When people go to the dentist to seek treatment to get their teeth straightened, they will usually have an appointment with an orthodontist. Orthodontics is a specialist branch of dentistry that focuses on realigning the jaws and teeth to create a bite where the teeth meet together properly.
At Winchester Orthodontics, we put all our focus on teeth straightening. Not for nothing is it a specialist area. An orthodontist in Hampshire has undertaken several years more training and study after qualifying as a dentist.
What’s right for you?
We will be able to assess which type of straightening treatment is best suited to your needs. Some people have jaws that don’t meet together properly, and this is best treated when the patient is still a child and has a mixture of adult and milk teeth. At this age, the jaw is still growing and is malleable, whereas later into adulthood, the jawbone hardens and cannot be changed.
This is the kind of problem that is usually corrected with heavy-duty metal braces that people remember from the 1970s and 80s, and are still seen on kids today.
Most adults who come to see an orthodontist in Hampshire are only looking for help with straightening misaligned teeth. There are now several systems that can do the job without having to dominate the mouth or cause discomfort.
One of the most popular is called Invisalign, although people often get the spelling wrong and call it Invisaline. This system is very different. It uses a series of incrementally different clear plastic aligners. Invisalign aligners use the pressure from being slightly ill-fitting to nudge the teeth into position, whereas bracket and wire braces pull them.
Each aligner is a step along the path to straighter teeth and is worn for about 2 weeks. The number of aligners varies from patient to patient and is usually between 12–48. The average treatment time is a year.
Invisalign is so-called because the aligners are only 0.3 millimetres thick and cannot be seen when they are on the teeth. Also, they are removed for eating and drinking, which makes life a whole lot easier. They must, however, be worn for at least 20 hours a day, so it’s important to be disciplined.