How old do you have to be to have orthodontic treatment?
All ages can be treated; babies with facial anomalies such as cleft palate to late adulthood can benefit from orthodontic treatment. Modern techniques and materials have allowed many age groups to successfully and happily undertake treatment.
What type of braces do you use?
Hunter Valley Orthodontics uses the most modern braces available. These include ceramic (clear), stainless steel, coloured, gold and lingual (on the inside of the teeth). For more information see the section on braces.
How long will I need to be in braces?
The duration of your treatment varies according to the complexity of the problem. Serious problems can take up to 3 years to complete whilst very simple problems can take less than 6 months. However, the average treatment time is 18 months. The orthodontist at your initial examination will give you an estimation of the time we expect you will be in braces.
How much does orthodontic treatment costs?
This is not a simple question to answer since every person and their problem are unique to them! At our initial examination we will outline all your options and give you a written quotation for any orthodontic treatment we may recommend. Generally the costs of orthodontic treatment are spread out over several years commencing with a deposit and then equal quarterly payments. Most health funds are aware of this and spread out their repayments to you also.
Do you take teeth out?
Orthodontists do not physically remove teeth. Your dentist or oral surgeon will be given a prescription from our practice indicating the correct teeth that may require removal. All Orthodontic cases are unique and the orthodontist is specially trained to decide whether a patient requires tooth removal prior, during or after orthodontic treatment. The removing of teeth to overcome crowding and problems with the wisdom teeth is sometimes the most ideal solution.
How long do I have to wait after I have the teeth out to undergo orthodontic treatment?
The simple answer is when you are feeling well enough for us to place our braces. With simple tooth removals this can be within 2 weeks. For more complicated, surgical removals such as wisdom teeth this may be as long as 1-2 months. In some cases the orthodontist may suggest waiting several months or years to allow additional eruption and natural alignment from the removal of the teeth.
Does orthodontic treatment hurt?
Modern techniques and materials have made orthodontic treatment much less traumatic than the “old train track” days. Placing the braces usually does not cause undue pain, however as they begin to move your teeth they can cause your teeth to feel uncomfortable. A soft diet for the initial few days may be necessary to overcome that feeling.
How fast can I get started with braces?
The earliest you can start having braces fitted is once you have completed the preliminary work from you dentist (also see How long do I have to wait after I have the teeth out?). Depending on appointments this can be as early as 4-6 weeks from your initial examination appointment.
How often do I get the braces adjusted?
Usually adjustments are scheduled for between 4-8 weeks depending on the wires being used and the stage you are up to in treatment. The most modern forms of braces have unique clips that hold the wires in place and allows adjustments to be spread out even further (8-10 weeks). However, the process of tooth alignment always needs to be monitored regularly by the orthodontist and so is not a fully automated system!
What can I eat after having braces fitted?
You can commence eating immediately the braces have been placed. It may be advantageous to have something to eat soon after the braces are fitted, since they may become too uncomfortable to fully enjoy your larger evening meal. The general foods to avoid are hard and crunchy (eg,s pork crackling, muesli nuts, nuts), soft sticky (egs mars bars, minties, caramello’s) and sugary foods and drinks (eg cordials and soft drinks especially coke)