The Hows and Whys of Orthodontics

Part 5

Before starting orthodontic treatment it is very important to feel completely happy with the dentist and the diagnosis of the malocclusion. If you are not, ask for a second opinion. Dentists and professional people should realise that you only want the best possible treatment for your child.


These are a few questions that you may wish to ask when you see the dentist.

  1. How did this malocclusion develop?
  2. Why do we need to treat it?
  3. What will happen if we don't treat it?
  4. How will you treat it?
  5. How long will it take?
  6. How much will it cost?
  7. What type of improvement should we expect?

What Next?

If you have decided to have orthodontic treatment carried out for your child, the dentist will explain to you exactly what format the treatment will take. Generally it will take the format as out lined below:

  1. At the initial visit, impressions and x-rays will be taken. These will be used by the dentist to carry out an analysis of the teeth, jaws and face.
  2. At the second appointment, the dentist will explain the treatment objectives, which are usually to change the malocclusion into a Class 1 correct occlusion.
  3. The types of appliances that will be used (normally orthopaedic treatment) will be carried out first using removable braces and functional appliances.
  4. Once the jaws are the correct size and in the correct alignment, fixed braces will be fitted to make the teeth straight.
  5. The time the treatment will take - generally treatment time varies from one to three years depending on the severity of the malocclusion.
  6. Once active treatment is finished there will be a retention period of approximately one year during which time the patient will wear retainers to keep the teeth in the correct place once the braces are off.  
Should you have any other questions please don't hesitate to ask the dentist, nurse or at reception they will endeavour to answer all your questions.

Thank you.
Where to find us
Based in Argyll, on the West Coast of Scotland, Stewart Wright currently practices two days per week in Oban.