Thinking About Orthodontics?

Richmond Fine Dentistry takes a holistic approach to oral health through a wide range of orthodontic treatments, targeted at all ages – from children through to adulthood and older age.

What is orthodontics?

Orthodontics is the branch of dentistry that specialises in the diagnosis, prevention and treatment of dental and facial irregularities (malocclusion). Malocclusion is a technical term for when teeth and jaws don’t align properly. These problems may be inherited or acquired through habits from a young age.

Why correct malocclusion?

A malocclusion may contribute to speech impairments and increase the risk of trauma if teeth are prominent. Abnormal or uneven wear of tooth surfaces can also occur if there is poor alignment of the teeth or jaws. In cases of deep bite, the lower front teeth can bite into the gum behind the upper front teeth causing damage.

Crowded and overlapping teeth are harder to clean and can increase the risk of tooth decay, gum disease and eventual tooth loss. Having your teeth straightened will make it easier for you to look after them. Orthodontic care has broad reaching health benefits, far greater than just straightening teeth and improving the appearance of your smile.

Orthodontist in Richmond, Melbourne with teenager being fitted for Invisalign Clear Braces being moulded by a dentist

Start your orthodontic treatment with us

Any dentist may carry out orthodontic treatment, but the vast majority of cases are handled by specialist orthodontists who have restricted their practice to orthodontics exclusively. Some severe orthodontic cases also require oral and maxillofacial surgery. We can coordinate the course of care by appropriate referral to specialists.

At your child’s first dental visit, we start looking at facial habits, muscle patterns, breathing function, facial proportions and of course, the position of their baby teeth. From as young as seven we can start with a Myobrace program to ensure the correct development of the jawline and correct tongue resting position.

As an older child or as an adult, the intervention options broaden to include treatments such as Invisalign, Myobrace, braces, removable appliances or headgear to move the teeth or jaws into an ideal relationship.

When should I begin orthodontics?

Children’s orthodontics

It is usually wise to have an orthodontic consultation around seven years of age. Early examination allows the orthodontist to detect and evaluate problems and plan appropriate treatment, some orthodontic problems are easier and faster and less complicated to correct if detected early rather than waiting until jaw growth has slowed.  However, in other cases treatment will not commence until all the baby teeth have been lost.

Adult orthodontics

Teeth can be moved at any age as long as the gum and bone is healthy, therefore, orthodontic treatment can usually be successful at any age. However, because an adult’s facial bones are no longer growing, some severe malocclusions cannot be corrected with braces alone. In such cases, orthodontic treatment combined with jaw surgery can achieve dramatic improvements.

Length of Treatment

On average, orthodontic treatment using braces is approximately eighteen to twenty-four months in duration. However, the length of treatment will depend on the severity of the original malocclusion as well as the type of treatment carried out, and the co-operation of the patient. In the case of braces, on completion of the active part of orthodontic treatment, the braces will be removed and retaining appliances (retainers) are fitted to hold the teeth steady in their new position. These appliances may be removable plates or wires fitted behind the teeth. Retainers play an important role in orthodontic treatment, if they are not worn according to instructions, the teeth may move back towards their original position.

Orthodontic Options

Myobrace – Muscle Training System

We are very excited to add Myobrace to the list of treatments we provide.  Many do not realise, developing the correct facial muscle habits and correct nasal breathing at a young age is important for health in many ways.  Benefits include sufficient growth of the jaws in optimal proportions to fit all the adult teeth in the mouth.  This is where Myobrace (muscle training appliances) can help.

What is Myobrace?

Myobrace is a muscle training system which encourages correct jaw growth in children, so their dental arches form correctly, allowing space to fit their erupting teeth, with enough room for the adult teeth to come through straight.

How does Myobrace treatment work?

The optimal age to treat children with Myobrace is from six to ten years old.  They only need to wear the specially made brace for a few hours in the day and overnight.  This coupled with ‘myofunctional exercises’ creates real and lasting change to the teeth, tongue and jaw alignment, leading to optimal facial development and a straight smile.

Braces vs Myobrace?

Myobrace is the no-braces path to straightening your teeth and jaws.  Unlike braces, a permanent appliance is not worn – instead a temporary Myobrace appliance is worn for a couple of hours per day and overnight coupled with specially formulated facial exercises to improve breathing, muscle function and tongue posture.  This can be a big benefit for kids playing sport where braces can pose a painful threat if mouth contact occurs.  Children don’t need to feel self conscious as they won’t need to wear their Myobrace in front of their peers.  The cost and duration of the treatment will vary between individuals but it is generally quite similar to that of traditional braces.

Find out more information about Myobrace.

Contact us today for more information or to book an appointment for a Myobrace consultation.

Invisalign – Clear Braces

We are a trusted provider of Invisalign services to Melbourne.

What is Invisalign?

Invisalign is the modern and effective technique of using a series of plates to realign teeth. It is not useful in all orthodontic cases, but definitely appropriate for some patients suffering from malocclusion..

How does Invisalign work?

Invisalign uses clear aligners created specifically for your own mouth to gradually and gently move your teeth into place. Every couple of weeks a new, specially modified aligner is worn until treatment is complete.

Braces vs Invisalign

Both methods were designed to straighten teeth while improving oral health and overall smile. Invisalign, however requires no metal brackets attached to your teeth, as the name suggests, it is designed to be near invisible as the aligner trays are made of clear, BPA- free plastic.

Find out more information on Invisalign.

SmileFast

Smilefast is a new orthodontic technology we are proud to offer at Richmond Fine Dentistry, and have received great results with. Smilefast is a form of fixed brace that is much quicker than other options, requiring around 6–9 months for treatment. With clear and white brackets and wires, it also has a discreet appearance.

Find out more information on Smilefast.

Orthodontic Issues to be aware of

Successful orthodontic treatment depends on the understanding and cooperation of the patient. Although there are many benefits to be gained from orthodontic treatment, there are also potential risks associated with this type of treatment. Although these risks are generally not serious, they still should be considered when making the decision to undergo orthodontic treatment.

Oral Health

Tooth decay, gum disease, and permanent markings (decalcification) on the teeth can occur if orthodontic patients eat foods containing excessive sugar and acids and allow plaque to accumulate around braces. This may occur without orthodontic treatment but the risk is greater when wearing braces. Inflammation of the gums and loss of supporting bone can occur if bacterial plaque is not removed regularly with good oral hygiene. Be sure to continue to visit Richmond Fine Dentistry at least every six months while orthodontic treatment is progressing. Use of fluorides and tooth conditioner is highly recommended.

Relapse

Teeth may have a tendency to change their position after treatment. This is called relapse. The faithful wearing of retainers should reduce this tendency. Teeth can however, move at any time whether or not they have been orthodontically treated. This may be caused by growth and maturational changes, mouth breathing, playing a musical instrument and other oral habits.

Tooth Vitality

Where a tooth has been injured by a previous accident or contains a large filling, damage to the nerve of the tooth may result. In rare instances, this may lead to loss of tooth vitality and discolouration of the tooth requiring root canal treatment or other dental treatment to restore the colour of the tooth.

Treatment Time

The total time required to complete treatment may exceed the estimate. Poor cooperation, poor oral hygiene, broken appliances and missed appointments can lengthen the treatment time and affect the quality of the result. Cooperation throughout treatment is your contribution to a pleasing appearance and good bite. Failure to cooperate may require the orthodontist to change the goals of your treatment.

General Health

General medical problems can affect orthodontic treatment. You should keep your orthodontist informed of any changes to your medical health or any medication you may be taking.

Soft Tissue Damage

Braces may cause some irritation to the soft tissue of the mouth. If improperly handled, the headgear may also cause injury to the face or eyes. Patients are warned not to wear headgear during times of rough play or competitive activity. Although our headgears are equipped with a safety system, we urge caution at all times.

Mouthguards

It is strongly recommended that you obtain a special mouthguard if you play any form of sport that may result in injury to the teeth. Talk to us at Richmond Fine Dentistry, we can construct and fit specialised orthodontic mouthguards.