This branch of dentistry concerns itself with the correction of the positions of the teeth, improving the occlusion (bite) of teeth, as well as the appearance of the jaws and face. In most cases, orthodontic treatment involves braces on upper and lower teeth.
Smile Solutions can offer you everything from conventional braces, clear external braces, internal lingual braces, and even Invisalign® no braces to suit your orthodontic treatment needs. Our patients vary in age from 6 to 80.
Individuals with poor alignment of the jaws may require extra treatment in the form of orthopaedic appliances, or jaw surgery.
Our orthodontists use the latest impression imaging technology to facilitate your orthodontic treatment. The iTero scanner replaces the need for messy and uncomfortable impressions. This new technology makes impression taking as simple as photographing your teeth with a hand-held camera. You can even view simulations of how your teeth will gradually move into place throughout your treatment.
Frequently asked questions about orthodontics
That depends on your case. Orthodontics aren't just about making your teeth straight or making them look better. Orthodontists take a lot of things into consideration when recommending treatment, such as:
- how the top and bottom teeth meet with each other (i.e. your bite)
- how well you can chew your food
- whether extractions or surgery will be necessary to correct your bite problems.
That is why you sometimes need a full set of braces, even if you think you only need them on the top or bottom. People who have a good bite already and only need minimal straightening may be in a position to get only top or bottom braces.
The most common types of bite problems are as shown:
Occasionally early treatment for problems involving the positions of the jaws is needed in children around 6 to 7 years of age. When children are 9 to 10, it may be a good idea to see an orthodontist to check on the development of their permanent teeth, and if necessary orthodontics can be started now. Early preventative orthodontics can in some cases reduce the extent of, or even eliminate, the need for braces in later life. The usual time to start orthodontic treatment in the form of braces is around 11 to 14 years of age, when most of the permanent teeth have come through.
Most definitely. There are no age limits for orthodontics – they can be performed at any time of your life. You are never too old to have orthodontic treatment. In more complex cases orthodontics are needed in combination with other specialist dental treatment to achieve the desired results. Please refer to Complex dentistry.
As well as enabling you to have straight teeth, Orthodontic treatment can also improve the function and health of your teeth. In some cases, orthodontic treatment will also improve the health and function of the jaws and associated joints. When your teeth are in the correct position flossing and oral hygiene tasks are also made much easier.
This depends on the problem to be treated. It can vary from a few months to 2–3 years for very complex cases. At your initial consultation our orthodontist will be able to give you a timeframe for the completion of your treatment.
Fixed braces that are attached to the teeth can be placed on the front (conventional braces) or the back (internal lingual braces) of the teeth surfaces. The braces themselves are made from materials suited to your requirements. At Smile Solutions we use ceramic ice clear braces and stainless steel braces.
Braces fitted to the back of the teeth (internal lingual braces) are totally invisible. Another clear orthodontic alternative, where the clear removable aligners are only slightly visible, is Invisalign®.
The Invisalign® system is a virtually invisible way to straighten your teeth and improve your smile without the need for fixed braces. A series of clear, removable aligners, instead of fixed braces, move your teeth over time. You can easily remove the clear aligners to allow you to brush your teeth and eat food as normal throughout your treatment.
Orthodontic surgery involves procedures that correct the position of the jaws and improve the way in which the upper and lower teeth fit together. Our resident oral and maxillofacial surgeon works side by side with our orthodontists to help achieve the best possible dental outcome.
Once orthodontic treatment is completed and the braces are removed, the teeth must be kept stable while the bone and gums adapt to the new teeth positions. We use a retainer to maintain the new aligned positions of the teeth. Retainers can be removable or fixed, depending on your needs and dental requirements.