YOUR FIXED BRACE TREATMENT PROCESS
1. New Patient Visit
At your first visit your orthodontists will discuss your orthodontic problem and the treatment required. An information report will be produced for you which includes a summary of the orthodontist’s findings, the suggested treatment, information about the appliances to be used, a financial agreement, methods of payment and general information about orthodontics. This visit will take approximately 45 minutes.
The decision to remove teeth to facilitate orthodontic treatment is never taken lightly and all efforts are made to treat on a non-extraction basis. In fact the majoirty of our patients do not require extractions. However, if some teeth do need to be removed the reasoning will be fully discussed at the consultation visit. It is usual to have the teeth extracted by your dentist prior to having the braces fitted. A letter and any relevant x-rays will be forwarded to your dentist advising exactly which teeth will need to be removed.
2. Placement of Fixed Braces
At this visit the braces are placed on your teeth. This visit will take approximately 1 hour depending on your case and the technique we choose to use. There is no pain or discomfort during this visit. The braces will initially feel quite bulky to your lips and cheeks but you soon become very used to this feeling. Any discomfort from the braces is usually noted within 12-24 hours after the braces are fitted. This is due to the fact that teeth are not used to the light forces applied by the braces and sometimes become tender. You may wish to take some aspirin or paracetamol during this period of adjustment and you will need to eat a soft diet. The period of discomfort lasts only a few days.
3. Adjustment Visits
Braces are usually adjusted every 6-10 weeks during the course of treatment. It is important that you keep these appointments to ensure that treatment progresses as efficiently as possible. If you have to change an appointment please let us know as soon as possible so the delay in rescheduling you is not excessive. Please make sure every time you leave the Practice that you have a new appointment time.
4. Removal of Fixed Braces
Once the active phase of treatment is completed the braces are removed and retainers fitted. This visit takes approximately 1 hour. The braces are removed by an experienced Orthodontic Auxiliary. There is no pain involved in the process but some people may experience slight discomfort. The teeth are polished to remove any glue from their surfaces and then specially-made retainers are fitted to the teeth as directed by the Orthodontist.
Once the treatment is completed the braces are removed and retainers fitted. These retainers are designed to maintain the corrected ‘occlusion’ while the surrounding bone and soft tissues adapt to the new tooth positions. Initially these are worn 24 hours a day lessening over time to only worn at night for at least a further 12 months. It is extremely important that retainers are worn as directed to prevent any relapse of the original orthodontic problem while the teeth are stabilising. Please note: There will be an additional fee for remaking lost or broken retainers.
6. Long Term Changes
The fact that you have completed orthodontic treatment does not ensure a lifetime of perfectly straight teeth. Once the retainers have been discarded the teeth will be as stable as can be expected. Any minor changes after that time are due to natural maturing and ageing processes which occur regardless of any previous history of orthodontic treatment. This is particularly the case for the lower front teeth.