Frequently Asked Questions
What is orthodontics?
Orthodontics is a specialist branch of dentistry concerned with the diagnosis and management of irregularities and abnormalities of the teeth, jaws and face. Braces are used to apply gentle pressure to move teeth into the most desirable positions
In a growing patient, braces can also be used to modify growth of the jaws, helping to correct in-balances in the jaw size and improve a patient's appearance – for instance reducing the amount the upper jaw projects ahead of the lower. About 1/3rd of 12-yr old children need orthodontic treatment.
What are the benefits of Orthodontics?
Improved self-esteem and confidence. Improved personal appearance. Improved function of the teeth. A healthy, functional bite. Prevention of trauma to prominent teeth. Treatment of impacted teeth. Improved resistance to dental disease (decay and gum disease).
Why treat crooked teeth?
Everyone wants a beautiful smile, but orthodontics isn’t just for cosmetic reasons. Crooked and crowded teeth are harder to clean and maintain and can lead to tooth decay, gum disease and tooth loss.
Will I still need to visit my dentist?
Yes, you must still have regular check-ups at your dentist and undergo any treatment you may need from him.
Is there an age limit for braces?
Increasingly adults are seeking treatment. My oldest patient so far with a fixed brace is 74 and the youngest is 7. Improvements in materials and techniques, like removable Invisalign aligners and Lingual braces make adult orthodontics a more attractive option and it avoids damaging teeth permanently (like ‘extreme makeover’ dentistry). We aim to provide straight teeth for life, and unlike veneers and crowns that are more immediate, there should be no need for re-treatment.
Does a Fixed Brace damage my teeth?
The brace is fixed to the teeth with a cement that’s strong enough to withstand most chewing (see what can I eat?) but weak enough to be removed without damaging the enamel. The main risk to the teeth is caused by not following our instructions on Caring for a Fixed Brace and also on our Brace care video. Other risks are outlined on the consent form.
Does the brace hurt?
Fitting a brace is usually painless, however as the teeth start to move they become tender for 3 to 5 days.
Will my speech be affected?
Normal Fixed Braces don’t affect speech. Lingual Braces can initially cause a mild lisp, which usually improves after a few days. Removable Braces worn full time as instructed cause slight speech problems for 1-2 days.
What does it cost?
NHS treatment - Most of the cost is covered, except you may need to pay for: Oral hygiene aids and kits. Lost and damaged braces. Seeing a hygienist, if your brushing is not sufficient.
Private fees vary according to the complexity of the treatment and the type of brace required. Payment can be spread over the duration of the treatment at no extra cost (0% finance)