What is Orthodontic treatment?
Orthodontic treatment is a way of straightening or moving teeth, to improve the appearance of the teeth and how they work. It can also help to look after the long-term health of the teeth, gums and jaw joints, by spreading the biting pressure over all the teeth.
Many people have crowded or crooked teeth. Orthodontic treatment will straighten the teeth or move them into a better position. This can not only improve their appearance but also the way the teeth bite together, while also making them easier to clean.
What is the process?
The most important thing is to have a full examination. This will usually involve looking at your teeth, taking x-rays and making plaster models of your teeth. Your dentist or orthodontist will then discuss what treatment is possible. Orthodontic treatment can be carried out with different appliance (removable appliance/ functional appliance/ fix appliance) therefore we can tailor the course of treatment to your specific needs. Once you are sure you want to go ahead, the treatment can being as soon as you have enough permanent teeth.
In some patients the upper front teeth can stick out and look unsightly. These ‘prominent’ teeth are more likely to be damaged, but orthodontic treatment can move them back into line. In others, the way the upper and lower jaws meet can cause teeth to look unsightly and lead to an incorrect bite. Orthodontic treatment may be able to correct both.
When the teeth don’t meet correctly, this can put strain on the muscles of the jaw, causing jaw and joint problems and in some cases headaches. Orthodontic treatment can help you to bite more evenly and reduce the strain.
By the time we are adults, our jaws have stopped growing. Sometimes our palate can be expanded, but other than that, there is limited room for improvement. If your teeth are crowded, you may need to have some of them taken out to make room for the other teeth to move into better positions. Your dentist will tell you whether this is the case. Sometimes space can be created using other forms of treatment.
How long does it take?
The length of treatment depends on how sever the problem is, and may take anything from few months to two and a half years. Most people can be treated in one or two years.
The treatment may not be appropriate for every patient and it is conditional on the satisfactory assessment being carried out. The orthodontist must assess the patient, obtain appropriate consent, obtain a medical history and explain all the options before carrying out any work.
To see if you are suitable for orthodontic treatment, phone the reception on 020 8365 2365 to book an appointment.