Frequently Asked Questions

Below are some common questions about orthodontic treatment. If you can’t find the answer to any questions you have, request a call back from one of our friendly treatment co-ordinators here.

What is Orthodontics?

As well as creating a sensational smile, orthodontics is that branch of dentistry which specialises in the diagnosis, prevention and treatment of problems with alignment of the teeth and jaws. Orthodontic treatment involves the design and use of corrective appliances (such as braces, plates, headgears and functional appliances) to bring the teeth and jaws into proper alignment.  Orthodontic treatment can be complicated and so is best provided by a registered specialist orthodontist. Read about the treatments we offer at Pure Orthodontics here.

What is an Orthodontist?

An orthodontist is a qualified dentist who has completed an additional 3 year Post Graduate Training Degree to become a registered specialist in orthodontics, in the same way that a cardiologist is a doctor who is a specialist in heart problems.

In Australia, an orthodontist must:

  • Complete an AHPRA registered general dental degree to become a general dentist
  • Work for a minimum of 2 years as a general dentist
  • Complete a 3-year full time university degree in orthodontics
  • Be registered with AHPRA as a Specialist in Orthodontics 

It is always a good idea to make sure your practitioner is a registered specialist orthodontist before embarking on treatment. You can check on your practitioner’s registration here.

Why would I need orthodontic treatment?

Orthodontic treatment can correct many problems with the bite, teeth and jaws.   These can range from very mild problems such as slightly twisted teeth to very complex problems where braces and reconstructive jaw surgery are required.  While most people seek treatment for aesthetic improvement, there are also functional reasons why most treatment is needed.  Some patients may notice they have severe wear of their teeth, problems speaking and chewing, or simply struggle to keep their teeth clean because they are so crooked.

Do I need a referral?

A referral is not required, although it can be helpful. Our friendly and knowledgeable team are happy to answer any questions you may have regarding your orthodontic treatment. You can request a call back here.

What happens at my first visit?

Our new patient consultations are booked for approximately one hour and are made up of several stages. To read more about the staging of our new patient consultations, click here.

When is the best time for my child to start seeing an orthodontist?

The Australian Society of Orthodontists recommends a child be seen by an orthodontist as early as age 7; earlier if a problem is discovered by a parent or family dentist.  By this age, the 6-year-old molars and several of the front permanent teeth have usually erupted, which will allow the orthodontist to determine if an orthodontic problem is developing.  An early consultation allows the orthodontist to determine the optimum time for treatment to begin.

When is the best time to start orthodontic treatment?

Although an orthodontist can enhance a smile at any age, many orthodontic problems are easier to correct if treated prior to the completion of growth. Early treatment may prevent the need for extraction of permanent teeth, surgery and more complicated corrections later in life. However, owing to the complex nature of orthodontics, early treatment may not be right for every child.  Only after a clinical examination of your child can the proper treatment plan be determined. Read more about early treatment here.

Am I too old for orthodontic treatment?

Generally, no!  Many people who missed out on having their teeth straightened as a child can still benefit from treatment as an adult.  Age is not a factor against receiving orthodontic care.  In fact, about 20% of orthodontic patients are adults.
For adults who may be self-conscious about wearing braces, we offer a range of aesthetic alternatives.  These are so subtle that your friends may not even notice that you are undergoing treatment. Read about our popular adult treatment options here.

Are there alternatives to braces?

Braces are currently the most precise and effective way to correct problems with tooth alignment. Understandably, some people are concerned about the appearance of metal braces. At Pure Orthodontics, we offer some excellent aesthetic alternatives.  Invisalign™ sequential plastic aligners can be a great alternative to traditional fixed braces, and depending on the nature of your problem, may even be a better option than braces. For more complex cases, where braces are required to get a satisfactory result, we are proud to offer Damon Clear ™ tooth coloured ceramic braces.