1. Are you a specialist orthodontist?
Not everyone who straightens teeth is a specialist orthodontist. Dentists can provide orthodontic treatment too.
Specialists like Dr. Jackie Bracken (IDC 1307,18DS18) have undertaken extensive full-time training in orthodontics. They have dedicated orthodontic qualifications, which allow them to register as specialists with the Dental Council of Ireland. Their expertise is unrivalled, and you can relax knowing that you’re in expert hands.
2. What experience do you have?
Whether you’re seeing a dentist or an orthodontist, you’ll want to find out a bit more about their experience. Ask them about the cases they’ve treated and if they’ve got examples of before and after braces they can show you.
You should also find out who at the practice will be providing your care. Orthodontists usually work closely with a team of orthodontic therapists. They’ll carry out specific steps of your treatment under the close supervision of your specialist.
3. Are my teeth healthy enough for treatment?
You shouldn’t even need to ask this question. Your consultation should include an examination and (sometimes) X-rays to check that your teeth and gums are suitable for braces.
Some mail-order providers miss out this vital step, or they refer you back to your dentist. If you start orthodontic treatment with gum disease or tooth decay, it can affect your treatment and results. It could even lead to tooth loss in extreme cases.
4. Do you offer different types of braces?
One perk of seeing a specialist orthodontist will be the choice of braces. Specialists have experience of using a range of different braces, so they can usually offer you several different options. These can include metal fixed braces, clear fixed braces and clear removable aligners.
Some dentists only offer clear aligners. While these are a great option, they’re not right for everyone. We think it’s essential to explore all your options before you make a decision.
5. How will my teeth look after treatment?
Thanks to the latest 3D software, it’s now possible to see your projected outcome at your first appointment. We use a digital scanner to conveniently take impressions of your teeth and jaws, which we transform into your future smile.
You’ll be able to view your new teeth from every angle. We can even send you your scans, so you can take a closer look at home. Not every practice provides this service, so you may want to check before your consultation.
6. Will orthodontic treatment improve my bite?
Straight teeth are usually high on patients’ agendas, but we know the importance of a good bite. Comprehensive orthodontic treatment will focus on aligning your teeth and the way they bite together for an incredible finish.
Some patients opt for simple ‘short-term’ treatments, which align the front teeth only. It’s important to understand that this won’t improve your bite, and you should be made aware of this at your consultation.
7. What are my alternatives to braces?
You’re booking a consultation to find out all about braces, but what if they’re not the best solution? An experienced clinician will recommend a consultation with another specialist if they don’t think braces are right for you.
Usually, braces are the answer to misaligned teeth, but we’ll let you know if that’s not the case. If your teeth are chipped or misshapen and discoloured, for example, you could consider veneers.
8. Do you provide fixed and removable retainers?
At the end of your orthodontic treatment, you’ll need to wear retainers to keep your smile aligned. Otherwise, your teeth could move. Retainers can be removable or fixed behind your teeth.
Mail-order companies only provide removable aligners, so if you want the security of fixed retainers, you may need to find a local provider who’s willing to help. We include removable retainers and one year of aftercare as standard. Some practices charge for these separately, so check what’s included at your consultation.
You can find information about braces online, but it’s always better to put your questions to an expert. Contact our friendly team to arrange a consultation with Dr. Jackie Bracken.