The DST Treatment Process
DST treatment plans are not developed from a cookie cutter template. Each patient has their own individual needs so our treatment plans deliver a customised solution.
The DST Treatment Process
- Total treatment time depends on how severe the bite problem is, the type of treatment recommended, and how agreeable the patient is to sticking with the treatment required.
- Usual treatment times are 18 – 24 months
- Treatment may extend longer than originally planned as a result of patient non-compliance with appointments, oral hygiene or treatment.
- Education and communication are an integral part of our process as this is how we get the best results possible for our families.
- Our treatment philosophy is to carefully listen to the needs of each individual patient and take the time to develop a relationship to make each patient feel comfortable.
- We discuss treatment plans in detail and outline what to expect and the importance of oral hygiene.
- We also know that the best outcomes are achieved only when there is effective communication with our dental colleagues, particularly the general dentist. We keep your dentist up to date with what’s happening with letters and sometimes personal visits to discuss treatment.
- At the initial visit, Dr Tait will discuss the patient’s orthodontic concerns, diagnose their orthodontic situation and outline the treatment plan that he feels is appropriate for the patient.
- If after the new patient visit it is decided to delay the commencement of treatment then the patient will be placed on supervision and we will be in touch at a predetermined date to arrange a recall appointment.
- Our first step before initiating any treatment is to take orthodontic records to allow the Orthodontist to provide a thorough diagnosis.
- These records include photographs of the face and teeth. In addition to this, we may need to take some impressions of your teeth which will be used to make plaster models.
- Dr Tait will study these records to determine how your teeth and jaw bones are positioned and use these records as a guide for tooth movement.
- A treatment plan is outlined once the records have been collected and Dr Tait has analysed them. This allows the patient the benefit of a full description of the problem being treated as well as the recommended treatment strategy.
- The fee for the proposed treatment plan will be determined at this time, as well as the estimated duration of treatment and the type of appliance to be used.
- Any risks and limitations of the treatment specific to the individual will also be highlighted and a consent to treatment document provided. This document needs to be signed before treatment can begin.
- The decision to remove teeth to facilitate orthodontic treatment is never taken lightly and all efforts are made to treat on a non-extraction basis.
- If teeth need to be removed the reasoning will be fully discussed at the consultation visit or at the appropriate stage in the patient’s treatment.
- It is usual to have the teeth extracted by the General Dentist and this can occur before or after the braces are fitted. A letter and relevant x-rays will be forwarded to the Dentist advising them exactly which teeth are to be removed.
- The visit to fit the braces will take between 45 mins to 1 hour, depending on the case.
- There is no pain or discomfort during this visit; however the braces will initially feel quite bulky to the lips and cheeks, but patients soon become accustomed to wearing them.
- Any discomfort associated with the braces is usually experienced 12 – 24 hours after they have been fitted.
- This discomfort is due to the fact that although light forces are applied by the braces, the teeth are not accustomed to this pressure and sometimes they become tender. Patients may wish to take some kind of mild pain relief medication during this time.
- The period of discomfort lasts only a few days while the teeth adjust
- Braces are usually adjusted every 4 – 12 weeks during the course of treatment. It is important to keep these appointments to ensure that the treatment is progressing as smoothly as possible.
- If a patient changes an appointment they must let us know as soon as possible, so the delay in rescheduling is not excessive.
- Patients should ensure that every time they leave the practice they have a new appointment time.
- It is of prime importance that all teeth are free of decay, the gums are healthy and that tooth cleaning is effective, before orthodontic treatment is started.
- It is wise for patients to make an appointment with their General Dentist every six months to check for any new decay or potential problems during the time that they are undergoing orthodontic treatment. At the end of treatment it is essential that regular dental visits are continued.
- Once the active phase of treatment is completed the braces are removed and retainers fitted. Retainers are designed to maintain the corrected occlusion while the surrounding bone and soft tissues adapt to the new tooth positions. Initially these are worn 12 hours per day for the first 24 months and we will monitor the wearing of these as part of your treatment. After this, we recommend that the retainers are worn on a slowly decreasing basis.
- Retainers will always need to be worn – just the amount of time that they are worn will decrease. We will never recommend that a patient stop wearing their retainers. If a patient does not wear the retainers, their teeth will move.
To get treatment started patients will need to peruse and sign the Treatment letter, Consent to Treatment form, Fee Agreement form and Direct Debit form.
After detailed assessment we will discuss the nature of the treatment required and the associated cost.
The orthodontic treatment fee includes:
- All office visits while in active treatment with braces or an orthodontic appliance
- Initial retainers
- Follow-up retainer checks for 12 months after the braces are removed
- Progress and deband x-rays. X-rays are generally limited to two. These x-rays are necessary to assess the position of the tooth roots prior to the removal of the appliances.
This fee does not include removal of teeth or other necessary tests.
Our treatment costs range from:
- less than $200 for a retainer or mouthguard
- $2,000 – $4,000 for removable orthodontic plates
- $5,500 for the simplest of braces cases, and upwards for more complex cases – generally a complete course of treatment involving fixed braces will cost between $8,000 and $9,000 depending on the complexity of the treatment required, and the length of time this will take.
DST family discount
We offer a 5% discount for returning families. This is in recognition of the fact that you are already part of the DST family, so it saves us set up and administration time, not to mention we like our families and want to keep them.
DST offers a number of payment options. Please don’t hesitate to discuss any concerns you may have or if you have particular circumstances we have not covered here.
Option A – Payment in full
- We offer a 5% discount for full upfront payment.
- A $500 deposit is required to confirm you are proceeding with treatment.
- The full balance is due when treatment starts
Option B – Payment plan
This is our most popular option. We can set up interest free monthly payment terms over the course of the treatment.
- A $500 deposit is required to confirm you are proceeding with treatment
- Please fill in the Direct Debit request form and return it to us
- Monthly payments will be directly debited from your designated account on the 1st of every month
- The account must be paid in full by the end of active orthodontic treatment
Health fund checklist
Always talk to your health fund, as the timeframe and method of payment can impact on your rebate entitlements. Each health fund is different.
We have Hi-caps so we are able to process your rebates on the spot.
When you phone them ask them the following questions:
- Can I claim for orthodontics using item number 881?
- What is the maximum amount I can claim per year?
- Over how many years can I claim?
- What is the maximum amount I can claim per patient over a lifetime?
- Is the claiming period over a calendar year or a financial year?
- What percentage of orthodontic treatment can I receive per claim?