When exploring your dental options. how do you know if you need an Orthodontist or a Dentist? And what are the differences?
Well, we explain all of that right here.
Oral care specialists (such as orthodontists, periodontists), learn the essentials of their specialty and then typically only practice orthodontics – all day, every day.
These specialists do not do fillings, make crowns or false teeth, or perform any other “general dental procedures”.
Dentists who carry out orthodontics, therefore may struggle to recognise when a patient’s needs are beyond the skills they have learned in a weekend or series of part-time courses (which tend not to be recognised by universities as meriting an academic qualification).
The truth is that orthodontics is much more difficult than just putting some braces on some teeth and following a prescribed cookbook approach taught without the necessary breadth of diagnostic and clinical tools.
Dentists can practice orthodontics and many do so successfully, just as your general practitioner doctor can remove a mole or suture a cut. However when it comes to important areas of the face, difficult procedures, possible tumours, things likely to leave scars etc, your general practitioner is unlikely to choose to perform such procedures himself – you will be referred to a medical specialist for better quality of care.
The exact same situation applies to orthodontists and dentists. If the problem is difficult, unusual, or requires the best possible outcome, an orthodontist is much more likely to be able to provide the better quality treatment for you or your children.
Even the cost of treatment is often no different and specialist treatment may actually cost less than well-meaning but ineffective dentist treatment. Health fund rebates are higher for specialist treatments. The single largest area of complaint to Dental Boards in Australia is related to orthodontic treatment provided by general dentists.
Therefore, it is wise to carefully weigh up who you choose to provide the care for your smile that you desire. Dr Tony Weir has been is full time specialist practice of orthodontics for 30 years, and is an Honorary Senior lecturer at the University of Queensland. He lectures nationally and internationally to orthodontists on a regular basis.
As our name suggest. orthodontics is what we do day in and day out, all of the time.
We care for your smiles, and can’t wait to help you achieve your dream result.
Orthodontics is a sizeable investment in your child’s health.
As many parents are aware, good dental health will carry a person in good stead throughout their entire life. However, many people often don’t know whether their child or teenager does need braces. The best answer to this question will come from an orthodontist, but here are some factors that may indicate you need to make an appointment for appraisal:
- Mouth breathing
- Thumb or finger sucking
- Difficulty chewing or biting
- Biting the cheek or roof of the mouth
Excessive or long term thumb or finger sucking has long been known to cause dental differences. In some cases, excessive pacifier use will cause changes in the shape of the mouth and dental abnormalities. If you have an infant or toddler and you are worried about how thumb sucking or pacifier use may impact your child, talk to your dentist about implementing good habits for your child.
If you find that your child has food or particles consistently caught between their teeth despite proper brushing techniques and flossing (or an inability to floss certain areas) it may be an indication that braces are required.
You may also notice some other indicators such as crowding, misplaced or blocked-out teeth, as well as teeth that meet abnormally. If you can hear your child’s jaw making sounds you should seek a consultation with an orthodontist.
Other examples are:
- Early, late, or irregular loss of baby teeth. Your child’s dentist will be able to give an indication of whether your child is abnormal in this respect.
- If your child or teenager has jaws or teeth that are out of proportion to the rest of the face, protrude or are recessed.
Sleep-disordered breathing appears to be a significant problem for a proportion of children.
I see a lot of children whose parents ask questions about improving the breathing or airways of their children, often having already been informed such treatment is necessary and important by another dental professional. I would therefore like to briefly outline the scientific evidence currently available related to treatment of airway problems in children.
The first line of treatment is commonly the removal of enlarged adenoids and tonsils. This is well supported in the scientific literature and needs to be performed with the appropriate guidance from ENT specialist doctors
I would like to have something positive to say about the role of facial growth and orthodontics and treating childhood breathing problems. After all this is a problem and we would like to be able to help. However there is often a desire to “do something” without regard to the cost-benefit analysis – ie are we actually making a positive difference with our treatment for our patients?
Unfortunately there is no or minimal research evidence that supports the use of orthodontic treatment as part of the treatment of sleep disordered breathing in children. Some dental professionals promote “airway friendly orthodontics” but there is no reputable scientific support for many/most of the claims made for such treatment. It may give the appearance of “doing something” but appears to fail in any cost-benefit analysis in the majority of cases
There is very weak evidence that mode of breathing influences facial growth and skeletal pattern.
There is very weak evidence that orthodontic treatment has a role in treating sleep disordered breathing.
However, this is a growth area in orthodontics, with active promotion of orthodontic treatment in treating sleep disordered breathing.
So what do I believe, based on the best scientific evidence available?
My treatment will be directed at correcting problems of crowding and bite (occlusion) and if we get an improvement in breathing this will be a bonus. I certainly will not be informing my patients that I am carrying out treatment to improve their breathing. I can still sleep at night.
Book a consultation today.
Mouth ulcers are very common, but can be very annoying. The shallow sore may clear up in a day or linger, causing pain for weeks, depends on the type of ulcer it is.
Most mouth ulcers are caused by some kind of trauma in your mouth – biting your tongue or lip, the rubbing of braces or sharp food. These ulcers usually do not last long.
When the hard surfaces of braces or wires rub against the inside of your mouth they can cause mouth ulcers. The frontline defense against this is to place orthodontic wax over the object that is causing the rubbing.
Another type of mouth ulcer, known as recurrent or apthous mouth ulcers, can last a lot longer, and then, after healing, reappear in a different spot. Between 10 and 20% of people will experience them, usually between 10 and 30 years of age. These ulcers are often smaller (1-2mm) but may last two weeks. Stress, poor nutrition or ill-health are sometimes associated with these ulcers, but the actual cause is thought to be a local immune reaction, when the immune system responds to something in that small section of skin in your mouth.
We do not really know why these form, but being sick, stressed or having poor nutrition will make them more likely to occur.
Treatment of ulcers is usually limited to pain relief in the form of steroid cream, paracetamol or antiseptic gel.
There is some inconclusive evidence of a link between recurrent ulcers and deficiencies in micronutrients, such as vitamin B12, folic acid and iron.
To learn more mouth ulcers and how they can be treated, call our Brisbane clinics anytime for a more detailed discussion.
Invisalign aligners are some of the least noticeable, most comfortable orthodontic appliances available.
The process of getting your aligners has now been made even more comfortable, streamlined and accurate with the use of 3D scanners, which replace the old technique of taking impressions (moulds) of the teeth. The level of precision offered by this new technology means that patients now have access to an even higher quality of orthodontic care than ever before.
Tony Weir Orthodontics uses the latest technological innovations to ensure that we have the most precise dental moulds and measurements available. This innovation also places us at the forefront for patient comfort. No more mess from dental moulds, no more having to sit still while the mould cures, and certainly no more gagging because your mouth is too full! Not to mention, quick and easy appointment times. The iTero 3D scanner that is used is a slim wand that takes up to 6,000 images per second. In the hands of our experienced professionals, you are sure to love our new 3D scanning technology.
The benefits of such precise technology are numerous. Before orthodontic work has even begun, our team are able to create highly accurate depictions of the expected results. Tony Weir Orthodontics can create near-perfect digital replicas of the inside of your mouth. Using these 3 dimensional digital images, we are able to show you ‘Before’ and ‘After’ 3 dimensional recreations before we even begin treatment! You will even be able to see the path your teeth will follow. Besides being incredibly cool, this is also a great way for your orthodontist to check there won’t be any unexpected issues later down the track. This technology and simulation also assists your orthodontist in ascertaining whether Invisalign will be the best fit for you.
Additionally, the 3D scanning process is much quicker than the traditional process; taking moulds and measurements, fitting and potentially having to refit later. These quick appointments means the Invisalign experience reaches an entirely new level of convenience and comfort.
If you are interested in learning more about how 3D scanning will improve your orthodontic experience or you would like to book your first consultation, then contact our friendly team today!
No one likes bad breath or discoloured teeth, not to mention tooth decay or gum disease.
Good oral hygiene is the simple preventative measure that you can take to avoid all these issues. But when you have orthodontic treatment it can be difficult to maintain the same standard of cleanliness.
Below are just a few methods to maintaining a high level of oral hygiene while wearing braces:
Brush, Brush, Brush
Unfortunately, there is no magic replacement for brushing. It is the simplest and best method of maintaining dental hygiene. When you have braces, you may need to increase the frequency of brushing. Three times per day is a better goal for brushing when you wear braces – morning, after lunch, and after dinner
An important thing to remember is that you may need to replace your toothbrush more often when you have braces. Bristles will wear faster during this time.
Use Interdental Brushes – Often known as Piksters
Interdental brushes are an integral part of maintaining oral hygiene when you have braces. The wires of your braces, can make it hard for standard toothbrushes to loosen or remove trapped food particles or plaque buildup. Interdental brushes are designed for cleaning around braces, under wires, and in between larger gaps where floss would be less effective. Piksters are a well-known brand of interdental brushes, and are readily available.
“Remember to floss” has become a tired mantra, but it really an important part of maintaining dental hygiene. If you are finding conventional flossing with braces too difficult, talk to your dentist about a floss threader, or a Water Flosser (Water Pik).
Water Flossers replace conventional thread floss with a jet stream of water that removes stuck food particles and plaque.
Rinse your mouth first with water, and then with a quality mouthwash. This will ensure that your mouth is clean, help reduce outbreaks/duration of any ulcers, and will give you a minty-fresh smile! Ask your orthodontist for a recommendation or proper technique if you have any questions.
Have A Quick Look
Before you finish your routine, make sure you flash a smile in the mirror. This serves two purposes. The first is a final check to ensure that no particles have remained. The second is because a smile never goes astray.
When in doubt… Ask your Orthodontist!
If you have any questions regarding maintaining oral hygiene, talk to your orthodontist. Tony Weir Orthodontics are your local family orthodontists. Contact us today to book an appointment or simply talk to our friendly staff in Greenslopes or Corinda, in Brisbane
The number of adults choosing to wear braces is becoming more evident.
While the aesthetics of crooked teeth is often at the forefront of most peoples’ minds, the truth is that visual appeal may be lower on the list of concerns when it comes to why you might need orthodontic treatment.
Many people are unaware, but crooked teeth can severely impact your oral and overall health.
Some of the most common issues are:
- Crooked teeth are difficult to clean. This can result in increased bacteria growth and gum disease. (This can be a leading cause of persistent bad breath in many patients).
- Your teeth will suffer undue and unnatural wear and tear.
- Worn, uneven, or poorly aligned teeth are at a higher risk of chipping or cracking.
- Incorrect bite can lead to unnecessary jaw pain.
- Drastically crooked teeth can create difficulties chewing.
- Oral infections and bacteria can severely impact your overall health. Studies have shown that prolonged oral infections can lead to diseases such as heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and pneumonia.
Beyond all this, crooked teeth can affect your self-esteem, and consequently mental health.
When viewed in this way, it is very easy to see why correcting crooked teeth is important.
For many adults, the idea of undergoing traditional braces treatment can be daunting. Luckily, the stigma surrounding braces has lessened in recent years. However, for those that are still intimidated, Tony Weir Orthodontics also offer Lingual Braces.
These braces are just like conventional braces, except the brackets and wires are attached to the back of your teeth instead of the front – ideal for those that do not want to alter the aesthetics of their smile while orthodontic work is being completed. Many people are potential candidates for lingual braces.
Additionally, and perhaps more excitingly Tony Weir Orthodontics also offer Invisalign treatment.
By using a series of clear, removable aligners, Invisalign straightens your teeth with results you’ll notice sooner than you think. The course of treatment involves changing aligners every one to two weeks, moving your teeth into straighter position step by step, until you have a beautiful smile.
There are no metal brackets to attach and no wires to tighten. You simply pop in a new set of aligners approximately every two weeks, until your treatment is complete and you achieve the confident smile that you’ve always wanted. The best part about the whole process is that most people won’t even know you are straightening your teeth. Invisalign is superior to any form of braces in terms of comfort, ability to eat, and ease of cleaning teeth. There are also superior for people who grind their teeth.
If you are interested in finding your best smile, then contact our friendly Brisbane Orthodontics based team today!
It’s already complicated being a teenager and sometimes braces can only worsen the struggle faced by a young person while they navigate their way through adolescence. Braces can cause self-esteem issues and be nuisances in everyday activities such as eating, talking and playing sports. However, the work is always worth it in the end! In this article, we look at how we can help teenagers through their treatment and hopefully make it that little bit easier.
In many cases, there will be alternatives to a regular brace that can achieve the same result. If your teenager is particularly unhappy with the effect that braces have on their appearance, then you can look into lingual braces or Invisalign . These treatments can be more expensive than a traditional external brace, but if it makes the patient significantly happier then that means an easier life for them, their parents and their orthodontist!
Find Someone Who Can Empathise
Sometimes braces can be uncomfortable, painful and frustrating to wear. If you had braces yourself in the past, then talk about your experience with your teenager so that they know that you understand what they’re going through. If you’ve never had a brace, then ask a family member who has to have a chat with your child so that they feel they have someone to talk to about their issues.
Perhaps an older sibling or cousin had braces previously and can show your teenager before and after photos of their treatment so that they know it’ll be worth it in the end – the important thing is that your teenager knows they aren’t alone.
Turn Low Self Esteem into Brace Pride
We live in a modern society and wearing braces doesn’t have to be a bad thing! Spend some time with your teenager looking at photos of celebrities who wear or have worn braces and you’ll be surprised at what you find. Try searching Instagram for #braces, #braceface or even #babeswithbraces and you’ll instantly find thousands of photos of people happily undergoing orthodontic treatment. A brace is an investment in a future perfect smile and with many options of colours and types of braces, your teenager has some control over customising their look.
Focus on Results
Your Brisbane orthodontist will be able to give you a rough estimation of how long the treatment will take, so keep your teenager upbeat by focusing on how soon the day will come when they are brace-free with a beautiful straight smile. To your teenager, it may seem like they’ll be wearing the brace forever but with a busy life of schooling, extra-curricular activities and socialising, the final day will arrive in no time. Take photos along the way when their brace is changed so they can visualise their progress for extra motivation.
To find out about the range of braces we offer at Tony Weir Orthodontics, call us now on 07 3054 6767 or visit our contact page for more ways to get in touch.
Braces can achieve amazing results in straightening your teeth and correcting misalignment or poor bites, but there are many factors you should consider before undergoing treatment. Here, we’re investigating the most common side effects and problems that patients experience during treatment.
Discomfort after Tightening
When you’re wearing a brace, the wires must generally be tightened every four to six weeks in order to gradually move the teeth into their correct position. These adjustments apply pressure to the teeth which can cause some discomfort or pain.
Some patients at our Brisbane office experience soreness in their teeth or jaw for a few days after the adjustment, and the pressure on your teeth can cause your gums to be tender. Fortunately, this pain is usually short-lived and can be easily managed with painkillers.
Oral Hygiene Issues
You may have heard stories of people wearing braces and developing tooth decay or gum disease as a result but this is not true. Wearing braces does not have a detrimental effect on your oral health; it simply requires more attention to maintain. When you are wearing a brace, it’s very important to brush and floss your teeth after eating in order to keep the area clean and free of bacteria, but there is no reason that the braces themselves should affect your oral health.
Injuries from Your Appliance
It is unlikely that your brace itself will cause you any injuries but it is possible for this to happen on occasion. Loose or broken wires and brackets can scratch or irritate the cheeks, gums or lips, so it’s important to get breaks fixed as soon as they occur.
You can reduce the likelihood of harming your appliance by avoiding hard and crunchy foods as these can catch in the wires or brackets.
Mouth Ulcers or Canker Sores
When your brace is first fitted, you may notice ulcers or sores inside your mouth caused by the appliance rubbing against your cheeks and lips. Over time, the inside of your mouth will become resistant to this contact and the sores will disappear. Until then, if you find your brace causing continued discomfort to the soft tissue of your mouth, you can try using orthodontic wax strips which form a protective barrier between your brace and cheeks.
For more information on the potential side effects of braces from the team at Tony Weir Orthodontics, call us now on 07 3054 6767 or visit our contact page for more ways to get in touch.
In certain situations, your orthodontist will recommend a tooth extraction in order to make room in your mouth or allow for tooth realignment to achieve the perfect smile . This is a very common and relatively simple procedure, so read on to learn more!
When Is Extraction Necessary?
Your Brisbane orthodontist will only recommend a tooth extraction when it is truly necessary, either to relieve pain, improve function or to allow successful brace treatment . Overcrowding is when there’s simply not enough space for your teeth to grow in proper alignment. The only way to cure this is by removing one or more teeth to allow for healthy future growth.
How Does an Extraction Work?
There are two types of extractions carried out to combat overcrowding, and the chosen method depends on the developmental stage of the tooth. When a tooth is fully erupted and can be seen in the mouth, it’s possible to have a simple extraction carried out by a general dentist under local anaesthetic. For teeth that have not fully come into the mouth or are below the gum line, a surgical extraction will be necessary. A small incision must be made into the gum before the tooth can be removed by an oral surgeon or dentist.
Pain Management after Tooth Extraction
Tooth extraction is a type of surgery and, as such, you can expect to feel some discomfort afterwards, but the pain should be manageable. The best course of action is to take anti-inflammatory painkillers such as Ibuprofen for the first few days after the extraction as this will combat both pain and swelling. If your jaw feels swollen and uncomfortable, you can apply an ice pack for 20 minutes at a time to reduce the swelling. Do not smoke, use a straw or spit for 72 hours after surgery as all of these can pull the necessary blood clot out of the gap where your tooth was.
What to Eat after Tooth Extraction
After a tooth extraction, you may find that cold foods soothe the discomfort and swelling in your mouth, so the good news is that you have an excuse to eat plenty of ice cream! It’s important to stick to soft foods for the first few days after surgery so ice cream, smoothies, scrambled eggs, mashed potato and yoghurt are all great options.
For warm meals, soups or broths are good as long as you make sure to avoid anything spicy or too acidic. Now is not the time to be reaching for chips and popcorn; crunchy snacks are a no-go after surgery due to the risk of small pieces irritating or getting stuck in the empty tooth socket.
To find out how the Tony Weir team can help with tooth overcrowding, call us now on 07 3054 6767 or visit our contact page for more ways to get in touch.