Orthodontics is a specialty within Dentistry that deals assessment, diagnosis, prevention and treatment of misaligned teeth, bite and jaws. During orthodontic treatment different process are taken into consideration such as modifying facial growth patterns, misalignment of the teeth and functional difference in patients.
What are traditional braces?
Traditional braces have come a long way since there first use where every tooth was individually wrapped with a metal brace. Modern orthodontics is a much more slimline process where brackets wires and elastics can even be ceramic to match the color of the teeth more closely making them much less visible.
Planning for any orthodontic treatment is a simple, streamlined process where we work clinically with our patients to plan out processes of the orthodontic treatment.
Consultation: During your initial consultation a clinician will be able to walk you through the entire process of braces along with all the inclusions of treatment. During this time photographic and x-ray records may be taken along with information regarding your possible treatment.
Banding appointment: In your first appointment when the braces are applied each bracket is individually placed on the surface of the tooth. This is then followed by placement of wires and modules which will apply pressure to the teeth and start the movement process. Teeth are often the most sore after the first appointment as they will not have had any experience of movement prior and we often re cement taking paracetamol or ibuprofen prior to the first appointment and for subsequent day to prevent any discomfort you may experience but this not universal to all braces patients.
Adjustment appointments: Each appointment the braces will be adjusted and tightened. These appointments are at a given interval ranging from 6-8 weeks while spacing reduces towards the end of he treatment time. During these appointments wires, modules and adjustments are made to move and progress the treatment forward progressively changing the wires to straighten and correct the teeth further.
Deband: After your treatment is completed you enter what is commonly referred to as deband and Retention. This phase of treatment is when all the braces and cement are removed from the surface of the teeth while you are also issued with a combination of fixed retainers and removable plastic night time retainers all included within your treatment to maintain your straight new smile.
How long will my treatment take?
Treatment lengths, like costing, are dependent on the complexity of the case along with what is being corrected. Each case is assessed, planned, and prepared individually according to the needs of each patient. Once treatment planning has been processed and established average treatment times can range from 12-24 months but there is a natural variation in the process which can cause treatments time to move closer to the 24 month mark.
What can braces correct?
While not just providing a traditional and tested way to straighten your teeth braces can correct several different issues such as:
Crowded teeth: where teeth are overlapped
Crooked teeth: when teeth are angled or misaligned
Spacing: either naturally or artificially create spaces between the teeth
Underbites: often characterized by the lower teeth often in front of the upper teeth
Overbites: where the upper teeth protrude outwards
Cross bite: often presents when the lower teeth sit outside of the upper teeth
Early intervention or more complex cases can be referred to an orthodontic specialist. This can be for multiple reasons such as a higher level of complexity of the necessary use of functional appliances. These can also be issued at request of the patients where we can refer to a range of orthodontists, we work closely with to achieve the optimal outcomes for our patients.