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The Jeff Lipshatz orthodontics team in action

What is orthodontics?

Orthodontics is the branch of dentistry which specialises in the diagnosis, prevention and treatment of problems in the alignment of teeth and jaws.

What is an orthodontist?

An orthodontist is a dentist who has specialised in the field of orthodontics and restricts their practice only to orthodontics.

In Australia, an orthodontist must:

  • Complete a five-year, full-time Bachelor degree in Dentistry.
  • Complete a three-year, full-time Masters degree in Orthodontics.
  • Be registered as a Specialist in Orthodontics by a State Dental Board.

In short, an orthodontist is the most qualified person to diagnose, prevent and treat any problems you might have in the alignment of your teeth and jaws.

When is the best time for a child to see an orthodontist?

The Australian Society of Orthodontists recommends a child first be seen by an orthodontist as early as age 8. By this age, the six-year molars and several of the front permanent teeth have usually erupted, which will allow the orthodontist to determine if an orthodontic problem is developing. An early consultation allows the orthodontist to determine the optimum time for treatment to begin.

When is the best time to start orthodontic treatment?

Although an orthodontist can enhance a smile at any age, many orthodontic problems are easier to correct if treated prior to the completion of growth. Early treatment may prevent the need for extraction of permanent teeth, surgery and other serious corrections later in life.

However, not all treatment is best started early and a thorough assessment will help to determine if early treatment is appropriate for your child.

Am I too old for braces?

You are never too old to enjoy a beautiful smile for the rest of your life. Over 25% of our practice is made up of adults ranging from 18 to 65.

What are the advantages of orthodontic treatment?

Orthodontic treatment leads to a beautiful smile. Properly positioned teeth are much easier to clean, thereby making them less susceptible to tooth decay, gum disease, and even tooth loss.

Correction of the bite can also improve chewing and speech and reduce the risk of trauma to the teeth and gums. This also plays an important role in minimising excessive and uneven wear of the teeth and problems with the jaw joint.

Do I need a referral from a dentist for an orthodontic appointment?

Whilst we work very closely with your family dentist it is not necessary for you to be referred by the dentist. In fact a large number of our patients are referred through family and friends who have previously had orthodontic treatment with us.

How long does orthodontic treatment take?

Most orthodontic treatment with braces takes 18 – 24 months. However, this may vary depending on the degree of difficulty of each case and must be assessed on an individual basis.

How much do braces cost?

The cost for treatment varies with the complexity of the orthodontic problem and the amount of time that would be necessary to correct it. At the initial consultation Dr Lipshatz will describe the problem, advise how it may best be corrected, how long this will take and how much it will cost.

How are payments made?

Payments for ongoing treatment usually involve a deposit at the commencement of treatment and regular instalments over the duration of treatment.

A large proportion of the cost is rebateable from private health funds. We accept cash cheque, credit card, eftpos and have direct debit facilities. For your convenience we also have electronic health fund rebates.

What does my fee cover?

The orthodontic treatment fee covers the cost of the braces and all subsequent visits until the completion of treatment. This includes the first set of retainers and the retainer visits for 2-3 years.

What happens at the first appointment?

At the first appointment a clinical orthodontic assessment will be performed. We will explain any problems to you and discuss if treatment is necessary.

If treatment is required, the next step is to take records. This involves taking impressions of the teeth for study models, taking intra and extra oral photos and organising for X-rays to be taken. Dr Lipshatz is then able to comprehensively study the problem and determine the appropriate corrective measures.

The next appointment, if necessary, is what we call a Case Discussion. Dr Lipshatz will discuss the diagnosis with you in detail and explain the means to achieving the best possible functional and aesthetic results.

Any questions will be answered and we take the time to enable you to make an informed decision regarding treatment.

What precautions are necessary if I play sport with braces?

For all contact sports a mouth guard must be worn and we can provide this at your banding appointment.

How do I schedule an appointment to see Dr Lipshatz?

Our staff would be delighted to welcome you to our practice and you can schedule an appointment by ringing us on (03)9532 9135.