FAQ’s

What is an Orthodontist?

Any dentist can call themselves an orthodontist. This simply means that they use braces on some of their patients. A Specialist Orthodontist is a qualified dentist who has completed three additional years of orthodontic training. They will usually have worked in a variety of hospital dental departments before applying for a postgraduate position. They need to have passed their specialist orthodontic examinations to have the letters MOrth RCS after their names. Dr Tom Russell and all his associates are Specialist Orthodontists.

The General Dental Council keeps a register of Specialist Orthodontists practising in the United Kingdom.

Do I need treatment?

If your teeth are very crooked or stick out a long way or if you have an abnormal bite, then yes you will benefit from treatment. You have what dentists call a moderately severe malocclusion.

What is a malocclusion?

If your teeth are not straight or do not bite together correctly, you have a malocclusion. A malocclusion is merely a description of the position of your teeth. There are four classes of malocclusion which are distinguished from each other by the position of the upper and lower incisors.

Any malocclusion can be further complicated by spacing or overcrowding of the teeth.

What brace will I need?

This will depend on the position of your teeth and there are a number of available treatments that we can offer. The orthodontist will advise on the best treatment for the best results.

Will my teeth be damaged as a result of treatment?

This should not happen if you follow the guidelines issued by the orthodontist. Decalcification (permanent tooth surface discolouration or decay) can occur for two reasons, usually in combination. Poor cleaning of the teeth results in plaque being left on the tooth, particularly around the brackets of a fixed brace. Poor diet, especially sweets and fizzy drinks, can attack the tooth surface where the plaque remains and can dissolve away the tooth surface. This can cause permanent marks on the teeth or even decay and may not be visible until the brace is removed. Good oral hygiene, a balanced diet and regular use of a fluoride mouthwash will minimise this risk.

When can I start?

Your treatment can commence as soon as your teeth and gums are healthy. In many cases it is better to wait for baby teeth to fall out before starting treatment with fixed appliances. For Nhs treatment, you need to be referred by your dentist. For patients undergoing private treatment we can offer appointments as soon as it is convenient to you.

How long will treatment take?

Teeth move about 1mm per month and your braces are usually adjusted every 6 to 8 weeks. Treatment duration is variable and depends on the type of brace you need and the amount of tooth movement required.

How can I arrange an appointment?

You can fill in our Self-Referral form or telephone us

Will it hurt?

No, but your teeth will be tender for a few days after each appointment and normally analgesics such as paracetomol are recommended and to be taken within the manufacturer’s guidelines.

How much will it cost?

Nhs Treatment with us is free for children if they have moderate or severe problems and need treatment to secure dental health as per the Nhs criteria. However, this is only available if treatment has commenced before the age of 18.

How much is private treatment?

Fees vary according to the complexity of the treatment and dependant on your choice of brace. Prices start from £1,000 (Simple Fixed Appliance) with a range of costs for Fixed Appliances and Invisalign. Our prices are all-inclusive so there are no “hidden” extras except where appliances have been lost or broken beyond repair. For more information, please refer to our Treatment, Invisalign and Payment Plan pages.

At what age should my child be seen for an assessment?

Ideally when they are ten years old, but we are happy to see younger children if you have any concerns.

Am I too old for orthodontic treatment?

You are never too old for teeth straightening! We provide a lot of treatment for adults who, in most instances, have a wider choice of appliance.

Will I need to have teeth removed?

Dental extractions are sometimes needed to provide the best results.

What if I play sports?

It is important that you protect your teeth when playing contact sport. This can easily be done by wearing a mouthguard and we are able to offer a range of gumshields.

Are there any braces that don’t show?

Yes, we offer “Invisalign” which is exactly what it says. It’s totally invisible. No one can tell you’re straightening your teeth. Good news is that this is now available to Teens. We can also provide aesthetic braces (Ceramics) which are less conspicuous than Metal braces. These treatments however, are only available under private contract.

What are the benefits of orthodontic treatment?

A smile to be proud of! Straight white teeth look fabulous and will increase your confidence and self esteem. Very crooked teeth are more difficult to keep clean and teeth which stick out are more likely to be damaged.

Will my treatment be successful?

This relies on patient co-operation by following the guidelines issued by the orthodontist including regular visits to both the orthodontist and your dentist.

Why have orthodontic treatment?

A successful smile means you are smiling with success!

• To improve the appearance of the teeth and smile
• To enable easier tooth and gum cleaning
• To improve the bite of the teeth
• To reduce the prominence of upper teeth which stick out too far

What happens at the first appointment?

At your first appointment your orthodontist may take radiographs (x-rays), moulds of your teeth and photographs. These are taken to measure the size and shape of your teeth and jaws and help the orthodontist to provide the best advice and the most appropriate treatment. If treatment is needed you will be given the opportunity to ask any questions you may have.

Will my teeth stay straight?

At the end of treatment the orthodontist will provide you with retainers. These will guarantee the stability of your teeth in their new position and prevent relapse. Retainers will be either fixed or removable. Removable retainers must be worn at night for your teeth to stay straight.

When can treatment start?

As soon as the right teeth have come through! The start time of your treatment will depend on your orthodontist’s assessment and whether you have chosen to have your treatment carried out on the Nhs or under private contract. For Nhs treatment, you need to be referred by your dentist. For patients undergoing private treatment we can offer appointments as soon as it is convenient to you.