Are you unhappy with the crooked, uneven or crowded appearance of your smile? With all the recent advancements in orthodontics, wearing braces have never been easier.
Orthodontic treatment (braces) can make a huge difference to your teeth and instantly transform a crooked, uneven smile to one that is straight and even.
State-of-the-art treatments and techniques are now available – from traditional metal braces, to clear and tooth coloured braces, the solutions to straighter teeth are endless.
Crooked, crowded or uneven teeth may not only affect the appearance of your teeth, but also their health and function.
The benefits of an orthodontic treatment go beyond the physical changes of an improved bite or straighter teeth; it’s also a great way to improve a person’s overall self-image.
Crooked teeth or jaw problems may contribute to improper cleaning of teeth, leading to tooth decay, gum disease or missing teeth. What’s more, is that orthodontic problems that go untreated can lead to chewing and digestion difficulties, speech impairments and abnormal wear of tooth surfaces.
“Crooked teeth may affect the function of normal chewing, speech and also cause gum damage and tooth wear,” says Dr Johnson Huang from Clear Dental.
Although the length of treatment is usually longer for adults (as the jawbone is denser), the process of moving teeth is the same at any age. However, it is recommended the optimal time to start orthodontics treatment is by 12 years of age.
“Early examination of the teeth and jaws allows us to detect and evaluate problems and plan the best treatment,” says Dr Johnson.
“In some cases, early treatment may prevent orthodontic problems from getting worse. It may also result in shorter and less complicated treatment if more treatment is required at a later age.”
What does it involve?
First off is the ‘planning phase’, where your dentist will thoroughly examine your teeth before recommending a course of treatment. This will typically involve x-rays, photographs of your face and teeth and the taking of an ‘impression’ of your teeth. This will enable your dentist to gain a clear understanding of the position your teeth, allow for a correct diagnosis and reveal the amount of correction needed.
Next, the dentist will make a casting or mold of your teeth from plaster, which is used as a blueprint for the brace.
To place the braces, your dentist will polish and dry your teeth, before applying a conditioner to the front surface for about 30 seconds. This prepares your teeth for bonding the brackets. The conditioner is then cleaned off, your teeth are dried again, and a special adhesive primer is put on the teeth.
Dental cement is placed on the back sides of the braces, which are then placed onto the teeth. The brackets are attached to each tooth, and excess dental cement is removed. Typically the cement is then hardened under a light beam.
The brackets each contain the ‘archwire’, which is threaded between the brackets and secured with metal or rubber bands.
Typically braces are left on for 12 months, however this can differ depending on your diagnosis. You will have a series of follow up visits where your braces will be adjusted in order to help move the teeth into the desired position. This is often called the ‘active phase’.
When the treatment is completed, you have reached the ‘retention phase’ where the braces are removed. You are usually given a removable retainer to hold the teeth in their new positions. Afterwards, patients are expected to attend once or twice a year for a checkup.
While braces can straighten your teeth and give you an appealing smile, they can greatly contribute to your overall health.
“These days, with good oral hygiene and regular dental care, teeth should last a lifetime,” concludes Dr Johnson.
Where to go
Clear Dental offer a range of orthodontic treatments in Sydney City, Bella Vista, Berowra Heights and Chatswood.
Clear Dental offer a no gap check up, clean and X-rays for all new patients in a private health fund, and no gap for cosmetic, orthodontics, implant and Invisalign consultations. Clear Dental also offers financing options.
Call (02) 9283 6220 for an appointment with Dr Johnson and his team at Clear Dental.