Ask The Orthodontist: Part 2

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with Dr Geoffrey Squires

We sat down again with Dr Geoffrey Squires, of Squires Orthodontics, Gladesville as he talked through some more of the common
questions he gets asked in his practice. Have a read and feel free to email us with any questions you might like to see answered.


My daughter, who is now 16, has completed her course of orthodontic treatment. It has been recommended that she have her four wisdom teeth removed in the next few years to help prevent her teeth from becoming crowded again. Is this absolutely necessary

There is some controversy as to whether the removal of wisdom teeth actually prevents this problem from recurring. However it should be borne in mind that where a person has all his or her permanent teeth, there is rarely enough room for wisdom teeth to come through properly. If there is a question of removal or not, it is often best to have it done. Leaving it until later in life makes the job much more difficult. Young people have less dense bone around the teeth making removal easier and they recover far more quickly.

How many permanent teeth does a person normally have?

Excluding the third molars or ‘wisdom’ teeth there are 28 teeth. Some people may have inherited one or so teeth less. The number of third molars can range from none to four. Very infrequently a person may also have one to four fourth molars(!).

I am now in my mid-thirties and I have an orthodontic problem that should have been corrected when I was younger. Is it too late to do anything now?

No, it may not be too late for treatment depending on the nature of the problem. Many people of your age have been treated successfully. Bear in mind that results may come a little slower because it i
s harder to move teeth through mature bone than through the less dense bone of teenagers. You should obtain an opinion from a specialist orthodontist and then make your decision

placed on the inside of the teeth where they don’t show. What is your opinion of this approach?I‘ve heard that if adults are having orthodontic treatment the braces can be

This can be done but the technique is very intricate and this can mean longer treatment times. Also treatment is usually significantly more expensive than with the alternative procedure where braces are placed on the outside of the teeth. Another factor is that it is sometimes necessary to change the braces from the inside of the teeth to the outside to complete treatment.

I am 21 and I have a very protruding lower jaw. I have been told that braces alone will not fix the problem. What options have I got?

When braces alone will not fix the problem there is the option of surgery to move the jaw back into a more favourable position. Usually an orthodontist experienced in this area works closely with the surgeon to plan the procedure. It involves braces being put on first followed by an operation in hospital then a further period of wearing braces. The results can be quite dramatic. However it is a major procedure and so you would have to think about it very carefully.

Gladesville Specialist Dental Centre 

2/1 Jordan Street, Gladesville

1300 760 561

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