PatientInformation Questions Frequently Asked byOur Patients What is an orthodontist? An orthodontist is a dentist who has become a registered specialist in orthodontics (in much the same way that a cardiologist is a doctor who has become a specialist in heart problems). In Australia an orthodontist must: Complete a Bachelor degree in Dentistry (a 5 year full-time University course). Complete a Masters degree in Orthodontics (a 3 year full-time University course). Be registered as a Specialist in Orthodontics by the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHRPA). Why orthodontic treatment? People have orthodontic treatment to improve the appearance, health and function of their teeth. Conditions that are left untreated can result in a variety of problems: Crowded and overlapping teeth are more difficult to properly brush and floss, which may contribute to tooth decay, gum disease and eventual tooth loss. Protruding teeth are more susceptible to accidental chipping. Crossbites can result in clenching, grinding, uneven and/or excessive tooth wear as well as possible jaw joint problems. Openbites can result in tongue-thrusting habits and speech impediments. Severe deep bites can damage the gum. Habits such as thumb sucking can result in complicated malocclusions. Ultimately, orthodontics does more than make a pretty smile — it creates a healthier and more confident you. What are the most common orthodontic problems? Dr Andy Wu can help you address the following problems: Crowded teeth Crooked teeth Spaced teeth Crossbites Constricted smiles Habits – Thumb sucking Speech impediment Breathing difficulties/ Sleep apnoea Deepbite Underbite Openbite Protrusive teeth and lip Retrusive teeth and lip Missing/ extra teeth Impacted teeth Facial asymmetry Ectopic teeth TMJ problems (jaws that shift or make sounds) "Gummy” smile Do I need a referral to see an orthodontist? We welcome anyone interested in orthodontic treatment. Whilst patients can be referred by their dentist, a formal referral is not required. Most of our patients are referred by existing patients, family and friends. What is the cost of orthodontic treatment? Each patient’s condition will be different, thus the cost of orthodontic treatment will depend on the severity of the problem, estimated length of treatment and the type of appliances used. Many orthodontic problems require only a simple treatment and you might find that the cost is lower than you thought. At Nu Angle Orthodontics we offer our patients affordable orthodontic treatment with customised payment plans. You may also be eligible to claim a rebate from your health fund for fees paid on your orthodontic treatment and we encourage you to discuss the rebate with your health fund.