Q. When should I have my first appointment?
Ideally, treatment should start between the ages of eight and ten. Some children have their treatment early but most begin at about age twelve, once their permanent teeth have erupted. However, age is no barrier and the number of adults seeking treatment is on the increase.
Q. How is treatment paid for?
Treatment will allow the use of a wide choice of braces, including clear brackets and greater freedom to select appointments times. Costs for private treatment will reflect the age of the patient and the extent of treatment required but typically a normal course of treatment would cost between $2400 and $3600. Simple treatments start at around $1200 and a complex treatment will cost about $5000. Some special techniques, however, can cost a lot more.
Q. How often will I need an appointment?
It depends on the type of brace and the individual patient’s needs. It varies from every 2 weeks to 12 weeks but the optimum is every 5 to 8 weeks. It is unwise to start treatment if for some reason you will not be able to keep these regular appointments.
Q. Will I need extractions?
Teeth should only be taken out if necessary and this happens less often these days due to advances in brace design. Sometimes, however, there is insufficient room to line up teeth and space will need to be created. You will be advised at the consultation if you need teeth taken out.
Q. Will treatment be uncomfortable?
There may be a few days at the start of your treatment when your mouth feels uncomfortable or tender. The same applies to adjustments. If you feel discomfort then simple pain killers can help.
Q. Will I need to wear headgear?
This is seldom used. If it is needed it will be discussed during a consultation.
Q. What about Retainers?
These are very necessary especially to support the teeth after treatment in the first year. Not using them could allow the teeth to move back. It may be necessary to use them occasionally after the first year if the teeth still want to move.
Q. What is the effect of missing an appointment?
Not keeping appointments delays the treatment and increases the chance of breakages which also extends treatment.
Q. What is the usual length of treatment?
This can be as little as a few months, up to a few years. But the average in this practice is about 21 months which is the national average.