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Frequently Asked Questions

FAQs for Orthodontics for Children

The following are the frequently asked questions about braces and orthodontic care. If you have additional questions, please call us, or contact the Center.

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  • Orthodontics is the specialist field of dentistry that is officially known as Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopaedics. The purpose of orthodontics is to treat "malocclusions" which is another way of saying a "bad or incorrect bite." Malocclusions are commonly known as orthodontic problems.

    When you have a malocclusion, your teeth, lips and/or jaws don’t line up correctly. Your teeth may be crooked, your bite might not work correctly, or your jaws may look unbalanced.

    To fix these orthodontic problems, braces and other corrective appliances are often used. This correction of the teeth and their supportive structures makes for a healthy, attractive smile.

  • Spacing and crowding - Teeth may be too big, too small, too far apart or too close together which can result in poor alignment.

    Openbite - This is where back teeth bite together but front teeth don't, so there is a gap between top and bottom teeth. It creates difficulty with eating, biting, chewing and speech.

    Overbite/deepbite - This is where the upper jaw bites down too far over the lower jaw and may bite into the lower gum. Lower teeth can bite up into the gum behind the upper teeth.

    Crossbite - Upper teeth should fit outside lower teeth like a lid on a box. If the upper jaw is too narrow, the lower jaw usually swings to one side to allow the back teeth to mesh.

    Underbite - This is much less common but occurs when the lower jaw outgrows the upper jaw. When biting together, upper front teeth sit in behind lower teeth.

    Overjet - Overjet occurs when the upper jaw grows too much and sticks out, or the lower jaw does not grow enough.

    Abnormal erruption – Abnormal eruption occurs when teeth develop in the wrong area of the jaw/gum.

  • Most orthodontic problems are inherited. Examples of these genetic problems are crowding, spacing, protrusion, extra teeth, missing teeth and some jaw growth problems. Other malocclusions are acquired as a result of thumb or finger sucking, dental disease, accidents, the early or late loss of baby teeth, or other causes.

  • Orthodontists are dental specialists who diagnose, prevent and treat dental and facial irregularities. They have completed additional specialized education beyond dental school to learn the proper way to align and straighten teeth. Only those who successfully complete this formal education may call themselves a ‘Specialist Orthodontist’ and only orthodontists may be members of the Australia Society of Orthodontists. Furthermore, Dr Shimanto Purkayastha is the only Specialist Orthodontist who is board certified and accredited in Norwest. To achieve board certification an Orthodontist must not only already be a Registered Specialist Orthodontist but also needs to have treated cases assessed by the Board. The cases must be prospectively nominated before starting treatment and the end results are then independently peer assessed and reviewed. Achieving Board Certification is a result of Dr Shimanto’s commitment to clinical excellence and ongoing education and to assure our patients will be treated to the highest clinical standards.

    Dr Shimanto Purkayastha is the ONLY AOB certified Orthodontist in the Norwest area!

  • Crooked and crowded teeth are usually hard to clean and maintain. Such orthodontic problems can contribute to tooth decay, gum disease, and tooth loss. A bad bite can also contribute to abnormal wear of tooth surfaces, difficulty in chewing and/or speaking, excess stress on supporting bone and gum tissue, and possible jaw joint problems.

    Then there is the emotional side of an unattractive smile. When you're not confident in the way you look, your self-esteem suffers. Children and adults whose conditions are left untreated may go through life feeling self-conscience, hiding their smiles with tight lips or a protective hand.

    Finally, without treatment, many orthodontic problems become worse. Orthodontic treatment to correct a problem may prove less costly than the additional dental care required to treat the more serious problems that can develop in later years.

  • Although many patients are referred by their Dentist, it is not necessary to have a referral to be seen by the Orthodontist. Simply call our office to book for an initial consultation on 9672 6113 for our Orthodontist to assess your child’s teeth.

  • Most orthodontic patients begin active treatment between the ages of 10 and 14. Of course, every case is different, and early assessment is important if you or your dentist is concerned about your child.

  • To book your first visit with us you do not need a referral but if your dentist has provided one then please bring it along. Your first appointment allows us to meet you and discuss the nature of your concerns. This appointment is designed to inform you, in detail, about the nature and extent of the orthodontic treatment required. By focussing on your concerns and wishes we will

    • explain the treatment you may require and the types of appliances that can be used
    • explain the length of treatment and what you can expect at each appointment
    • answer all your questions relating to your orthodontic treatment and discuss the financial arrangement.

    If orthodontic treatment is required, diagnostic records will be necessary. These may include the following:

    • Digital photographs of the teeth and face.
    • Digital X-rays to determine the position of teeth, jaws and soft tissues.
    • Study casts of the teeth to determine tooth size and analyse the relationship between the teeth

    At Norwest Orthodontics, we listen to you and provide a personalised approach. We will fully inform you about your treatment options prior to proceeding. All our patient’s treatments are customised to ensure their desires and needs are met whilst providing a warm, comfortable friendly environment.

  • In many instances Dr Shimanto Purkayastha determines that early treatment is not needed. If so your child is offered complimentary six monthly check-ups to ensure that the teeth and jaws are developing correctly.

    Your child will benefit from becoming familiar with the orthodontic staff and the office environment. This ensures a pleasant experience during any future orthodontic treatment if this is needed. Familiarising your child with orthodontics and dental care will also help them to make positive associations with oral health which will help to carry on maintaining good dental health regimes later in life.

  • Having an orthodontic consultation is helpful in determining whether your child has any problems with the jaw and teeth early, when they may well be easier to treat. It can be riskier and more complicated to address orthodontic issues as an adult.

    Earlier treatment can also be financially beneficial to correct a potential problem than delayed treatment. For some children, early treatment can prevent physical and emotional trauma. Aside from spurring years of harmful teasing, misaligned teeth are also prone to injury - particularly while playing sports - and are detrimental to good oral hygiene

  • New techniques and materials today have made orthodontic treatment more comfortable than ever. Discomfort, if any, is short-lived and can easily be managed using over the counter analgesics.

  • Although every case is different, generally speaking, patients wear braces from one to two years. Orthodontic treatment times vary with factors that include the severity of the problem being corrected and how well the patient follows the orthodontist’s instructions.

    Patients who brush and floss thoroughly and regularly, avoid hard and sticky foods, attend routine appointments and follow instructions typically finish orthodontic treatment on time and with excellent results

    After the braces are removed, most patients wear a retainer for some time to keep or "retain" the teeth in their new positions. The orthodontist will determine how long the retainer needs to be worn. Most patients remain under the orthodontist’s supervision during the retention phase of orthodontic treatment to ensure that the teeth stay properly aligned.

  • First and foremost, orthodontic treatment involves the patient. To achieve the desired results, the patient must diligently follow the orthodontist’s instructions. This team work approach is essential for success.

    Our orthodontist provides custom-made braces, retainers, or other corrective appliances according to the problem being treated. Whether they’re removable or "fixed" into the mouth; made of metal, ceramic or plastic; all orthodontic appliances have a common purpose – to use gentle pressure to move teeth and jaws into their proper positions. Today’s patients benefit from techniques and materials that greatly enhance the comfort of orthodontic treatment.

  • The cost of orthodontic treatment depends on many factors, including the severity of the problem, its complexity and length of treatment. Your treatment coordinator will be glad to discuss fees with you before treatment begins. Many patients find that orthodontic treatment is more affordable today than ever.

    Orthodontic treatment may eliminate the need for other medical and dental treatment later on. The physical and psychological benefits usually last a lifetime, making orthodontics one of the best investments in healthcare and quality of life. Norwest orthodontics offers a variety of payment plans.

  • For your convenience, we accept payment by EFT, cash, cheque, Visa, Mastercard, and EFTPOS.

  • Whilst we are not associated with any particular health fund, we will supply all itemised documents to make it easy for you to claim back from your health fun where eligible. Our dedicated treatment co-ordinator will be happy to help you with any questions you have regarding this.

  • We share your concern about missing valuable time at school or work and will make every effort to ensure that they will have appointments scheduled at convenient times. The treatment co-ordinator will discuss scheduling and the length of necessary appointments. We are open for consultation by appointment on Saturdays. We have a SMS reminder system that makes it easy for you to keep track of your next appointment.

  • It is very important to see your dentist for routine check-ups to prevent dental decay and to monitor the health of the gums. Regular visits to your dentist will help maintain a healthy mouth.

  • By the age of 7, most children have a mix of baby and adult teeth. Our orthodontists can spot subtle problems with jaw growth and emerging teeth while some baby teeth are still present. That’s important, because some orthodontic problems are easier to correct if they’re found early.

    For these reasons, it is recommended that your child get an orthodontic check-up no later than age 7. While your child’s teeth may appear to be straight, there could be a problem that only an orthodontist can detect. Of course, the check-up may reveal that your child’s bite is fine, and that can be comforting news.

    Even if an orthodontic problem is detected, our orthodontist may not recommend immediate treatment. Chances are, your doctor will take a “wait-and-see” approach, checking on your child from time to time as the permanent teeth come in and the jaws and face continue to grow. For each patient who needs treatment, there’s an ideal time for treatment to begin in order to achieve the best results. Our orthodontist is the specialist who has the knowledge to determine when the time is just right.

    In some cases, our orthodontist might find a problem that can benefit from early treatment. Early treatment may prevent more serious problems from developing, and may make treatment at a later age shorter and less complicated. Typically, early treatment involves the use of orthodontic appliances, which may be removable, to guide the growth of young bones, create room and a better environment for adult teeth as they emerge

    When Dr Shimanto Purkayastha assesses your child early he can:

    • Reduce or eliminate the need for extraction.
    • Avoid the need for future jaw surgery.
    • Correct harmful oral habits.
    • Progress speech development.
    • Encourage the jaw to grow correctly.
    • Simplify and shorten treatment time for full braces.
    • Increase the stability of final treatment results.
    • Guide permanent teeth into alignment.
    • Preserve or gain space for erupting permanent teeth.
    • Reduce potential damage to jaw joints.
    • Identify upper airway obstruction and problems related to mouth-breathing.
    • Create room for crowded, erupting teeth.
    • Creating facial symmetry through influencing jaw growth.
    • Reducing the risk of trauma to protruding front teeth.

  • If you play contact sports eg. rugby, soccer, hockey you should wear a mouthguard to protect your teeth. At Norwest Orthodontics we provide our patients with special mouthguards designed for people wearing braces

  • We use state-of-the art sterilisation procedures fulfilling the Australian law requirements. Our dental staff clean the instruments ultrasonically, place them in sterile pouches and then place them in an autoclave steriliser for patient safety. All operators wear masks and gloves. A tour of the sterilisation centre is available with a more detailed sterilisation description.

  • The Australian Dental Association is an organisation of dentists which has its focus on the health of the patients and the promotion of the art and science of dentistry. Membership for Orthodontists and Dentists is voluntary and this membership implies an obligation for members to practise their profession in accordance with the high standards laid down by the Association. What this means for the patient is that the Orthodontist is committed to maintaining a high standard of treatment, guided by ADA standards and seal of approval so patients know they are getting the best treatment in the market.

  • Norwest Orthodontics is an established practice renowned for its excellence in service and holistic treatment approach. Here are a number of reasons to choose us:

    • Exclusive provider of Damon Q/Clear in the Hills District
    • Dr Shimanto Purkayastha is the only board certified specialist orthodontist in the Norwest Area.
    • Certified Invisalign provider
    • We provide premium customised service at an affordable price
    • Flexible interest free payment plans
    • Specialised in early intervention and non-extraction philosophy
    • We have a team of experienced and highly trained staff
    • Open extended hours and Saturdays available by appointment
    • Convenient location and free parking
    • State of the art practice

  • Norwest Orthodontics is open:

    • 8am – 6pm Monday through Thursday (afterhours appointments available)
    • 9am – 1pm Friday
    • 8am – 2pm Saturdays (consultations by prior appointment)