What are the different types of orthodontic treatments?
There are two main types of braces – fixed and removable.
- Fixed braces can be metal or clear and sit on your teeth and are attached with brackets and wires. They’re one of the most common types of braces because of their predictable and reliable results. Fixed braces are used for NHS orthodontics, but they are also fitted privately in adults too. As well as traditional metal fixed braces, other options include lingual braces and ceramic braces, which are fixed on your teeth but are less visible than traditional fixed braces.
- Removable, Near-invisible or clear braces are aligners (moulds) that attach to your teeth that can, over time, straighten your teeth. Since they’re clear, they’re nearly invisible, which means it’s not obvious that you’re straightening your teeth.
- Examples of clear aligners include Invisalign, which uses a series of virtually invisible, custom-made aligners that gradually straighten your teeth without using any metal wires or brackets.
- Removable braces are clear aligners which resemble retainers, which you can take in and out whenever you need to. Removable braces are more commonly used when treating the upper teeth only, as their capabilities are fairly limited compared to other braces.
NHS orthodontics usually involves traditional fixed braces that are attached to your teeth with brackets and wires so they stay on permanently throughout treatment and gradually push your teeth into the desired position.
NHS orthodontics is free in the UK for children under 18 with a clear, clinical need for the treatment, such as severe overcrowding of teeth, a severe overbite, or extensive missing teeth where the gap needs to be closed. Unfortunately, treatment for more cosmetic problems isn’t usually available on the NHS, but can be accessed on a private basis.
The high demand for NHS orthodontics means that there may be a long waiting list for treatment, but there are alternative paid options available, including having your treatment privately.
What is the best type of orthodontic treatment for me?
There are many options to consider when you’re thinking of having braces fitted, including the type of braces that are most suitable for you and how they look. You need to understand which type of treatment will give you the results you want, and which will be the most suitable for your teeth.
Your orthodontist will go through your options with you and help you to decide what is the best orthodontic treatment for you.
If you have any questions, or would like to understand more, contact your local Bupa orthodontist.
How long does orthodontic treatment take?
It depends on how much work there is to do and how far your teeth need to be moved.
Cosmetic teeth straightening can take as little as six months, whereas if you have NHS orthodontics, your braces are likely to be on for between 18 months to 24 months depending on how complex your orthodontic problems are.
Your orthodontist will give you advice about how long your treatment will take and how your teeth should look once you finish your treatment.
How much does orthodontic treatment cost?
The cost of private orthodontic treatment can vary depending on the complexity of the treatment and the type of braces you have.
To get an accurate quote, go for a consultation with a Bupa Dental Care or Total Orthodontics dentist who’s trained to provide orthodontic treatment.