Be aware of quick fix clinics

The OSI which represents the majority of orthodontists in Ireland is warning people against attending quick fix ‘braces clinics’ as part of its inaugural awareness campaign. Orthodontists who represent a highly specialized and valued branch of dentistry are growing increasingly concerned at reports of patients dissatisfied with the results of treatments used by some cosmetic dentists at ‘smile clinics’ to straighten teeth and are having to rectify some of these failed treatments.

Many of the treatments offered at these clinics which are heavily promoted are offered by dentists inexperienced in providing orthodontic treatment but who are claiming to give a beautiful smile in six months or less. This is much faster than the comprehensive individual treatment usually required to treat crowded and crooked teeth to get teeth fully corrected. Comprehensive treatment provided by specialist orthodontists ensures that following the treatment, the patient is biting correctly and the teeth are in harmony with the jaws and lips. Please see www.orthodontics .ie

As part of this campaign, the OSI is advising people that are considering getting their own or their children’s teeth straightened to follow this advice in order to get the best possible experience;

Check qualifications

  • Some dentists (including ‘cosmetic dentists’) who provide orthodontic treatment have only had a few hours training in procedures to straighten teeth. So it is advisable to ask the orthodontist/ dentist how much training they have had in orthodontics and with the type of brace they are proposing to fit
  • Orthodontists have first trained as general dentists (by completing five years of dental undergraduate training) and have then undertaken a further three years of training in orthodontics to qualify as orthodontic specialists and are recognised as such by the Dental Council of Ireland.Consider all the options

Any specialist orthodontist will discuss all the possible types of brace that can be used to correct your teeth. You should be wary if you are only offered one option or one type ofbrace.

Don’t expect a quick fix

While it is true that simple straightening of the front teeth can be carried out in as little as six months, this is not always a long-term solution. It often takes at least 12 months to get the teeth fully corrected, biting correctly and in harmony with the jaws and lips.

Speaking in advance of the campaign launch, Dr Katherine Condren, President, OSI and Specialist Orthodontist, Terenure, D6 said “Orthodontics is a very specialised branch of dentistry. We have the required training to analyse and determine the causes of orthodontic problems and implement the most effective treatment plan to achieve the best and most cost-effective result. We understand that some people want a quick fix however specialist orthodontists who treat patients with crooked and

overcrowded teeth everyday know that six month braces will only work for a small amount of patients (approximately 5%) and in those patients they usually only align the front teeth but do not provide a stable bite. We have the expertise to recognize the difference and can give people straight teeth in harmony with their face that will last a lifetime.”

As part of this awareness campaign, the OSI is also highlighting that

  • Straight teeth are pleasing to the eye, easier to clean and are more likely to resist wear over time
  • Crooked and crowded teeth can contribute to gum disease and tooth decay
  • Achieving a beautiful straight smile is possible for any age and makes people feel better aboutthemselves, leading to an increase in self-esteem and a more positive self-image