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.
The official title of Orthodontists in Ireland is ‘Specialist Orthodontist’. A Specialist Orthodontist means Dr Flanagan is listed as a fully registered and qualified Dental Specialist of orthodontics with the Dental Council of Ireland. To become a Specialist Orthodontist, requires 3 years of specialist training exclusively in orthodontics after qualifying as a General Dentist.
Having straight teeth can improve your appearance and increase self-confidence. It can also correct bad bites (how teeth fit together), which if left uncorrected can sometimes 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 unaligned centrelines.
This depends on the child, but in normal circumstances, orthodontic treatment would not be undertaken until all their adult teeth have come through. The majority of children will have all their adult teeth from 11- 12 years of age. In rare cases orthodontic treatment may be started prior to this, which is called interceptive treatment. If you feel your child has severe orthodontic issues, we would recommend getting them assessed at the earliest opportunity.
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 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. Such non-routine appointments won’t 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.
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 – 18 months. Simple cases with mild mal-alignment of the teeth can take as little as 3 to 9 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.
Cosmetic braces or Invisalign (see types of braces section) are the least visible choices. Cosmetic braces have clear or tooth coloured brackets while Invisalign involves the use of clear and removeable aligners.
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 offer a satellite clinic in Ballina to enable our patients living closer to Ballina to be seen for their routine appointments. We make regular days available for our patients to be seen in Ballina. Patients beginning treatment may need to travel at least once to our Sligo clinic for the initial bond-up or records.
Unfortunately, we are no longer able to offer consultations at our Ballina clinic, as we need to ensure sufficient capacity for patients undergoing treatment in Ballina. Our consultations are now carried out at our main Sligo practice. Should you want to proceed with treatment following the initial consultation, you can request to have your routine appointments at our Ballina clinic.