Frequently asked questions
Got a question about orthodontic treatment? That's perfectly natural. Most of our patients do. Here are some of the most common ones we get asked. You might find the answer you're looking for.
What is orthodontics?
Orthodontics is the specialist area of dentistry that is concerned with the diagnosis and treatment of irregular alignment of teeth, jaws and the face. Orthodontists seek to use various types of braces to naturally improve alignment, function and aesthetics. A good fit (occlusion) of the teeth produces the most stable, healthy, well-balanced and attractive outcome. This will improve your bite, chewing, overall oral health and self-esteem.
Why see a specialist orthodontist?
A specialist orthodontist undertakes a minimum of 3-5 years in various dental specialties (after graduating as a dentist), followed by 3-5 years extra full-time training and study in orthodontics. This equates, on average, to 10 extra years after dental school. During this time they undertake a Masters degree and must gain entry to one of the Royal Colleges of Surgeons in the UK by way of critical examination of knowledge and scrutiny of the standard of their treated cases (MOrth). This ensures they have had the highest standard of training. As their career is focused around this specialty, they are in the best position to advise on appropriate treatment, backed by scientific evidence and research and are at the forefront of the latest techniques.
When should I see an orthodontist?
The ideal time to commence orthodontic treatment is in the early teenage years when there is rapid growth. If you or your child is approaching this age, we would be happy to hear from you. However, orthodontic treatment can be carried out successfully at any age. Some of Preet’s patients are in their 70s and 80s.
Am I too old for orthodontic treatment?
No, absolutely not! There is no age limit whatsoever. Orthodontic treatment can be carried out successfully at any age.
Can anyone be treated with braces?
As long as your oral health is good, then anyone, regardless of age, sex or racial background can be treated. If there is a need for cosmetic or restorative treatment in addition to orthodontics, we will discuss this with you. We are always happy to work in conjunction with your general dentist to provide a holistic treatment plan.
Does orthodontic treatment hurt?
The fitting of braces is a painless procedure, but you may experience some discomfort for a few days afterwards. If you need, we advise a mild painkiller such as paracetamol. There may also be some soreness of the cheeks or tongue. Usually all the discomfort will subside after the first week, once you have become used to the treatment.
Can I eat normally while wearing braces?
As long as you follow our detailed instructions there are very few limitations to what you can eat. We always recommend a healthy, balanced, low sugar diet. And, if you've been fitted with aligners, it's important you remove these for eating but return them immediately after your meal, once you've cleaned your teeth of course!
Will braces affect my speech?
If you have been fitted with lingual braces or a removable brace, you may experience a slight alteration to your speech. However, this by no means affects everyone and is usually short-lived. It is very rare for this to continue after a couple of weeks.
Do you offer Invisalign?
Yes, we do and it's one of our most popular treatment options for good reason. Invisalign's clear plastic aligners are virtually invisible so no-one can tell you're having treatment. This makes them a great choice for professionals in a client facing job or teenagers who really don't want to be seen wearing braces. You can find out more about this revolutionary orthodontic treatment option on our Invisalign page.
Do you offer payment plans?
Yes, we do offer payment plans to help with the cost of orthodontic treatment. Our prices are also competitive and reflect the work our specialist orthodontists do. You can find out more about our payment plans and the cost of our treatment options in our cost section.
Will I need to have teeth extracted?
Wherever possible we try to avoid extractions, or at least keep them to an absolute minimum. Some corrections are impossible without dental extractions where a lot of space is required to align the remaining teeth. Unless specifically planned for, we never leave space where teeth have been removed and it will be virtually impossible for anyone to tell if this has been done.
How long will treatment take?
This depends on how complicated your treatment will be. Orthodontic treatment may only take a few months for mild cases (fast braces) and up to two years for the most complicated. In general, most cases take 12-18 months for a full and comprehensive correction.
How often do I need to see the orthodontist?
Appointment intervals are usually between 6-8 weeks. These tend to be 15-30 minutes in duration.
Do I need to wear retainers?
After any form of orthodontic treatment we recommend wearing retainers long-term. We provide both fixed and removable retainers in most cases. This is to prevent any relapse or further age-related tooth movement and to guarantee you retain your straight smile forever!