4 exciting innovations that can enhance your braces treatment

Posted on Jun 11, 2021 in News

When considering the principle of orthodontics, tooth movement hasn’t really changed. However, there have been more advances over time, such as more orthodontic appliances for straightening teeth and the integration of technology in dental and orthodontic care.

Dr Moira Wong takes us through these innovations to help you decide which is best for you.

1. Visible braces aren’t the only option anymore

Originally, there were only fixed braces available, which were clearly visible whenever your teeth were showing. But now, there are options that some patients might prefer because these aren’t visible. The two less visible types are:

  • Invisalign: Over the years, Invisalign® (an invisible brace) has been refined and is doing an even better job than when it first became available.
  •  Lingual: Lingual braces are fixed appliances that stick to the inside of the teeth (and not the outside like with most braces). This means that they are not visible when the mouth opens. They’ve been around for a little while and are doing almost just as good a job as braces that are fixed to the outside of teeth.

Which one’s best?

At the end of the day, not all braces are suitable for all bites and orthodontic issues. To find out if the less visible braces will help you reach your goal, it’s important to see a qualified orthodontist to work out which type of braces would work for your particular problem.

2. You could change to invisible braces during treatment

If you need to have the fixed, visible braces on the outside of your teeth, you might feel conscious about your appearance. However, you could start with the fixed, visible braces for a shorter time followed by an invisible option for the rest of the treatment. This is something that is particularly of interest to adults and is something that we offer at my practice Moira Wong Orthodontics.

The benefit is that by having both a fixed appliance and an invisible one, you don’t need to spend the entire 18-24 months (the average time for complex cases) with fixed, visible braces. A milder case generally involves 9-12 months of treatment.

However, it’s important to consider that sometimes, Invisalign isn’t as effective at moving the teeth to the desired position, compared to fixed braces.

Has the length of treatment been shortened over time?

I think that there has been a tendency to shorten the time of orthodontic tooth movement, but that it’s at the cost of a poorer result that’s less stable. There have been techniques to straighten the front teeth faster but often, the bites aren’t corrected and the teeth move back to their original position. To move teeth safely, you need to move them slowly and gently so that you don’t compromise the long-term lifespan of the teeth.

3. See what your teeth would look like during and after treatment

One of the most exciting technologies (and one we’re going to have on the Moira Wong Orthodontics website) is the opportunity for patients to see what their teeth could look like during and after treatment.

  1.  The patient uploads a photo of their teeth to the website using their smartphone.
  2.  They can see what they would look like with fixed braces on the outside of the teeth, the inside, and with Invisalign.
  3.  They can have a look at what their teeth will look like (e.g. the shape and spacing) after all the treatment has finished. It’s not 100% accurate, but it gives people a very good idea about the expected look of their teeth during and after treatment.

4. Video appointments and check-ups

One of the technological innovations that’s use has grown rapidly is online video consultations for appointments and check-ups. This is partly because the COVID-19 pandemic has meant that face-to-face appointments aren’t so available. As a result, we’ve made good use of remote appointments so that patients from the UK and overseas can continue their dental and orthodontic treatment with us.

Patients, no matter where they are from, can come to the clinic in London for initial treatment and then we can monitor their progress remotely, but still with the occasional face-to-face visit.

For example, we can send the Invisalign tray (the see-through mould of the teeth) to a patient, meaning that they don’t need to travel to the clinic. It’s normal to adjust fixed braces in the clinic every 5-6 weeks but when we use Invisalign, we can see patients remotely with video consultations to monitor progress. Thanks to the new software we have at the clinic, patients can upload pictures of their teeth and braces so that we can make sure things are going well. But we still see patients face-to-face when we need to, depending on how they’re tracking their braces.

Visit Dr Moira Wong’s profile to learn more about how she and her team can help you achieve your dream smile.

 

If you have dental concerns, please make an appointment with us.
Dr. Moira Wong – Orthodontist

An exceptionally skilled orthodontist who simply loves to improve the smiles of adults and children.

Dr Moira Wong (GDC no: 67960, UK) developed an ambition to specialise in the field of orthodontics during her time as a dentistry student at the London Hospital Medical College. After graduating in 1994, she gained experience in all fields of dentistry prior to specialisation. This included working as part of the Pennstar trauma team at the University of Pennsylvania.

Dr Wong’s career pathway began with a spell as a house officer in prosthetic dentistry at the Royal London Hospital, followed by senior house officer positions at the Bristol Dental Hospital. During this period she gained her fellowship in dental surgery and worked in the paediatric dentistry department, treating special needs children and addressing complicated developmental problems. She also worked with adults requiring the replacement of multiple teeth.

Returning to London to take up a position as a senior house officer in oral surgery, Dr Wong gained experience in dental and facial surgery. One of her busiest nights was helping with the suturing of patients following a national rail crash.

Dr Wong was then accepted onto the specialty training programme at Guy’s Hospital, where she spent a further three years gaining her master’s degree. She continued onto a consultant training programme at King’s College and St George’s Hospital, gaining her Fellowship in orthodontics. Currently less than 300 UK practitioners have this level of training, with just 5 to 10 people gaining the accreditation in an average year.

Today, Dr Wong has acquired an excellent reputation for her highly sophisticated work and approachable, communicative manner. Her ambition is to be recognised as nothing less than the best orthodontist in London.