Straight teeth not only look better, but they function better, too, and are much easier to keep clean.
Orthodontic treatment has changed enormously for the better over the years, and now rarely causes any discomfort. Treatment duration is often shorter than it used to be too.
Jamie, our specialist orthodontist, re-aligns teeth with fixed appliances (natural shade ceramic brackets bonded onto the lip side of the teeth) or with removable aligners.
Your first appointment with Jamie will always be for a relaxed consultation and discussion. There will be time for you to explain what you don’t like about your teeth at present and how you would like them to look, and he will explain what the treatment options would be for you.
He may need to take a low-dose digital panoramic X-ray to show all your teeth and the bone around the roots.
Jamie will advise which type of treatment he recommends, and most people are given the choice of treatment with fixed brackets or aligners. As a guide, fixed brackets are usually the most effective when fairly major changes are needed, and give results in a shorter time period. Treatment with aligners usually takes slightly longer and is good for less complex movement.
Treatment with fixed brackets:
The brackets he uses are usually natural shade ceramic ones. The appearance is good as they blend with the colour of the teeth. A wire (silver or white) connects all the brackets – it’s the wire that does the actual work of moving the teeth.
Jamie usually likes to see patients every four to six weeks for adjustments. As the teeth move, the wire will need to be changed. These appointments are usually 15 to 30 minutes each.
Treatment with removable aligners:
Orthodontic treatment with aligners is ideal for people who would prefer not to have brackets on their teeth. When the aligners are in place they are invisible – they just make your teeth look shiny. They need to be worn night and day except for meal times.
Impressions are taken so that models of your teeth can be made – these are then sent to an orthodontic laboratory. A technician then produces a computer generated assessment to show the results that would be achieved. When this has been approved the required sets of aligners are made and sent to us.
The aligners are made in a series, each set being worn for two weeks, then as the teeth move and the aligners start to feel slightly loose, you progress to the next set.
The treatment duration will depend on the complexity of the treatment, and therefore how many sets of aligners are needed, but it usually takes slightly longer than treatment with fixed brackets. Jamie usually sees his patients who have aligners about every eight weeks.