video consults teeth straightening

Will Healy Orthodontics Patient

“I got braces here, which I’ve only had since February, so it’s early days, but I’m already seeing changes, it’s already working. My teeth are coming back already, which is great.”

Will Healy, Limerick

Dawn Quinn Orthodontics Patient

“My side teeth were all turned in and my canines were kind of prominent. They’re all as straight as they can be now at the moment and i’m only halfway through the treatment!”

Dawn Quinn, Limerick

Orthodontics Patient

“I’ve no problem smiling for photos or anything now. I’ve noticed a massive change already you know. They’ve completely transformed in the space of 4 months.”

Barry Kiely, Limerick

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Metal Braces

The range of orthodontic solutions available at Shields Dental & Implant Clinic Limerick make the practice a centre of excellence for the diagnosis, prevention of malpositioned teeth and the jaws.

We offer metal braces, ceramic braces, Invisalign aligners and Six Month Smiles.

As with all the treatments available at Shields Dental & Implant Clinic Limerick, orthodontic treatment strategies are devised following a full discussion with the patient, and an in-depth analysis to determine the precise problems arising from (and the precise characteristics of) a malocclusion.

Our orthodontists here are Shields Dental have many years of expertise in administering a range or orthodontic treatments for all age groups. Treatment will be geared towards the specific needs, and wishes, of the patient in each case.

Here are some of the questions that patients at Shields Dental & Implant Clinic Limerick have asked us about metal braces.

Frequently Asked Questions

Cosmetically, there may be an aspect of your smile that is causing you to conceal or inhibit it. Typical problems include crooked or crowded teeth. They may stick out or have gaps between them that you think are unsightly. A malocclusion can lead to other dental problems, including excessively worn, chipped and broken teeth, and Temporomandibular Joint Dysfunction (TMD).
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, headaches, neck and shoulder pain, and recurrent pain or discomfort on the side of the face around the ears or jaw joints.

Treatment begins Dr O’Flynn 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 encompasses braces made from a variety of materials, including the traditional metal appliances, ceramic braces and clear plastic ‘Invisalign’ aligners.
Braces are composed of a series of parts including brackets that are bonded to the front of the teeth, connected to archwires that move the teeth. This is tightened periodically during a one- to two-year treatment period. Some braces include springs on the archwires between brackets that either push, pull, open or close gaps between the teeth.

The construction of ceramic braces is very similar to the metal variety, with the difference that the brackets bonded to the front of the teeth are clear or tooth-coloured. These are less conspicuous than metal braces, although the ceramic brackets can cause wear on the teeth. An orthodontist will carefully consider and evaluate the way the patient’s teeth overlap when closed before deciding to proceed with ceramic braces. The ligatures, the elastic bands that hold the archwire (which is tightened every six weeks) are either white or clear. These are changed every time the braces are adjusted.

The advantages of metal braces over ceramic are as follows:

  1. Treatment time tends to be shorter because they tend to be less fragile than ceramic braces
  2. Because of this, costs tend to be lower for metal braces
  3. They are less likely to discolour because they are made from stainless steel. ceramic braces on the other hand can look discoloured with the build up of tartar and plaque. However, brushing and flossing each day will counteract this.

You can read more about the advantages and disadvantages of metal and ceramic braces here.

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, Dr Sharon O’Flynn will discuss all of the various options with you, prior to embarking on treatment.

Things you can do at home to care for your teeth after braces include:

  • Schedule a Professional Exam and Cleaning

After having braces, you are well aware of how challenging it can be to keep your teeth clean. Now that they are off, it’s a good idea to schedule an exam and thorough, professional cleaning. While at the dentist’s office, consider a whitening treatment, too. This can help get rid of any stains or yellowing that may be present.

  • Wear Your Retainer

Your teeth are naturally inclined to move back to their original position. In fact, the biggest risk of this happening is within the first few weeks after you have gotten your braces off. The retainer is going to keep your teeth where they are supposed to be.

  • Adopt a Thorough Oral Health Care Routine at Home

Braces are a big investment. Now that they are off, it’s important to follow a good daily dental regiment. This can help you keep the beautiful and healthy smile you worked so hard to get. Some of the things you need to do each day include:

  1. Brush Your Teeth: You should plan to brush your teeth at least two times a day using a soft bristled brush. Also, replace your toothbrush every three or four months.
  2. Floss Once a Day: By flossing one time a day, you can remove food particles and plaque that your toothbrush can’t reach. Be sure you are flossing each space in between your teeth.
  3. Use Mouthwash: This is optional, however, if your teeth need a bit more protection than just brushing and flossing, speak to your dentist about the right mouthwash options for your needs. This also gives you nice, fresh breath.
  4. Clean Your Retainers: This needs to be a part of your daily routine. After it becomes a habit, it won’t feel so much like a chore.
  5. Keep Your Beautiful Smile After Braces: By using the tips and information here to care for your teeth after braces, you can feel confident the beautiful smile you worked so hard to get won’t be lost.

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