Anyone can benefit from braces as long as the teeth and their supporting bone and gums are healthy – there is no age limit! What is offered?
- Fixed braces
- Removable braces
- Aesthetic braces
- Self-ligating braces
- Teeth whitening
Orthodontic treatment is provided through the NHS or privately for both children and adults. Here are some examples of the appliances we use.
These stainless steel metal brackets are attached onto the teeth to straighten them using flexible wires initially, then progressing to stiffer wires to perfect the position of the teeth and the bite. NHS fixed appliances are available to all ages, children and adults alike, who met the NHS threshold for treatment – ie the position of the teeth and smile itself must be of a certain severity for the NHS to fund treatment.
Non-NHS Children’s Treatment
For those children not reaching this NHS threshold, there are still treatment options available. The metal fixed appliances can be placed for a price that can be paid off in instalments over the duration of the orthodontic treatment – usually 12-18 months. There are also ceramic (tooth coloured) braces and Invisalign offered again on a self-funded basis for children.
Private Adult Treatment
Patients are sometimes concerned over the visibility of the appliances that they wear, so new technologies have allowed the development of more aesthetic types of appliances. This is seen with the less conspicuous aesthetic fixed braces and wires, allowing a more natural look with the appliances insitu or even treatments now that involve no fixed braces at all on the teeth in order to correct them – Invisalign aligners.
These are fixed tooth coloured aesthetic brackets that are placed into individual teeth. Again, wires are used to correct the position of the teeth resulting in great, healthy long lasting smiles. They are much less visible than their metal counterparts.
For other patients who wish for an even more discreet appliance there are lingual appliances that place the brackets on the inside of the upper and lower teeth. These are usually best suited for minor tooth movements of the upper and lower front teeth.
This treatment option uses practically invisible aligners which are a series of custom-made clear removable retainers to move the teeth gradually - there are no metal attachments or wires on the teeth. Simply change to a new aligner every 2 weeks to correct the teeth positions. This type of treatment is not suitable for all orthodontic problems and your orthodontist will advise you. The benefits are that you can still eat what you want and follow your normal daily tooth brushing regime.
Whilst fixed braces provide the best cosmetic results, removable and functional braces are sometimes required at an earlier stage to help in correcting the biting position of the teeth, protruding teeth or to stop habits eg thumb sucking. Usually a removable brace is only in the upper jaw, but to change a patient’s bite by holding the lower jaw forwards, they are used on both upper and lower teeth. These braces are taken out for cleaning, swimming and where sports mouth guards are required.
These are so important to the stability of patients orthodontic treatment and must be worn for after treatments both children and adults. They keep the teeth aligned whilst the jaw bone resets – just like after breaking a bone in an arm or leg requiring a plaster cast. The retainers are removed for eating and drinking, tooth brushing and for the placement of sports mouth guards.
Even with orthodontic appliances insitu, the need to protect the teeth from sports trauma is paramount. During active treatment there are mouth guards available to fit over the fixed braces. This mouth guard will be remoulded in hot water by you as needed when the teeth alter position and the mouth guard becomes tighter. At the end of treatment we can provide a custom made mouth guard to keep the teeth in the mouth and the smile perfect without any teeth on a grassy pitch!
Whatever option is right for you, patient co-operation is the most important factor contribution to the success of your treatment.