When discussing orthodontic treatments the idea of inconspicuous treatments does not spring to mind immediately but luckily with modern advances within the dentistry world it should. Whether in need of a fixed brace or a removable retainer, the chunky noticeable treatment methods can become a thing of the past.
For patients suffering from severely misaligned teeth, the fixed brace option will most likely be the recommended treatment. This method, much like the traditional fixed brace treatment, pulls the teeth into a newly aligned position using a series of wires and brackets. However, unlike the traditional method, the brackets which are bonded to your teeth and the wires linking between are coloured to blend in with the natural teeth.
On the other end of the scale, for those with mild to moderate alignment problems the clear removable retainers will, in most cases, be the perfect solution. The Invisalign retainers use pressure points within the retainer to push the teeth into their new position. Whilst the Inman aligner uses two aligner bows that gently oppose each other and as a result, guide the teeth into a new position.
Treatment time frames.
Each realignment method provides a rough guide to how long the treatment will take, usually being anything from 4 to 12 months. However, it is important to remember that these are only guidelines as every single case is unique. For those with mild alignment issues, the length of time it takes to realign the teeth should be rather quick, but if wearing removable retainers is almost entirely dependent on the patient’s dedication to wearing the retainers.
Are the treatments painful?
When undergoing any realignment treatments mild discomfort is expected to occur. This is due to the fact that the teeth are being either pushed or pulled, depending on the treatment, into a new position. Therefore a mild aching feeling is to be expected especially when a new retainer is being worn or when the wires attached to the brackets have been tightened. It is, however, extremely important that you contact your dental team should you experience ongoing discomfort combined with pain.
Are all treatment options available on the NHS?
Whilst all treatments are to do with realigning the teeth, the NHS focuses more on the dental treatment than the appearance of the brace or retainer. For this reason, traditional braces are available on the NHS but the more modern retainer methods are considered to be more of a cosmetic treatment than a necessary treatment and therefore are not often available.
This does not mean that the treatment becomes entirely unaffordable. As per most treatments and procedures, it is important to discuss the payment options available with your local dental practice as they may have payment plans available to assist with spreading the cost. Please always approach your dental practice if you have concerns regarding payment as they may be able to assist and it is always worth asking first before dismissing the idea.