Considering braces? How to choose an orthodontist

Don’t let your selfie lead you astray

There has been a lot of chatter in the media over recent months about ‘dental dysmorphia’ – the sense by which people think their teeth look much worse than they really do.

As with so many ills nowadays, experts point the finger at our obsession with ‘selfies’. Apparently, taking pictures of yourself on a smartphone distorts the middle of the face and gives the impression that your front teeth stick out even when they don’t. As a result, patient requests for orthodontic treatment have soared.

We asked our orthodontist, John Scannell, for his thoughts on the topic and he gave us this advice:

Straightening teeth can have a brilliant effect on someone’s appearance and well-being, but it is important that patients fully understand the specific issues that are affecting their teeth. During discussions, we often find that patients can be unhappy with one specific part of their smile, which can be easily rectified without extensive treatment. A good dental treatment provider should work with you to explore all potential treatment avenues to boost your confidence in your smile. As a multi-specialist centre, we take the time to carry out a full clinical assessment to ensure we recommend the best treatment options for every patient.”

John also urged those who do opt for orthodontics to be careful:

“Be aware of quick fix treatments. Some orthodontic systems are heavily marketed as bringing quick results, but they can sometimes result in compromised aesthetics or a less than ideal outcome.  Again, thorough discussion of all treatment options is essential so that you are fully informed and realise what treatment will entail and the likely results will be. At City Bridge Dental, we use a number of techniques to show patients their likely treatment outcomes. For example, if Invisalign ‘invisable’ braces are considered, we use digital models and pictures so patients can assess the changes that will occur in the teeth during every stage of treatment.

How to choose an orthodontist

Here is John’s advice for anyone considering orthodontic treatment, whether or not it is a result of seeing themselves gurning on Facebook.

1. Is the dentist an orthodontic specialist?

Any dentist can provide orthodontic treatment, but only orthodontic specialists have been highly trained in all areas of orthodontics and are experts in providing this treatment.

2. Ask precisely what the treatment will involve.

Make sure your orthodontist outlines precisely what the treatment is. There are a number of orthodontic treatments available, and it is important that you are fully aware of the best solution to your problem.

These are some of the key questions you should ask all potential treatment providers.

  • Will you need to have some teeth taken out to create space?
  • How long will the whole process take?
  • Will any additional treatment be required following orthodontics?

Only once you have all the information you can then make an informed decision.

3. Make sure the treatment achieves what you want.

It is imperative to ensure that the treatment will solve your dental or aesthetic concerns.

City Bridge undertakes a large number of teeth straightening treatments for children and adults with great results. So don’t take a selfie as ‘proof’, investigate thoroughly before you take the plunge.

Check out our Orthodontics page for details about the options available.