What is Teeth Straightening (Orthodontics)?
Commonly referred to as teeth straightening, orthodontics is a specialised branch of dentistry focused on diagnosing, preventing, and treating dental and facial irregularities. These irregularities can include misaligned teeth, overcrowding, overbites, underbites, and other types of malocclusions.
At Blackburn Family Dental Care, our expert team offers comprehensive orthodontic treatments for both adults and children. We specialise in two primary teeth-straightening treatment methods: fixed and removable braces, ensuring precision and comfort throughout your teeth-straightening journey.
Orthodontics is not just about having well-aligned teeth; it ensures teeth function optimally and fit together correctly, resulting in better oral health in the future.
When should you consider Teeth Straightening?
Teeth straightening offers numerous benefits, such as:
- Healthier gums
- Enhanced jaw functionality
- Simplified dental hygiene
- Reduced risk of cavities and tooth injuries
Orthodontic treatments at Blackburn Dental Family Care are suitable for all ages. From children to adults, our family-friendly dental clinic is devoted to delivering top-tier family orthodontic services to help you attain your ideal smile.
Key Orthodontic Treatments:
- Traditional Braces: These consist of small metal or ceramic brackets attached to your teeth, connected by wires. Periodic adjustments help move your teeth into their ideal positions.
- Clear Aligners: These are transparent, custom-fitted trays, often made of a flexible plastic material. They offer a more discreet option compared to traditional braces. Popular brands, like Invisalign, allow you to remove them during meals and while brushing.
- Retainers: After the main phase of your orthodontic treatment, your dentist will attach to your teeth a retainer and sometimes also give you another removable retainer to ensure your teeth maintain their new positions.
What are fixed braces?
Fixed braces are the most traditional form of orthodontic treatment. Braces consist of brackets fixed onto each tooth, connected by wires. Over time, your dentist will adjust these wires to guide the teeth into their desired position.
Here at Blackburn Family Dental Care, our teeth straightening dentist uses the Damon Q system, an advanced braces system, which is claimed to be more efficient and comfortable than other conventional systems. With high-tech brackets and shape-memory wires, it offers reduced treatment times and often fewer dental visits.
What are removable braces (Clear Aligners)?
Unlike traditional braces, removable braces are almost invisible, removable plastic trays that fit snugly over your teeth. At Blackburn Family Dental Care, we offer removable braces in the form of clear plastic aligners, commonly termed ‘clear aligners’.
We use all the major aligner company brands such as Invisalign, Spark, Angelalign and Clearcorrect, picking the best system for each individual case. These removable aligners often provide advantages like potentially shorter treatment durations compared to traditional braces and a more natural and aesthetic smile whilst undergoing braces treatment.
How do clear aligners work?
Clear aligners are a modern teeth-straightening solution, that offers aesthetics and functionality. Here’s how they function:
1. Personalisation: Using an impression or 3D scan of your teeth, each aligner is custom-made to ensure an accurate fit and optimal movement.
2. Gradual Movement: You’ll wear each set of aligners for 20 to 22 hours daily, shifting your teeth bit by bit. Typically, a new set replaces the old one every 1 – 2 weeks.
3. Monitoring Progress: Occasional dental appointments track your progress, address concerns and hand over the following sequence of aligners.
4. Post-Treatment Care: Once the desired alignment is achieved, you may be prescribed retainers to ensure your teeth maintain their new position.
By following this structured approach, clear aligners gradually and efficiently straighten your teeth, providing a less noticeable alternative to traditional braces.
What are the advantages clear aligners?
Transparent material ensures they’re nearly invisible.
No metal, meaning less irritation for cheeks and lips.
Eat freely and maintain oral hygiene without hassle.
3D previews show anticipated outcomes before starting.
Perfect for those with busy schedules.
Better Oral Health
Easier cleaning leads to fewer dental complications.
Tailored snugly to individual teeth.
No risk of broken wires or brackets
In summary, clear aligners offer a comfortable, convenient, and discreet method for teeth straightening, making them an increasingly popular choice for both adult and teen teeth straightening treatments.
Teeth Straightening (Orthodontics) FAQ
How is treatment planned?
Both traditional braces and clear aligners generally have a singular aim: to straighten misaligned teeth and improve overall oral health. The choice largely hinges on individual needs, case specifics, and aesthetic preferences during treatment. The treatment planning is as follows:
The process begins with a thorough examination of the teeth and jaw, often using X-ray cephalometrics, photos and an analysis of the space requirements. Based on the findings, brackets are attached to each tooth, and connected by wires.
Over time, these wires are adjusted during regular orthodontic visits, guiding the teeth to their desired positions. Maintenance involves specialised cleaning routines. Upon completion, braces are removed, and patients typically wear a retainer to keep teeth in place.
For clear aligners, the journey starts with a comprehensive dental assessment, including 3D scans. This digital data paired with photos and X-rays they are then used to create a visual treatment plan, allowing patients to preview their dental transformation on the computer. Custom aligners are then crafted, with each set worn for 1-2 weeks.
Aligners are removed for eating and cleaning, leading to easier oral care, while periodic check-ins ensure progress is on track. Post-treatment retainers help maintain the new alignment.
How Long Do Braces Treatment Take?
It’s essential to note that individual cases may vary, and it’s always best to consult directly with our dental professionals to get a precise estimate for one’s treatment.
The treatment duration for traditional braces typically ranges between 18 months to 3 years. However, the exact timeline depends on the severity of the misalignment and the specific needs of the patient.
Clear aligners, like Invisalign, generally have a shorter treatment duration, often between 6 months to 18 months. Again, the duration can vary based on the complexity of the case and how consistently the patient wears the aligners.
Which Orthodontic Treatment Is Suitable For My Situation?
Determining the most appropriate orthodontic treatment for you depends on several factors, and it’s essential to consult with your dentist to determine the treatment best suited for your needs.
Below is a brief table for a general overview:
|Factors||Traditional Braces||Clear Aligners|
|Severity of Misalignment||Suitable for minor to severe issues.||Can be used for minor to severe issues.|
|Aesthetic Preferences||Noticeable, but ceramic options blend with teeth.||Almost invisible, blending seamlessly with the teeth.|
|Lifestyle Considerations||Risk in contact sports due to fixed nature.||More discreet and often sports mouthguards can be worn over.|
|Oral Hygiene Habits||Cleaning around brackets/wires required to prevent decay. Can be difficult and time consuming.||Must be removed before eating; teeth cleaned before re-insertion. Flossing and brushing as per normal.|
|Budget||Typically less expensive.||Can be pricier, varying with the brand and treatment duration.|
|Treatment Time||Generally 18 months to 3 years, varies by case.||Usually between 6 to 18 months, depending on the severity of the case.|
|Discipline||Fixed, so it doesn’t rely on patient compliance.||Must be worn 20-22 hours a day; requires patient discipline.|
Will I need to wear a retainer after treatment?
After most orthodontic treatments, wearing a retainer is typically recommended, regardless of whether you had traditional braces, clear aligners, or other orthodontic devices. At Blackburn Family Dental, we offer two main types: fixed retainers, which are discreet wires attached behind the teeth, and removable retainers.
Fixed retainers as the name suggests are attached to the back of anterior teeth full-time. However, the exact duration and regimen for wearing a removable retainer can vary. Some patients might need to wear them full-time for a few months, then transition to only wearing them at night. Others might only need nighttime wear from the start. Your dentist will provide a specific recommendation based on your individual case.
Would you like our dentists to give you a free consultation for fixed or removable braces?
1 Main St,
Blackburn VIC 3130
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8am - 6pm
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Conveniently positioned for patients seeking cosmetic dental bonding in Blackburn, Box Hill, Burwood, Nunawading, Mitcham, Vermont, Forest Hill, Canterbury & Surrey Hills. Our Blackburn North Dental Clinic is next to Blackburn station via the Belgrave or Lilydale line. Walk towards Main St (2 minutes) and you will see a light blue signage.
Parking is available behind Blackburn Family Dental, entering Main St or alternatively on S parade.
Many buses, including 703 and 765, are also in close proximity to our Blackburn North dental clinic.