Orthodontics is a branch of dentistry where teeth are moved to correct teeth misalignments. In Singapore, we have seen an increased uptake of orthodontics, the rise in number attributed to the pursuit of straight teeth and a confident smile. Whether you are looking for a dental solution for your child or to correct your own teeth, we have curated a detailed and holistic care plan for patients of all ages.
Here at Le by An Dental, our resident orthodontist, Dr Ivan Prabowo, will discuss the best plan to help resolve your concerns. This could include a misaligned jaw position, painful clicks at your temporomandibular joint, or a crooked smile. Depending on the baseline condition of your teeth, you may be recommended:
Metal braces are the most traditional orthodontic solution with long-term studies of correcting most teeth malalignment issues. Some studies have indicated metal braces to be more efficient in addressing certain types of severe tooth malalignment issues and severe cases of malocclusions. Metal braces are one of the few types of fixed braces, which will be bonded to the teeth by metal brackets and wires and secured in place with elastic ties.
Invisalign has garnered popularity over the last few years for being one of the more aesthetically pleasing dental options. Favoured for its discreet nature, Invisalign is a removable brace, allowing patients to remove them when eating or cleaning. You will be required to wear Invisalign for up to 22 hours daily to address issues such as mild malocclusions, gaps, crooked teeth, and crowding.
Essentially, orthodontic braces exert pressure on the teeth over a period of time until they achieve “the desired tooth alignment”. During consultation, X-rays will be taken to check if any buried teeth are present, which might hinder tooth movement, and to check for wisdom teeth to see if they block the way of the desired teeth positions. X-rays are also taken to see if the root cause of the malocclusion is due to a skeletal issue. In this case, we may have to discuss surgical options to correct the facial bone, and a Dento-facial-esthetics analysis may be suggested. Subsequently, a personalised treatment plan will be curated, which includes:
Your experience will vary depending on the type of braces you are prescribed. Below is a table highlighting the distinctions in process between metal braces and Invisalign:
|Type||Invisalign ||Metal braces |
|Maintenance level||Cleaning and maintaining dental hygiene is more straightforward, as Invisalign can be removed.Patients must be highly committed and disciplined, as Invisalign must be worn for at least 22 hours daily.||Maintaining dental hygiene can be an issue of concern as metal braces cannot be removed. Poor dental hygiene can result in teeth stains, bad breath, increased risk of tooth decay, and bad oral health. As metal braces are permanently installed on the teeth, progress is consistent and possibly faster if all dental appointments are adhered to.|
|Dental visits||You will be required to visit us every 2 to 3 months to replace your Invisalign set.||You will be required to visit us every 4-6 weeks to change archwires.|
|Dietary restriction||There are no dietary restrictions, as you may remove Invisalign when eating.||Patients may be restricted from eating certain hard foods as they may damage the metal braces.|
Orthodontic braces efficiently solve various dental and orthodontic issues, such as:
The primary changes one may observe post-braces are straightened teeth. This could also result in some changes in facial structure. Patients formerly impeded by their teeth’s misalignment (unclear speech, difficulties chewing, mouth-breathing) may also find these symptoms improved and relieved.
Contrary to popular belief, orthodontic braces are not purely cosmetic. They may also be indicated to improve function and overall health.
Apart from the designated frequency of dental visits when you are on orthodontic braces, you will still be required to come into the clinic even after your teeth are straightened. The post-brace visit includes maintaining your newly aligned teeth with retainers. New studies have shown that retainers must be worn for the rest of your life to keep your newly straightened teeth in position. If you clench and grind when you sleep, certain types of retainers may also double up as your mouth-guards.