Recent technological advancements mean that braces are more aesthetic and less visible, whilst treatment times are quicker and are more comfortable than in the clumsy train-track days of old.

And what’s more, you don’t need to be a teenager to qualify. We’ll look at your teeth in light of your whole face – your musculature, profile, bone tissue and lips. And because everyone’s ambitions are different, we’ll tailor a treatment type to your exact wishes.

There’s a wealth of aesthetic options to choose from whilst you’re waiting for your new smile to develop – invisible braces, tooth-coloured brackets and discreet wires.

Dr Farah Padhani is our specialist orthodontist – BDA (Lond), Msc (Lond), FDS.RCS. (Edin), MOrtho (Lond) and Clinical Teacher at King’s College, London. She’s highly regarded, highly trained and blushes from the generous compliments she’s had from her band of happy patients.

Dr Andrew Parkman, the practice principal, is delighted to offer the new nearly invisible Invisalign treatment. Click here for more information on Invisalign

What is orthodontics?

Orthodontics is a dental speciality that diagnoses, prevents and treats irregularities of the teeth and face. Treatment can correct an irregular or bad bite, also known as a malocclusion.The word “orthodontics” comes from two Greek words: “Orthos” means right and “dons” means tooth. I.e. to have orthodontics means to have your teeth corrected or righted.

Orthodontic care involves the use of corrective appliances, usually braces. These devices can be used to:

Improve function
– Mastication
– Correct an irregular bite
– Correct speech probems

Improve aesthetics
– Straighten teeth
– Close unsightly gaps
– Bring teeth and lips into proper alignment

They also can help with procedures in other areas of dentistry e.g. cosmetic and implant dentistry.

How could orthodontics help me?

Aesthetics: Many people are less than happy with their smile because of crowding or crooked teeth. Orthodontic care straightens teeth, moves them into a better position and improves appearance. Orthodontics can lead to increased confidence and self-esteem in children and adults alike.

Oral health: Orthodontics can benefit long-term dental health.
Straight, well-aligned teeth are easier to brush and floss and this can help reduce the risk of tooth decay.

Better bite: It can ensure that the teeth bite together properly.

Headaches: If the teeth don’t meet correctly, this can put strain on the muscles of the jaw, causing jaw and joint problems and in some cases headaches. Orthodontic treatment can help you to bite more evenly and reduce the strain.

Premature tooth wear: Orthodontic treatment can help to prevent premature wear of back tooth surfaces. As you bite down, your teeth withstand a tremendous amount of force. If your front teeth don’t meet properly, it can cause your back teeth to wear more.

Speech: When the upper and lower front teeth don’t align properly, this can cause speech difficulties. These can be corrected through orthodontic treatment, often combined with speech therapy.

What types of bad bite (malocclusion) are there?

Just a few of the common bite problems…

Crossbite: Here, the upper teeth rest significantly inside or outside the lower teeth. A crossbite often can make it difficult to bite or chew.
Crowding: Sometimes, permanent teeth may not have room to move into the right position:
– If there is not enough room for the teeth.
– If the teeth are unusually large compared with the size of the dental arch.
– If the jaw is narrower than it should be.

Deep overbite: This occurs when the upper front teeth (incisors) overlap too far over the lower teeth. In some cases, the biting edges of the upper teeth touch the lower front gum and the lower front teeth may bite into the roof of the mouth.
Open bite: If your upper and lower front teeth don’t meet when you bite down, this is called an open bite. This makes chewing less efficient because the front teeth don’t share equally in the biting force and the back teeth may receive too much pressure. It can lead to premature wear of the back teeth.
Spacing problems: Some people have missing teeth or unusually small teeth in a normal sized jaw. This can result in large spaces between the teeth. People who have lost one or multiple teeth may have uneven spacing because adjacent teeth may drift into the spaces.

What is a good age to start treatment?

While treatment can be carried out at any age, treatment is often better, shorter and potentially less expensive at an early age.Most authorities recommend that a child’s first visit to an orthodontist should be between 7 and 8 years old. Early examination allows the orthodontist to detect problems in dental development and jaw growth and plan appropriate treatment.

In most cases, treatments will be delayed for a few years.

However, early treatment may be started to prevent serious problems from developing and make for easier treatment at a later age. Such treatment at this stage may include the following:

Habit correction to break thumb sucking habit.
Jaw growth modification to encourage growth of small jaws or hold back excessive growth.
Jaw expansion for narrow upper jaw from a mouth breathing habit.
Simple fixed or removable braces to correct cross-bite, crowded teeth, deep bite and to reduce possibility of trauma to protruding teeth.
Guidance of tooth eruption, to regain or maintain space for erupting adult teeth.

There are signs that your child may need to see an orthodontist:

Reverse bite – All the lower front teeth biting in front of the upper front teeth.
Cross-bite – One or more lower teeth in biting in front of the upper front teeth.
Deep bite – Upper teeth over lapping the lower teeth completely.
Protruding front teeth.
Crowded teeth.
Un-erupted or missing teeth, especially if teeth are only missing from one side.
Thumb-sucking past the age of 5 or 6.
Early loss of baby teeth.

Am I too old?

Put simply, no. Today, most of our patients are adults.Advances in orthodontics are making braces less uncomfortable, smaller and less visible than they used to be. And culturally, we’re becoming more demanding about fixing those parts of our bodies that we’re not entirely happy with.

Some people are worried that adult treatment is more difficult that children’s treatment. This is not necessarily true.

Successfully moving teeth involves the same biological process at any age. The time it takes to complete treatment depends more on the severity of the problem and patient co-operation than it does on age.

Adult treatment may take a little longer because an adult’s facial bones are no longer growing. But then, adults tend to be more compliant with their treatment and this may actually lessen treatment time.

How do braces work?

Braces work by applying gentle pressure to move teeth in a specific direction. They are worn for an average of one to three years, depending on how severe the problem is.As treatment progresses, teeth change position, and the braces must be adjusted regularly.

In the past, braces consisted of thick bands of steel wrapped around all of the teeth. These days, stronger glue is available allowing smaller, tooth coloured and invisible braces to be used. Orthodontic bands rarely have to be used on front teeth.

What types of braces are there?

Fixed brace: This is the most common type of brace. AKA train tracks. Brackets are glued onto the teeth and connected by a wire. Sometimes, small elastic bands, called modules, are used to hold the wire in place. The wire exerts a gentle pressure so teeth are moved into a new position.

Removable brace: This is sometimes recommended for correcting a simple problem, such as moving a single tooth. It is a plastic plate with delicate wires and springs attached. It should be worn at all times, except when you’re playing sport or cleaning it.
Functional braces: These are worn to alter the position of the jaws and the way that the upper and lower jaws meet. The power of the jaw muscles is harnessed to move the teeth. They are usually worn on the upper and lower teeth. They are usually removable but should be worn all the time.

Retainers: Retainers are worn after treatment to hold teeth onto their new positions. They can be removable or fixed and are a very important part of the treatment.

What can you do to make my orthodontic treatment less obvious?

Recent improvements and innovations mean that treatments are less visible, more efficient, more comfortable and quicker. Here are just a few examples of how we employ the latest technology and thinking to make your orthodontic experience more like a (invisible) bed of roses:

– Small, tooth-coloured ceramic or composite braces.
– Clear brackets and white wire.
– Lingual or invisible braces which are attached to the inner surfaces of your teeth.
– Sophisticated titanium wires (superior breakage resistance, yield strength, optimum delivered force and formability, if science is your thing.)
– Invisalign braces which is a revolutionary way to position and straighten teeth.

With Invisalign, clear plastic aligners fit invisibly and snugly over your teeth. There are no braces or metal bands or wires and most people will never know you’re straightening your teeth – unless you tell them.

We use 3D computer technology to design each of your Invisalign aligners. They work by moving your teeth, week-by-week, millimetre-by-millimetre, to the desired position.

You can remove them for eating, brushing and flossing.

They are particularly good for adults and teenagers who want to carry on their normal lives without any disruption.

Click here for more information.

What will happen at the first appointment?

Firstly, you can explain to us what your concerns and aims are.In light of that, we will assess your dental status and oral hygiene and we will give you an orthodontic examination and discuss all the treatment options that are open to you. We will explain the pros and cons of each option and discuss what we can do to make your treatment comfortable whilst achieving the best aesthetic outcome.

Being honest and open about cost is important to us. So we’ll take you through cost options including finance options available to you.

The first appointment will take approximately 30 minutes.

We will make a second appointment to take detailed dental records to allow a full diagnosis to be made.

At this appointment, we would typically take facial photographs and intra-oral photographs to evaluate facial proportions, facial aesthetics and the health of the teeth and gums. We will also take dental study models and further x-rays. These diagnostic records collectively enable us to develop a detailed treatment plan for you.

We can use our new digital imaging technology to show you, in 3D, how you will look once your treatment is finished. Please click here for more information.

At this visit, we will discuss your orthodontic treatment in detail including all of the possible options, and risks and benefits.

Only then, if you are happy to proceed, can we start to create a smile that you’ll be proud of.

You may find it useful to read the British Orthodontic Society leaflet “Your First Visit” before visiting. It provides basic advice and information.

What about the state of my teeth before I start?

It is important to be dentally fit before starting orthodontic treatment.

Hygiene appointments are recommended both before and after orthodontic treatment and failure to maintain good oral hygiene will lead to decay and periodontal disease.

Because professional cleaning is so important, we will offer a 5% reduction on hygiene appointments if you decide to do this at the beginning of your treatment.

We also offer 5% discount on whitening after orthodontic treatment is completed.

Will I need to have teeth removed?

Extractions can be avoided in two thirds of patients. To achieve this, proper diagnosis, correct timing and sequencing of treatment, proper application and control of orthodontic appliances is needed.

Extractions are only recommended in severe cases.

Having said that, you may need to have some teeth removed if there is insufficient space for all of your permanent teeth to emerge.

Dr Farah Padhani, our Specialist Orthodontist, will be able to advise you.
We’re experienced in removing teeth with no pain. We apply local anaesthetic gel to your gums, which means that you will scarcely feel a thing. In fact, many of our patients tell us that they feel very little.

We can also use The WAND – a computer-controlled dental system to deliver anaesthetic. It’s not the needle that causes discomfort – it’s the pressure of the anaesthetic fluid in the tissues. The WAND delivers a slow, controlled and virtually painless stream of anaesthetic.

How long will it take?

The length of orthodontic treatment depends on many factors. It can range from a few months to two years or more. On average, orthodontic takes slightly over a year to two years in both adults and children. Invisalign takes an average of 12 months.

You have a large control over the length of your treatment. If you take great care over the maintenance of your braces, attend your appointments regularly and follow Farah’s instructions, then you will minimise your treatment length.

Will it hurt?

Fitting and placing braces is painless. It’s quite normal for braces to feel strange and awkward to begin with, especially after they have been fitted or an adjustment has been made. This can last for a few days.

We use titanium tooth-moving wires and smaller and smoother braces. They help to minimise any discomfort.

A mild analgesic, such as paracetamol can help. Or we can give you wax to cover any part of the brace that causes discomfort. If the problem doesn’t go away, we can make small adjustments to help.

What can I do to keep my mouth healthy whilst I have my braces?

Your co-operation is so important in determining the outcome of the treatment. There are few simple guiding principles.

Excellent tooth cleaning and diet – sorry, there is no way around this one.
Before getting braces it is really important to keep your mouth clean but during orthodontic treatment, it is vitally important to keep your mouth ultra-clean.

Braces trap food very easily. This trapped food will contribute to plaque formation. And if the plaque is not removed then there is the risk of developing gum disease, dental decay, bad breath and decalcification marks.

If there is any salutary news it is this….when you keep your mouth extra clean, your teeth will look all the more fabulous when your braces are removed.

Tips for extra-good dental health

Brushing – Use a soft-bristle toothbrush. Soft bristles are better than medium or hard bristles at getting into the hidden nooks. They are also softer to your gums.

It is safe to use an electric toothbrush on your braces. Use a softer setting and practice gentleness when brushing.

Brush after meals. This will ensure there is no trapped food.

Brush for at least two to three minutes each time. Brush the braces and all the surfaces of the teeth – the inside and outside surface and the chewing surfaces. Pay special attention to the areas between your brackets and your gums.

If you have fixed braces, we can recommend a special spiral bush which reaches areas behind the wires.

Flossing – Once a day please.
You’d think it impossible to floss with braces. It can be done, it is important and we’ll show you how to do it. There are products that help get between the wires and your gum line.

Disclosing solutions or tablets – Disclosing tablets use vegetable dye to highlight plaque or debris in your mouth. It’s pretty shocking to see the plaque build-up which is normally invisible.

Diet – While you’re wearing braces, it’s important to think twice about high-sugar foods that could increase your risk of decay. Also try to avoid anything that may break your brace, this can make your treatment longer

Dental visits – Don’t ignore your dentist and hygienist just because you are visiting the orthodontist. It’s important to have regular check-ups and cleaning visits. We offer 5% discount on hygiene visits during your treatment.

Attendance – Braces must be adjusted regularly to ensure that the teeth continue to move in the desired way. Once the braces have been fitted, you will be asked to attend every 4-6 weeks. Regular attendance will ensure that treatment is completed in the minimum time.

Breakages – If a brace breaks or becomes loose, it is important that it is repaired quickly. If not, it will delay treatment and may cause injury.

Will I only be able to eat soup?

You should avoid anything that might damage your braces, as it can add to the overall treatment time. You won’t be restricted to soup but you should stay away from hard and sticky foods.Cut down on all sugary foods. You can still have a limited amount of sweet stuff but the more sugars you eat, the greater your risk of tooth decay.

It’s not just what you eat, but also when you eat it. Frequent snacking on sugary foods is worse than eating sugary foods with a meal. The more chances you give the bacteria to turn sugars into acids, the higher your risk of decay.

Will I have to wear a retainer?

Most orthodontic treatments occur in two phases:

The active phase: Braces or other appliances are used to move the teeth into proper alignment and correct the bite.
The retention phase: A retainer is used to hold the teeth in their new position for the long term.

Once your bite has been corrected, bone and gums need additional time to stabilize around the teeth.

The recommended length of time for wearing a retainer varies. Most children and teenagers wear retainers until their early to mid-20s or until their wisdom teeth come in. Sometimes, to maintain straight teeth because of biological changes, we recommend wearing them indefinitely.

It’s really important to follow your orthodontist’s advice when it comes to retainers.

Are there any risks?

Normally, excellent orthodontic results are achieved with close co-operation between the patient, orthodontist and parent, where relevant.

Having said that, there can be limitations in some cases.

Decalcification: Excellent tooth brushing and cleaning are essential during orthodontic treatment. This is particularly important when braces are cemented to your teeth. Food and plaque collect on the teeth, and if this is not removed by regular brushing, white marks or decalcification can appear on the surfaces of the teeth. These marks are permanent.

Relapse: Teeth have a tendency to return to their original positions after orthodontic treatment. This is called relapse. Teeth that were very crowded or rotated have a higher tendency to do this. Retainers are placed after treatment to minimise this and it’s important that they are worn, as directed.

Root resorption: It is normal for the root ends to shorten slightly during treatment. This is called root resorption and causes no long-term ill-effects in a healthy mouth. Occasionally, some teeth can have more resorption than normal during treatment but this is difficult to predict. We may ask you to have an additional x-ray to check for this.

What safety measures do you take?

Health and safety and the prevention of cross-contamination are vitally important to us. And to keep us as the forefront of dentistry, we consider our professional development to be paramount.

X-rays

We use digital x-rays which deliver about 90% less radiation dosage than a standard x-ray.
We have 2 separate radiography rooms which are fully lead-lined and radiation protected.

Cross-infection

We have a seamless floor from reception door onwards.It’s made with a poured resin which means that there are no seams or cracks for dirt to collect in. And all our instruments are sterilised and stored in sealed bags. We have a sterilisation room and the instruments are sent to and from the surgeries in vacuum-wrapped, colour-coded sterile trays. Our disposable instruments are thrown away after use. We always wear disposable gloves when working and we obviously wear new ones for each patient

Barrier protection

We cover surfaces that are touched by the dentist (e.g. handles, buttons in the surgery) in thick selotape-like plastic. This forms a further barrier against germs. These are removed after each patient and then the area underneath is cleaned using sterilising wipes and sprays.

Mercury

All of the dental units have mercury separators and we use high-volume aspiration so that mercury is removed safely. We can reassure you that there can be no mercury leaks.

Amalgam free

We do not place amalgam (mercury) fillings.

Immunisation

Our dentists, nurses and hygienist are immunised against Hepatitis B, Tuberculosis (TB), Tetanus, Poliomyelitis (Polio), Pertussis (whooping cough), Diphtheria, Rubella, Mumps and Varicella. This helps to protect both team members and patients from these diseases.

Professional education

We pride ourselves on our commitment to professional development. All members of the team regularly attend seminars and conferences to stay abreast of the latest thinking. We are registered with the General Dental Council for continuing professional development and Andrew, Janet and Andre, between them, are active members of the relevant dental professional bodies — British Dental Association, Dental Society of London, British Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry, Association of Dental Implantology and the New Zealand Dental Society in London.
 Hayley is an active member of the Dental Hygienist & Therapists Association and the Dental Therapy Association. Farah, our Orthodontist, teaches three days a week and is at the very forefront of new thinking.

If you have any questions or you’d like to have a peek around, please ask.

How much does this cost?

The typical cost for orthodontic treatment is between £2,500- £4,500 depending on the complexity of your treatment. The cost is spread over your treatment time.

What about payment options?

We offer 0% finance loans, subject to the usual terms and conditions and status requirements. Please click here for more information. We also offer corporate and personal dental schemes and we are happy to accept personal insurance. E.g. Denplan or BUPA. Please click here for more information.
What do I do next?

If you’d like to book an appointment, you can call us on 020 7638 7100, or email us on bite@dentistry100.co.uk.

  • Farah is a highly-regarded expert in her field. She teaches, she lectures, she publishes and even arranges her holidays around orthodontic seminars.
  • We offer Invisalign so no one will know you have a brace. It’s pretty revolutionary.
  • With our new 3D imaging system, we can show you how you’ll look after your treatment.
  • We only use the best orthodontic materials. To achieve outstanding results, you need outstanding raw materials.
  • And we offer 0% finance deals.