What Is an Orthodontist

Qualified Orthodontist in the Noosa Area

We have moved locations - new address is:
 First Floor, Suite 10, 
97 Poinciana Avenue,
 Tewantin QLD 4565

Real-Life Examples of What Can Be Achieved by an Orthodontist

These photographs offer a glimpse into what can be achieved with orthodontic treatment. The people in these case studies have given permission for their photographs to be used to show the dramatic changes that they achieved. More detailed information on specialist orthodontists, and the difference between orthodontists and dentists, can be found below.
crooked teeth

Crooked Teeth

This man was a smoker and had periodontal (gum and bone) health problems. Lesley treated him with a combination of braces and bone augmentation surgery. The surgery shortened the treatment time and allowed greater expansion of the upper jaw. Two lower premolars were removed to permit alignment of the lower dental arch. It took just fourteen months to complete the treatment.

Underbite or Crossbite

This 10-year-old had a small upper jaw and a reverse bite. She was very self-conscious and did not smile often. Lesley used a protraction mask and a fixed upper expander for 15 months. She felt much better about her smile following this early treatment.


This 14-year-old came to Lesley with protrusive (buck) and crowded upper teeth. She had finished growing so there was no chance to alter the growth of her jaws. Two upper premolars were removed to create space for the upper front teeth to move back, and she was treated with full braces for 2 years. She was delighted with the improvement.

What Is a Specialist Orthodontist? What Is the Difference Between an Orthodontist and a Dentist?

An orthodontist is a dentist that has trained and specialised in the field of orthodontics. In Australia, the Australian Dental Board has to be satisfied that the orthodontist has gained the required qualifications and experience before they are able to use the title ‘Orthodontist’. As a specialist orthodontist, Dr Lesley Short has completed over 5,000 hours in orthodontic training, compared to the standard 20-30 hours of orthodontics covered in general dentistry training. She has been working solely as a specialist orthodontist for over two decades. Dr. Short opened her practice in Noosa in 2010, servicing people from all over the Sunshine Coast and as far away as Hervey Bay, Queensland. You can also visit Lesley, where she is quickly gaining a great reputation amongst local mothers. Dr Lesley is a member of the Australian Society of Orthodontists.

Why Orthodontics?

There are many possible reasons why someone would seek the help of an orthodontist. Apart from the cosmetic side of having a beautiful smile, orthodontic treatment can help address issues such as teeth grinding and difficulties eating or speaking. Orthodontists specialise in the diagnosis, prevention and treatment of problems in the alignment of teeth and jaws. The technical term for these problems is malocclusion, which literally means bad bite. Common problems treated by Orthodontists include:
  • Wide gaps between the teeth
  • Misaligned or crooked teeth
  • Impaired speech or eating
  • Reduced long-term health of gums and teeth
  • Teeth grinding (or Bruxism)
  • Excessive wear or trauma of the teeth.
The underlying cause of the malocclusion may be misaligned jaws rather than teeth. Early intervention with children can help address jaw misalignment, although jaw surgery may be required in adults.

Treatment Through Orthodontics

Orthodontic treatment involves the design and use of corrective appliances to bring the teeth and jaws into proper alignment. The skill of an orthodontist lies in their choice and implementation of the most effective orthodontic equipment and specialist techniques to help with dental and jaw alignment problems. These can include braces, Invisalign™, lingual braces (Incognito® braces) and other specialist equipment such as plates, headgears and functional appliances. More information on the products we use at Sunshine Coast Orthodontics is available on our Services page. 
Orthodontic treatment involves the design and use of corrective appliances to bring the teeth and jaws into proper alignment

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