How long does orthodontic treatment take?

Treatment times vary according to the treatment required. Although some early treatments or limited treatments may take as little as six months, most comprehensive orthodontic treatments could be expected to take 18 to 30 months. This is discussed with each patient prior to commencement of treatment.

How do I maintain oral hygiene during orthodontic treatment?

Good oral hygiene is essential throughout life. Cleaning during orthodontic treatment is similar to cleaning without orthodontic appliances. However the orthodontic patient must be prepared to spend a little more time and attention to detail at least twice a day cleaning. Full instructions are given prior to commencement of treatment.

Is orthodontic treatment painful?

Some discomfort is to be expected as teeth move. This is usually only for some 24-48 hours after adjustment of appliances. Each person has a different degree of tolerance to discomfort.

How often will I need to attend appointments?

Dr Hettige asks most patients to attend appointments approximately every 3 to 5 weeks. The exact space between appointments varies according to the stage of treatment. Regular attendance at scheduled appointments is essential to enable the treatment to finish as planned and in the shortest possible time.

Are clear aligners suitable for me?

Clear aligners (such as Invisalign) may be appropriate for patients with orthodontic problems such as crooked or malaligned teeth. For patients with more complex such as jaw or bite alignment, aligners might not be appropriate. Aligners need to be worn 20-22 hours per day to be effective.

What is the cost of orthodontic treatment?

Orthodontic treatment costs vary considerably depending on the treatment required and the type of appliances which the patient chooses. After consultation and treatment planning a full quotation for the required treatment is provided . Interest free payment plans are available for most treatments. We like our patients to be fully informed prior to commencement of treatment. Orthodontics Australia website gives an overview of average costs for most types of orthodontic treatment.

What do I do if I have an orthodontic “emergency” during treatment?

Very few things occur which require attention between regular scheduled appointments. However, if you have a concern please call our office and if it is after hours, leave a message as we do frequently check messages out of hours.

The following advice which may be helpful in solving difficulties.

Accidents (trauma) – it is important to see a general dentist as soon as possible after an accident to the mouth (e.g. a sports injury). Contact our office to arrange to see the orthodontist soon after this.

Soreness – the usual pain relief that a patient is accustomed to taking is adequate for discomfort associated with orthodontic treatment

Poking wire – try to push the wire back and out of the way of the gum (the handle end of a spoon usually works or other smooth object may work). Wax can be applied and mouth wash should be used to aid any irritation of gum in the area.

Loose brackets – loose brackets usually can be attended to at next scheduled appointment. Take extra care eating around that area and advise the office so that extra time can be allocated.

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