Dr Sanders close working association with general dentists and other specialists enables the most challenging orthodontic cases to be successfully treated using an interdisciplinary approach.
Orthodontic treatment usually involves an active phase with the use of removable or fixed appliance therapy. This is followed by an essential retention phase where a removable or fixed retainer is worn for a period after active treatment in order to maintain the result.
Orthopaedic treatment can be undertaken for patients who present with a significant skeletal discrepancy and who present at an age when considerable skeletal growth is still available. These treatments utilise growth modifications to achieve more normal skeletal relationships. Early identification allows for the most optimal treatment time to be selected for these patients.
Other early treatments undertaken for children are designed to intercept or treat problems before they fully develop so as to create the most appropriate environment for future dental development.
Early treatment may not eliminate the need for orthodontic treatment in the early permanent dentition; however, it can simplify the treatment required and lead to better treatment outcomes.
The Australian Society of Orthodontics recommends that an initial consultation and assessment should be undertaken for patients 7-8 years of age to identify and address these problems before they fully develop.
See before and after photos of early treatment patients in Early Orthodontic Treatment.
Full orthodontic treatment with braces (fixed appliances) is most commonly initiated after most of the permanent teeth have erupted. It can be advantageous to schedule this treatment during the pubertal growth spurt as at this time the teeth can be moved into their correct positions and facial skeletal growth can be monitored and modified if necessary.
Fixed appliance treatment generally takes between 12-24 months of active therapy depending upon the severity of the problem and the individual’s response to treatment. This active phase of treatment is generally followed by a period of retention.
Apart from a functional improvement, the aesthetic changes can greatly improve self-esteem.
See Treatment Outcomes for before and after treatment photos of patients treated by Dr Sanders
How old is too old?
Presently over 25% of our patients are adults.
Now there is no age limit to obtaining a new smile. You are never too old for orthodontic treatment, however; successful orthodontic treatment is very much dependent upon healthy dental, gingival and periodontal tissue.
One of the most attractive features a person can have at any age is a stunning smile. Thanks to today’s adult orthodontics, you can have one at just about any age.
Orthodontic treatment for many at this later stage of their life successfully improves their personal appearance and self-esteem. Equally important is the improvement in the health of the periodontal tissue and an improved occlusion. Dental problems like poor tooth alignment may prevent proper plaque and tartar removal, and an improper bite can cause fractured or excessively worn tooth surfaces.
New developments in technology provide aesthetic options that are less conspicuous, and are more aesthetically appealing to many adults. Adult patients have the option of choosing from traditional metal brackets, aesthetic ceramic brackets, self ligating brackets and clear aligners.
Adult orthodontic treatment is also used to complement or used in conjunction with other dental procedures. When complex multidisciplinary treatment is needed, orthodontics can be used to simplify this treatment and can significantly improve the outcome both functionally and aesthetically. Examples of this type of treatment include occlusal preparation for dental crowns or the opening of a space orthodontically to enable the proper placement of a dental implant where a tooth has been previously lost. In these cases, Dr Sanders will liaise with other dental professionals in a multidisciplinary approach to coordinate and streamline treatment to ensure the best possible outcome for you.
Adult jaws are fully grown and all teeth are firmly in place, so adult orthodontic treatment can sometimes take longer than the treatment of a child. The time frame can vary depending upon the severity of the patient’s problem. Treatment doesn’t end when the braces are removed. Once teeth have been moved into their desired positions, a period of time is needed to stabilise them so that the surrounding bone and tissue can conform to the new alignment. As a result the retention phase of treatment is critical in determining the ultimate success of treatment.
As no adolescent growth is available to assist with the correction of severe discrepancies in jaw relationships orthodontic treatment is sometimes combined with surgery to achieve the very best facial proportions to complement the most desirable occlusion.
Although orthodontists are specialists you do not require a referral for a consultation appointment to discuss your concerns and treatment alternatives.
Generally, in our experience, with correct diagnosis and treatment planning procedures, adult orthodontic treatment progresses smoothly and can achieve very exciting and successful results.
See Appliances for various types of full fixed braces.
See Adult Orthodontic Treatment showing before and after photos of patients treated by Dr Sanders.