Metal Braces are the most common and popular fixed orthodontic appliance. Traditional braces which consist of stainless steel brackets which are attached to each tooth, and arch wires that connected each bracket to one another. These components help deliver constant gentle force on the teeth to move them into the desired and planned position. In some cases, elastic color chains will be used to close spaces and tighten the tooth contacts. There is no reason to be put off by braces as modern brackets are smaller, less uncomfortable and less noticeable in comparison to the old school braces.
At OrthoBoutique, we are using Self-Ligating brackets that have small active clips acting as gates to hold the wires in place. The advantage of these brackets is that they reduce the need to change elastic ties, so patients do not have to come in for adjustment visit too often (unlike the old bracket type which requires changing of elastic ties every 4 weeks). The initial orthodontic wires have special memory shape effect that gradually and smoothly help align teeth and reduce crooked smiles. With these, we can accomplish the final outcome with shorter treatment times and fewer appointments.
Clear, tooth–colored Ceramic Braces are made of very fine, translucent porcelain. This is exactly an option for patients who seek appliances that are less visible. It is suitable and popular among cosmetically conscious patients, such as older teenagers and adult patients. They are usually placed on the upper teeth only, unless the patient’s bite relationship allows for them to be used on the lower. The mechanic and efficacy of this type of appliances is exactly the same as the metal counterpart. Thus, they can give the same amazing results.
Clear Aligner, such as Invisalign, Spark and Angel Align, is an alternative option for orthodontic treatment which can similarly deliver an amazing result with beautiful smile, perfectly aligned teeth and good functional bite compared to fixed braces. It has gained its popularity due to the invisibility of the appliances. Clear aligner consists of a series of individually and digitally designed, custom-made, mouth guard-like clear plastic aligners. Patients are required to wear these aligners at all times except when eating, brushing and flossing. Aligners are removable which are beneficial in terms of cleaning accessibility and maintaining good oral hygiene. They are to be replaced every week in order to gradually move the teeth in the direction planned by the orthodontist.
After an initial 3D intraoral scan is taken, the orthodontist will create a 3D plan for your tooth movement, working towards the finish line with complete understanding of mechanic of plastic aligners, together with, facial structures and biological limit of jaw bones. This will negate any negative side effects which can occur if you have Online, Mail to Home/Do It Yourself aligners that do not have an orthodontist supervision or orthodontic treatments from non-specialist practitioners.
As a specialist orthodontist, Dr Tee was trained to have comprehensive knowledge on the science of orthodontics and dentofacial orthopaedics. This means that, he is not only focusing on moving teeth and creating a beautiful smile, but he also highlights the importance of the position of facial bones that influence the shape and appearance of the jaws and face. He knows how to early identify both orthodontic and orthopaedic problems, determine the appropriate timing and methods for early interventions.
At OrthoBoutique, we offer early orthodontic treatments (Phase 1 or interceptive orthodontic treatments) for growing children who have early signs of malalignment, bite issues and jaw size discrepancy. Early diagnosis and intervention can be very useful ,and if prescribed correctly, can help simplify or even eliminate some future orthodontic/orthopaedics problems. In many cases, early orthodontic treatments can completely eliminate the need for future jaw surgery or tooth extractions.
Therefore, It is important to assess the growth of a child at an early age, around age 8-9, to ensure the proper development of the face and jaws, and to detect problems in advance and address any dental or facial abnormalities as soon as possible. In growing children, both the maxilla (upper jaw) and mandible (lower jaw) are still forming and the bones have not yet completely hardened. The bones are more pliable and easily to be altered. Facial orthopaedics with functional appliances can be applied to improve poorly developing jaw and facial proportions in all three dimensions. It is best to build the foundations in a correct positions to allow the permanent teeth to meet together properly. The examples of orthodontic appliances which can be used in growing children are the following:
Fixed expanders (Hyrax or Rapid maxillary expander)
This appliance can be used to address orthodontic problems in transverse dimension such as narrow upper jaw resulting in posterior corssbites. Force applied by the expander will assist in the widening of the upper jaw. This procedure will additionally create more space which can be a useful way of relieving crowding dentition, diminish the need for tooth extractions.
Functional appliances (Twin Blocks and Herbst)
Functional appliances can be either removable or fixed devices. Functional appliances are worn for a certain period of time, with the main goal to exert pressure on the developing facial bones and encourage proper growth and development of facial structures. With this method, we can utilise forces arising from muscle function, tooth eruption, and growth in order to improve skeletal and dental relationships. For example, Twin Blocks, if worn correctly, can help bringing the lower jaw forward to meet the upper jaw in patients with retrusive lower jaw and excessive overbite/overjet.
For adult patients, there is no reason to be hesitant in starting orthodontic treatments and begin a journey for your SPECTACULAR SMILES. It is certainly not true that there is an age limit to start orthodontic treatments. The orthodontist can still move your teeth around to improve your smile, alignment and function. As a specialist orthodontist, our doctor understands the biological limit of adult patients. For instance, mature bone with high density might result in slower rate of orthodontic tooth movement. The lack of remaining growth of jaw bones is not favourable for patients who desire to have the jaw positions and facial profile altered. Poorly aligned jaws and facial structures can generally be corrected with orthognathic surgery only.
At OrthoBoutique, we offer types of orthodontic treatments that are less visible or even invisible such as clear ceramic braces and clear aligners (Invisalign, Spark, Angel Align). These options are suitable for adult professionals who have to be presentable at all times while in the process of straightening teeth. Moreover, with the development of orthodontic gadgets, orthodontic mini implants/mini screws can be applied in adult cases to facilitate difficult tooth movements. They can even be used as an adjunction in orthodontic treatment to avoid the need of tooth extractions and jaw surgery. Our orthodontist will discuss these options with you if you are a suitable candidate.
Jaw Surgery or Orthognathic Surgery is the process of combining orthodontics and surgical intervention to correct malocclusions. In late teenage and adult patients, the growth of jaws and facial structures is complete, making it impossible for an orthodontist to use orthopaedic appliances to modify and redirect the growth of the jaws and adjacent structures. Orthognathic surgery is then the treatment of choice to address bite problems and skeletal discrepancy. The surgery is generally referring to the repositioning of the upper and/or lower jaw into a more harmonious relationship in order to allow the teeth to meet together properly and to improve facial aesthetics.
This is considered as an interdisciplinary work since our orthodontist will work in conjunction with an oral and maxillofacial surgeon to thoroughly plan the process of the combined procedures with the aim to provide comprehensive benefits, including improved facial appearance, improved jaw relationship, correct severe bite issues, and improved daily life functions (speech, chewing and breathing).
All in all, for some patients with limitation in time, finance or other life situation, this can be a step too far to what they are willing to have done. Therefore, an option with a non-surgical approach with compromise result can be preferred. The decision to undergo jaw surgery as part of orthodontic treatment is often the most difficult decision for parents and patients. Hence, we are help to help provide all the information you need and help guiding you along the journey.
Mini Implants or Mini Screws are the devices that help provide skeletal anchorage. This means that, once insert and anchor within the bones, they are utilising the rigidity of surrounding bony structures around the jaw bones to assist in tooth movement with braces and clear aligners. It is a novel technique that allows the orthodontist to better control tooth movement with higher precision. It can also make some impossible tooth movements possible, and some complicated movements simpler. For some cases, this technique can be applied to avoid the requirement for tooth extractions or jaw surgery. This is a temporary system and thus to be removed after the goal is achieved. It is generally performed under local anaesthetic to provide comfortable experience.
The locations for skeletal anchorage devices placements can be varied from patients to patients, depending on the direction and type of tooth movement designed by the orthodontist. Our orthodontist has true knowledge and understanding of the anatomy of facial structures, and therefore, is able to perform this technique in order to improve treatment efficacy and minimise treatment duration.
Once we have straighten your teeth and achieve proper bite relationship, it is a great idea to enhance your SPECTACULAR SMILES with tooth whitening. At the final stage of orthodontic treatments, we will provide individualised upper and lower clear retainers. It is strongly recommended that retainers should be worn full time for the first few months after removal of orthodontic appliances, and eventually, night time for a life time.
As part of the current promotion, orthodontic patients at OrthoBoutique will receive a complimentary tooth whitening kit (valued at $600) at the completion of the orthodontic treatments. The kit will comprise of dental bleaching solution with moderate concentration that can be applied within the clear retainers. We do recommend our patients to undergo home whitening approach as it is more gentle and resulting in low risk of extensive tooth sensitivity.