If you have any questions which have not been answered on this page, please don’t hesitate to get in contact, we will be happy to answer any of your questions.
All orthodontists are dentists, but not all dentists are orthodontists. Orthodontists are dental specialists who diagnose and treat problems with the alignment of teeth and jaws. Some general dentists provide orthodontic treatment, but their focus is on your general dental health. Here at Western Ortho, our entire focus is on straightening teeth.
To become a registered specialist orthodontist in Australia you must first complete a dental degree to become registered as a general dentist with AHPRA (Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency). Dentists must then work for a minimum of 2 years before being accepted to a 3-year, full-time university post-graduate degree in orthodontics. After satisfying these requirements, registration as a specialist orthodontist is granted by AHPRA. To check if your practitioner is a specialist orthodontist click here.
Not at all. We are happy to receive a referral from your dentist, but you are welcome to contact us directly for a consultation.
Great question. The cost of treatment varies widely based on your age, severity of your problem and what you want to achieve from your treatment. As there is no ‘one size fits all’ treatment plan, we are unable to give a quote over the phone. Schedule a consultation with Dr Shelley Coburn today to see what treatment is best suited to your needs. A quotation will be provided at that time and there are no hidden fees. What you see is what you pay. We also provide interest-free payment plans to help fit treatment costs into your budget.
It really depends on what we are correcting. Some early intervention and minor alignment cases can take as little as 6 months. The average treatment time for a full course of orthodontic treatment is usually between 18 and 24 months.
The difference between metal and clear braces is purely aesthetic. Metal braces are popular with children and teens as you can add a splash of colour to personalise them. Ceramic braces are great if you are feeling a little more self-conscious about wearing braces and are just as strong as metal ones.
We recommend a first orthodontic consultation at the age of 7 years. This is because the back molars and front incisors have now erupted, setting up your child’s future bite. Most children do not need treatment this young, but your specialist orthodontist will assess their jaw growth and tooth eruption to advise you of what to expect in the future.
If your child is older than 7, don’t worry that you have missed the boat! We see children of all ages and have the experience and skills to resolve orthodontic issues at any time.
Definitely not! In fact, more adults are seeking orthodontic treatment these days. It may be because they didn’t have access to treatment as a teenager or their bite may have changed over time. Sometimes your dentist may recommend orthodontic treatment to assist in shifting teeth or making space to allow for crowns and bridges to be placed, or to prevent a bad bite from further damaging your teeth. We are happy to collaborate with your chosen dentist or other dental specialists to achieve an ideal outcome.
The argument about extracting or not extracting teeth has been around since the early days of orthodontics over 100 years ago. The answer lies in the middle ground. In many cases extractions can be kept to a minimum or avoided altogether. Over-expanding the jaws for the sole purpose of avoiding extractions can produce an unattractive result that will also be unstable. Where there are large teeth, small jaws, very crowded or protrusive teeth it is possible that some extractions of permanent teeth may be required.
It takes more time and care to clean with braces on, but it is crucial to keep your teeth and gums healthy during treatment. We will provide you with brushing instructions and an oral hygiene kit on the day your braces are placed. It is also important to continue to see your general dentist for a check-up and clean every 6 months whilst wearing braces.
Some foods do not go well with braces. Hard and sticky foods can break the braces off your teeth and must be avoided. These are foods such as whole apples and carrots, popcorn and sticky lollies. Sugar-free chewing gum is allowed.
It is also important to minimise your sugar intake during treatment. When sugar sits on your teeth the bacteria in your mouth turn it into acid. Acid sitting on your teeth causes something called demineralisation where the minerals that make up your teeth are lost. This results in white or brown spots on your teeth after the braces are removed. But don’t worry – the great news is that this is completely preventable with a healthy diet and good oral hygiene!
When you first have braces placed, they will feel a little scratchy to your cheeks and gums. But just like wearing in a pair of new shoes, soon you won’t notice the braces at all. The braces exert pressure on your teeth to straighten them and your teeth will feel a little tender initially. You will want to avoid eating hard foods and can take paracetamol or ibuprofen until the soreness settles down. In most cases this lasts for anywhere from a few days to a week when braces are initially placed. After each adjustment the teeth may be tender again for a day or two.
Absolutely. A mouthguard is required, and we can advise you on how to fit one over your braces at home. Alternatively, your general dentist or a mouthguard dental technician can make one for you. If you have dental health insurance these are often covered in your policy.
These are the last molars in your mouth to form and commonly erupt between the ages of 17 and 25. Not all wisdom teeth need to be removed and after your treatment we will assess their position. If extractions of wisdom teeth are needed, we will refer you back to your dentist or to an oral surgeon for this. If not, your dentist can continue to monitor your wisdom teeth for you at your general check-ups.
Many people worry that erupting wisdom teeth will make their front teeth go crooked again. Extensive research has been done on this subject and we can confidently say that wisdom teeth will not ruin your orthodontic result. However, teeth continue to move during our lifetime for all sorts of reasons and wearing your retainers after treatment is essential!
Absolutely! Your teeth need to settle into their new positions in the bone and immediately after braces are removed, they are very vulnerable to shifting back. Retainers are initially worn all the time (being removed to eat and drink) and then slowly reduced over time. But don’t throw them away – even years after treatment it is a good idea to wear your retainers occasionally to maintain your beautiful smile.
Don’t panic but do contact us as soon as possible to let us know what has happened. If a brace is not attached to the tooth it will not be moving correctly and whilst it does not require immediate attention, we will schedule an earlier appointment to repair it. If you lose your plate or retainer, don’t delay in advising us as your teeth may start to move. We will schedule an appointment to replace or repair your plate as soon as possible.