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Orthodontics

What is Orthodontic Treatment?
This is a type of dental treatment that is undertaken to straighten a person's teeth, usually to improve the appearance of the teeth and smile, although there may also be an additional clinical reason for treatment. Most active treatment takes about 18 months to align the teeth. Treatment may involve the extraction of some permanent teeth and frequently appliances or "braces" will be needed to align the teeth.

There are many different types of appliances depending on the tooth movement required. Sometimes the treatment can be carried out with removable appliances, these need to be worn full-time during the active part of treatment. Fixed appliances - also known as "train-track braces" - consist of small metal attachments or bands cemented to the teeth, joined together with a fine wire. There are also a range of other appliances such as headgear which are used in certain situations. During treatment, the patient will be required to attend on a regular basis, about once every 6 weeks to have the appliance checked and adjusted.

Throughout treatment a great deal of effort and co-operation is required by the patient to wear and look after the appliances. Crunchy, sticky, hard foods will break the brace and should be avoided. A high standard of tooth-brushing is required, particularly, when a fixed appliance is fitted. Permanent damage to the teeth and gums can quickly occur if oral hygiene is neglected.

Treatment will not be started if oral hygiene is poor.

Retainers
once the teeth have been straightened, retaining braces are essential whilst the teeth stabilise. These are usually removable appliances and are worn full-time initially, and then at night-time for a long time.

Even with retainers, some severely rotated teeth, spaced teeth and the lower front teeth can still become crooked again, due to natural development. The only way to prevent these changes is to wear the retainer at night-time in the long-term.

 

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NHS and Private Treatment

Orthodontic treatment is available both on the NHS and privately at this practice.

All children under the age of 16 at the time of referral are offered an NHS orthodontic examination. At this examination you will be advised if your child is eligible for NHS treatment, depending on the severity or 'crookedness' of the teeth - this is called the Index of Treatment Need (IOTN). You may then be placed on a treatment waiting list or placed on recall.

If you are 16 or over at the time of referral, have a low IOTN or want 'white braces' then treatment will be on a private basis only and a quotation will be given.

All NHS patients must be referred by a dentist - patients requesting private treatment may be self referred, but will still require a general dentist for regular check ups etc.

Further Information www.birchingtonortho.co.uk

 

 
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