Common Questions | Fine Orthodontics | Orthodontists in Sydney

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Frequently asked questions

Do I need an orthodontist or a dentist?

Orthodontics is a dental specialty in the proper alignment of teeth and total facial structure. 

Your dentist may refer you to an orthodontist for specialist treatment. This checklist will give you an idea of who does what. 

Orthodontist
Dentist
5 year university General Dental Training
30 months+ university Specialist Training in Orthodontics
Specialises in the diagnosis and treatment of tooth and jaw alignment problems using braces and related techniques
Addresses bite problems by moving teeth
Specialist in dental and facial growth and development facilitating the orthodontic management of growing children
Restores, replaces or extracts teeth – does restorations (fillings), crowns, bridges and implant work
Includes cosmetic dentistry such as veneers
Does check-ups and monitors your dental health

So if you’re going through orthodontic treatment, you still need to keep up with six monthly check-ups with your dentist! 

How do I know
the person
carrying out
my treatment
is an
orthodontist?

A dentist needs to have completed two to three years of full-time specialist training to become an orthodontist. You can ask whether they are an orthodontic specialist, or see whether they are a member of a professional body such as the Australian Society of Orthodontists.

How much will
my orthodontic
treatment cost?

The cost of your orthodontic treatment will depend on your individual needs. It will be based on the complexity of your case and how many appointments you are likely to require.

We provide an orthodontic payment plan if you would like to spread the cost of your treatment over a period of time.

When should I visit an orthodontist?

You should arrange a consultation with an orthodontist when you have a concern, question or doubt about how your teeth are positioned, or about your jaw or facial growth and development.

Orthodontists will be able to improve the position of your teeth at virtually any age. An early examination will mean your orthodontist can determine how and when treatment is needed – in children, this can help eliminate the need for jaw surgery and extractions later in life.

Does my child need to see an orthodontist?

Some orthodontic issues need to be corrected properly the first time they appear, as the problem can increase as your child grows. Treatment will permanently change your child’s teeth and possibly even his or her face, as your orthodontist can manage tooth movement and guide facial development.

If your child has spacing between their baby teeth, this isn’t necessarily a problem as the permanent teeth that replace them are much larger. However, if there isn’t space, this often indicates overcrowding and further treatment may be required.

Do I need a referral?

Although many of our patients are referred to us by their dentist, we have also seen a rise in the number of people arranging their own consultations. If you would like to book an appointment, fill in our contact form and we’ll be in touch.

Will I need metal braces?

In many cases, we can use clear braces to carry out your orthodontic treatment, as it often makes patients feel more comfortable with their appearance. Invisalign clear aligners are one alternative to metal braces, but are generally not recommended for more complicated issues.

The decision whether to have metal or clear braces will lie with the patient, although your orthodontist will be able to advise on the best option.

Can removable appliances be
used instead
of braces?

Removable appliances are able to tip your teeth –however only braces can make greater movements.

What is crowding and can anything be done about it?

Crooked teeth are often the result of crowding. This occurs when the size of your teeth is too large for your jaw, or when the size of your jaw is too small for your teeth.

In some cases, expansion can provide enough room for your teeth.

Some milk teeth are larger than the permanent teeth that replace them, so we can gain extra space to correct crowding when your permanent teeth erupt. If the child is seen at the right time, this can be used to create space. In other situations, we may need to extract teeth to eliminate crowding.

What is a crossbite?

Your upper teeth normally overlap the lower teeth. With a crossbite, the lower teeth are outside the upper teeth, meaning the upper palate needs to be expanded.

What does it mean if my teeth are impacted?

Impacted teeth are ones that have not yet erupted. This might be due to severe crowding, bony or hard tissue impaction or soft tissue impaction.

It is sometimes necessary to surgically uncover the tooth so your orthodontist can actively guide it into the correct position.