We want our patients to fully understand what is involved in orthodontic treatment. We have listed some frequently asked questions below. We hope to have covered your queries but should you need any further assistance please do not hesitate to contact us directly.
Orthodontics is a specialised branch of dentistry dealing with the development of the teeth, jaws and face. Any irregularities are investigated, treated and monitored. We can advise you on whether treatment would be beneficial and when treatment should ideally start.
Orthodontic treatment is usually requested for the following reasons:
- To straighten teeth, aiding better dental hygiene, improved gum health and resistance to dental disease.
- To improve the appearance of your teeth and face.
- To correct a disordered or irregular bite.
- To prevent trauma and damage to prominent teeth.
Orthodontic treatment can give you a life long benefit of enhanced confidence and improved facial aesthetics. The appearance of your teeth can have a dramatic effect on your smile and self esteem. Treatment at any age can benefit an individual both socially and professionally. Some early treatments are beneficial to the development of the bite.
Children can be seen for an initial assessment from about 7-10 years old or earlier on the recommendation of your dentist. Some problems may benefit from early treatment and can reduce the need for future treatment.
It is never too late to straighten teeth and create a beautiful smile. Whilst it may take a little longer to straighten adult teeth, it is rarely an obstacle to a successful treatment outcome.
- Treatment varies according to the type of problem (malocclusion) you have and usually takes between 6 months and 2 years to complete. There are essentially 2 types of braces; fixed and removable.
- Fixed braces will be fitted by your Orthodontist and are not designed to be removed until the treatment is complete.
- Removable and functional braces can be removed for cleaning and contact sports, but are usually worn all of the time, including meals and through the night.
- Your Orthodontist will generally see you every 6 to 8 weeks throughout the active treatment period to adjust the braces and monitor your treatment.
The removal of teeth depends upon the individual needs of the patient. Many people embark upon a course of Orthodontic treatment without the need for dental extractions, but for some it is unavoidable if there is severe crowding in the mouth.
- The success of Orthodontic treatment is based upon a good relationship between the Orthodontist and the patient. A considerable amount of cooperation is required when wearing braces. Braces must be kept in good condition and immaculately clean. Most problems arise when patients do not follow the instructions of the Orthodontist.
At the end of the treatment your Orthodontist will provide you with retainers.
These will help stabilize your teeth in their new positions. We usually recommend a combination of fixed (bonded) retainers and removable retainers. Removable retainers are usually worn at night. All teeth need to be retained long term to prevent unwanted tooth movement.
At St Marks you will be treated by highly qualified Specialist Orthodontists and Orthodontics is all we do. All Orthodontists at St Marks are also Hospital Orthodontic Consultants.
- Orthodontists first qualify as a dentist and then they undertake a further three years of full time postgraduate specialist orthodontic training to qualify as an Orthodontist. In addition the orthodontists at St Marks have then completed a further three years of extended specialist training to become a qualified Hospital Orthodontic Consultant.
- General dentists can provide some types of orthodontic treatment , however they are unlikely to have the same level of experience and training as a specialist orthodontist.
- All dentists in the UK are permitted to provide orthodontics, however only those dentists who have completed full time specialist training in Orthodontics and have passed the necessary orthodontic examinations are able to call themselves a ‘Specialist Orthodontist’. A list of registered specialist orthodontists is available on the General Dental Council’s website.
It is important that you protect your teeth and mouth by wearing a gumshield for contact sports. Gumshields are essential for contact sports such as rugby, hockey and lacrosse.
Gumshields can be custom-made (created from an imprint of your teeth), or bought over-the- counter (these can be standard or mouldable). We recommend either the custom made or mouldable type, as the fit is usually much better.
When wearing a fixed brace that cannot be removed, you should have a gumshield that fits over the top of your brace.
Six Month Smiles is a clear fixed brace that is designed to only straighten your front teeth in around 6 months. It focuses on simple alignment with limited treatment objectives. Six Month Smiles is a short term orthodontic treatment usually offered by dentists who have only attended a short course and as orthodontic specialists, we offer range of alternative clear brace options. Six Month Smiles treatment is not quicker because it is moving your teeth faster; it is quicker because it is only straightening your front teeth.
If you are having a new brace fitted, try to arrange this at a time when you don’t have any important performances or exams scheduled.
If you play a woodwind instrument, you will probably adjust to playing with your brace very quickly. If you play a brass instrument, you may have problems playing high notes when your brace is first fitted. Don’t worry though, your playing is likely to return to normal within a short time.
When your orthodontic treatment is finished and your brace is removed, it will probably take a little time to get used to playing without a brace, but at least you will have a new smile!
If you wish to raise a concern regarding your treatment at St Marks, please try and resolve it at the time with one of our clinicians. If you feel your concerns have not been addressed we suggest that you contact our practice manager with details. This can either be done in writing, by email on firstname.lastname@example.org or by speaking to someone directly on 0208 977 3888.
Your complaint must be made within 12 months of receiving treatment.
Deciding to have braces on at the age of 56 years was an excellent move. Lovely surgery and staff, all my fears were so unnecessary.
I am so pleased my teeth are now straight. Why didn’t I do it years ago! I will now smile and not have to worry about them. Thank you all so much, everyone is very friendly and helpful.
The result of my treatment was brilliant and I’m ecstatic. Thank you so much. I’m going to be smiling at everyone now!
St Marks Orthodontics
47 St Mark’s Road, Teddington
Middlesex, TW11 9DE
020 8977 3888
Monday 9am – 5pm
Tuesday 8.30am – 7pm*
Wednesday 8.30pm – 6pm
Thursday 8.30am – 7pm*
Friday 8.30am – 6pm
Saturday 8.30am –1pm*
*Subject to variability