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Questions and Answers


What is orthodontics?


Orthodontics is a specialisation of dentistry involving the study of development of the teeth and jaws and the correction of problems that occur with the tooth and jaw positions.


What is the specialist list in orthodontics?


A specialist in Orthodontics has completed at least three years of postgraduate study in Orthodontics after graduating as a dentist and obtained further training from the Royal College of Surgeons. His or her name will appear on the Specialist list of the General Dental Council.


When can a child begin orthodontics?


Occasionally early treatment may begin at around 7-8 years of age for problems involving the positions of the jaws.

At around 9-10 years of age a child should see an orthodontist to check on the development of the permanent teeth and sometime at this time orthodontics is started.

At around 11-14 years of age the permanent teeth have usually come into the mouth and this is the most common time to start orthodontic treatment.


Can adults have orthodontics?


Orthodontic treatment can be done at any age. You can never be too old to have treatment and often the orthodontist will work with your dentist or other specialist if you have a complex problem.


Why do I need orthodontic treatment?


Orthodontic treatment is to improve the appearance, function, and dental health of your teeth and associated structures such as jaws and joints.


How long does orthodontic treatment take?


This depends on the problem to be treated. It can vary from 3 months to 2 years.


What types of braces are there?


Fixed braces attached to the teeth can be placed on the front or the backs of the teeth. They can be made of   steel, ceramic (tooth coloured or clear transparent) and gold.


Can braces be totally invisible ?


Yes, braces placed on the backs of the teeth (i.e. lingual braces) are totally invisible.


What is a functional appliance ?


A type of brace used in children and adolescents to correct positions of the jaws while the child is growing.

Functional appliances used in children to correct positions of the jaws are made of acrylic.


What is lingual orthodontics ?


Braces are placed on the backs of the teeth and therefore totally invisible.


What is Invisalign ?


Treatment with clear plastic positioners instead of fixed braces.


What is Orthognathic Surgery ?


Surgery on the jaws to correct the position of the jaws and improve the way in which the upper and lower teeth fit together.


What is a retainer ?


After braces are removed the teeth must be kept straight while the bone and gums adapt to the new tooth position. Retainers can be removable or fixed (i.e. stuck to the backs of the teeth).


How do I raise a concern or make a complaint?

If you have any concerns, or want to make a complaint, or comment about any issue please do so in writing, email or by calling us. All complaints or comments will be acknowledged in 48 hours and responded to within 2 weeks whenever possible.

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