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Straightening crooked teeth – our guide to invisible braces

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Straightening crooked teeth – our guide to invisible braces

Many clients come to us saying that they are unhappy with their crooked teeth, and asking what we can do for them.

In the past, the only available option was treatment by a specialist orthodontist with steel wires and brackets glued onto the teeth.

This was often unacceptable to adult patients who found that this would interfere with their work and make them self conscious whilst undergoing the treatment.

In the last few years, several new ways of straightening crooked teeth without ugly metal braces have become available, including Inman Aligner, Six month smiles, and clear aligner systems such as Invisalign.

They work by gently moving the front teeth into place over a period of weeks to months.

We provide all these types of braces, and our practice is very proud to be an accredited Six Month Smiles and Inman Aligner provider.

We will be very happy to see you for a free initial consultation to tell you about the process so that you can decide if it might be for you.

Can people I am talking to see my braces?

Clear aligners are completely clear and shaped to fit your teeth exactly so that they are impossible to detect in normal conversation. Inman Aligners and Six month smiles are tooth coloured and are discreet, rather than invisible. Inman Aligners can be removed for special occasions.

Is Cosmetic Orthodontics as good as metal braces?

The ideal treatment for any patient is always to have a full comprehensive orthodontic treatment with a specialist orthodontist. The specialist will be able to provide you with the best result and will be able to ensure your bite is as good as possible. For people who are not prepared to have a long course of comprehensive orthodontics, cosmetic limited treatment orthodontics can be a good compromise which make your smile more even and your teeth straight. It is not suitable for correcting major faults in the bite. We will advise you if we think you are not suitable for limited treatment orthodontics.

How long does it take?

It varies from person to person but most courses of treatment take between 3 and 9 months, depending on complexity.

Will I have to wear retainers?

Yes. All tooth movements, no matter how achieved, and no matter how old the patient, are recommended to be maintained by long term retainers. These can be removable and worn at night only, or they can be small flat wires bonded to the back of the teeth. We recommend a combination of both. Please bear in mind that the risk of relapse the teeth back to their old positions is very high indeed if retainers are not worn. This risk may be higher in adults than in children.

Does it hurt?

Most people find there is some discomfort or mild aching of the teeth in the first day or so after moving into the next aligner or having the brace tightened. This quickly settles down.

What does it cost?

The initial consultation with our treatment coordinator is free of charge. If you decide you want to find out more, then you will need a full healthy mouth assessment with the dentist costing £49, plus two simple x rays at £26 to check if you are suitable for treatment and to give you a more detailed idea of what treatment would involve. Patients who opt for Inman Aligners pay around £1425, Six Month Smiles around £2600 and clear aligners from £850 to £3500 depending on what treatment is needed.

Are there any risks in having treatment?

Limited Orthodontics is a very safe and effective method of improving your smile. The risks are small, and comparable to those of using any other method of moving teeth. These include gum inflammation and tooth decay if the teeth are not properly cleaned on a daily basis. There is also a risk of some resorption of the roots of the teeth which are moved. This is reduced by making sure the teeth are moved slowly with gentle pressure. All risks will be discussed with you in detail before you make your decision whether to go ahead.

What should I do if I want to find out more?

Come in and see us for a free consultation with Gemma or Amanda. They will tell you what is involved and you can ask any questions. If you decide that this is a treatment that you would be interested in, then we will need to do a full examination, to check your mouth is healthy enough to be considered for braces, and if it is, then we would need to do an orthodontic assessment. This involves us taking photos and x-rays of all your teeth and also a set of impressions. The appointment will take about 60 minutes.

Six Month Smiles BACD - British Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry British Dental Association The Oral Health Foundation GDC