Orthodontics – “tooth” alignment, braces and invisalign
Orthodontics is the specialist branch of cosmetic dentistry that deals with straightening or moving teeth to improve alignment and appearance. Orthodontics usually involves wearing an appliance called a brace which applies gentle pressure to the tooth or teeth to gradually move them to into the correct position.
Often this straightening of the teeth is done in the teenage years as the mouth and jaw develops but many adults also have orthodontic treatment to re-align their teeth. The process can take significantly longer in adults and consequently tends to be more expensive.
Cosmetic Dentistry – Orthodontics Process
Orthodontics involves wearing a brace. During the initial phase of the process the cosmetic dentist will make a very detailed examination to assess the repositioning and any other pertinent medical factors. If there are any minor dental issues e.g. tooth decay, then this will tend to be treated by the family dentist before the orthodontics begins.
Following the examination, the cosmetic dentist will assess which form of brace to use. There are several forms of cosmetic brace, some fixed and some removable. Removable braces tend to made from plastic and incorporate wires and springs which can be adjusted to apply pressure to the chosen tooth or teeth. Removable braces can be removed for cleaning but are usually worn at all other times.
Fixed braces are just that i.e. they are fixed to the teeth by means of tiny plates strung together with one or more wires. Fixed braces can be used for upper and lower teeth and once the treatment is complete are easily removed and the teeth cleaned.
“Invisalign” is a relatively new treatment whereby a series of nearly undetectable plastic aligners are applied to the teeth. Invisalign does not use metal, brackets or wiring and thus is more comfortable than traditional techniques and because it is removable, is easy to keep clean. Consequently you can confidently carry on eating your favourite foods and continue to smile naturally.
Six Month Smiles Cosmetic Braces
A recent new process called 6 month smiles uses natural coloured braces, wires and brackets to gently move the teeth to the correct position. These braces are actually fixed in position but done in a way that is comfortable and inconspicuous. This means that the system is not only comfortable but also difficult to see and leads to a confident wearing experience.
The major benefit of this process compared to other modern braces systems is that it is very rapid - a highly trained six month smiles dentist can move teeth in an average time less than that typically taken between dental check-ups!
Advantages of Orthodontics:
- Orthodontics is relatively pain free once a comfortable set of braces has been made and fitted
- Although quite a lengthy process – up to 6 months – the effects are nearly permanent
- New techniques e.g. “Invisalign” are being developed which are less intrusive and more comfortable than more traditional techniques
- Orthodontics is available to younger people on the National Health scheme
- Orthodontics is typically non-invasive
Disadvantages of Orthodontics:
- Orthodontics can be a relatively long process particularly for adults
- Orthodontics can be quite expensive due to the lengthy process and review consultations with your cosmetic dentist
- Certain removable braces must be regularly and thoroughly cleaned to avoid build up of plaque and accumulation of food deposits
- There will be a “bedding in” period whilst the wearer becomes used to wearing the brace
As with all cosmetic dentistry treatments, orthodontics should only be performed by a trained cosmetic dentist so please do you research thoroughly.
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- Dental Veneers
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- Gum contouring
- Celebrity Smile Makeover
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