It can be a challenge to choose the best Orthodontist in Limerick. Shields Dental & Implant Clinic Limerick is certainly the centre of excellence for the diagnosis, prevention and treatment of malpositioned teeth. Poorly aligned teeth are also often the cause of jaw pain and we are experts in assessing and treating all types of issues like this.
Orthodontic Treatment at Shields Dental & Implant Clinic Limerick
How we Assess Patients
As with all treatments available here, orthodontic treatments are devised following a full discussion with you, the patient. Furthermore, a detailed analysis determines the precise problems arising from misaligned teeth. Another name for misaligned teeth is a ‘malocclusion’. Specifically, ‘malocclusion’ is the imperfect positioning of the teeth when jaws are closed. Our Team will then plan a strategy for moving the teeth gradually into position. You will visit us regularly over the course of your treatment and be looked after very well.
Types of Braces Offered by Shields Dental Clinic Limerick
We offer a range of treatment options here at Shields in Limerick. The options are designed to suit different budgets and tastes and they include braces that are made from a range of different materials. The general options are:
Traditional metal braces remain a popular option for straightening teeth. The benefits are firstly that they are a long-standing treatment that has been around for over 100 years. However, they have continued to evolve over the years and are still used today. Secondly, the design is versatile. You can opt for coloured brackets – a particularly good incentive for young people who are anxious about having treatment. You can read more about the treatment here.
This type of brace uses square brackets that are clear or tooth-coloured, giving a discreet appearance. The benefits are firstly that they are comfortable because the hardware does not irritate the gums. Secondly, they have a high quality make-up. Ceramic braces do not generally break or chip unless they are poorly maintained. You can read more about the treatment here.
Invisalign Aligners describe a series of individual transparent aligners that slide over the teeth to gradually move them into the correct position over a period of time. The aligners are made using the orthodontist’s treatment plan and a computerised model of the patient’s teeth. Invisalign is popular for its minimal cosmetic impact and the ease with which it can be removed for cleaning. You can read more about Invisalign Aligners here.
Six Month Smiles is a cosmetic solution for straightening your teeth which takes just six months on average. Clear braces in tooth-coloured wires gently straighten your teeth and people will barely notice you’re even wearing braces. It only focuses on the front teeth and so the treatment time is much less than with traditional metal or ceramic braces. For the same reason, it is also typically cheaper than traditional braces. You can read more about the treatment here.
Children’s Orthodontics constitutes a large part of our work. Some dental and orthodontic issues are best treated before a person’s mouth has even finished forming. Thus it is vital to bring your child to a dentist within six months of the first-ever tooth sighting and certainly no later than age one.
While many orthodontic problems are genetic, many others come from early childhood impacts, like thumb-sucking and poor nutrition.
Does my Child need a Brace?
The only way to decide if your child needs a brace is to visit your dentist, but there are a few signs you can look out for:
Early, late, or irregular loss of baby teeth
Difficulty in chewing or biting
Crowding, misplaced, or blocked-out teeth
Jaws that shift or make sounds
Biting the cheek or roof of the mouth
Teeth that meet abnormally or not at all
Jaws and teeth that are out of proportion to the rest of the face
At what age should I get my Child evaluated?
Evaluation of ‘bite’ and other orthodontic issues may begin at any stage of dental development. Children as young as 5 may need to see an orthodontist and others can wait until the baby teeth have fallen out and the permanent teeth are on their way. This can happen anywhere between the ages of 10 and 13.
Factors which determine this are:
the specific problems (if any)
the growth of the child
risks and benefits of treatment or not treating
Your dentist will help you determine the best time for evaluation and treatment.
There are ways to figure out if you need braces, for example:
Size it Up. Often, it’s easy to tell early on if a person might be a good candidate for braces simply because of the way the teeth look in the face. Are the teeth too big or too small for the mouth? Are the spaces between them too wide? Do the top teeth angle outward significantly farther than the bottom ones? Is the top or bottom jaw severely misaligned over the other?
Identify the Signs. It’s really important to recognise crowded, blocked-out or missing teeth, wherever they may be in the mouth.
Take action on Discomfort. If a patient experiences significant (or really, any) discomfort in the teeth or jaw, it could be a big sign they’ll benefit from braces. A malocclusion (problems with the bite) can lead to other dental problems, including excessively worn, chipped and broken teeth. In some cases, it can lead to Temporomandibular Joint Dysfunction (TMD).
Consider how you Feel. For some, braces evaluations can come with uncertain results; maybe a tooth or two is slightly misaligned or poorly-spaced, but it doesn’t pose any real threat to the person’s overall health or comfort. Remember though that it’s totally okay to elect to have orthodontic work done for the sake of your long-term satisfaction with your smile.
Occlusion is the dental term used to describe the way the teeth meet when the jaws bite together. A malocclusion, and irregularity in the way the teeth meet, may be a symptom of—or cause—problems with the temporomandibular joint that connects the lower jaw and the skull. The technical term referring to these problems in the jaw and the muscles in the face that control it, is Temporomandibular Joint Dysfunction (TMD).
Orthodontic treatment corrects the position of your teeth where they should be for the optimum bite and a full, attractive smile. It also helps to reduce gum disease and tooth decay, as it is much easier to clean teeth that are straight and correctly positioned. Correctly positioning of the teeth also effectively tackles any difficulty the patient may have in chewing food.
As straightened teeth meet correctly, any undue stress on the temporomandibular joint is removed. TMD has numerous symptoms, including clenching and grinding. Other symptoms include headaches, neck and shoulder pain, and recurrent pain or discomfort on the side of the face around the ears or jaw joints.
Treatment begins with your orthodontist undertaking an in-depth study of the mouth and jaw, using x-rays, in order to devise a strategy for moving the teeth into position. The method most often chosen is fixed braces, which will typically be adjusted and tightened every six weeks for a duration of one to two years.
There is a range of treatment options to suit different tastes and budgets, which includes braces made from a variety of materials. Such braces include the traditional metal appliances, ceramic braces and clear plastic ‘Invisalign’ aligners.
Invisalign—manufactured by the Californian company Align Technology—is a treatment that describes a series of individual transparent aligners, which resemble gum shields, and that slide over the teeth to incrementally move them into the correct position over a period of time.
The aligners are made using the orthodontist’s treatment plan and a computerised model of the patient’s teeth. Particularly effective for patients with moderate crowding of the front teeth, Invisalign is popular for its minimal cosmetic impact, and also the ease with which they can be removed for cleaning.
The duration of orthodontic treatment depends upon the nature of the problem, and the appliance chosen to address it. For example, aligners to correct crowding of one or two teeth can take just six to 14 weeks. Traditional braces may have to be worn from six up to 24 months. If you think you may require orthodontic treatment, your orthodontist will discuss all of the various options with you prior to embarking on treatment.
Knowing when to take your child to see an orthodontist can be tricky. What should you look out for? Is there a standard age? Are check-ups necessary? In some cases, children as young as 7 can benefit from orthodontic treatment though it is not essential to take children this young to the orthodontist for a check-up. However, general check-ups with a dentist are essential. Please read the article When is appropriate for your child to see an orthodontist? for more detailed information.