Orthodontic treatments have come a long way in recent years, and one of the significant advancements is the introduction of esthetic braces, or more commonly known as ceramic braces. Esthetic braces offer a more discreet alternative to traditional metal braces, making them a popular choice for patients. If you’re considering esthetic braces and want to understand how they work, this step-by-step guide provides a comprehensive overview of the entire treatment process.
Step 1: Your Consultation
The first step on your journey towards achieving a beautifully straight smile with esthetic braces is to book a consultation with Orthodontics For You. During your consultation appointment, your orthodontist will conduct a thorough examination of your teeth and jaw to determine the most effective treatment plan. Your orthodontist will assess the alignment of your teeth and take impressions, scans, x-rays and 3D images, which will be used later to create your brace.
Step 2: Treatment Planning
After assessing your oral condition, your orthodontist will develop a personalised treatment plan. Your treatment plan will account for your specific orthodontic requirements, such as closing gaps or addressing bite issues. Your orthodontist will also discuss the recommended brace types with you (modern metal, esthetic/ceramic, Invisalign or hidden lingual orthodontics), explaining the anticipated duration, steps involved, and desired outcome.
Step 3: Placement of Esthetic Braces
Once your orthodontist has confirmed you’re eligible for esthetic braces and you have agreed to the treatment (you are under no obligation to proceed with orthodontic braces if you decide otherwise after your consultation appointment), the next step is the placement of your esthetic braces.
Made from clear ceramic brackets and a thin metal wire (which can be coloured to blend with your teeth), esthetic braces are fitted to the front surface of your teeth using a dental adhesive. Compared to metal braces, esthetic orthodontics have smoother brackets with more rounded edges. This allows them to lie flatter against your teeth, making them more comfortable and less bulky.
The fitting process is simple and pain free, and will be finished in about an hour (half an hour for each row of teeth).
Ceramic braces work by gently re-positioning the teeth to the corrected position. It’s a simple, steady process, but it is incredibly effective for patients with crooked or misaligned teeth.
Step 4: Regular Adjustments and Monitoring
Once your brace has been fitted, you’ll need to visit your orthodontist periodically for adjustments (usually around every 6-8 weeks). During these appointments, your orthodontist will adjust your esthetic brace system to ensure it continues to apply a consistent, gentle pressure to your teeth, guiding them into the desired position.
These adjustments are an essential part of your teeth straightening journey as it allows your orthodontist to monitor your progress, ensuring the effectiveness (and efficiency) of your brace. Photographs may also be taken at each appointment to track your progress – who doesn’t love a good before and after shot?
Step 5: Oral Hygiene and Care
An effective oral hygiene routine is crucial during your treatment with esthetic braces. It’s essential to maintain a regular brushing and flossing routine to keep your teeth and braces clean and your gums healthy and strong. Your orthodontist will provide specific instructions on how to clean around your brace effectively and will advise what foods to avoid. Anything sticky, crunchy or chewy should be avoided as these can easily damage the brackets and/or wires of your esthetic brace.
Step 6: Removal of Esthetic Braces
Patients can expect to wear their esthetic brace for approximately 12-18 months. Once your orthodontist determines your teeth have achieved their corrected positions, you will be invited into the practice to have your esthetic brace removed – this is the exciting part!
The removal process is straightforward and painless, taking around 15 minutes. Your orthodontist will gently remove the wire and brackets from your teeth, clean off any remaining adhesive, and polish your teeth to reveal a bright, straight smile! But before you go, you’ll need a retainer to ensure your teeth stay in their new positions. While braces straighten your teeth, a retainer keeps them in the right position.
What about the cost?
Another key point to mention (and undoubtedly another question you’ll want an answer to) is ‘‘How much are esthetic braces?’’ With Orthodontics For You, our esthetic braces are available from £2,600 for adult patients. This is a guide price based on a single arch (lower or upper) and an average level of treatment complexity. If both arches require treatment, the cost will be higher, but not usually double. The good news is that our private patients can spread the cost of their treatment over a period of time by taking advantage of our payment plans. Our Patient Co-Ordinators will talk you through financing your smile during your consultation.
Esthetic braces offer a perfect compromise between traditional metal and hidden lingual braces. They work in the same way as metal braces, but are far less visible and they’re not as expensive as lingual orthodontics.
You should now have a better understanding of how esthetic braces work and what to expect during your treatment journey. Remember, every patient’s orthodontic journey is different and you will have a tailored treatment plan unique to your specific requirements.
If you’re considering starting your journey to a straighter smile with esthetic braces, take the first step by booking a consultation with Orthodontics For You today. Our friendly team of specialists are on hand to help patients feel as comfortable and as confident as possible, one smile at a time!