What is Orthodontics?

Orthodontics is a dental speciality concerned with the diagnosis, prevention and treatment of facial irregularities such as crooked, crowded or protruding teeth, for which the technical term is ‘Malocclusion’ meaning ‘bad bite.’ The practice of orthodontics involves the design, application and control of removable and/or fixed appliances (commonly called Braces), to treat and correct these problems.

What is an Orthodontist?

An orthodontist is a specialist dentist involved in the practice of orthodontics, improving the health and appearance of teeth and faces by constructing braces and retainers for wearing by their patients. After qualifying as a General Dental Surgeon, an orthodontist will undertake a further three years of post-graduate study at a recognised Orthodontic Institute before becoming a specialist practitioner. Seeing an orthodontist does not remove the need for patients to see their regular dentist.

Who needs orthodontic treatment?

Everybody wants to have a beautiful smile and this is one of the best reasons for choosing to have orthodontic treatment. An attractive smile boosts self-esteem, which can improve the quality of your life. But there are other equally good reasons for considering orthodontic treatment. Major orthodontic problems can exist without you knowing it, so even if you have the perfect smile, these problems can, if left untreated, severely jeopardise the health of your teeth, gums and jaws.

Teeth that are too crowded are difficult to clean and can decay and cause gum problems. Premature loss of teeth can cause the surrounding teeth to tilt and can cause other unerupted teeth to be held back. Teeth that stick out are not only unattractive but can cause abnormal wear of the tooth surfaces and excess strain on the supporting jaws, because they do not meet properly when chewing. And misalignment of the jaws can result in the abnormal position of the jaw joint, which can cause headaches, migraines or other pain in the face and neck.

What are the scopes and limitations of orthodontic treatment?

The main goal of orthodontic treatment is an improved facial appearance along with the correction of tooth positions, which in turn makes teeth easier to brush and makes the jaws function better when biting or chewing. Strain on the jaw joints is reduced leading to better overall long-term health in the jaw and facial region.

The degree of improvement possible in all malocclusions will depend on a number of factors, including:

  • Patients co-operating fully with their orthodontist and attending all appointments
  • How severe the orthodontic condition is. Full correction is not always possible
  • The age of the patient at the start of the treatment. This is because teeth move more slowly in adults, so it is not as easy to change them, compared to children’s teeth

Do all children need orthodontic treatment?

Surveys have shown that approximately one in three British children would benefit from orthodontic treatment.

Am I too old to have orthodontic treatment?

Absolutely not. Treatment can be carried out in a healthy mouth at any age.

Are crooked teeth harmful?

Potentially, yes, because they are more difficult to clean and are therefore more prone to decay and gum disease.
The psychological effect of poorly aligned teeth is difficult to determine and will often depend on the individual .

When do you recommend that treatment should start?

For children, a first appointment is recommended between the ages of 9 and 10. The best time for treatment to start depends on the problem. An early examination allows your orthodontic specialist to decide when treatment should begin for maximum improvement with the least inconvenience and expense to the patient. Early intervention can prevent later problems developing. Age is no barrier to orthodontic treatment and at Grosvenor Orthodontic Clinic we treat many adult patients as well as children and teenagers. Treatment should start when the majority of the patient’s permanent teeth have erupted.

Once we know you are ready to proceed, we will send you a letter with the recommended treatment plan and and if appropriate an outline of costs.

Are all braces the same?

Braces ( sometimes called ‘appliances’) are typically split into two main categories - fixed braces and removable braces. Please visit our Braces & Appliances page for more information.

Which kind of brace will I have to wear?

The type of brace you will be required to wear will depend on the treatment we recommend there is often a choice. At your first consultation at the Grosvenor Orthodontic Clinic one of our specialist orthodontists will discuss with you what you would like to achieve. After taking X-rays and accurate measurements of the teeth we will gain a more complete understanding of how your jaw and teeth function, we will then be able to recommend a course of treatment.

How long will I have to wear a brace?

Removable braces must be worn 24 hours a day except when eating, swimming or playing contact sports and fixed braces are worn at all times as they are glued directly onto the teeth. Braces are usually worn for a minimum of 6 months but may in some cases be worn for up to 2 years. This will depend on your progress under the treatment and also on how co-operative you are as a patient.
The majority of treatment takes between 12 and 15 months however this will be continued by the wearing of retaining braces usually at nights only.

What is a retainer?

Removable retainers should be worn for a minimum of 1 year each and every night. After discussion with your orthodontist it may then be possible to reduce the number of nights per week down to a minimum of 2 nights, which must be non consecutive. You should then continue on that basis for as long as possible remembering that the day you stop wearing retainers is the first day your teeth can move. Fixed retainers can sometimes be worn for a number of years (usually a minimum of 3). If you are happy with the position of your teeth after having worn a fixed retainer for the recommended 3 years, you can have the retainer removed, although even after 3 years, there is always the risk that your teeth could more back into their old position, so at Grosvenor Orthodontic Clinic we often recommend that patients wear a fixed retainer until it should fail.
Retainers are always included in your treatment at no extra cost.

What treatment programmes does Grosvenor Orthodontic Clinic offer?

Grosvenor Orthodontic Clinic offers comprehensive and full orthodontic treatment programmes, facilities and after-care to our private orthodontic patients, along with comprehensive NHS treatment in line with NHS guidelines. It is not possible to ‘top up’ the NHS system and medical insurance policies such as from BUPA/Denplan do not cover orthodontics.

Do you have long waiting lists?

NHS appointments are subject to a short waiting list rarely more than 2 months , whereas private patient appointments are usually possible within a week of contacting us.

How much does private treatment cost?

The total cost of orthodontic treatment varies from approximately £1,500 for single arch treatment or £2100 for both upper and lower dental arches. And then depending of the type of braces used and the complexity of treatment these fees can extend upwards to approximately £6000.
Completely invisible braces start at £2800

Is the cost worth it?

Absolutely. The cost of orthodontic treatment is well worth it when you consider the long term benefits it brings to the lives of patients, such as enhanced smiles, improved confidence and better health of the mouth, jaw and other related parts of the body. It has to be remembered that treatment only takes up 1 or 2 years of a patient’s life, which in the case of children is when they are still growing and developing. The 12 to 24 months wearing a brace is well worth the long term benefits.

What payment methods do you accept?

We are happy to help you spread the cost of treatment, we offer patients the choice of paying by standing order or in instalments over 12-18 months. At Grosvenor Orthodontic Clinic we accept Mastercard, Visa, credit/debit cards as well as cheques or cash.