How long will it take?
A typical case in a 11-14 year old will take approximately 18 months of active treatment with appliances on the teeth. Some more complicated cases may take 6-9 months longer. More straightforward cases may take less time, but rarely less than 9 months. Adult treatments are less predictable in timing.
Will it hurt ?
Most people experience a feeling of tightness when the appliances are first fitted and following adjustments. Some patients find this to be uncomfortable and feel it necessary to take a painkiller (paracetamol or ibuprofen) for the first day or two. Any discomfort will die down after the first few days. You may also experience some rubbing of the appliance on your lips or cheeks. Again this settles down after the first few days. Relief wax applied to the appliance will help until this settles.
What will it cost ?
If you are under 18 and registered as an NHS patient with your dentist, we can carry out your treatment on the NHS, pending approval by the dental practice boatrd and no fees are payable by the patient unless appliances are lost or appointments broken.
The cost of private treatment will vary depending on the nature of the treatment. A typical case involving upper and lower fixed appliances may cost £2800 to £3000. A single arch treatment may cost £1600 to £1900. A number of payment options, including monthly standing order, are available.
Will my teeth stay where they are put ?
Following orthodontic treatment, your teeth need to be held in place while the supporting bone and gum adapt to the new tooth position. Usually removable retainers are fitted which must be worn at least every night for up to a year. Occasionally, fixed retainers are bonded to the inside of the teeth. These will hold the teeth firmly in position, but must be looked after carefully.
Research has shown that teeth tend to move throughout life, even if no orthodontic treatment has been carried out. We would therefore advise that retainers be worn on an occasional basis for as long as possible following treatment, to prevent normal growth changes causing a deterioration in the alignment of your teeth.
Will the brace damage my teeth or jaw?
The brace will not damage your enamel, but it does provide somewhere for plaque to hide. If you do not remove the plaque with regular thorough brushing, this plaque may damage the enamel. It is vital that sugary foods and fizzy drinks are avoided throughout treatment.
If brushing is poor, your gums may become very inflamed and puffy. Good oral hygiene will prevent this. The roots of your teeth are often shortened by up to 1mm during treatment. This is rarely of significance.
There is no evidence that orthodontic treatment, properly carried out, can lead to problems with jaw clicking or headaches, in spite of what you may read in the tabloid press!
How often will I need to attend the practice?
In most cases you should attend the practice every 6-12 weeks to have your appliances adjusted. Checks when wearing retainers are usually every 3-6 months.