Who is an Orthodontist?
A Specialist Orthodontist is the most qualified person to diagnose, prevent and treat any problems you might have with the alignment of your teeth, jaws and bite.
For this reason most dentists refer these types of problems to Specialist Orthodontists as they are outside their scope of work and ability.
To become a Specialist Orthodontist you have to have been a dentist for at least two years before being accepted into a three year, full time Masters degree in orthodontics. You then become a registered specialist in orthodontics.
In Australia, a Specialist Orthodontist must:
- Complete a five-year, full-time Bachelor of Dentistry degree (BDS)
- Complete a three-year, full-time Masters in Orthodontics degree (MDSc) or equivalent
- Be registered as a Specialist in Orthodontics by a State Dental Board.
It is similar to the way a cardiologist undertakes extra training to become a specialist in diagnosing and treating heart problems and therefore more appropriate than a GP to treat these types of problems.
Unfortunately, there are some dentists that advertise or infer they are Orthodontists.
So, if you’re looking for the best person to treat yourself or your child with an orthodontic problem, you must ensure you see an orthodontist.
What is the best age to bring my child to the Orthodontist?
The Australian Society of Orthodontists recommends you take your child to an Orthodontist between the age of 8-10.
However, there are some instances where your child may need to see an Orthodontist even earlier. For example, if your child has a crossbite, this can cause asymmetric growth of the lower jaw which can be easily and gently corrected as young as 6 years old. Also, if your child has had trauma to their face or teeth, Dr Pitsis can help ensure your child’s teeth and jaws grow normally. Dr Pitsis therefore advises that you bring in your child as early as 6 years of age to ensure everything is erupting and growing normally.
For adult patients that are already in treatment who have children, Dr Pitsis advises them to bring in their children from the age of 6 months, which is when their first teeth usually come through. Even though Dr Pitsis does not formally examine your child, it enables your child to see the caring environment provided to you.
What we can correct or improve
If you have any of the following problems we can develop a personalised treatment plan to help.
- Constricted smiles
- Thumb sucking
- Speech impediment
- Breathing difficulties
- Sleep apnoea / snoring
- TMJ clicking / pain
- Gummy smile
- Crowded teeth
- Spaced teeth
- Protruded teeth and lips
- Retruded teeth and lips
- Missing teeth
- Impacted teeth
- Ectopic teeth
- Deep bites
- Open bites
- Protrusive bites / jaw
- Retrusive bites / jaw
Your personalised plan will not only help improve your overall teeth and gum health and function, the benefits may extend to your lips, jaw and jaw joints, smile, speech and face.
Improve your life
Whilst most people consider orthodontics a cosmetic treatment it can also deliver profound psychological benefits.
Successful orthodontic treatments have a much greater effect than just how you look. They have enormous benefits on ‘many’ aspects of your life, including but not limited to how you feel about yourself as well as how others perceive you.
It’s ‘never’ too late to improve your looks and well-being.
People judge your health and attractiveness by your smile. An attractive smile can therefore play a vital role in your long-term self-esteem, confidence and quality of life.
It's never too late to improve your looks and well-being.
The amount of top teeth you show when you talk and smile relates to how old you are. By increasing the amount of upper tooth display when you talk or smile can make you look younger.
Appearance of your gums
Most patients are unaware that the symmetry and amount of gum showing when they smile can be improved with orthodontic treatment. This is a more permanent way of improving the amount of gum showing when you smile without the need of a “gum lift”.
Appearance of your face
Most patients are also unaware that we can improve the way their face looks. We can move your teeth and/or jaws to improve your lip position, lip thickness, how your lips meet, your chin position, your jaw positions and your overall profile.
By increasing your lip thickness, you can look younger, more attractive as well as making your nose appear less prominent or your chin appear more or less prominent.
Tooth wear and jaw joint problems
Having straight teeth and a correct bite will mean less wear of your teeth throughout your life. This means that your jaw joints will be functioning better which may correct or reduce the chance of jaw joint problems such as clicking, tenderness, pain and headaches.
In severe malocclusions (bites) the teeth can damage the gum on the roof of your mouth or the gum on the outside of your teeth if you have a deep bite.
Some people have difficulty speaking properly because of the poor alignment with their teeth and jaws.