Consultation and Examination:
On your initial visit we have to decide exactly what the problem is with your teeth and "bite". It may just be that you have a problem of crowded teeth, a problem with positioning of either the top or bottom jaws or a combination of both. We will recommend the best treatment by examining your teeth and your radiographs, but most importantly discussing what actually bothers you about your teeth and how you would like them improved. Quite often there are a number of possible approaches, with different merits. We will make sure you understand these before deciding if you want anything done at all.
Sometimes the degree of crowding will mean that it is impossible to produce good results without removing some teeth to provide space for the others. Most commonly these would be one of the premolar teeth at the sides. Usually if there is some degree of discrepancy between the two jaws it is possible to disguise (camouflage) this by careful tooth positioning. In the most severe of cases it may be impossible to move the teeth enough and an operation on the jaw bones is needed to get good tooth position. If you decide to go ahead with treatment we will discuss the best possible methods to achieve the results you desire.
To help us help you, we will take at least 2 types of special radiographs (x-rays). These can show us how your teeth are developing and where and to what degree you have any jaw discrepancy, if any.
Most commonly, if a typical fixed brace is to be fitted, we will arrange with your dentist for any teeth to be taken out at a suitable time. We then arrange a short appointment to take photographs, impressions (moulds), and place little elastic rings called separators. These create a little space between your back teeth that allow us to place the brace.
Usually you will be seen again the following week for a much longer appointment to place the brace. For a few days you may find the brace uncomfortable. Your teeth will be tender to chew on as they start to move- you will need to have a fairly soft diet. The brace might also rub your cheeks until the skin on your cheeks thickens up. It is not unusual to have the odd ulcer during this initial stage and we will provide various remedies to help you through this initial period. It is very important to clean exceptionally well and to avoid sugary foods and carbonated drinks, in order to avoid any damage to the enamel surface. You also need to keep up regular check-ups with your dentist.