MORE REASONS TO SMILE….. EVEN WEARING BRACES!
Gone are the days when a visit to the dentist was an occasion of dread – now, with bright rooms, modern techniques and friendly staff, a dental visit is just another box to tick in our busy lives – and a very necessary one.
We had a chat to Dr Nick Mitchell of Confident Orthodontics about the latest techniques to help us achieve the smile we want.
Q: Whilst we don’t all want a bright white smile, most of us would like to have a smile that complements our own style – and with modern techniques there are so many options – tell us about what you offer?
A: Modern orthodontics offers many options to suit each person’s preference and lifestyle. Most are familiar with metal braces, however there are now cosmetic options that include clear aesthetic brackets, and some of these have tiny integrated clips to hold the wires. Then there are brackets that fit behind the teeth: these don’t show at all, but may take a little more getting used to at first. A very popular option with adults is the Invisalign system that uses plastic aligners and avoids the need for brackets. Each of these systems may also be used in a more limited format if the treatment objective is just to realign some crooked front teeth – something that is very time efficient!
Q: I have heard of Invisalign – what is it and how does it work, it seems to be in the media at the moment.
A: Invisalign is proving extremely popular with our patients. It is a system of clear plastic aligners that progressively straightens the teeth. By changing aligners every fortnight the teeth move incrementally towards the desired outcome. Small, clear attachments may be used on those teeth that are particularly out of line, providing the means for the plastic to move a particularly tipped or twisted tooth. Invisalign Full is used for comprehensive treatments, whereas Invisalign Lite can be used for more straightforward problems when the teeth have only mild irregularity.
Q: We should all be punctilious about children’s dental health, for those children who need braces or dental adjustments what is available – and do you offer sports guards for active kids?
A: We offer a full range of treatment for children and adolescents. Simple problems early on, such as pushing tooth over the bite, may be resolved with a removable brace. Where the front teeth are prominent a functional appliance can help correct the problem in a growing patient. Then there are the range of fixed appliances mentioned above, plus Invisalign Teen that has been specifically modified for this age group. And, of course, we do indeed offer mouthguards for active children who are involved with contact sports: Orthoguards non-customised mouthguard while fixed braces are being worn, and custom made ones available in a variety of colours that offer a close, personalised fit once treatment has been completed.
Q: Teeth whitening seems popular but we do hear stories of people trying to do it themselves – what is your advice on this?
A: Tooth whitening is now easily accessible. My colleagues and I advise that it should be under the direction of a dental professional who can carry out an assessment beforehand, take a record of the initial tooth colour, and then assist by monitoring progress. We recommend night time whitening gel used in custom clear plastic trays. We are happy to offer advice by contacting our practice.
Q: And finally what can we expect from Confident Orthodontics in the next year?
A: At Confident Orthodontics we strive to improve our patient experience within the practice, and offer new technologies and treatments.
We are in the process of fitting out a second orthodontic surgery on the ground floor of the practice. The design will be similar to our original one, with the same high quality equipment. We shall also be using an intra-oral scanner for our Invisalign patients – this will allow us to scan a digital image of the teeth and gums that can be used for fabricating the aligners – no need for impressions! We hope gradually to use it for all our patients!