Orthodontist FAQ

Orthodontics is a specialised branch of Dentistry, which deals with the correct alignment of teeth and jaws in adults and children. This is undertaken using appliances more commonly known as braces.
An Orthodontist is a Dental Specialist who has undertaken a minimum of 3 years additional training exclusively in Orthodontics. This is in addition to 5 years of training in Dental School. This extensive training gives the necessary expertise not only to straighten teeth, but also to straighten them in a way that ensures correct alignment of teeth with your facial features, and also to ensure the teeth fit together properly to allow correct function when biting or chewing.
There are many benefits to Orthodontic treatment. Having straight teeth can improve your appearance and increase self-confidence. It also corrects bad bites (how teeth fit together), which if left uncorrected can cause pain or future dental problems. Other benefits include a reduced risk of trauma or injury to protruded front teeth and improved long-term health of teeth and gums, as teeth are easier to clean.
Orthodontic problems commonly treated include: crowding and overlapping of teeth, spaces between teeth, deep bites (where the top teeth cover most of the bottom teeth), open bites (where there is a gap between the top and bottom teeth), prominent front teeth, retained baby teeth, missing teeth, and centerlines that do not match each other and the midline of the face.
Braces are not usually fitted until all the adult teeth have come through which is between 10 and 12 years of age. However there are certain circumstances when treatment is carried out sooner and an assessment from an earlier age may be advisable. Teeth move quicker in growing patients and functional appliances can be used to address issues with the position of the jaw.
Your braces may cause a small amount of discomfort when first fitted and when the wires for your braces are changed. This usually subsides after a few days.
Brushing your teeth three times a day will keep your gums healthy throughout treatment. Interdental brushes can also be used to clean between the teeth and under the wires. We will provide instructions on effective oral hygiene and cleaning on the fitting of your braces.
Occasionally braces can be damaged accidently during the course of treatment. If this happens we ask that you contact us to arrange an appointment to repair the brace to ensure there is no unwanted movement of teeth. Such non-routine appointments do not result in any additional cost to your treatment.
Yes. Having braces will not stop you from playing most sports but we do recommend wearing a mouthguard for protection.
Although Orthodontic technology has improved greatly, the time it takes for treatment has not reduced significantly. This is simply because it takes time for teeth to move to ensure a long term and stable result. The length of your treatment depends on the complexity of your case, with most cases taking in or around 12 months. Simple cases with mild mal-alignment of the teeth can take as little as 3 to 6 months.
If you are worried about whether braces might impact on an important upcoming occasion - such as your wedding - it may be possible have your fixed braces removed temporarily and refitted for an additional fee. This should be broached prior to starting treatment to make sure it is feasible in your specific case.
Invisalign or cosmetic braces (see types of braces section) are the least visible choices. Invisalign involves clear and removeable aligners while Cosmetic braces have clear or tooth coloured brackets.
No, you can contact us directly to arrange an appointment. Your dentist may however wish to refer you if they have a specific concern.
To become an Orthodontist one first completes training as a Dentist before undertaking an additional three years of specialist training in Orthodontics. This provides an Orthodontist with the expertise and experience to deal with any orthodontic issue, ensure first class results and reduce treatment times to a minimum. Most dentists do not offer orthodontic treatment to their patients due to the Specialist nature of the treatment.
Although our main practice is in Sligo we also have a satellite clinic in Ballina to enable our patients living closer to Ballina to be seen for their routine appointments at Bury Street Dental, Ballina. Although we are primarily based in Sligo, we make regular days available for our patients to be seen in Ballina. These are undertaken by our Orthodontist Dr Jenny Flanagan. Patients beginning treatment may need to travel at least once to our Sligo clinic for the initial bond-up or records.
Although there is limited availability for consultations in Ballina, at present we are offering patients the option to have their consultation in Ballina. Please note that while there is no charge for consultations in our main practice in Sligo, there is a charge of €50 for our consultations in Ballina. This charge comes off the cost of treatment should you decide to proceed.