This month, we sit down and chat with Dr David Digges – who has been helping patients with their orthodontic concerns for many years at BHD. David can perform orthodontic treatment with both traditional braces and is also certified by Invisalign.
David, could you please tell us a little about what is orthodontic treatment, and what are the benefits?
Orthodontic treatment involves moving your teeth and developing your jaws into a more ideal position. This can be done at any age, believe it or not! In a growing person (child or adolescent), certain things can be achieved to optimise the growth of the jaw. For this reason, the American Association of Orthodontists recommends that children have an orthodontic assessment between 7 and 9 years of age. The benefits of orthodontic treatment are plentiful – firstly, straight teeth are easier to maintain and clean for our patients. People also report feeling more confident talking and smiling, both personally and professionally. And teeth that are crowded or crooked will wear unevenly which can cause damage and breaking of teeth. Many adult patients don’t believe they can do anything about their crowded teeth, however there are almost always some treatment options available!
Am I a candidate for orthodontic treatment?
Anyone that wishes to straighten their teeth or improve their smile is a candidate for orthodontic treatment! Sometimes, prior to performing cosmetic procedures such as crowns or veneers on front teeth, it may be recommended to have a short course of Invisalign or braces to place the teeth in a better position and improve the final cosmetic result. Patients with uncontrolled periodontal disease may not be candidates for orthodontic treatment and it is recommended for these patients that a thorough assessment of their gum health be performed prior to any treatment.
What are the different types of orthodontic treatment?
There are several types of orthodontic treatment available, and usually we can find one to suit most patients’ needs and lifestyle. Traditional braces involve placing metal or ceramic brackets on the teeth and straightening them with a series of orthodontic wires. Invisalign is based on the same orthodontic principles as traditional braces, however the brackets and wires are replaced with clear customised plastic trays that fit over the teeth and place pressure in certain points to move them into the correct position. It is possible to have braces placed on the inside of teeth, however this is a more uncommon orthodontic treatment due to the cost and discomfort of this option. At BHD, we utilise the latest technology in the form of an intra-oral scanner that takes a digital record of your teeth without the mouthful of ‘goo’ previously used to obtain orthodontic models!
What should I do if I want to find out more?
You can give us a call and arrange a consultation and record taking. In that appointment, the different options will be explained, as well as a rough cost and time frame for the treatment to be performed.