Bridge Dental Practice has a particular interest in orthodontic treatment. Orthodontics is a branch of dentistry that is concerned with the growth of teeth, jaws and face. Orthodontic treatment is about making the most of your teeth. Once you can bite together correctly, you can eat more comfortably and care for your teeth and gums more easily. Benefiting your smile and boosting your confidence!
The starting point
Most courses of orthodontic treatment begin with a referral from a general dentist to a specialist.
Common reasons for referral:
- Protruding upper front teeth
- Crowding – a narrow jaw may mean that there is not enough room for your teeth, resulting in crowding.
- A deep bite – when your upper teeth cover the lower teeth too much.
- A reverse bite – when your upper teeth bite inside the lower teeth.
Every patient needs tailor-made treatment, planned by the orthodontist and agreed by you, the patient. In order to decide what treatment is required for you, your orthodontist will need to carry out a full assessment of your teeth which is likely to include x-rays, impressions (moulds of teeth) and photographs. Treatment can take up to two years, more commonly 12-18 months, so it is important you are happy from the outset with what is recommended. Braces are almost always needed such as:
- A fixed brace – this is the most common type of brace today, often known as ‘train tracks’. Brackets are glued onto the teeth and linked by wires. Small elastic hoops are often used to hold the wire in position. The wires exert gentle pressure to move the teeth to a new position. The brackets can be metal or ceramic and the elastic hoops come in many colours.
- A removable brace – this is sometimes used for correcting a simple problem, such as moving a single tooth or expanding the dental arch. It has a plastic baseplate with wires and springs attached. Removable braces need to be worn all the time except for cleaning or sport.
- Functional appliances – these are used to harness the growth of the jaw and improve the way the upper and lower teeth meet. There are several designs all of which fit on both the upper and lower teeth and hold the jaw forward. They are mostly removable but should be worn as near to full-time as possible.
- Retainers – at the end of treatment, all patients should wear retainers to hold their teeth in the new position. These can be removable or fixed and are an important part of treatment.