Orthodontic treatment promotes a healthier smile, healthier teeth and gums and a better bite for normal chewing.

Orthodontic treatment depends for much of its success on the understanding and co-operation of patients. Please read this form carefully and ask us to explain anything you do not understand. While recognising the benefits of healthy teeth and a pleasing smile, you should also be aware that orthodontic treatment has limitations and potential risks and there may be alternative treatment options. You should clarify what is expected of you as a patient, or as the parent of a young patient, to achieve excellent results. Keep in mind that with orthodontic treatment, like other healing arts, results can not be guaranteed. The unknown factor in any orthodontic correction is the response of the patient to the orthodontic treatment. Should you have any questions please ask.


Orthodontics plays an important role in improving overall oral health and achieving balance and harmony between the face and the teeth for a beautiful, healthier smile, which may enhance one’s self esteem.

Properly aligned teeth are easier to brush and the tendency to decay may be decreased as may the likelihood of developing disease of the gums and supporting bone. Also, well aligned teeth are less likely to experience abnormal wearing down of the teeth.

Because of the individual conditions present and the limitation of treatment imposed by nature, each specific benefit may not be attainable for every patient.


All forms of medical and dental treatment including orthodontics have some risks and limitations. Fortunately, in orthodontics complications are infrequent and when they do occur, they are usually of only minor consequence. Nevertheless, they should be considered when making the decision to undergo orthodontic treatment. The principal risks in orthodontic treatment pertain to:


Orthodontic appliances do not cause tooth decay. Gum disease, tooth decay and permanent markings (decalcification) on the teeth can occur if orthodontic patients eat food containing excessive sugar or do not brush their teeth frequently or properly. These same problems can occur without orthodontic treatment but the risk is greater to an individual wearing brace.

* It is imperative during orthodontic treatment that extra care be taken with diet, oral hygiene and tooth brushing in particular.


Teeth may have tendency to change their position throughout life whether you have had orthodontic treatment or not. This is usually only a minor change, and the faithful wearing of retainers should reduce this tendency.


In general, orthodontic treatment lessens the possibility of tooth loss or gum infection due to misalignment of the teeth or jaws. Inflammation of the gums and loss of supporting bone can occur if bacterial plaque is not removed daily with good oral hygiene. The health of the bone and gums which support the teeth may be affected by orthodontic tooth movement if a condition already exists and in some rare cases, where a condition does not appear to exist.


In some patients the length of the roots of the teeth may be shortened during orthodontic treatment. Some patients are prone to this happening, some are not. It is nearly impossible to predict susceptibility. Usually this shortening does not have significant consequences, but on rare occasions it may be a threat to the longevity of the teeth involved.


Occasionally patients may suffer from pain or discomfort in the jaw joint (TMJ). This may present as joint pain, headaches, ear problems or tenderness in the teeth. These problems may occur with or without orthodontic treatment. Please report any symptoms to us. Some patients are susceptible to TMJ problems and some are not. Stress is a major contributing factor in temporomandibular (TMJ) disorders.


Sometimes a tooth may have been traumatized by a previous accident or a tooth may be decayed or have large fillings which can cause damage to the nerve of the tooth. Orthodontic tooth movement is some cases can aggravate this condition and in rare instances may lead to loss of tooth vitality and discoloration of the tooth requiring root canal treatment and other dental treatment to restore the colour of the tooth.


The gums, cheeks or lips may be irritated by newly places appliances or by loose or broken appliances. You will be given instructions on minimising these effects. Very rarely, loose appliances may be accidentally swallowed or aspirated. You should inform us of any broken or loose appliances.


Insufficient, excessive or asymmetrical changes in the growth of the jaws may limit our ability to achieve the desired result. If growth becomes disproportionate during orthodontic treatment, the treatment may be prolonged. Growth changes that occur after orthodontic treatment may alter the quality of the treatment results and may require further orthodontic treatment. In some cases of atypical growth, the bite may change so much that oral surgery is required to achieve the best results.


If improperly handled, headgear may cause injury to the face, most importantly to the eye. Patients are warned not to wear the appliance during rough play or competitive activity.


The total time required to complete treatment may exceed the estimate. Poor co-operation in wearing appliances the required hours per day, poor oral hygiene, broken appliances and missed appointments will lengthen the treatment and affect the quality of the results.


Co-operation throughout is your best guarantee of achieving a pleasing smile and good bite. Failure to co-operate could force us to change the procedures and goals of your treatment. As a last resort, treatment might have to be suspended. The consequences of early suspension may be worse than having no treatment at all.


If your teeth vary from normal in the number, size and shape of the teeth achievement of the ideal result (for example, complete closure of excessive space) may require restorative treatment. The most common types of complementary treatment are cosmetic bonding, crown, and bridge and implant restorative dental care and periodontal therapy. This treatment is done at the completion of orthodontic treatment and carried out by your own private dentist, at an additional cost.


General medical problems can affect orthodontic treatment. It is important you keep us informed of any changes to your medical health.


I hereby authorize Dr Grant Hamilton-Ritchie to carry out orthodontic treatment and any other related procedures necessary for the welfare and treatment of:

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