Dental Procedure on Braces
Dentists use braces to straighten or move the position of teeth in the mouth. This is orthodontic treatment, a term which means "the outside of the teeth" when translated. Orthodontic treatment is usually best carried out on children, but it may be necessary to wait until the correct number of teeth have grown- also, it is becoming much more common for adults to undergo orthodontic procedures.
Why do I need Braces?
Braces are used to straighten teeth, in cases where the patient's teeth are misaligned. This treatment is necessary for cosmetic reasons, since teeth which are out of position can look unattractive, but there are practical reasons for the treatment too. Prominent teeth (ones which stick out slightly) are more prone to damage, and are also harder to clean correctly. In some cases, the patient may also not be able to bite properly. Misalignment of this nature can cause jaw or joint problems and possibly headaches- if the position is corrected using braces, this strain is reduced.
Alternatives to Braces
In some cases, simple treatment can be carried out using a removable plate rather than a fixed brace. This is a device with small wires and springs which exert gentle pressure on the teeth to realign them. Plates can be removed and cleaned. Your dentist or orthodontist will be able to advise you of which form of brace is the best treatment. However, it is worth noting that there can be alternatives to the traditional brace (the large, metallic object sadly associated with teasing by children). Plastic and ceramic braces can be used (generally for adults), though these are not usually available through the NHS.
In some cases "invisible braces" will be available- these are clear plastic aligners or moulds, which the patient wears for 22-23 hours a day. Each patient is given several differently shaped sets, and they change them every two weeks. They are easily removed for eating and cleaning teeth, and are nearly invisible. However, these can only be supplied to patients with full adult teeth.
What is involved in fitting Braces?
This will depend on the type of braces required, and treatment time will vary greatly. However, the initial consultation could involve x-rays and plaster casts of the teeth so that the dentist can advise on the best next step. If a fixed brace is required, brackets are fitted to the teeth after first applying a weak acid paste- this is known as an acid etch, and makes the brackets fit better. The brackets are then "bonded" to the teeth using a safe glue. Dentists can safely remove brackets when the treatment is compelte.
After the Braces are fitted
There may be some initial discomfort while the mouth adapts to the braces- if this is severe, dentists may be able to modify the device to increase comfort. Braces need to be worn for anything from a few months up to two years, and adjustments will usually have to be made to the device every four to six weeks.
It is very important that teeth are cleaned thoroughly while braces are worn- braces can trap food and cause an increase in plaque build up.
Cost of Braces
In the UK you can either have NHS dental treatment or go for Private Dental treatment. According to our Whatprice figures Braces cost £194 through the NHS and an average of £854 if you go private.
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"hi. am about 2 get a brace and i am 23 years old i am really worried about pain it may cause. pluse do i have a choise on colour.no 1 has even told me my opptions?"
"I've got braces and it hurts big time you feel like you are getting eaten alive"
"how old do you have to be to get braces?"
"My Daughter had a brace fitted 2 years ago on the NHS, it was on for 12 months and then she was given a clear retainer one, which she still uses, but her teeth have moved out of place and she was discharged from the orthodontist in March this year. Now her treatment is complete is that it or would I be able to contact the dentist to see if anything else can be done "
"How come that my 11 year old daughter has just been assessed for top and bottom braces and has been told that because she wants to have her gap closed as well she is not eligble under the NHS and has to pay £3000 to go private for her braces. She is only 11 years old with a big gap in her teeth. She is very self conscious about this and we feel that £3000 is a hell of a lot of money to close a gap."
"Hi i had a question about braces erm when you get them fixed for the first week does it really hurt because i am a bit worried plz help."