Frequently asked questions.

Q. When should I bring my child for an orthodontic assessment?

A. At Smile and Function Orthodontics, Specialist Orthodontist Dr Geoffrey Squires understands that long-term straight teeth and a stable bite are closely related to the balance of the two jaw joints on the left and right of the face. In 60% of boys and 85% of girls these two joints are out of alignment from a young age, even though symptoms may not yet have appeared. We recommend assessing children before their sixth birthday.

Q. What can I expect at the initial consult?

A.  We want to take the opportunity to get to know you, and you us. We will also undertake a detailed recording of your personal history and dental and facial features relevant to form a diagnostic orthodontic assessment. This includes:

  • Thorough history-taking and clinical examination

  • Clinical photographs

  • Taking mouth and teeth impressions - to make plaster study models of the teeth

    • These models will be mounted on an instrument called an articulator. Articulators mimic the movements of the jaws

    • These are then placed on a condylar position indicator instrument to determine the positions in space of the jaw joint balls

    • This data is highly informative regarding joint health and orthodontic treatment planning

  • Imaging - may include plain x-rays of the skull, jaws and teeth, a patient’s hand (to determine their physical stage of development) as well as more sophisticated imaging including cone-beam volumetric tomography (CBVT), and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)

Q. What are the expected costs of orthodontic treatment?

A. This is one of the most asked questions in relation to treatment and we are happy to discuss it with you in person or over the phone.

The difficulty in providing a specific answer is that every patient has a unique situation. Some may be similar and require similar treatments to deliver a winning smile and overall dental health but we work in such a way that we first diagnose the problem before suggesting a course of treatment.

When we first meet you we do an assessment of what the cause of your problem is. The teeth and the jaw are a very complex parts of the body that are constantly working in concert with numerous other inputs. As such there is no one size fits all solution.

Our assessment and diagnosis will give us and you the answers to the questions and a path forward. By providing us with data collected from x-rays, mouth modelling, and bite modelling we can show you what is causing your problem and how we will fix it. The cost of this initial diagnosis is generally less than 10% of the total cost of treatment.

We offer payment plans.

Please call us on 1300 760 561 to discuss your needs

Q. do you use invisible braces?

A. Short answer: no

Geoff’s clinical experience is that a better, less expensive result is obtained sooner using visible bracing.

Q. DO you use ceramic braces?

A. Ceramic braces are available but only for adult patients and only if insisted upon.

 As with ‘invisible’ braces, Geoff believes a better, less expensive result is obtained sooner using metallic bracing.

Q. DO you use lingual braces?

A. Short answer: no

In Geoff’s extensive experience, the easiest, fastest, most inexpensive and predictable way to get a great smile and function outcome is with braces placed on the visible (labial) surfaces of teeth.

Q. How long will orthodontic treatment take?

A. The duration of orthodontic treatment depends upon the nature of the case, the goals of treatment, and, very importantly, patient co-operation.

Typically treatment takes:

  • For children: between 2 - 6 years, involving 18 - 30 months in braces on average

  • For adults: 18 - 30 months in braces on average

Q. What’s the difference between a specialist orthodontist and dentist providing braces and treatment?

A. A specialist orthodontist is a dentist who has completed an additional 2-3 years post-graduate specialist training in orthodontics to the highest level of examination after a competitive selection process to be selected for entry. Following graduation, a specialist orthodontist’s practice is exclusively related to orthodontic work, any other general dental work is referred. A specialist orthodontist is qualified and experienced to handle the most complex orthodontics cases (as well as the simple!) safely and effectively.

A general dentist can do a variety of short-course training and experience related to orthodontics, but rarely has the same level of experience as a qualified specialist orthodontist in providing orthodontic treatment.