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What is Orthodontics?

The speciality of Orthodontics aims to prevent, diagnose, and treat dental and facial irregularities.

Orthodontics and Orthodontists

Orthodontists provide a wide range of treatment options to straighten crooked teeth, fix bad bites, and align the jaws correctly.

Registered orthodontists like those at Symmetry Orthodontics have two to three years of full time university training in addition to their dentistry training, so they are the best-qualified people to diagnose and treat dental, jaw alignment, and growth issues.

Orthodontists use the latest evidence-based science to accurately diagnose and treat your teeth and jaw alignment problems. Whether your problem is simple, or more complex, you can trust an orthodontist to find the most comfortable and advanced treatments for you.

You may be dissatisfied with your smile or you may have a specific functional problem with your teeth or jaw. You can refer yourself to our practice for a consultation.

Some of the typical reasons that people see an orthodontist include:

Frequently Asked Questions

These are some of our most frequently asked questions about orthodontics.

Orthodontics is a specialist branch of dentistry that straightens teeth to prevent and treat dentofacial irregularities.

An orthodontist is a specialist. They have completed a further 2-3 years of postgraduate full time education following 5 years of dental school, to acquire the knowledge and special skills required to manage tooth movement and guide facial development.

The benefits depend on the presenting concern and spatial relation of the jaws and teeth, but can be split in to broad benefits.

  1. Psychosocial confidence and wellbeing.
  2. Functional improvement and prevention.


The list below answers the question less academically:

  • A more attractive smile
  • Increase in self-confidence
  • Increased ability to clean the teeth
  • Improved force distribution to reduce wear patterns of the teeth
  • Better long-term health of teeth and gums
  • Guide permanent teeth into more favourable positions
  • Reduce the risk of injury to protruded front teeth
  • Aid in optimizing other dental treatment
  • Reduced appearance-consciousness during critical development years
  • Better function of the teeth and bite

Orthodontic tooth movement can occur at any age. Many orthodontic problems are easier to correct if detected at an early age and intercepted before jaw growth has slowed. Early treatment may mean that a patient can avoid more complicated treatment later.

Orthodontic societies around the world therefore recommend that every child visit an orthodontist by age 7 or earlier if a problem is detected by parents, the family dentist or the child’s physician.

Phase I, or early interceptive treatment, is limited orthodontic treatment (i.e. expander or partial braces) before all of the permanent teeth have erupted. Such treatment may be beneficial between the ages of six and ten. This treatment is sometimes recommended to make more space for developing teeth, correction of crossbites, overbites, underbites, or harmful oral habits.

Phase II treatment is a follow on full set of braces applied later (age 11 to 14) for someone who had Phase I interceptive treatment. Phase I is not always necessary and one comprehensive phase is usually all that is needed.

Orthodontic treatment can be successful at any age. Everyone wants a beautiful and healthy smile!

Twenty percent of our orthodontic patients today are adults and discrete treatment options are available.

This depends on the type of treatment applicable to your unique circumstances. Some of the treatment options we offer at Symmetry Orthodontics include:

  • Clear aligners
  • Conventional braces
  • Twin Block, RME and URA
  • Surgical orthodontic treatment

Treatment times vary and depend on three factors:

  1. The patient's biology
  2. The severity of the correction required
  3. Patient cooperation with instructions ( i.e. breakages, cleaning, and elastic wear).


The average time is 21 months but can range from 12 to 30 months. Actual treatment time can be affected by rate of growth and severity of the correction.

Treatment length is also dependent upon patient compliance. Maintaining good oral hygiene and keeping regular appointments are important factors in keeping treatment time on schedule.

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Achieve a better, healthier smile with Symmetry Orthodontics. Contact us today to find out we how can help you.