Orthodontic treatment refers to dental treatment options which correct mispositioned teeth and jaws. The process gradually straightens or re-aligns the teeth and jaw over time. It is also the most natural way to correct crooked teeth.
Common orthodontic treatment options include braces, retainers and clear aligners. The type of treatment chosen is dependent on your case, age, and lifestyle.
What can orthodontics treat?
Orthodontics can treat an array of problems such as an open bite, crowding, underbite, overbite and crossbite.
Overbite: This is where the teeth bite over the bottom teeth in an exaggerated manner. As a rule of thumb, half of your bottom teeth should show when your teeth are closed. If less than half is showing, it could be an indicator of an overbite.
Open bite: An open bite is where the upper and lower teeth slant outwards and do not touch when the mouth is shut.
Crowded teeth: Crowded teeth usually occur when there is not enough space for the teeth to sit correctly. This can either be the cause of large teeth, a small jaw, or a combination of both.
Underbite: When the bottom teeth protrude outward further than the upper teeth, it is called an underbite.
Crossbite: When the teeth are closed, and the upper teeth partially sit inside the lower teeth, this is known as a crossbite.
When teeth sit close together or overlap, they can be difficult to clean properly. This means, plaque is left to build up and can cause tooth decay and gum disease. Furthermore, improper positioning of the teeth can cause teeth to wear unevenly or cause injuries to the gums. For this reason, it is important to treat orthodontic problems to ensure a healthy smile.
Types of orthodontic treatment
Braces (fixed appliances): Metal or ceramic braces are attached to teeth and are connected through an orthodontic wire. This wire is then secured in place through the use of coloured elastic rings. As treatment progresses, thicker wire is used to place greater moving force onto the teeth.
Clear Aligners (removable appliances): Clear aligners such as Invisalign and SmileStyler, straighten teeth discreetly. They can be removed to eat and drink or as you wish – provided they remain in place for at least 20 hours a day.
Retainers: Help to prevent the teeth from moving out of place after orthodontic treatment.
Myobrace: Is an early orthodontic treatment for children aged 3 to 15 years. The idea behind Myobrace is to treat underlying causes of crooked teeth, and correctly align and develop the jaw.
How long does orthodontic treatment take?
Treatment to correct mispositioned teeth and jaws, can take anywhere from 6 months to 2 years. Severe cases may take up to 3 years to correct. This time estimate is largely dependent on the severity of the case rather than the type of treatment.
How much does treatment cost?
The cost of orthodontic treatment will depend on treatment type and duration. As well, if other appliances are required to aid treatment this will add to the cost. In general, you can expect to pay anywhere from $5,000 to $7,500 for orthodontic treatment.
Below we have put together a cost guide for each treatment type.
Metal Braces: $5,000 – $7,000
Clear aligners (Invisalign & SmileStyler): $5,000 – $7,500
Private health insurance and orthodontics
Depending on your type of cover, your health insurance may cover some of the costs of orthodontic treatment. Check your policy to see if you are covered for orthodontic treatment.
At an initial consultation, you will receive a treatment plan which includes item numbers for your treatment. Our receptionists can check on the spot if you are covered and for how much. As well, you are able to send the numbers to your health fund to see if you are covered.