Braces London

Braces in London: what to expect, cost and many more

When we hear about braces, we picture teens with metals stocked to their mouth. Well, I guess it is time to rethink the picture.

These days, people of all ages, including adults, are getting their teeth straightened, to get the perfect grin they have always desired. Having straighter teeth can make numerous significant impacts on a person’s life. In essence, they improve your oral hygiene; improve your appearance, while they help straighten misaligned or crooked teeth.

Although, it is recommended that you get your teeth straightened during your teenage years, more and more adults are now hopping on the braces bandwagon, as some of them tend to decide for a straighter smile after a long time.

With the upsurge of new technologies in the market, braces are becoming flexible, discreet and effective for virtually all orthodontic issues. But taking suitable decisions, with regards to the right type of braces that is ideal for dental issues can be quite overwhelming and perplexing. This is why we feel it is important to delve into various types of braces available for teens and adult, their cost, and other essential things we feel should be able to guide you through your decision process.

However, this guide will provide suitable solution on the following:

  • What types of braces are available in the UK?
  • How does the treatment process work?
  • Which brands are the best?
  • How long does each treatment take to elapse?
  • What does it feel like living with braces?
  • What is the cost of braces in the UK?

It is our desire that by the end of this informative guide, you will be much more confident about taking a courageous step towards revitalising your smile.

Well, let’s get right in!

What exactly are braces?

Braces which are fast becoming a thing among so many are orthodontic devices, used to align and straighten the teeth, as well as help to position them with regards to a person’s bite while improving the dental health of an orthodontic patient.

How do they work?    

Varieties of braces are being employed in modern orthodontics to fix both slight and extreme dental misalignments. However, they work in a slightly different way, which we will be covering later on in this guide.

You may need dental braces if you experience the following:

  • Crook, crowded or protruding teeth: your dentist or orthodontist may recommend you have dental braces fitted, if your teeth are crooked, crowded or protruding and needs some straightening to be done.
  • Gaps between your teeth: when you have gaps between your teeth, that need to be closed up, it is recommended that you do some dental work, to get some braces fitted. This will help in closing down the gaps between your teeth while revitalising your smile.
  • Malocclusion: extreme or slight malocclusion will also require dental braces to fix them. Such malocclusion may include an overbite or an underbite. This often occurs, when your upper and lower teeth don’t meet properly.

If the above-listed problems are left unattended to, they can result in some complications, including the following:

  • Difficulty in blushing and flossing the teeth, which may lead to other dental issues
  • Difficulty in eating
  • Significant damage to another part of the teeth
  • Speech impediments
  • Loss of confidence
  • Aches from the jaws
  • Muscle strain

Who can have dental braces?

Although just anybody can have their teeth straightened, it is ideal to go for dental works when the jaw and teeth are still growing. However, treatments rarely start until most of the teeth have come through. In essence, the ideal age to start an orthodontics journey will normally fall between 10-14 years of age. Regardless, dental braces are usually effective at almost any age.

A significant condition of having braces on is that your teeth should be taken proper care of, as well as being able to maintain good oral hygiene. If your teeth have in the past, been damaged by decay, gum disease, or you have undergone extensive restorative work such as crowns, your orthodontist may recommend veneers or dental implants to improve the appearance of your teeth, rather than with the use of dental braces.

Different types of braces to consider

Braces can sometimes make you feel conscious about your physical appearance, especially when the braces are visible. The last thing every orthodontics patient want is the look that makes it appear so obvious that you are straightening your teeth. This explains the reason why so many adults and teens often frown at the idea of wearing braces because of how they will be perceived by others, especially in situations when they are to attend big events, like weddings and graduations.

Well, thanks to technology! Traditional metal mouth braces are not the only option available for patients looking to revitalise their smile. Other braces are providing a discreet solution to orthodontic treatment. While modern ceramic braces are often customised, to match the colour of teeth, other invisible braces like Invisalign are often difficult to detect. Hence, patients can now fix their smile, with less attention to the fact that you are having your teeth straightened.

Below is a quick summary of dental braces that are different:

  1. Clear aligners

Invisible braces are major alternatives to traditional metal braces. They make use of clear plastic aligners which are fitted in the teeth while moving the teeth to their proper position. There are several brands of clear aligners in the UK. However, Invisalign clear aligners are often considered as the most popular amongst all other clear aligner brands. They have a unique attribute that makes them the commonly used brand in the UK.  With their growing technology, they have also been able to produce a special kind of aligners for teenagers.

These aligners are designed with a unique feature in such a way that teenagers can derive maximum satisfaction and benefit by wearing them. This includes an indicator, designed solely, to show your dentist or orthodontist whether you have been wearing them based on the speculated time.

Clear aligners, such as Invisalign are ideal for treating varieties of orthodontics cases, including underbite, overbite, open bite, crossbite, deep bite, crowding and gaps between teeth.

  • Invisalign treatment procedure

After your initial consultation, and you have made a suitable decision to revitalise your smile with the use of clear aligners, your orthodontist will scan your mouth to get an image and 3D impression of your teeth. The image collected from your teeth will be used to plan your treatment custom-made aligners and will be ready within a month, after the initial consultation.

During your treatment process, a series of aligners will be changed periodically, until your teeth have gradually moved to its ideal position. You will be required to go for a check-up every six weeks to monitor your treatment progress.

An average Invisalign treatment takes typically 12 to 18 months, depending on how severe your issues are, as well as the amount of correction that needs to be made. After that, your dentist will advise you to wear a set of retainers every night, to prevent your teeth from moving back to its initial position.

The braces are removable, which means that you can quickly clean your teeth whenever necessary, to avoid any form of complications like gum disease and tooth decay. Regardless, your braces are intended to be worn for at least 20-22 hours a day. The remaining hours you are not putting them on, are primarily for eating, drinking and cleaning the aligners. Past reviews have indicated some reduction in the number of calories since eating habits are improved with less snacking.

Some few pros and cons of clear aligners may include the following:

Pros

  • less noticeable
  • can be easily removed for cleaning and eating
  • easy to clean
  • much more comfortable, when compared to metal braces

Cons                                                       

  • may be more expensive than metal braces
  • The treatment period may exceed the expected time.
  • Teeth need to be routinely cleaned after each meal, to avoid bacteria build up.

In essence, Invisalign braces provide efficient and convenient teeth straightening, which are less noticeable by other people.

  1. Lingual Braces

Lingual braces often referred to as incognito or hidden braces are another common option that is barely utilised by people who are looking to straighten their teeth. Although they are not completely invisible, they are fixed in such a way that the fittings go behind the teeth, while facing inwards so that they are barely noticed

The brackets that are usually fixed to the inner surface of the teeth can be either moulded to the shape of each tooth or can be standard fitted. However, a moulded fitting is often more expensive than the regular fittings, since they are often customised to each specific interest and condition. It is important to note that, the braces are still visible, when the mouth is opened, but may not be as obvious as those of metal braces; this is a major advantage of lingual braces.

Despite the unique benefit of lingual braces, there are also some few drawbacks which make them rarely used for some orthodontics cases; this may include:

  • Difficulty when cleaning: they are very difficult to clean since they are hidden and can’t be seen clearly. More so, because of the positioning, they are very difficult to adjust, and your routine checkups with your orthodontist will take a longer time than normal.
  • Speech defects: they are known to cause speech defect when compared to other types of hidden braces. More than 50% of most lingual brace wearers tend to experience some changes in their speech when the appliance is fitted, especially in a pronounced form. What’s more, they take a longer time than normal to correct.
  • More expensive: they are expensive than other traditional styles of straightening the teeth.
  1. Ceramic Braces

Ceramic braces are made from materials that tend to appear the same in colour and texture like the teeth, Thereby, making them less noticeable than the conventional metal braces. The wires that are often used to connect these brackets can also be tooth coloured. Ceramic braces are very effective and are known to fix both mild and extreme orthodontic cases. A major defect of white ceramic braces is that the ligatures or elastic used on them can easily get stained.

For most patients and dental health providers, ceramic braces are known to provide a unique balance between appearances, speed and cost. The treatment process is known to last for 18-24 months.

Outlined below are some pros and cons

Pros

  • Invisible, since they are made with tooth coloured and transparent materials.
  • They are also very useful and efficient like ceramic braces

Cons

  • Ligatures and elastic can easily get stained
  • May provide similar discomfort like metal braces
  • They are much more expensive than some treatment options. 
  1. Self-litigating braces

Self litigating braces are almost the same as the conventional metal braces, in terms of appearance because they make use of bracket and a wired system. But with modern orthodontics technology used in this system, no elastic bands or wire are needed in keeping the archwire adequately positioned. Some other brands of a self litigating system like Damon may also provide the clear transparent brackets appearance, more specifically for patients who are conscious of their facial appearance. With this, the process of aligning the teeth is entirely gentle and swift.

Some benefits and drawbacks may include the following

Benefits

  • Less painful than the traditional metal braces: the self litigating system is less painful than the conventional metal braces because of the self-litigating property of the system.
  • Available with clear materials: as explained earlier, some brands, make use of clear materials that are less noticeable, accompanied with the self- adjustment process, to give an orthodontic patient a unique smile they so much desire.
  • Fast treatment procedure: they proffer faster treatments than traditional metal brace since they are more efficient in moving the teeth to its desired position. More so, the fact that they barely require constant checkups than other treatment options make the treatment much faster.
  • Proper hygiene ensured: the absence of rubber bands depicts that they are more hygienic. More so, the brackets are also designed in such a way that they can hold less food, which gives less room for bacteria build-up. 
  1. Traditional metal braces

Traditional metal braces are common and the most commonly used types of braces, before the inception of other kinds of braces. With improved technology, they are becoming lighter, smaller and less noticeable. During your appointment, brackets are fitted to each tooth while a flexible metal wire is threaded through each one. More so, small rubber bands or metal ties are often used to secure the wire correctly. Your orthodontists can easily manoeuvre the teeth into its ideal position, by tightening the wire in different areas of the teeth. The process of fitting the teeth may take 1-2 hours, and are rarely painful in some cases, except for few cases. Regardless, it is normal for the teeth to feel a little sore after the initial fitting and each adjustment.

In some cases, some headgear may be given to the patient to wear at night, to aid and hasten the treatment process. The treatment period would generally take 18-24 months; proper care should be taken in cleaning, as well as taking adequate care of your teeth, to avoid any form of risks like tooth decay and gum disease

One significant advantage of traditional metal brace is that you can easily choose the colour of the elastic band used for each bracket. However, the option is much cheaper and affordable than other orthodontic treatment options. 

How much do braces cost in the UK?

Uhm well, let’s be realistic enough, there is no such thing as cheap braces; the high cost of braces is one of the major underlying factors that prevent many people from seeking orthodontics solution.  When going for orthodontic treatment, you not only pay for the materials used, the service of your orthodontists will also be paid for, which is why fitting braces are often expensive. The cost of private braces will typically range from £ 1,500 to £ 5,000 on an average, depending on the severity of your dental issues

Don’t fret yet! Although braces may be on the high side, there are ways you can make them more affordable. You can speak to your dental care provider on possible payment options that are available for you.

Take the bold step!

Now that you have been able to get a brief overview on the available types of dental braces, treatment process, cost and what to expect; we believe this should be able to guide you through your decision process in choosing what is right for you.

What’s more, it is never too late to take the bold step towards a more aesthetic and confident look.

You can schedule an appointment to visit the nearest orthodontist, to kick start your treatment.