How seeing an orthodontist first can save you money in the long term
Like any medical procedure, Orthodontic treatment is not without risk. Because orthodontic treatment involves moving teeth through bone and surrounding structures, complications can arise at any point during your treatment. It takes expert knowledge to spot the signs, understand how your treatment should be progressing and ensure you are on track.
With the heavy marketing and the rise of direct-to-consumer and mail-order orthodontic treatment options, many people are discovering firsthand that fast, poorly planned and cheap is not right when it comes to creating a healthy and attractive smile in the long term.
What are the risks of unsupervised orthodontic treatment?
Orthodontic procedures performed without professional supervision can lead to disappointing results and cause lasting damage to your teeth and gums.
A specialist orthodontist is an expert at safely straightening teeth and fixing bad bites. They’ve got the experience and knowledge to spot the warning signs early so no damage is done. They also have the ability to safely alter your treatment for the best and most stable results. While there are many types of practitioners offering orthodontic services, they have not done the correct training to qualify as a dental specialist in the eyes of regulatory bodies, such as the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA). In Australia, only a specialist has the right to call him or herself an orthodontist.
What is a specialist orthodontist?
Orthodontists dedicate their lives to continuously update their knowledge in the field of orthodontics. Orthodontics is all they do, all day, every day.
In fact, your specialist orthodontist was first a trained and experienced general dentist before undergoing additional accredited specialisation. This involved being selected for an extremely competitive position to train for an additional 3 years of full time study. Those 3 years of full time commitment are a big deal, and your smile is a big deal too.
How can these problems cost more to fix?
Your specialist orthodontist will be able to provide you with a fairly accurate quote up front and set up systems to make it affordable for your family. As orthodontic treatment is done gradually in stages, all specialist orthodontists in Australia will be able to set up a payment plan to spread out the cost of your treatment to suit your needs.
Unfortunately, direct-to-consumer and mail-order unsupervised orthodontic procedures are done at your own risk and subsequently can require corrective treatments after suffering damage to your teeth and gums. As a result, these potentially dangerous do-it-yourself treatment options can cost thousands of dollars more than your original treatment plan with a specialist orthodontist. These corrective options can include a more extensive course of orthodontic treatment, implants or fixed devices, and even surgery.
Corrective surgery is never something a specialist would recommend lightly, as they can be quite invasive and require lengthy recovery periods. This is why your specialist orthodontist monitors your treatment closely to ensure your treatment is safe and effective.
What can you do?
You can check that the orthodontic provider you are choosing to see for your treatment is a specialist orthodontist here. This tool will let you search our database of Australian registered specialist orthodontists by name or practice. If you haven’t got one in mind, it can also help you find a specialist in your area. In Australia, no referral is needed to see a specialist orthodontist.