Fixed appliances, otherwise known as “train tracks” are the most reliable way of moving teeth. These braces may be either metal or clear at the patient’s preference. Treatment with fixed appliances usually takes from 6 months to 2 years depending on the complexity of the case. Typically visits will be every 4-6 weeks. At the end of treatment, retention will be necessary with either removable or fixed retainers.
6 Month Braces
In recent times there has been a lot of advertising for 6 month braces in the media. These braces are simply fixed appliances (train track braces) which are used to straighten the upper and lower front teeth alone without correcting the occlusion or way the teeth meet together.
This will usually require interproximal enamel reduction (very small amounts of tooth enamel is removed from the sides of the teeth to make space for the teeth to be straightened) and this has been shown to be completely safe for the health of the teeth. Permanent retention is usually necessary with this technique with bonded retainers. As a result this technique is not suitable for all cases.
Dr Hone feels it is important that the differences between the limited aims of 6 month braces and comprehensive treatment are clearly explained at the treatment planning stage before a decision is made to proceed with this option. Dr Hone has extensive experience with this technique and is happy to offer it in suitable cases.
Removable braces such as a Twin Block functional appliance are often used to correct small lower jaws in the growing child. Crossbites or minor localised tooth correction are often treated simply and quickly with removable appliances without the need to progress to fixed appliances.
Invisalign is a technique that involves straightening teeth using a series of clear positioners. Patients wear each positioner for one week during which time the teeth are moved in incremental steps. Gradually this moves teeth into the desired final position.
Dr Hone has extensive experience in this technique and is one of the few orthodontists in Ireland who has treated over 200 patients successfully with this system. In his hands, most malocclusions are treatable with Invisalign although with more difficult cases adjunctive techniques in addition to Invisalign may be necessary to achieve an excellent result.
You can read more about Invisalign under this link: www.invisalign.com
Dr Hone is certified in providing Incognito lingual braces. This is one of the most advanced systems available and is an option for patients who would prefer to avoid visible braces. Bespoke gold braces are made for each individual patient to be fitted to the inside surface of the tooth where they gently straighten the teeth. Results are on par with traditional fixed appliances while avoiding their visibility. Please ask Dr Hone for more details at the time of assessment if you are interested in this option.
When a significant discrepancy in size exists between the jaws such as a very small lower jaw, surgical repositioning of the jaws may be necessary to achieve a good result. These patients will be seen by both Dr Hone and a maxillofacial surgeon who together will draw up the treatment plan. Typically treatment involves 18 months of pre-surgical orthodontics followed by the operation to reposition the jaws(all done inside the mouth with no scars). The braces usually stay on for 3 months afterwards to complete treatment. Dr Hone has extensive experience in these more complex cases and works with consultant surgeons in Dublin’s major teaching hospitals.
Retainers are essential to maintaining the position of the teeth after finishing braces. They are usually made of clear plastic and worn initially full time than at night. Ideally they are worn long term to prevent relapse. Sometimes thin wires are glued to the inside of the teeth to prevent movement as well. These are called bonded retainers and Dr Hone will advise when these are necessary.