What is Orthodontics?
Orthodontics is the dental specialty which uses removable and fixed braces to straighten crooked teeth and improve the way they bite together. It greatly improves the appearance of the teeth whilst also improving dental health and function. Sometimes, orthodontic treatment is used in conjunction with cosmetic, restorative and implant dentistry. In this practice, we have specialists with all these different skills, which makes us ideally placed to treat patients who need teamwork between specialists.
Many people think that orthodontics is just for children. However, many adults can also benefit from orthodontics, and many of the treatments that are suitable for children are also suitable for adults.
Any dentist can legally undertake orthodontic treatment with little or no special training. However, specialist orthodontists undertake three years full-time training on top of their basic dental training. Some orthodontists such as Spencer Nute, the orthodontist in this practice, have undergone a further two years training in managing the most difficult orthodontic problems in order to become hospital consultants.
Modern braces are much more cosmetic than they used to be. This makes them more appealing to all patients, including adults. Modern materials and techniques also mean that braces are smaller and more comfortable than ever before. Our orthodontist, Spencer Nute, routinely uses tooth-coloured braces to make his treatment as acceptable as possible. He is also certified to use the Clearstep® clear aligner system. He will be happy to discuss the different types of braces that would be suitable for you at the initial consultation visit.
The First Appointment
The orthodontist will first discuss with you what you would like to achieve from orthodontic treatment. A full examination and assessment will be made of your teeth and bite. X-rays are usually taken to assist the diagnosis and planning. The orthodontist will discuss if you can be treated with orthodontics (most people can be), and the type of brace and treatment that would be most suitable for you. A full report will be sent back to your general dentist, and you will be given a quotation for the cost of the treatment. If you decide to proceed with treatment, and your teeth and gums are healthy, the orthodontic treatment can start at the next visit.