How are orthodontic problems corrected?
First, pretreatment records are made. These records are used to make an accurate diagnosis and include a medical/dental history, clinical examination, plaster study models of teeth, photos of the face and teeth and x-rays of the mouth and head. This information will then be used to decide on the best treatment. A custom-made treatment plan involving the braces needed to correct the problem is then designed for you and any questions you have regarding treatment can be discussed and answered. When the orthodontic appliances are in place they are adjusted periodically so that the teeth are moved correctly and efficiently. The time required for orthodontic treatment varies from person to person. An important factor in how long a patient wears braces is how well the patient cooperates during treatment. After active treatment is completed, the "retention" phase begins. Retainers are designed so that the teeth stay in their new positions. For severe orthodontic problems, surgery may be recommended.
- Will it hurt?
- Will my mouth be sore in between visits?
- Can adults still have braces?
- How long will the treatment take?
- How many visits will it take?
- How successful will it be?
- How to I care for my brace and teeth?
- Is there anything I should avoid?
- Can I do sport while wearing braces?
- Why are retainers needed for orthodontic treatment?
- What if the retainer breaks or is lost?
- How much will it cost?
- Are there any hidden costs?
- How can I arrange an appointment?
Will it hurt?
Some discomfort can result when teeth are loosened for movement but this generally only lasts for 48 hours or so. Each adjustment can mean minor discomfort although this often reduces as treatment progresses.
Will my mouth be sore in between visits?
Your mouth is very sensitive to change and it will take you a few days to get used to wearing your brace. At first, your teeth may feel uncomfortable because of the pressure put on to them by the brace. It may also feel uncomfortable and tight against your teeth after it has been adjusted. Painkillers such as those you normally take for a headache can help. Some parts of the brace may also cause discomfort to your gums and lips, causing sore spots. We will give you clear wax to place over any part of the brace that is causing discomfort. However, if after a few days any part of your brace is causing continual soreness you should contact us.
Can adults still have braces?
Orthodontic treatment can be successful however old you are, and adults especially appreciate the benefits of a great smile. Healthy teeth can be moved at almost any age. About a fifth of all patients in orthodontic treatment are over 21 although treatment can take slightly longer than in children. Adults however may have had some breakdown of the tissues that support the teeth and may require periodontal (gum) treatment before, during and/or after orthodontic treatment. Bone loss can also limit the amount and direction of tooth movement that is advisable. Orthodontic treatment may be only a part of the patient's overall treatment plan and where necessary your treatment will be coordinated with the oral surgeon and family dentist to assure that a complicated adult orthodontic problem is managed well and complements all other areas of the your treatment needs. Because an adult's facial bones are no longer growing, certain corrections may not be accomplished with braces alone. The average treatment time is about 24 months and varies with individual patients. Usually, adult treatment takes a little longer than a child's treatment.
How long will the treatment take?
The length of treatment depends on how severe the problem is, and may take anything from a few months to two and a half years. Most people can be treated in one to two years. Although the average treatment time is about 24 months, this varies with individual patients. Usually, adult treatment takes a little longer than a child's treatment. Other things to keep in mind are the severity of the problem, the health of the teeth, gums and supporting bone and how closely the patient follows instructions. While orthodontic treatment requires a time commitment, most people feel the benefits are well worth the time invested.
How many visits will it take?
Orthodontic appliances usually need adjusting every 6 to 8 weeks. These time intervals may vary during the course of your treatment.
How successful will it be?
Success depends on a partnership between the skills of the orthodontist, and your enthusiasm and help. It is important to attend regularly and carry out any instructions given.
How do I care for my brace and teeth?
It is important to continue to have your teeth checked by your dentist while having orthodontic treatment. You also need to take extra care of your teeth and mouth:
Clean your teeth carefully every day, including between your teeth where you can. Appliances are delicate and you need to make sure you clean them carefully so that they do not break. You will be shown the special techniques to use depending on the appliance you are wearing.
Cut down on how often you have sugary foods and drinks. Avoid ‘snacking’ on foods or drinks containing sugars, and on fizzy drinks. Also, sticky and hard foods such as boiled sweets, ice, carrots, crusty bread and pizza crusts may damage the delicate orthodontic appliances which in turn may lengthen the treatment.
Brush your teeth after every meal with fluoride toothpaste and, if necessary, use a mouthwash. Your dentist or hygienist may recommend a fluoride toothpaste or application for you to use.
Is there anything I should avoid?
Nail biting and chewing your pen or pencil can damage or break your brace.
Can I do sport whilst wearing my braces?
If you have a removable brace then it is best to take it out and put in a brace case. If you do remove your brace, it is important to use a mouthguard and then put your brace back in as soon as possible. It is also best to take your brace out if you are swimming. If you have a fixed brace you should wear a special mouthguard for use during contact sports over the brace. Tell us about this and we can make you a mouthguard at the practice
What if I lose or damage my braces? If you lose or damage your brace tell us as soon as possible. Do not wait until your next routine appointment because any time that you are not wearing your brace, or it is not in the correct position, affects your treatment and makes it more likely that your teeth will go back to their old position.
Why are retainers needed for orthodontic treatment?
After braces are removed, teeth can shift out of position if they are not stabilized. Retainers provide that stabilization and are designed to hold teeth in their corrected, ideal positions until the bones and gums adapt to the treatment changes. Throughout life your face and jaws change and therefore it is unrealistic to assume your teeth will not move. To maintain your new smile we advise you to continue wearing retainers 1 to 2 nights a week long term.
The retainers you are fitted with can be removable or fixed depending on the original problem.
What if the retainer breaks or is lost?
Phone up as soon as possible for an appointment. If you do not wear your retainer your teeth may move. You may be charged for a lost retainer.
How much will it cost?
We offer payment plans enabling patients to conveniently spread the cost across the course of the treatment. Because no two treatment plans are the same, costs will vary. We will explain all potential costs before commencing any treatment.
Are there any hidden costs?
Fees may be charged for missed appointments, and for appointments cancelled with less than 24 hours notice. There may also be a charge for lost braces and broken appliances. You may have to pay your dentist for any treatment that he carries out, including dental extractions.
How can I arrange an appointment?
You can ask your dentist for a referral or fill in a self-referral form or telephone the practice