Central Orthodontics

FAQ

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First Appointment

Why choose a specialist?

You will see a fully qualified orthodontist and receive treatment using the most up to date techniques.

All the orthodontists at Central Orthodontics have undergone several years of specialist training after qualifying as a dentist. This means you will have access to the best treatment available. Most orthodontic treatment in the UK is provided by specialists.

Some patients are also seen by qualified orthodontists at Forth Valley Royal Hospital. They specialise in more complex multidisciplinary treatments where patients may require the input of other specialists.

Some dentists offer orthodontic treatment either privately or under the NHS. You should check what training they have had and if they are receiving support from an orthodontist. It is easy to put a brace onto teeth but it is difficult to make the correct decision about how to move and position the teeth to correct the problem.

How can I make an appointment to see an orthodontist?

Either ask your dentist to refer you to the practice or contact us directly.

Do I need to be registered with a dentist before having orthodontic treatment?

Yes. It is important that your teeth and gums are healthy before starting orthodontic treatment. Sometimes we require your dentist to provide treatment before during and after orthodontics.

When is the best time to have a brace?

The simple answer is when you are ready although we often have to wait until most of the adult teeth have erupted before we start. Occasionally some problems can be helped before and your dentist will help you recognise these.

Most treatment is started in children when they are between 11 and 15 years of age.

In adults treatment can be provided at any age.

What are the benefits of orthodontics treatment?

Most patients want a good smile and this is because an attractive smile enhances self-esteem. Psycho-social research has shown that your appearance affects the way you are treated by others.

An incorrect bite is not always harmful but it can damage the teeth and gums.

Straight teeth are easier to look after but it is important to keep squint teeth clean too. We cannot put a brace on your teeth unless your teeth and gums are healthy.

What will happen at my first appointment?

You will be seen by an orthodontist and they will discuss what you would like to change about your teeth. You may have impressions (sometimes called moulds) taken of your teeth and you may also have an X-ray and photographs taken.

If you are an NHS patient and qualify for free dental treatment, under one of the exemption categories, there will not be a charge for this appointment.  These are the same regulations that apply at the Dental Practice you attend normally.

If you are an NHS patient who is not exempt from paying for dental treatment or you have arranged to be seen on a private basis then there will be a fee charged for this appointment. 

Will I have a brace fitted at my first appointment?

No. We need to plan your treatment properly and if your are an NHS patient seek approval for your treatment. We will then inform you when we can start.

Will I need retainers?

Yes. Everybody needs retainers once treatment is finished. They may be removable, so that you can leave them out for periods during the day and clean your teeth or fixed onto the back of your teeth.

Will I need teeth extracted?

This is impossible to answer until you have been examined. The orthodontist will discuss the treatment options with you at your first appointment. Teeth are only extracted to provide space to either allow other teeth to grow in and be straightened or to move teeth so that they can bite more evenly. The space from extracted teeth is normally closed as treatment is completed.

What happens if I do not get approval for treatment?

You may be happy that your teeth are not all that bad and accept this decision or you may wish to come in and discuss the issues with your orthodontist. You may then choose to appeal against the decision or have treatment under a private contract.

When will I be told how much treatment will cost?

At your first appointment we will give you an indication of this but it will be confirmed by letter shortly afterwards.

During Treatment

Will my braces be painful?

Your teeth may ache a little for the first few days after your brace has been placed on your teeth but this settles down quickly. You may take a painkiller to help but not everyone needs this.

It does not hurt to have the brace fixed to your teeth. The fixed brace is simply glued onto the outside of your teeth once they have been polished. It takes time to do this and we will give you help to understand how to look after the brace and keep your teeth clean.

Will the brace damage my teeth?

Damage to your teeth while wearing a brace can occur in two ways:

  1. Sugar, in food and drink, can cause decay around the brace. This is seen as small white marks around the brace. You should avoid sugar as much as possible to protect your teeth.
  2. Root resorption can occur during orthodontic tooth movement. This can happen as the teeth are moved by the brace and can be seen on X-ray as a slight shortening of the root length. It is rare but if it does happen the damage is small and does not affect the long-term health of the teeth.

What about eating?

You should be careful about the things you bite and chew. Sugary foods and drinks will damage your teeth and can leave white marks on them once the brace is removed. Hard and chewy things may break or damage the brace and may make it uncomfortable. It will also stop working and so your treatment will take longer. Have a look at the instruction leaflet for fixed braces.

What do I do if the brace is broken and hurting me?

You were given some wax at the start of treatment and this should be squashed over the brace to protect your cheek, lip or tongue. If your next appointment is quite soon it is probably worth waiting until then when your orthodontist can repair the damage. Alternatively you can telephone the practice for advice and help. It may be appropriate to see you quite soon to fix the problem.

What do I do if I lose my brace or retainers?

You will need new ones made so contact the practice and arrange for this to be done. The NHS will make a charge to replace your brace or retainer. You will be advised what this is at your appointment. You must pay this before the new brace is made. You will be asked to complete a regulation 9 form which we will send the Forth valley Health Board and they will decide whether or not you will receive any refund.

Can I have my brace taken off when my teeth look straight?

The front teeth can look quite straight early in treatment but this does not mean that your braces are ready to be taken off. It is important to make all your teeth fit together as well as possible so that your bite works well and your teeth have the best chance of staying straight.

What happens at the adjustment appointments?

The orthodontist will check your brace and teeth, measure the progress and decide what needs to be done next. An adjustment will be made and you will feel the brace working a little harder for the next day or two. A new appointment will be made for you to return.

What happens if I miss an appointment?

You should contact the practice to arrange another appointment. However, your treatment will take longer and will not work as well as planned. It is very important to attend regularly so that the brace can be checked and adjusted. Patients who attend for all their appointments and don’t break their brace will have a better result in a shorter period of time.

If you cannot attend please advise us as soon as possible. Your appointment can then be given to someone else. You can telephone or E-mail.

Stirling   01786 475997   st_centralortho@btconnect.com

Falkirk   01324 621130   fk_centralortho@btconnect.com

Do I need to see my own dentist while attending Central Orthodontics?

Yes, it is important for your dentist to look after your general dental health during orthodontic treatment.

After Treatment

Can I get new retainers?

Yes, but the NHS will not pay for them. We can make new retainers and currently we charge £60 per retainer or £100 for both upper and lower at the same time.

How long will I need to wear retainers?

As long as possible. We recommend that generally the retainers are worn every night for one year. This gives your teeth a good chance to settle into their new positions. However, if you stop wearing your retainers your teeth may move back towards where they came from. This is called relapse. You may be quite happy with a small amount of relapse or you may be very disappointed to see your teeth have moved after all the effort you put in to straighten them. Our advice is to keep wearing the retainers for as long as practicably possible.