Discover straighter teeth
for a brighter smile
It’s never too late to get straighter, healthier teeth!
A smile you will love
Straightening your teeth could:
Give you a confident smile
Improve the health of your teeth
Remove any small gaps between teeth
Align your upper and lower teeth to give you an even bite
Am I a candidate for teeth straightening?
If you have any of these concerns, ask us to tell you about Invisalign and braces:
Want to know how straighter teeth would look on you?
Why wait any longer to get a smile that gives you confidence? Schedule your appointment today to find out about teeth straightening with Invisalign or braces. You can also have your own pre-treatment test drive to see and experience the impact of your brand new smile!
Add the finishing touches
We offer Lite Dentistry
Lite Dentistry is a type of cosmetic dentistry that includes a combination of very simple dental procedures that will give you a beautiful confident smile in a very short period.
Delivered in less time, and with a ‘lighter’ touch than traditional smile makeover treatments
Lite Dentistry gives high-impact results that will completely transform the look of your smile.
Compared to a full Smile Makeover, Lite Dentistry offers:
Just two steps to a smile makeover with Lite Dentistry:
We straighten your teeth and fix any small issues like minor overcrowding or gaps. We do this using Invisalign® clear aligners, which move your teeth quickly, comfortably and safely into their new position.
We make alterations to the shape, size and colour of your teeth through simple treatments such as composite veneers, teeth whitening or gum contouring.
Table of Contents
What is orthodontics in dentistry?
Orthodontics is a specialty within dentistry that focuses on correcting the alignment of a patient’s teeth and jaw to fix crooked teeth, overbites and other structural issues. At Mona Vale Dental, we use clear aligners (Invisalign) and fixed braces for orthodontic treatment, but refer patients with complex cases to local orthodontists, who may suggest fixed wire braces. We can discuss the best option for you during our consultation.
Why is orthodontic treatment important?
- Crooked teeth
- Crowded teeth
- Protruding teeth
- Impacted teeth
- An overbite or underbite
- Widely spaced teeth
- Jaw problems
These are some of the misalignment problems that often lead to feelings of self-consciousness, as well as other complications:
- Speech issues
- Pain while eating
- Chronic headaches or migraines
- Poor oral hygiene (which eventually leads to tooth decay and gum disease).
Orthodontic treatment can prevent or solve these dental problems for children and adults alike, however early intervention is always best because it stops the problem from worsening over the years.
Invisalign vs. ceramic braces - which one is better?
There’s no black and white answer – it depends on the patient’s preferences and the severity of their condition. Generally speaking, we recommend fixed braces for people with more complicated alignment issues and Invisalign for those whose dental problems are easier to address.
Invisalign may be suitable for patients who prefer to be discreet about their treatment, as the clear aligners are harder to see. This is also a good option for people who play contact sports, as the aligners can be removed for up to 4 hours a day.
However, Invisalign requires more diligence, because you need to remember to wear it for at least 20 hours a day. The clear aligners must be removed if you eat or drink anything other than water, and you should brush your teeth before returning the aligners to your mouth. For this reason, Invisalign may not be the best option for children or people who won’t stick to this routine.
Who can get dental implants?
There are no restrictions, as long as you’re healthy enough to cope with an oral procedure. You also need to have healthy gum tissue and adequate bone structure to support the implant.
Cost of Invisalign to ceramic braces?
Braces generally cost between $2,000 and $8,500 – depending on what type you get. Invisalign tends to cost between $3,500 and $7,000, so it’s a little pricier.
Let’s look at each treatment option in more detail, starting with Invisalign.
What is Invisalign?
Patients wear removable clear aligners for at least 20 hours a day over a period of 6 to 18 months, to straighten their teeth and fix alignment issues. The BPA-free plastic trays gently move teeth into position by applying constant pressure. Every two weeks, the patient replaces their set of aligners with a tighter version that shifts their teeth even more. The patient is given a series of aligners that will see them through the 6 to 8 week period between their appointments.
How effective is Invisalign?
Invisalign effectively corrects the alignment of teeth for cases that aren’t too complicated. Most people don’t realise the individual is wearing anything on their teeth, which is the main advantage over traditional braces. The aligners can also be removed while eating or playing sports, and this appeals to many people.
How does Invisalign work?
- During the first appointment: x-rays, photos and scans capture accurate measurements of your teeth and mouth.
- A 3D plan is created, so you can preview the final result before starting treatment.
- Advanced technology creates clear aligners that are customised overseas and shipped to the clinic.
- In cases of overcrowding, particular teeth may need to be prepared to make space for the aligners. This involves the removal of some enamel (painless).
- If necessary, specialised attachments are bonded to the front of any teeth that need extra gripping support. These small dots are the same colour as your teeth, so they blend in.
- Your dentist gives you a series of aligners and you start wearing the first set for two weeks. After this period, you change to the next set in your possession, which is tighter than the last. Repeat until you finish all of the sets that you’ve been given.
- Follow-up appointments every 6 to 8 weeks: progress is checked and you’re given another series of aligners to wear until your next appointment.
What is the average cost of Invisalign treatment?
Average prices range between $3,500 and $8,000, depending on the complexity of your case and how long you need to wear aligners for.
Is Invisalign covered by dental insurance?
A portion of orthodontics is usually covered under extras, but this depends on the policy. We can give you the health insurance item number for the treatment so you can ask your provider if it’s covered by your policy, and how much you will get for it.
How long does Invisalign take?
Most people need to wear their invisible aligners for 6 to 18 months.
How many hours a day to wear Invisalign?
You need to wear your aligners for at least 20 to 22 hours a day for the best results. These can be removed for up to 4 hours, while you eat or play sport. Braces may be more suitable for people who aren’t able to stick to this routine.
Is Invisalign plastic safe?
Yes, Invisalign aligners are made out of medical grade polyurethane resin and contain no BPA (bisphenol-A). This treatment has also been approved by the FDA (Food and Drug Administration in the US).
Can I eat or drink while wearing Invisalign?
You can’t eat while wearing Invisalign, and water is the only beverage you can drink. For everything else, you need to remove the plastic trays from your mouth and store them safely until you finish your meal and clean your teeth. If you don’t do this, you risk damaging your aligners, or they could become a choking hazard.
How to clean and look after your teeth with Invisalign?
Gently brush the aligners with your toothbrush and rinse with warm water, in the morning and at night. It’s a good idea to rinse your aligners every time you take them out of your mouth, even when you’re on the go, to prevent the build-up of bacteria. Make sure you store them in their designated case, when not in your mouth.
Your teeth and gums:
You need to clean your teeth after eating or drinking anything other than water, because trapped particles can stain your aligners and stop your teeth from shifting. It’s a good idea to carry a travel toothbrush and toothpaste with you, so you’re always prepared! Floss at least once a day too.
Do I need retainers after Invisalign?
Yes, you need to wear a retainer for the rest of your life, if you don’t want your teeth to shift. This is particularly crucial during the first 12 months after your Invisalign treatment, while your body builds up enough bone to stabilise the teeth. During this period, it’s a good idea to wear the retainers every night. At some point, you may be able to drop down to 3 to 5 times a week – depending on your dentist’s instructions.
Your dentist will talk to you about whether a removable or bonded retainer is best for you. Traditional retainers are made out of a clear material that’s moulded to the shape of your teeth and can be removed. Permanent retainers consist of a metal wire that’s worn 24/7 because it’s bonded to the back of teeth.
Is Invisalign invisible?
Not completely, but it’s difficult for the casual observer to detect and far less noticeable than braces.
Can I get Invisalign with wisdom teeth?
Yes, this is possible, but it depends on the positioning of your wisdom teeth and whether or not they have already erupted. We usually recommend that people with impacted wisdom teeth delay their Invisalign treatment until after they’ve had their wisdom teeth removed – in case their wisdom teeth cause further misalignment issues.
Does Invisalign work for crowded teeth?
Yes, many patients resolve their mild to moderate overcrowding problems with Invisalign. The aligners gradually shift each tooth, which creates more space in the mouth. The amount of time required to get this result depends on the severity of the condition.
Can you get Invisalign with a root canal?
Yes, you can get Invisalign before, during or after a root canal and your dentist will carefully monitor the progress. However, if you’re considering getting Invisalign around the same time that you need a root canal, it’s best to complete your root canal treatment first.
What are dental braces?
Dental braces are metal or ceramic-based appliances that orthodontists fix to the teeth to correct misalignment and create an aesthetically pleasing smile. This is a powerful solution for patients who need to address a range of dental and facial issues at the same time.
Technology has come a long way since braces became widely available in the 1970s, and so the experience is more comfortable than what it used to be. The metal or ceramic brackets are bonded to your teeth and connected by a metal wire and tiny rubber bands (called O-rings).
How do braces move teeth?
The brackets, O-rings and metal wires constantly put pressure on the teeth, which gradually move into their set position over the 18 to 24 month period that people typically wear braces for. Over time, the shape of the jaw conforms to this pressure.
Follow-up visits are required every four to eight weeks to tighten and adjust the pull of the braces. During this time, patients can ask for colourful brackets to make a fashion statement, or opt for enamel-toned brackets that don’t stand out as much.
How long will braces take to straighten my teeth?
Braces are worn around the clock for around 18 months to 3 years, depending on the severity of the condition and individual progress.
How are braces put on?
During the first phase, x-rays, scans and impressions are taken of your mouth to get accurate measurements. Separators are then placed between your back molars, if there isn’t enough room between them. During the installation appointment, brackets are bonded to the teeth using a non-toxic adhesive. This process takes around one to two hours.
Do braces hurt?
You shouldn’t feel any pain while the braces are being installed. However, you’re likely to experience some tenderness or discomfort within the first week, as your teeth adjust to the pressure. This sensation will return for a few days after you get your braces adjusted at follow-up appointments.
Over-the-counter pain medication can ease this pain and it’s a good idea to eat soft foods during this time too.
During the first month, some patients may feel pain from their brackets rubbing against their cheeks – however this shouldn’t last long. To manage this, it’s possible to cover the brackets with dental wax, or apply a topical anaesthetic (like Orajel) to the tender spots.
Do I need to floss while I have braces?
Yes, floss between each tooth once a day to keep gum disease at bay. You can use normal dental floss, or a small interdental brush to get between the tight spaces. As well as flossing, make sure you brush your teeth twice a day!
Can my teeth move after braces?
Yes, this is a possibility but wearing a removable or permanent retainer will stop this from happening. Your orthodontist will discuss the best option with you after you get your braces removed.
Can I whiten my teeth with braces?
Yes this is possible, but it’s probably best to wait until after your braces have been removed; to avoid the risk of discolouration occurring when your dentist whitens your teeth over the bonded brackets.
Can you wear a mouthguard over braces?
Yes, as long as it’s been customised by your dentist or orthodontist. If you play contact sports and don’t have complicated alignment issues, you may be better off with Invisalign because the clear aligners can be removed while playing sport.
How much do braces cost in Australia?
It depends on what type of braces you’re getting. Metal braces cost between $2,000 to $9,000, while ceramic braces cost between $5,000 and $8,500.
Does health insurance cover braces?
A portion of orthodontics is usually covered under extras, but it depends on the policy. We can give you the health insurance item number for the treatment so you can ask your provider if it’s covered by your policy, and how much you will get for it.
What foods CAN and CAN'T be eaten with braces?
Avoid foods that are brittle, hard, chewy or sticky, as these could unhinge your brackets.
Limit your intake of sugary foods and beverages as well, since food particles are more likely to become trapped and cause food decay. If you do indulge, be sure to clean your teeth thoroughly.