What is Orthodontics?

Orthodontics is a specialist area of dentistry that diagnoses, prevents and treats problems in the alignment of teeth and jaws. The word ‘orthodontics’ literally means ‘straight teeth’.

While orthodontics is primarily about ensuring that teeth line up where they should, it’s also about allowing patients to look and feel their best. At ethos, we know that we are delivering a genuine boost to a patient’s confidence – as well as a great natural smile.

While many people associate orthodontics with unsightly teenage braces, the range of contemporary products and procedures that ethos offers makes orthodontics an exciting option at any age.

some of the conditions orthodontics can treat

In addition to achieving a beautiful, natural smile, there are also important functional reasons why people may need to see an orthodontist specialist. Orthodontics can help:

  • correct misalignments that cause your teeth to wear unevenly or break easily.
  • make your teeth easier to clean effectively, preventing other dental problems.
  • create a comfortable bite with reduced wear and tear on tooth enamel and jaws.
  • give natural, lasting improvements without the challenging upkeep of options such as veneers.
  • prevent neck aches or headaches that originate from your jaw.

Whether you’re searching for the perfect smile, or tackling an alignment issue, talking to a registered professional orthodontist is a smart move. At ethos, there is no referral necessary, and our expert practitioners will work with you to tailor a treatment plan just for you.

Find out more about the conditions orthodontics can treat.

understanding the risks

All forms of medical and dental treatment, including orthodontics, carry potential risks and limitations. Fortunately, these complications are infrequent in orthodontics and tend to be of minor consequence.

Nevertheless, it’s important to consider all potential risks and limitations when you’re considering a decision to undergo orthodontic treatment. Only seek treatment from a registered, and experienced, orthodontic professional.

To find out more about this, visit the Australian Society of Orthodontics (ASO).

Risks and Limitations

Important information about the limitations and possible complications of orthodontic treatment.

We, at Ethos orthodontics work to achieve the best possible results for each of our patients, but we also like to make it clear from the outset that there are limitations on what can be done. Our predictions about what can be achieved will be realistic, based on experience and professional knowledge.

As with any form of medical or dental treatment, there are risks. In orthodontics, complications are rare and usually minor. Nevertheless, we believe it is important you be made aware of them before making your decision to undergo orthodontic treatment.

These are outlined below:

Root Shortening: Treatment can shorten the roots on the teeth. It is nearly impossible to predict a patients susceptibility. However this shortening rarely has significant long term consequences for teeth vitality.

Jaw Joints: Occasionally patients may suffer pain or dysfunction in the temporomandibular joints (TMJ’s). The main contributing factor in TMJ disorders is stress. Some people are prone to TMJ and so can suffer the condition whether or not they have orthodontic treatment. Discomfort from TMJ’s may last from a few days to several weeks. If the condition persists, your Orthodontist may recommend consulting a specialist in joint disorders.

Tooth Vitality: A tooth with decay or large fillings or one traumatised by a previous accident may have nerve damage. Orthodontic movement of the teeth may aggravate nerve damage in the affected tooth. In rare instances this may lead to the loss of the tooth’s vitality and discolouration of the tooth.

Atypical Growth: If, during treatment, the rate or direction of growth in the jaws is atypical (insufficient, excessive or asymmetrical), this disproportionate growth may limit our ability to achieve the desired result. Treatment may be prolonged to achieve an acceptable result.

Growth changes that occur after orthodontic treatment may alter the quality of treatment results. Further orthodontic treatment may be required. In some cases of atypical growth, the bite may change so much that oral surgery is required to achieve the best possible result.

Honestly presenting you with known risks and limitations of orthodontic treatment is central to our policy of being realistic about what you can expect from treatment.

Your teeth serve both functional and aesthetic purposes: biting, chewing and smiling. Having straight teeth is as much about personal confidence as it is about long term dental health and oral comfort. So we appreciate that there is an emotional factor in your decision.

Please take the time to discuss all of your expectations and concerns with us before commencing treatment. We will need your full cooperation throughout treatment so we want you to be satisfied from the outset that you are well informed and your decision to proceed is correct.