Want your teeth straightened but don’t know where to start? Want your teeth straightened but don’t know where to start?

Want your teeth straightened but don’t know where to start?

Posted: 5th June

By: Neil Woodhouse

The last 20 years has seen an exponential rise in the number of people seeking orthodontic treatment to straighten their teeth. This is in part because people are more conscious of their teeth in the era of Instagram and Zoom, and because treatment options such as Invisalign have made orthodontic treatment very accessible.

But this trend has also brought with it an avalanche of information as we are bombarded with TV ads, social media marketing, Invisalign open days and so on. If you find this confusing and overwhelming, you wouldn’t be the only one!  This article aims to help you decide, if you are interested in having your teeth straightened but don’t know where to start.

What are the options for straightening teeth?

There are now so many options. Traditionally, orthodontic treatment was done with fixed metal braces. While these are still used a lot, many prefer braces that are less visible, such as clear ceramic braces which work in a very similar way to the metal braces. Both metal and clear braces are fixed to the teeth and work extremely well.

Clear aligners are now hugely popular. While there are many companies offering these, Invisalign is by far the leader in the market and has almost become a household name. Invisalign is a very effective brace and has the advantages of being almost invisible and relatively comfortable.

Lingual braces are like metal braces but instead of sitting on the front of the teeth, they are fixed to insides of the teeth. While these braces can be quite uncomfortable and expensive, they might be the preferred option in certain cases.

Should you see a dentist or an orthodontist to have your teeth straightened?

20 years ago, hardly any general dentists did orthodontics or teeth straightening, and would have referred their patients to see a specialist in orthodontics. That has changed as many orthodontic systems are now very user friendly and can be learnt over a weekend training program. Dentists are usually familiar with 1 or maybe 2 systems and will generally take more straightforward cases. While levels of experience will vary between dentists, most will only do handful of cases per year, mixed in with all the other types of treatment they do such as crowns, fillings, and root canals.

A specialist orthodontist would have started out as a general dentist after doing the 5-year dental training but will have had to spend a minimum of 3 additional years at university dedicated to learning the speciality of orthodontics. After this, an orthodontist may join the GDC’s specialist register and will spend all their time straightening teeth with different kinds of braces. Typically, an orthodontist will treat between 200 and 500 patients a year and will quickly build up experience and expertise in this area of dentistry.

An orthodontist will also be very familiar with multiple systems and types of braces. This gives them the freedom to mix and match and may be willing to take on much more complex treatments with appliances such as Invisalign, knowing that they have other options available to them.

There are loads of adverts for DIY braces. Are they a good idea?

No! It may be tempting to use one the do-it-yourself orthodontics kits, mainly because they are cheaper than seeing a professional (although not that much cheaper!). The problem is that things can occasionally go wrong with orthodontic treatment. A clinical exam with a dentist or orthodontist before starting treatment will allow us to identify potential problems before it is too late.

With DIY braces, there is no clinical exam, and no professional will oversee your treatment, taking responsibility if things don’t go to plan. Any dentist or orthodontist in UK is legally required to be registered with the General Dental Council to practice. This is necessary to keep you safe. The companies offering DIY orthodontics have worked around this, so no one will be held to account if your teeth get irreversibly damaged during the treatment.

And then there is the aftercare. There is none with DIY braces and many people find themselves back at square one after months of treatment and thousands of pounds later.

What is the process at Neyo Dental Specialists?

If you are interested in teeth straightening or orthodontic treatment for yourself or perhaps for your child, the first step is to come in for a free orthodontic or Invisalign consultation. Either your dentist sends us a referral, or you can contact us directly to book your free consultation with our specialist orthodontist. This can be done on our website, or feel free to email or call us.

During the first consultation, we will assess your teeth and bite, and talk you through the options. We will discuss different brace options and costs.

If you like what you hear, we can usually get started within a couple of weeks.

How long does it take to straighten teeth?

It really depends on how complex your treatment is. Adults with crooked front teeth or gappy teeth can be finished in as little as 6 months. More complex treatments involving impacted teeth or very large overbites may take up to 2 years. Although there are always unpredictable elements, we will be able to give you a good indication of how long it will take at your initial consultation.

How much will it cost to straighten teeth?

If you are having your upper and lower teeth straightened, treatment costs start at £3990. Until September 2023, we are offering an additional £500 off Invisalign treatments plus free professional whitening with any Invisalign or orthodontic treatment. There are payments plans available including 0% finance over 12 months. Repayment terms are flexible, and we will be happy to discuss in more detail.

We hope this helps clear some things up for you, but please get in touch with us if you still have questions.

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