Do I need Orthodontic treatment?
If you have any doubts about the teeth alignment of your teeth, seek advice from a specialist orthodontics or please consult your general dentist for an opinion on whether you or your child should be referred for an orthodontic assessment.
Alternatively, you may wish to contact us directly for a consultation if you are concerned that you or your child has or is developing orthodontic problems.
Some occlusal anomalies such as an increased overjet, overbite, anterior crossbites and unerupted impacted teeth indicate that their correction would benefit long-term dental health.
It can readily be appreciated that demand for treatment does not necessarily reflect need for treatment.
Am I eligible for NHS treatment or Not?
We are able to offer NHS treatment to children and Private treatment 18 years and over.
The practice provides treatment for patients under the age of 17 within the National Health Service regulations. From 1st April 2006 the government new arrangements are designed to target treatment to those with the greatest health need. As a result, a new scale of severity of orthodontic problems has been introduced. Only those with the severest problems can be treated. All other patients have to be seen on a private basis.
What if I don’t want braces and don’t want my teeth to be straight?
Orthodontic treatment is not just for cosmetic reasons – crooked or crowded teeth are hard to clean and maintain. Over time this may lead to not only tooth decay but also swollen and bleeding gums and bad breath. It may also affect the may you talk, swallow, and move your jaw, as well as you smile.
The benefits of being able to chew your food and having straight teeth, a healthy mouth and an attractive smile would seem to be worth the time and effort.
In more detail:
The association between malocclusion and cavities/periodontal disease is weak as research has shown that individual motivation has more impact than tooth alignment upon effective tooth brushing. However certain occlusal anomalies (traumatic bites) and irregular teeth can lead to increased loss of periodontal support. Also irregular teeth combined with poor oral Hygiene could cause cavities.
Trauma to the anterior teeth
Patients who have an increased overjet – protruded front teeth- have greater risk damage to the upper incisors.
At what age should I have orthodontic treatment?
There is no age limit for orthodontic treatment however the earliest start the better.
We recommend that children should have an orthodontic opinion at around the age of 8. Your orthodontist can detect many developing problems at this age. Occasionally treatment is necessary before the eruption of all permanent teeth in order to prevent potential problems, or to avoid the need for – or at least simplify – future treatment.
This does not mean that all children need treatment at this age, but it does allow your orthodontist to determine whether your child could benefit from early intervention.
Although most patients start brace treatment when most or all of their deciduous or milk teeth have been shed. This happens typically at around the age of 12, but there is quite a lot of variation amongst individuals. However orthodontic treatment is not only limited to children and adolescents, and about a quarter of our patients are adults.
What happens in the first and second visits?
At the first appointment we will collect more information about you. This will include recording impressions of your teeth, taking up to date X-rays if necessary and Photos of your teeth and face.
We will carry out a thorough examination of the face, the jaws and the teeth. This is usually followed by radiographs (X-ray examination) and impressions (moulds) of the teeth. For those who need bands at molar teeth their sizes will be checked.
These records will help the orthodontist diagnose the underlying problems with your bite correctly, and formulate a suitable treatment plan which aims to straighten your teeth perfectly, improve your bite and give you an attractive smile. In many cases, the orthodontist will need an opportunity for a careful and meticulous study of the records he has taken in order to arrive at a considered decision regarding your treatment plan. You may therefore be invited to make another appointment in which we could discuss your orthodontic problems and customised treatment plan in detail. You will also have an opportunity to ask any questions you may have at this initial appointment.Once you have been seen for an initial appointment and you decide to go ahead with treatment you will be booked for placing the separators or fitting an orthodontic appliance. Sometimes small blue elastic rings called ‘separators’ are fitted between your back teeth a few days before your brace is fitted. This is to enable the fitting of ‘bands’ around the molar teeth. Bands are like rings that fit around the back teeth.
How often do I need to see the Orthodontist?
After the braces have been fitted, we will need to see you every 3-6 weeks for a short 15-20 minute appointment to have them adjusted. On these visits, we may just replace the elastics and you will be able to change your colours if you want. We may replace the wires as well. After each adjustment, your teeth may feel a little tender again but only for a brief time.
How long will treatment last?
Generally, orthodontic treatment lasts between 18 months up to 2 years. Difficult cases may take longer and some simpler treatment may only take 8 months to 1 year. But remember you can influence the length of treatment and the quality of the result by closely following the instructions, given for the care of your brace. Failed and cancelled appointments or repeated breakages of the brace will add to the overall treatment time.
Will I have to have teeth pulled out?
Sometimes the dentist will need to take out some of your baby teeth to make room for your permanent teeth. Also, if your teeth are extremely crowded, some of your permanent teeth may have to be removed.
What side effects could arise from the treatment?
After braces have been fitted, there may be some discomfort for a few days.
The level of this discomfort varies quite a bit from individual to individual. In general, the teeth may feel a little sore, slightly loose, and tender to biting pressure. Painkillers such the ones you would normally take for headaches would take care of any soreness or discomfort that may be experienced for the first few days.
Parts of the brace may rub on the lips, cheeks or tongue causing soreness. Very occasionally, some patients get mouth ulcers. There may also be increased saliva flow, and a minor temporary effect on speech. This is normal, and soon patients get used to wearing their brace and their speech will go back to normal. Alternatively you can contact your orthodontist.
Oral Hygiene, Gum Disease and Tooth Decay/Stains
Poor oral hygiene as a result of hurried or insufficient brushing of the teeth could cause these problems. Poor diet, sugary snacks and too many fizzy drinks could also be damaging to teeth. With fixed braces especially, failure to maintain excellent oral hygiene and a good healthy diet will cause gum disease and bleeding of the gums, tooth decay and marking/staining of the teeth. Many people wrongly believe that orthodontic braces lead to swelling of the gums, leave marks or stains on the teeth, or damage the enamel of teeth. This is not true.
After orthodontic treatment will I need my wisdom teeth removed?
Not all wisdom teeth have enough space to erupt into the mouth after orthodontic treatment. If your orthodontist thinks that your wisdom teeth will cause problems, he or she may recommend their removal.
How do I brush my teeth with the braces on?
The appliance should be cleaned by regular brushing around and between the bracket and next to the gums at least three times a day, especially after meals. A fluoride mouth rinse is recommended on a daily basis. If your gums bleed you are not keeping them sufficiently clean. Failure to keep the appliances
clean can lead to progressive decay or permanent staining of the underlying teeth. At the beginning of treatment we suggest you obtain a special Orthodontic Toothbrush.
We will advise you on how to take care of your braces after they have been fitted and provide you with a instruction leaflet. You must continue to visit your own dentist every 6 months or so for dental examinations and regular cleaning.
Toothbrushing with a relatively new electric, counter-rotational power toothbrush is highly advisable. Electric toothbrushes of the new generation are a real alternative to the often laborious manual tooth cleaning procedure used during active appliance therapy.
What do I do if there is an emergency or appointment cancellation?
In case of emergency:
For advice call – 01437 462 355
For after hours – 01473 299 685
If no one is there to answer, you will be asked either to leave a message or given an alternative telephone number to contact.
Appointments and cancellations:
Usually your appointments will be at 3-5 week intervals. If you are unable to attend, please call and let us know as soon as possible by calling our practice.
How do I make an appointment?
Contact us direct by calling 01437 462 355
Will I still need to see my regular dentist?
Yes. It will be important you still have check-ups with your regular dentist throughout orthodontic treatment so that your teeth can be checked for decay.
Are there fees and payment options to choose from?
It will apply if you are over 18 or if you do want to have a private treatment.
The fees that we quote are all-inclusive with no hidden extras: they cover all active appliances, supplies, the visits, and even the retainers and the supervision and maintenance of retainers for up to 12 months following the completion of active treatment. Sometimes essential additional procedures (e.g. extractions, implants, surgery) performed by your general dentist or an specialist will be required to successfully complete orthodontic treatment. Such procedures will be charged separately by the relevant specialist. Fees for patients who have started treatment elsewhere but would like to continue their treatment here will be calculated as a proportion of the above fees, based on an estimate of the remaining treatment duration and the amount of work involved.
For further information please contact us on 01473 462 355.
Payment can be made by cash, cheque or credit card, by making monthly payments using our 0% finance plan.
Normally, about ⅓ of the total treatment fee is payable upon commencement of treatment, and the balance can be paid over the treatment period (18 months) or by setting up a monthly standing order on an interest free basis. There is an opportunity to pay in lump sum at front with a 5% discount.
What is your complaints policy?
This Practice follows all rules and regulations as required by the GDC and CQC. This ensures the highest quality in areas of customer care, cross infection, quality of treatment and a regulated complaints system. You can download our complaints policy here.