Common questions about orthodontics
At Invisibrace we get asked a lot of questions about orthodontic treatment. Here are some of the most common ones we receive and the answers to them. We hope this helps you understand a bit more about the treatment process, but please don't hesitate to get in touch if you have any other questions to ask.
What is orthodontics?
Orthodontics is a branch of dentistry that focuses specifically on correcting and straightening the position of your teeth and jaws. This is done through the use of orthodontic appliances such as braces and aligners.
What is the difference between an orthodontist and a dentist?
An orthodontist is a qualified dentist who has undergone a further two to three years of specialist training in orthodontics.
Is the consultation and treatment carried out by a specialist orthodontist?
Yes. Dr Darsh Patel is registered on the General Dental Council (GDC) list of specialist orthodontists. He is trained to the highest level in facial orthodontics which means he goes beyond just straight teeth and has won many awards for this. Here at Invisibrace we work together with a team approach which is very beneficial to our patients, enabling more convenient appointments. All treatment is prescribed and overseen by Dr Patel.
Do you offer payment plans?
Yes we do. We can offer a low-deposit, in-house plan spread over 12 months, or, if you wish to spread the payments further, we deal with Medenta finance.
How long will my treatment take?
We will establish this with you at your consultation, but on average treatment varies between 12-18 months.
Do I still need to visit my dentist and hygienist?
Yes you do. It is very important to be dentally fit before we carry out your orthodontic treatment. Your dentist will be kept fully informed about your treatment. You should see your dentist every 6 months and you may be required to see your hygienist every 3-6 months.
Can I have a copy of my x-ray?
Yes you can. There may be a nominal fee and we are always happy to pass a copy to your dentist.
Can I have Invisalign?
We treat many patients with Invisalign, so many in fact that we have Diamond Invisalign provider status. This industry-awarded recognition reflects our experience with these virtually invisible aligners. We can treat you with Invisalign too, assuming it is the correct course of treatment. If you are not a suitable Invisalign patient we offer various other cosmetic and invisible braces so you can achieve the straight teeth you're after.
Will it hurt having my brace fitted?
No. You may have some mild discomfort after the brace has been fitted for a few days, but this is simply because the teeth are starting to move. Over-the-counter pain relief, such as Panadol, will help with this. We also provide you with some wax to place over any brackets that may feel uncomfortable against your cheeks whilst you get used to them. All of this eases very quickly.
Will my speech be affected by my brace?
With the braces that fit to the front surface of your teeth this is very rare. If you have the braces that fit to the inside surface of your teeth (lingual braces) you may find you lisp slightly initially, but this should soon wear off and is often more noticeable to you rather than anyone else.
Am I too old to have a brace?
You are never too old to have a brace and in fact we offer many cosmetic options that are more appealing to our adult patients. If you have overcrowding issues, spaces between your teeth, or you’re not happy with your jawline or bite, we are able to discuss this fully with you and work alongside appropriate specialists and dentists. Dr Patel specialises in facial orthodontics going beyond just straight teeth to make the very best of your appearance and help delay the ageing process.
Do you have Saturday appointments?
Yes, we hold 2-3 Saturday clinics per month. We also offer late evening appointments on a Monday if that is more suitable.
What age should my child see an orthodontist?
On average it is good for children to visit an orthodontic between the ages of eight and nine-years-old. At this age, they may be ready for some treatment or kept on review as appropriate. We are very happy to see your child before this time if you have a specific worry.
My child is at boarding school, is that a problem?
Not at all. We offer late evening and Saturday appointments and, with careful planning, appointments can be scheduled during school holidays.
How do I clean my teeth with a fixed brace?
The day that your brace is fitted we will provide you with a complimentary oral hygiene pack specifically for orthodontic use. This will include full instructions on how to clean your teeth properly while wearing braces. It will take you a little longer than normal to clean your teeth, but you will soon get into a routine. It is very important to take great care when cleaning, especially when wearing fixed braces, as food can get stuck in the appliance more easily.
What happens if a bracket comes off?
If a bracket comes off or detaches from your tooth, please call us for advice on whether an earlier appointment is needed. If the bracket has come off the wire, please look after it and bring it along to the appointment with you.
What will happen if I don’t wear my retainers?
Your teeth could move back towards their original position. This is why it is very important to wear your retainers as advised. We actually say that retention is the most important part of your overall treatment.
What are bite turbos, bite blocks, and blue mountains?
These are temporary glass Ionomer cement (a dental material containing fluoride ions) build ups that either go behind your top front teeth or on the biting surface of your back teeth. They are used for various reasons like opening the bite or to stop teeth at the top knocking off the lower brackets whilst your teeth start to move. They wear down gradually and are removed very easily when necessary causing no harm whatsoever; sometimes they are blue and sometimes they are white.