Your treatment journey at St Albans Orthodontics
Are you about to start your journey to straighter teeth and that smile you’ve always wanted? Congratulations, it’s going to be exciting. Outlined below is the treatment process we follow here at St Albans Orthodontics so you’ll know exactly what will happen when and what to expect.
Your first appointment
The team at St Albans Orthodontics want to ensure you get the most out of your treatment. This starts with making sure treatment is right for you. That’s why we offer a free, no-obligation appointment to begin with.
At this appointment, you will meet with our Treatment Coordinator, Mel Hoyte. She will ask you a series of questions to find out what you want to achieve from treatment. Knowing what you want, makes it makes it easier for us to put together a treatment plan that is right for you. You might also be eligible for NHS treatment (if you’re under 18 years of age). At this appointment, we might also take a screening X-ray. This is used to assess the growth and development of your teeth and jaws.
We then use all the information we have gathered at this appointment to prepare a treatment plan and quote for you.
Getting your appliance fitted
Once you have made the decision to go ahead with orthodontic treatment, you’ll need to come back and see us so we can fit you with your appliance. This may be a type of brace or an Invisalign aligner. At this fitting appointment, we’ll give you instructions on how to care for your braces, what you can and can’t eat during treatment, and when your next appointment is. This is likely to be six-to-eight weeks’ time.
Keeping your teeth straight
Most orthodontic treatment takes, on average, between 18-to-24 months. This is the length of time you’ll need to wear your braces or aligner for. Once your teeth have moved into their straightened position, we’ll remove your appliance, but your treatment doesn’t stop there. Rather, you enter what is possibly the most important phase of your treatment: retention.
The retention phase is the period of your treatment when you need to keep your teeth straight. This is achieved using retainers. At St Albans Orthodontics, we use two types of retainers:
- Removable retainers: these are clear appliances which look a bit like a thin sports mouthguard, or an Invisalign aligner. To start with, you need to wear your retainer for 24 hours a day. After a few months, you can then wear it just at night.
- Fixed retainers: these retainers use a small metal wire to keep your teeth straight. Our orthodontist will fit this wire to the back of your teeth. Once your tongue gets used to having it there, you won’t even notice it.
Loss or damage to appliances
While you are having orthodontic treatment, it’s very important you look after your appliance. We understand that breakages can occur, but if they result from carelessness or not following the treatment plan and care instructions we have provided, we may need to charge you for repairs, or, in the worst case, stop treatment.
If you have been fitted with Invisalign aligners and lose the appliances during treatment, there will be a £85.00 charge to replace them. This is the same for retainers. If you are receiving orthodontic treatment on the NHS, the replacement appliance fee will be £73.20 per appliance.
In an emergency
If your appliance does breakage or you are having problems with it, please contact our friendly reception team to arrange an emergency appointment. Please note, emergency appointments will need to be fitted in where appointments are available.