New patient questions
How does orthodontic treatment work?
Braces use steady, gentle pressure to gradually move teeth into new positions. The main components of braces are the brackets (the individual metal device that is bonded to each tooth) and the archwire (the wire which connects the brackets together). There is one archwire for the upper teeth and one archwire for the lower teeth. The archwire is attached to the brackets and exerts force on the tooth as the wire tries to return to its original shape. This pressure moves the teeth to a new, more ideal position.
What is Phase I and Phase II treatment?
Phase I, or early interceptive/preventive treatment, is limited orthodontic treatment (that is, treatment with just expanders, partial braces, and/or functional plates). Such treatment can occur between the ages of 6 and 10. This treatment is sometimes recommended to make more space for developing teeth or to correct a cross-bite, overbite, underbite, or a harmful oral habit, like thumb-sucking.
Phase II treatment (also called comprehensive treatment) involves full braces or aligners and occurs after all the permanent teeth have erupted.
What happens at my first visit to Invisible Orthodontics?
At your first visit, we complete a comprehensive evaluation of your teeth, jaws, and gums. We take measurements and diagnostic records, including photographs of the teeth and face, x-rays, and, if required, models of the teeth. We discuss the need for orthodontic treatment, appropriate treatment options, length of treatment, when to begin treatment, cost, and financial arrangements.
How long does orthodontic treatment usually take?
The length of treatment varies on a case-by-case basis, but the average treatment length is from 12 to 18 months. Actual treatment time can be affected by the rate of bone growth and the severity of the correction needed. Treatment length is also dependent on patient compliance. Maintaining good oral hygiene, visiting your dentist for regular cleanings, and keeping your orthodontist appointments are all important ingredients for keeping your treatment on schedule.
Do braces hurt?
Placing bands and brackets on your teeth does not hurt. But once your braces are in place and the archwire is connected to the brackets, you may feel some tenderness of your teeth for 1-4 days. Your lips and cheeks may feel irritated by the wire and brackets, as well. We have a number of ways to deal with this discomfort.
Will braces interfere with playing sports or playing a wind instrument?
No. However, we recommend that athletes protect their teeth by wearing a mouldable mouth guard while playing sport. Mouth guards are inexpensive and comfortable. For musicians, there may be an initial period of adjustment after you get your braces on. There are also mouth guards specifically designed for musicians. We can recommend a company where you can purchase one of these.
Should I continue to see my dentist during orthodontic treatment?
Yes, you should see your dentist every 6 months for cleaning and check-ups.
How much does orthodontic treatment cost?
The cost of treatment varies on a case-by-case basis depending on the specific corrections needed, treatment length, and type of braces. We will discuss fees and payment options with you prior to treatment. We offer a number of payments plan to suit different budgets. We work hard to make orthodontics affordable, and we accept cash, EFTPOS, Visa, MasterCard, and American Express.
Does my dental insurance cover orthodontic treatment?
Health funds offer some rebates on orthodontic treatment. Check with your insurer to obtain the current level of rebates, premiums, eligibility, and start dates for claiming purposes. We will provide you with the relevant procedure item number in order to make a claim. Health funds will have some restrictions, so please investigate this fully. Unfortunately, we do not deal directly with health funds.
Are there any tax rebates for orthodontic treatment?
Currently, tax rebates are available for dental and orthodontic treatments. Please check with your accountant to determine if you are able to claim this on your tax return.
Do you have convenient appointments?
Many of our patients have regular obligations (work, school) during the day, so we offer many appointments in the early morning and late afternoon. These appointments are for shorter treatment needs, such as progress adjustments and checks. During treatment, you will need to come in every 8 to 12 weeks for these types of appointments.
For longer appointments, such as initial assessment, banding, and bonding, we typically schedule during the day. By doing this, we can accommodate as many patients as possible in the hours that don’t conflict with school and work. If you prefer to be seen during a quieter time for your progress checks, please schedule an appointment during school/work hours.
What happens if I miss a scheduled appointment?
We realise that once in a while unforeseen circumstances arise which will require you to change your appointment or cause you to overlook your appointment. We will do our best to reschedule your appointment as soon as possible so progress is not lost. If you arrive late, we may need to reschedule your appointment in fairness to other patients. Please let us know at least 24 hours prior to a cancellation to avoid a cancellation fee of $25.