Frequently Asked Questions
Q - What is Orthodontics?
A – As one of the expert fields in dentistry, Orthodontics aims to diagnose, prevent, and restore asymmetric facial form as a result of improper bites or malocclusions, crowded or crooked teeth, tooth loss or excess teeth, misaligned teeth or jaw disproportions. The word Orthodontics stems from Greek language meaning to ‘straighten teeth’.
Q - How does Orthodontics differ from General Dentistry?
A – Orthodontics differs from general dentistry in expertise, qualification to practice, and in treatment options. General dentists are trained in dental hygiene practices and dental treatments to prevent dental decay and disease. They also actively educate the general public. Orthodontists may do so too, but with a focus on correcting distorted facial form from damaging dental and jaw conditions. Sometimes Orthodontists may work with other medical professionals in cases of complex jaw or facial reconstruction.
Q - What qualifications does an Orthodontist have?
A – To become a qualified Orthodontist in the UK, three years full time post-graduate study and membership at a Royal College is required after gaining general dentistry qualification. Orthodontic Consultants then train for a further two years. Certain Cosmetic Dentists are also trained in Orthodontics. Each country has different requirements for registration to practice Orthodontics.
Q - What different types of Orthodontic treatments are there?
A – The type of Orthodontic treatment recommended depends on the results from initial Orthodontic screening determining what is needed to reposition teeth structurally, and then to retain them in their correctly aligned place. Orthodontic treatments have evolved from metal braces to more gentle, appearance-enhancing, and timely options also provided by Cosmetic Dentists with Orthodontic training. These options may include Invisalign Braces, Lingual Braces, Simpli5 Clear Aligners, Inman Aligners, Six-Month Smiles, and Damon Braces.
Q - Who needs Orthodontic treatment?
A – Any person affected by improper bites or malocclusions, crowded or crooked teeth, tooth loss or excess teeth, misaligned teeth or jaw disproportions; or facial irregularities as a result of these dental conditions; may be a suitable candidate for Orthodontic treatment. The causes may be from injury during sports or accidental damage to the teeth and mouth, from tooth decay or gum disease, and/or from genetic or health conditions.
Q - How do I know which Orthodontic treatment is right for me?
A – Each Orthodontic treatment is for a similar purpose, but varies in design and appearance, and differs in the timeliness of the treatment. Some braces systems are more suitable for certain conditions too. After examination and diagnosis by our resident dentist, you will be given a recommendation for treatment with the most appropriate Orthodontic options for you. Your decision may also be influenced by aesthetic or comfort considerations and which teeth you want repositioning.
Orthodontic Treatment Processes
Invisalign Braces are clear or transparent aligners that appears invisible. These braces can be removed for eating and cleaning. They are appropriate for less severe alignment cases due to the force they exert in repositioning teeth. Lingual Braces are another option for invisible braces but are metal and are designed to fit on the inner surface of teeth for improved speech pronunciation and control, or overcrowding affecting anterior teeth. There are also STb Light and STb Social 6 system options.
The Simpli5 consists of five clear aligners used for mild misalignment cases or where small gaps are present. Inman Aligners are used to shift position of front teeth and treatment can be completed within six to eight weeks. The six-month braces system is designed with brackets and wires to suit natural tooth shade that corrects only the teeth visible when you smile.
Damon Braces are a friction-free braces system without the elastic and metal ties that can irritate the gum tissue or cause plaque build-up. Ceramic-reinforced composite material is used to make the brackets so that the braces are less visible and more comfortable than standard metal braces.
Q - What kinds of Orthodontic technologies or appliances are in use?
A – The technologies used to treat malocclusions are active, passive or functional. If active, the appliances are designed to apply force to the teeth so that the relationship position between teeth changes. These active technologies include variations of Edgewise and Helix, and also the Rapid Maxillary Expansion Appliance for expanding the palate.
Passive appliances are space maintainers or retainers made out of wires or clear plastic which are fixed or removable, and that keep the teeth in position after they have been aligned or straightened.
The functional or dento-facial orthodontic technologies are made to improve facial and jaw posture through engaging jaw or facial muscle action. These are either removable, such as Orthodontic headgear or fixed, such as the Herbst Appliance that shifts the front jaw forward and the upper jaw back.
Q - What are the benefits of Orthodontic treatment?
A – The advantages of Orthodontic treatment is that by correcting tooth structure and alignment, recommended oral hygiene standards can be exercised resulting in better dental health and prevention of tooth decay and disease. Correcting bite can improve diet and nutritional intake and chewing of food for overall wellbeing.
Pronunciation can improve and enhance communication abilities for better relationships with others and job prospects. Generally, teeth are protected from excessive and accelerated wear caused by grinding with improper bite. Children and adults can be screened for Orthodontic treatment that not only improves dental, jaw, and facial expression, but builds confidence for brighter smiles.
Q - How safe is Orthodontic treatment?
A – Orthodontic experts are trained, qualified, and experienced dental professionals using materials, technologies, and procedures recognised for quality and effectiveness. Feel free to raise questions with our resident dentist who can give you information about Orthodontic treatment options and what to expect from treatment.
Medical and oral health histories are patient-specific and can impact treatment recommendations, so it is important to fully inform our resident dentist of your dental and medical history, including medications, so that you can make informed and suitable choices. Any possible risks with treatments will be discussed with you after examination.
Q - Is Orthodontic treatment painful?
A – All treatments are provided sympathetically, with sedative and local anaesthetic options where needed. Because Orthodontic treatment is designed to move the teeth, there may be initial aching and tenderness in the gums, but these sensations subside over time as the mouth adjusts to the braces system. Our resident dentist can also prescribe pain-killer for you if necessary.
Q - How long does Orthodontic treatment last?
A – Less complex cases can take up to eighteen to twenty-four months, while extreme malocclusion and jaw reconstructions can take up to three years. The duration of Orthodontic treatment depends on the patient’s diagnosis and the type of Orthodontic treatment recommended by our resident dentist.
Q - How much does Orthodontic treatment cost?
A – The cost of Orthodontic treatment hinges on individual’s diagnosis, the dental practice, the type of Orthodontic treatment required, and whether or not patients have dental insurance. Our resident dentist can discuss costs and payment options with you for affordable Orthodontic treatment.