Specialist Orthodontics & Teeth Straightening
Specialist Orthodontics & Teeth Straightening
What is Orthodontics
When your upper and lower teeth do not fit together correctly (as in a “bad bite”), this condition is known as a “malocclusion”. Orthodontics is a specialised discipline in dentistry that deals with these malocclusions. It focuses on the diagnosis, prevention, management and correction of malpositioned teeth and jaws, and misaligned bite patterns.
Orthodontics is not just about making teeth look great. Tooth and jaw alignment plays a crucial role in oral health which is a window to one’s overall health and well-being. Leaving a “bad bite” untreated can lead to a host of issues such as an increased risk of dental decay, gum disease, and difficulty eating or chewing. Having a malocclusion treated early can help to avoid more expensive procedures from being required in future. Many also benefit from an added boost in confidence from a healthy, well-aligned attractive smile and jaws.
Embarking on orthodontic treatment is an investment in your oral health and overall well-being. It is important to work with a qualified professional who can provide you with the highest level of care to ensure that you achieve the best possible outcome.
Orthodontic Treatment By An Orthodontist In Singapore
An orthodontist is a dental specialist who has advanced expertise in detecting, preventing, managing and correcting malocclusions from childhood and adolescence to adulthood. In Singapore, registered orthodontists are required to possess at least 3 years’ full-time additional training in the area of orthodontics after their basic dental degree.
The role of an orthodontist is to not only help you attain a beautiful smile, but to also ensure that your bite feels good and functions properly. Straightening teeth and correcting bite patterns are both complex biological processes which require more than a quick fix. Being experts in both, qualified orthodontists are equipped to design and deliver a customised treatment plan that is right for you. They are able to manage even the most complex malocclusions such as those involving missing or extra teeth, severe crowding, crossbites and more.
Adopting a multidisciplinary approach, our orthodontist works closely with the rest of the dental team to ensure the best outcome for our patients. For children, early intervention orthodontics (interceptive orthodontics) may be required to help a child achieve a stable, healthy bite. For adults, individuals who are in need of restorative rehabilitation with implants or other prostheses may benefit from orthodontic treatment in tandem with restorative treatments to ensure their success and longevity. Located at Orchard for close to 3 decades, we have overseen orthodontic treatments of numerous patients from diverse backgrounds and ages who come to us from both locally and overseas.
1. Fixed Orthodontic Braces
This tried and tested method involves the temporary bonding of metal brackets to the teeth, connected by wires and elastic bands. Braces are incredibly versatile, making them highly effective for a wide range of misalignments and bite issues. Their adaptability allows them to address both simple and complex cases, making braces a reliable and versatile orthodontic solution.
The different categories of fixed braces include
- Fixed Metal Braces
These braces represent the quintessential orthodontic treatment. They are reliable, versatile, and cost-effective. Additionally, they offer the option of personalisation with a range of elastic colours.
- Fixed Ceramic Braces
Similar to metal braces, ceramic braces function in the same way. However, the brackets bonded to the teeth are made of ceramic instead of stainless steel. This option blends in with the natural tooth colour, providing a more aesthetic choice for some patients.
- Self-ligating Braces
This orthodontic system operates similarly to fixed braces but employs a slightly different mechanism. In certain cases, self-ligating braces have the potential to offer a faster and more comfortable treatment experience. Your orthodontist will discuss this option if it is deemed beneficial for you.
- Lingual Braces
These fixed braces are bonded to the inside surface of the teeth, near the tongue, rather than the outer surface near the cheeks and lips. Due to their placement, they are nearly invisible when observed, making them an excellent cosmetic choice.
2. Clear Aligners
Clear aligners represent a modern advancement in orthodontic treatment. Following a thorough assessment and treatment planning with an orthodontist, a series of custom-made clear trays are created to precisely fit over your teeth. These trays exert gentle pressure, gradually shifting your teeth into the desired position over the course of the treatment.
One of the major advantages of clear aligners is their low-profile appearance, as they are virtually invisible. They can also be easily removed, simplifying oral hygiene practices. However, it is essential to consult an experienced orthodontist to determine if this system is suitable for your specific needs.
The different categories of clear aligners include:
Invisalign is a leading brand in clear aligner technology, offering a versatile treatment option. Working in collaboration with Invisalign, your orthodontist will design your clear aligners and develop a customised treatment plan.
- Customised Clear Aligners Designed In-HouseCustomised Clear Aligners Designed In-House
These clear aligners are a similar orthodontic solution to Invisalign, but they are designed and fabricated in-house by our dental lab. This approach allows for a high level of customisation tailored to your specific dental needs, and it can also be a more cost-effective option.
- A consultation with an orthodontist is required to identify concerns and problems related to teeth or jaw pattern.
- The orthodontist lists the problems, explains the conditions, and formulates a plan for solving individual issues.
- After the consultation, the orthodontist advises on suitable types of orthodontic treatment or appliance.
- Records are taken before starting treatment, including photos of teeth, photos of your facial profile, and necessary X-rays.
- Overall dental health and condition is checked before commencing orthodontic treatment in order to detect issues like decay or gums disease that may affect the treatment plan.
1. For Adults
If you have noticed or are not satisfied with the alignment of your teeth and jaws, it might be worth considering an orthodontic consultation or orthodontic treatment. Some of the concerns include but not limited to the following:
- Crooked or crowded teeth: if your teeth are misaligned, crooked or tend to overlap
- Overjet/overbite or reverse overjet (commonly known as underbite): if you feel you front teeth stick out too far, or that your upper front teeth are stuck behind your lower front teeth
- Open bite: if you feel like your teeth do not come together fully
- Jaws that do not align properly: if you feel your jaw sticks out too far, or if your jaw does not stick out far enough
- Cosmetic concerns: if you are not happy with the appearance of your teeth or your smile
2. For Children
Click here for more information relevant to younger children (below the age of 10)
Ages to consider visiting an orthodontist
- The Association of Orthodontists (Singapore) as well as other well-reputed national boards such as the American Association of Orthodontists recommend a first visit to your orthodontist at 6-7 years of age. It is at this stage that early orthodontic problems might become apparent, and an orthodontist will be able to discuss the best management strategies from there.
- This does not necessarily mean that a 6 or 7 year old child will need braces put on, but an orthodontist will be able to evaluate the growth and development of your child’s teeth, jaws and facial structures to determine if and when orthodontic intervention should be carried out
- This is another important milestone in development for orthodontists. Your orthodontist will be able to identify potential needs and issues that are developing and discuss treatment options with you
- Again, this does not necessarily mean active treatment will begin at this stage, but it is important for an orthodontist to monitor development at this age.
- At this age, your child/teenager should have all their baby teeth replaced with adult teeth, with only their wisdom teeth left to emerge further down the line.
- This is typically the time that traditional orthodontic treatment can begin, although this will of course vary depending on their individual needs.
- This would be a good time to consult an orthodontist for evaluation, diagnosis, and development of a personalised treatment plan as necessary.
- If you notice your child’s teeth are misaligned or that they are biting together in an atypical way, it is always worth considering an orthodontic consultation, regardless of their age.
Frequently Asked Questions
The duration of orthodontic treatment can vary depending on the case, as well as the type of orthodontic treatment system being used. Generally, it spans from several months to just over 2 years. It is our priority to help you to attain the best results in the most efficient and effective manner possible. As a rule of thumb, closely following your orthodontist’s instructions over the course of your treatment will help to expedite the treatment process and prevent any complications from arising.
Orthodontic treatment offers numerous benefits, including improved dental alignment, enhanced bite function, increased ease of oral hygiene, reduced risk of tooth decay and gum disease, enhanced facial aesthetics, and boosted self-confidence. Addressing malocclusions through orthodontic treatment can also help to prevent more expensive procedures from being required down the line.
While orthodontic treatment is generally safe, there can be some risks and discomfort. These may include temporary soreness or discomfort, potential tooth sensitivity, and rare complications such as root resorption or gum problems. It is therefore important to work with an experienced orthodontist, who can minimise these risks with proper care, planning and regular monitoring.
There is no one right age for orthodontic treatment. While it is commonplace to see teenagers with braces, older adults can also greatly benefit from orthodontic treatment. For children, the orthodontist will take into account the child’s stage of growth and development to best plan the timing of orthodontic treatment. It is best to consult with an orthodontist to determine the right timing for your specific needs.