Are you interested in having a straighter smile? Orthodontic treatment is used to improve the appearance and alignment of crooked, protruding or crowded teeth, and to correct problems with the bite of the teeth. This can be achieved by moving of teeth using fixed or removable appliances.
By Dr. Jaye Jelley, BDS (Birm) 2008, GDC Number – 6280
Orthodontics is the dental term for the moving of teeth using fixed or removable appliances to correct a variety of conditions. These range from a need to open or close spaces within the mouth, to moving overcrowded teeth or even correct the bite (occlusion).
There is a range of braces to suit every individual, from traditional fixed metal braces to invisible removable aligners. Your dentist may be able to advise you on the best option or refer you to an orthodontist.
An orthodontist is a dentist who can straighten and move teeth. They will be able to fully assess the characteristics of your misalignments or malocclusion (the way you bite) and suggest the appropriate treatment.
METAL AND CERAMIC BRACES
Metal braces are a traditional orthodontic option and are widely used on the NHS for children. Metal brackets are cemented to the outside surface of the teeth and a wire is attached, which gently moves the teeth. This process can be assisted with elastics.
Ceramic braces work in the same way as metal braces, however, the attachments are the same colour as the teeth. This makes them a popular choice for adults as they are more aesthetically pleasing.
Pictured above: Patient with metal brackets and with invisible aligners. Below: Invisible aligners.
Invisalign® are an alternative to fixed braces. The patient is fitted with a set of clear removable aligners. These are worn by the patient for 22 hours a day, only being removed to eat, drink and clean teeth. The aligners would be worn for one to two weeks at a time, then replaced with the next one. The number of aligners vary from person to person, depending on the complexity of the treatment in order to straighten their teeth. If it is a minor movement of a single arch, treatment could be completed in as little as three to six months.
Invisible braces are a favoured alternative to fixed braces as they are even more aesthetically pleasing than ceramic braces. Many famous people have these as they are virtually invisible.
Pictured: The team of Dentists at The Dentist @ Tupsley, Mike Betteridge, Jaye Jelley, Ricardo Martins
Some dentists are now able to offer intra oral scans of the mouth. This involves using a hand-held camera, which takes 6,000 photos of your teeth per second. It then interweaves all of the photos together to generate an on-screen model of your teeth. An intra-oral scan offers a visual outcome, which shows you how your teeth could potentially be moved. This is a useful tool if you are considering invisible orthodontic treatment to see if you are happy with the potential outcome.
A ClinCheck is produced once the dentist approves the visual scan. A ClinCheck is a detailed 3D video treatment plan, which prescribes the number of aligners required and the movement of teeth throughout the course of treatment. Once the patient has watched the ClinCheck, they are able to decide whether or not to proceed with treatment.
Whilst having orthodontic treatment, it is essential that you maintain excellent oral hygiene. Whether you have fixed or removable braces, they will trap food and attract plaque, putting you at a higher risk of developing decay.
You must brush your teeth for at least 2 minutes, ideally twenty minutes after each meal. Your dentist will instruct you on how to clean between your teeth using small interdental brushes.
If you have any decay, calculus or active gum disease, your dentist is likely to postpone any orthodontic treatment until they have completed any treatment required for you to become ‘dentally fit’ to ensure the best long-term prognosis for your teeth.
Are you interested in having a straighter smile? Please get in touch for more details.
THE DENTIST @ TUPSLEY
133 Quarry Road, Hereford HR1 1SX
Tel: 01432 343 158
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Previously gymnastics coach, massage therapist and personal trainer with 20 years of experience. Former gymnast and dancer.