to assess and manage the growth and development of the teeth and jaws, and practising using the various orthodontic appliances and techniques.

The real question is: why would you choose NOT to see a specialist?