Frequently Asked Questions
We answer some of the most commonly asked questions about orthodontics, Invisalign® clear aligners and braces in general. If you still have a query, please do not hesitate to contact us.
What are some common orthodontic problems?
Straight Smile Centre is skilled at treating orthodontic issues from simple to complex. Here are just a few of the issues we can treat here at our practice.
If your teeth are crooked or overlapping each other, this is known as crowding. Crowding can make it difficult to brush your teeth properly, which puts you at risk for cavities. Orthodontics can help you achieve a straighter, healthier smile.
Do you have big gaps between your teeth? Spacing can be closed through orthodontic treatment. This will not only help prevent food from getting stuck between your teeth, it can also give your smile an even, symmetrical look.
Do your top teeth just out far in front of your bottom teeth when you bite? This is known as a deep bite or overbite. And overbite makes your teeth more prone to injury, and can cause chewing and digestive issues. Luckily, it’s something we can easily fix with orthodontics.
An underbite is when your bottom teeth sit out in front of your top teeth. This is one of the most common orthodontic issues we see, and one we can treat with great results.
If your upper and lower teeth don’t meet in the middle when you bite together, this is called an open bite. Open bites can be fixed with braces, aligners or surgery, and your Specialist Orthodontist will recommend the best course of action for your smile.
A crossbite is when some of your lower teeth are in front of your top teeth, and some are behind - in other words, they cross over each other. We can treat crossbites successfully with both braces and aligners.
What is the difference between dentists and orthodontists?
Orthodontists are experts in orthodontic work (the movement of teeth), and specialise only in this area. They have three to four years of additional university training which dentists don’t, providing them with a total of eight years of study. A general dentist spends four years studying. General dentists treat patients for fillings, cleaning, caps etc. This is general dentistry; they are not specialists in the area of orthodontics.
Our Specialist Orthodontists are the most experienced orthodontists in Australia and South East Asia and, as shown in your consult, have proven results. We are also a Blue Diamond Invisalign® provider, a status given to us in recognition of our experience using the Invisalign® method.
Invisalign® vs Braces
Invisalign® treatment can be used to successfully treat a wide range of orthodontic problems, including crooked, crowded or spaced teeth. In some instances, Invisalign® clear aligners can treat more complex cases such as overbites, under-bites and even cross-bites. The success of this treatment is usually dependent on the experience of the orthodontist, which means at the Straight Smile Centre, you’re in good hands.
What is the cost of orthodontic treatment?
We do understand that there are a lot of choices in this competitive market. However, it is not only fees that you need to consider when choosing a provider for your orthodontic treatment.
At the Straight Smile Centre, we pride ourselves on the quality of the outcome of your treatment and we offer no-deposit, interest-free payment plans to fit all budgets.
So why is it important you choose a Blue Diamond Invisalign® provider?
Invisalign® recognises orthodontic clinics for their experience using the method’s virtually invisible aligners. This recognition is based on the number of cases that have been treated in the practice. To be a Blue Diamond Invisalign® provider, we treat in excess of 750 patients with Invisalign® clear aligners every year.
Straight Smile Centre is the only orthodontic clinic in Adelaide which is a Blue Diamond Status Invisalign® Provider.
This Super Elite status also provides a very clear indication of an orthodontic clinic’s training and expertise in treating patients with Invisalign® treatment. If you’re looking for an orthodontic practice for Invisalign® treatment, look for one with a Blue Diamond or Super Elite status as this indicates their experience and overall patient satisfaction.
What happens at a free consultation?
Straight Smile Centre offers a free Invisalign® consultation with one of our Treatment Coordinators who can provide you with an expert opinion about your orthodontic needs.
Why should I have orthodontic treatment?
The reasons vary from person to person, but most orthodontic treatment is conducted for health and appearance reasons. By straightening teeth, you can also correct speech difficulties, assist with tooth cleaning, avoid injury if teeth are protruding, and improve your occlusion/bite.
What age should I send my child to an orthodontist?
The Australian Association of Orthodontists recommends children have an orthodontic assessment when their baby teeth begin to fall out. For preventative measures, at the Straight Smile Centre™, we encourage people to bring their children when they reach the age of 6 or 7. By doing this we find we can prevent a simple problem from developing into a major problem, inevitably resulting in braces or other corrective measures when they become teenagers.
Is it better to have treatment as a teenager?
Some problems are best managed in earlier years to avoid having long and sometimes expensive treatment later on in life. If you think your child or teenager needs orthodontic treatment, you should have them seen to, the earlier the better. Prevention is the best medicine.
Am I too old for treatment?
No one is too old for orthodontic treatment. At the Straight Smile Centre™, our patients are all ages. If you want straighter teeth come and talk to us about your options. No referral is necessary and technology has come a long way.
What is the process when getting braces?
When you come to us wanting to straighten your teeth, your first appointment is free. If you decide to proceed with treatment, records of your teeth are collated and X-rays and impressions are taken. Using this information, our orthodontists will tailor a treatment plan to suit your specific case. Find out more about what you can expect in our treatment process section.
What happens if I don't have orthodontic treatment?
If you suffer from an orthodontic problem, leaving it won't make it go away. In fact, it can get worse over time. An untreated orthodontic problem can potentially lead to hygiene problems as cleaning could get difficult which may lead to decay or gingivitis. It can also lead to digestive and other health issues.
How long does orthodontic treatment take?
The length of treatment time depends on a number of variables, from the difficulty/severity of the initial problem to how well you care for your teeth and appliance during treatment. Everyone has different teeth, which is why we create individual treatment plans. The duration of your treatment will be outlined in this document.
Are braces comfortable?
For the most part, yes. However, when you first get your braces you may find they are uncomfortable or tight in your mouth. This feeling generally lasts around 48 hours and will feel like you have food stuck between your teeth. Eating soft food and chewing sugarless gum are a great help and you can take an Aspirin or Panadol if necessary. Your teeth will quickly settle down and return to normal. Sometimes when adjustments are made this soreness is repeated but certainly not at every visit – in fact the fewer adjustments that are made, the less sore you will be.
What is Invisalign® treatment?
Invisalign® treatment is an innovative orthodontic method which uses clear plastic aligners, as opposed to braces, to move teeth into position.
Invisalign® treatment can be used for both major and minor cases and here at the Straight Smile Centre™, Dr Grant Duncan is the number one provider of Invisalign® treatment in Australia. You can find out more about this treatment on our Invisalign® treatment page.
What are retainers?
Retainers are small, mouthguard type appliances which are worn after your treatment has finished to ensure your teeth stay in their new position. These retainers are removable but are initially worn full-time for at least the first three months. After that, you only need to wear them at night. Find out more about the importance of retainers on our after treatment page.
Can I still play sport with braces?
Yes, you can still enjoy playing sport. Braces really don't impact on your lifestyle. We will provide you with a mouthguard if you are involved in contact sports to avoid breakages or damage to the braces and your lips and cheeks. You will also be able to play wind musical instruments after a short adjustment period.
Do I need a referral?
You do not need a referral to come to us for treatment. However, it is usual for your dentist to give you a letter of referral to bring with you to your appointment that outlines their concerns.
Do you have payment plans available?
Yes, we offer an extensive range of payment plans. We strive to suit your requirements; however, once the plan has been agreed upon, it is expected that payments be made in accordance with the plan to ensure continuation of treatment.
What is Orthodontics?
Orthodontics is a specialist area of dentistry dedicated to the straightening of teeth. Often the placement of a person's facial bones can contribute to poorly positioned teeth. Orthodontics is directed at influencing these bone structures to ensure your teeth and jaws align with your overall facial profile.
What does an Orthodontist do?
Orthodontists are specialist dentists who provide orthodontic care. They have begun their career with an undergraduate degree in dentistry, then gone on to pursue further postgraduate study of at least three years in the field of orthodontics. They have to limit their practice exclusively to orthodontics for several years before they are registered as specialists.
Your dentist may refer you to an orthodontist, but at the Straight Smile Centre™ we also take self-referrals. If you would like to find out how you could benefit from a visit to an orthodontist, book a free consultation today.
How do braces work?
Traditional metal braces are made up of three parts. Each plays an important role in ensuring this appliance moves your teeth into the desired position.
When we fit your braces we'll begin by attaching small metal brackets to the front surface of your teeth or, in the case of lingual braces, the back surface. This is done using an orthodontic glue.
Once each tooth has a bracket on it, we'll then get two thin wires, known as an archwire, and connect all the brackets together. One archwire connects the brackets on the top teeth; the other archwire connects the brackets on the bottom teeth.
Throughout the course of treatment, this wire will be adjusted and tightened as this is what helps to guide your teeth into position.
Finally, we'll fit the elastic bands, or ligatures. These hook over the top and bottom brackets, usually on teeth towards the back of your mouth. The role of elastics is to provide gentle force to help move your teeth. If you have been fitted with Damon Clear braces, you won't need elastics as these braces have self-ligating brackets.
What are Elastics?
Elastics, also known as ligatures, are small rubber bands which are used to apply a constant force to move your teeth. They hook over the brackets on your top and bottom teeth and are worn in various positions, depending on the direction of movement required. We will explain how elastics must be worn at your fitting appointment.
You must wear the elastics all the time as directed by your orthodontist. Failure to do so will prolong your treatment time and may affect the final result. The only time your elastics should be removed is when you clean your teeth.
You will find that elastics tend to break at odd times so carry some wherever you go. To ensure you don't run out of elastics ask us for more at each appointment.
Unless instructed otherwise, your elastics must be changed every second day.
Got another question?
If you have a question about orthodontics that we haven't answered here, please feel free to contact us or ask your orthodontist at your next visit.
See us online or in the clinicBook a free consultation
WHO WILL I MEET?
- One of our Treatment Coordinators, all of whom are specially trained to assess and discuss your treatment options. They are happy to see you online for a virtual consultation or in the clinic.
HOW DOES IT WORK?
- We'll listen to you as you explain what you'd like to achieve from treatment.
- We will take a look at your mouth, teeth and smile to assess your orthodontic needs.
- We will explain all your treatment options and get some photos of your teeth. We may also take x-rays if we are seeing you for a consultation in the clinic, at no cost.
- Our orthodontist will create a bespoke treatment plan just for you.