Orthodontics


We offer orthodontic treatments under the umbrella of the NHS as well as on a private basis. These will be appropriate to your individual needs.

The majority of orthodontic treatment takes approximately two years to complete, assuming regular adjustment appointments are kept. Teeth move slowly and any attempt to speed up the natural progress of tooth movement will lead to unwanted complications. Successful orthodontic treatment depends on good growth response and patient co-operation. If progress is slow, your treatment plan may need to be adjusted. Orthodontic treatment is the use of fixed and/or removable braces to straighten crooked teeth and improve the way the teeth bite together. Once the brace is fitted it is normal for the teeth to ache, though by taking pain relief such as paracetamol or ibuprofen this will settle quickly. In some patients the teeth may feel slightly loose; this is due to the forces exerted on the teeth by the braces. Straight white teeth are society’s ideal, and yet few people are lucky enough to be born with perfectly straight teeth. Luckily, orthodontics can straighten teeth, close gaps and ease overcrowding to give you your ideal smile.

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FAQs

Orthodontic treatment is a way of straightening or moving teeth, to improve the appearance of the teeth and how they work. It can also help to look after the long-term health of your teeth, gums and jaw joints, by spreading the biting pressure over all your teeth.

Many people have crowded or crooked teeth. Orthodontic treatment will straighten the teeth or move them into a better position. This can improve their appearance and the way the teeth bite together, while also making them easier to clean.

Some people have upper front teeth that stick out and look unsightly. These ‘prominent’ teeth are more likely to be damaged, but orthodontic treatment can move them back into line. Or the way the upper and lower jaws meet can cause teeth to look unsightly and lead to an incorrect bite. Orthodontic treatment may be able to correct both of these problems.

When the teeth don’t meet correctly, this can put strain on the muscles of the jaw, causing jaw and joint problems and sometimes headaches. Orthodontic treatment can help you to bite more evenly and reduce the strain.

The most important thing is to have a full examination. This will usually involve looking at your teeth, taking dental x-rays and making plaster models of your teeth.

Your dental team or orthodontist will then discuss what treatment is possible. Once you are sure you want to go ahead, the treatment can start as soon as you have enough permanent teeth.

You may not have enough room for all your permanent teeth. If so, you may need to have some permanent teeth taken out to make space. Your dental team will tell you whether this is the case. Sometimes space can be made using other forms of treatment.

Orthodontic treatment can be done by many sorts of appliances, which most people call a ‘brace’.

Simple treatment may be carried out with a removable brace (a plate that can be taken out to be cleaned). It has delicate wires and springs attached, which move the teeth using gentle pressure.

Often, teeth need to be guided more accurately than they can be using a removable brace. So a fixed brace is used. This has brackets and bands which are temporarily stuck to the teeth. A flexible wire joins all the brackets and allows the teeth to be moved. You can’t take the appliance out yourself, so it is called a fixed appliance.

It is sometimes possible to change the way the jaws grow, using a functional brace. This works by using the power of your jaw muscles and can help with certain types of problem.

They are tough, clear plastic ‘aligners’ (moulds) that are used to straighten teeth. Several sets of specially moulded, slightly different aligners are made for each patient. Each set is worn for two weeks before being replaced with the next one. They are made from clear plastic, so they are nearly invisible. This means that no one need know you are straightening your teeth.

The aligners should be worn for 22 to 23 hours a day for the best results. They can be easily removed for eating, drinking, brushing, and for cleaning in between your teeth. You need to have all your adult teeth before you can have this treatment.

The length of treatment depends on how severe the problem is, and it may take anything from a few months to two-and-a-half years. Most people can be treated in one to two years.

When treatment is finished the teeth need to be held in position for a time. This is called the ‘retention’ period, and the appliances that hold the teeth in place are called retainers.

The retainers hold newly straightened teeth in position while the surrounding gum and bone settles. The retainers can be removable or fixed, depending on the original problem.

All appliances may feel strange at first, and can cause discomfort. If the problem doesn’t go away, the orthodontist may be able to carry out adjustments to help. Teeth are usually uncomfortable immediately after a brace has been adjusted, but this will settle.

Your teeth can be damaged if you don’t look after them properly during treatment. The braces themselves will not cause damage, but poor cleaning and too many sugary foods and drinks can cause permanent damage to your teeth. Brackets, wires and braces can trap food and cause more plaque than usual to build up. So you need to clean your teeth and appliance very thoroughly.

Even after retention, it is normal for minor tooth movements to happen throughout life. So no permanent guarantee can be given. However, it is unusual for teeth to alter enough to need more treatment.

It is important to keep having your teeth checked by your dental team while you are having orthodontic treatment. You also need to take extra care of your teeth and mouth:

  • Clean your teeth carefully every day, including between your teeth where you can. Braces are delicate and you need to make sure you clean them carefully so that they do not break. Your dental team will be able to show you the special techniques to use depending on the appliance you are wearing.
  • Cut down on how often you have sugary foods and drinks. Avoid snacks and drinks containing sugars, and fizzy drinks. Also, sticky and hard foods may damage your brace.
  • Brush your teeth last thing at night and at least one other time during the day. Use a mouthwash if you need to. Your dental team may recommend a stronger fluoride toothpaste, or perhaps a fluoride gel or mouth rinse, for you to use.

We visited the orthodontist in this practice through an NHS referral from our usual dentist for my son. He is a very nervous 8-year-old and despite this being an assessment appointment only, I was very impressed with the way he was involved. The lovely dentist that saw us and their assistant made my son feel at ease and took their time to explain clearly what was going to happen. Really good service despite not being our usual dentist.

I am really happy with the treatment I received, the new filling looks natural – you can’t even tell there is a filling there, and it has also lasted. The staff were friendly and professional and the service I received was really good.

Despite this not being my regular dental practice I was able to book an emergency appointment at short notice to assess and treat a painful tooth. The staff were highly professional and helpful and when I told them the pain had increased considerably over night they managed to bring my scheduled appointment forward 24hrs. During the visit an X-ray was taken and the dentist talked me through the results, treatment options and recommendations. This was done very clearly. The dentist then proceeded to treat the infected tooth even though the practice was due to close for the day. I was very impressed with the whole experience.

Our lad had treatment here for 18 months and the journey from Clacton every time was worth it. Lovely staff , clean environment, appointments on time. Our son’s teeth are amazing now. 5 stars!

Top notch service, and they openly give you options on how to proceed with dental care, i.e. for me, choices on whether to have braces or not. They give their opinions but ultimately let you decide, with the appropriate amount of information. Would recommend!

My family have been with this surgery for years and have received nothing but the best of care. I would recommend this dentist in a heartbeat!

I would highly recommend Evergreen Dentistry. I find my Dentist to be very professional.

The treatment was excellent my daughter has a perfect smile . I would highly recommend the dentist to my friends and family. Very good service throughout the treatment.

Staff always friendly and professional and I have absolute faith in Michelle, the Hygienist, and Matthew, my Dentist.

My daughter has received thorough and professional treatment at Evergreen Dental Surgery.