Mount Elizabeth Orthodontic Clinic - Creating healthy and beautiful smile at any age. Your well-being starts with healthy teeth and a beautiful smile.

Have a carefree smile
A beautiful and healthy smile radiates congeniality and allows you to project your self-confidence. Have the best smile in your best years. If you have been guarding your smile and are self-conscious about laughing and talking around other people, you may want to consider having your smile improved. There are various options available to patients depending on their dental problems, attitudes towards treatment as well as budget for the treatment.

Why consider braces in your adulthood?
Patients no longer need to be fearful or self-conscious about wearing braces. All of us will approach any new project with different degrees of apprehension. The first step is the most difficult, the so called “action threshold”. The first step in improving your smile is to furnish yourself with more information about the treatment options available to you.

A consultation with our orthodontist will let you know more about the recent developments in aesthetic dentistry for adults. You will also know if they are suitable for your personal treatment needs. You can clear your doubts and misconceptions about braces with facts and not depend on hearsays for your decisions.

Braces may also improve your dental health by making it easier to keep your teeth and gums clean. It may even allow you to bite more efficiently and prevent premature and abnormal wear and damage.

Adult orthodontics - the best smile in your best years
Most people believe that braces are for kids only. The truth is, with better dental health awareness and improvement in the orthodontic treatment techniques and materials, more adults are seeking treatment with almost half of all orthodontic patients being adults. In fact, in recent years, there has been a significant increase in the number of orthodontic patients aged 20 to 45 years.

The biological process involved in moving teeth is the same in adults as in children. Therefore orthodontic treatment can be successful at any age. However treatment approaches and objectives in adults may differ from that in children. This is because the concerns and requirements are different.

The fact is you are never too old to be at your best. Regardless of age, if you are unhappy with your profile or with the way your teeth are, orthodontic treatment is a worthwhile investment.

What are lingual (invisible) braces?
Recent improvements and innovations have resulted in the use of more efficient and aesthetic orthodontic appliances. Sophisticated tooth-moving wires such as space-age titanium wires are now being used for better comfort and reduced treatment time. Tooth-coloured ceramic braces and lingual (invisible) braces are now available as the aesthetic option to the traditional metal braces.

The lingual (invisible) braces were developed in the early 1980s as an alternative for adults who, for career or social reasons, wanted their teeth straightened without being seen with braces. There was an initial euphoria with this new technique and hence a surge in the number of adult patients requesting for lingual braces.

However, this new technique is totally different from the traditional braces (placed on the front surfaces of teeth) and most orthodontists experienced difficulties in achieving the same desired outcome. This led to a decline in the demand for lingual braces in the late 1980s and early 1990s (see graphs) with many orthodontists discouraging patients from choosing the lingual braces. In fact, there are orthodontists who are still reluctant to offer lingual braces. Over the past ten years, the problems associated with the lingual braces technique have been sorted out by the orthodontists who persisted with and refined this technique. Therefore, with the recent advances in the lingual techniques, better affordability and the fact that they are totally invisible, lingual or invisible braces are now becoming very popular with adult patients.

Lingual braces are fixed braces bonded on the inside surfaces of the teeth and therefore are not visible to other people when you speak and smile. The procedure of installing the lingual (invisible) braces is painless and does not require any surgical operation. It takes 2 visits (about 3 to 5 days apart) to have the lingual braces bonded. During the first visit, an impression of your teeth will be taken to create a model of your teeth. A customised set-up of the lingual (invisible) braces on your model teeth is then made in the laboratory and this is then incorporated to a transfer tray. During the second visit, your teeth will be thoroughly cleaned and then the transfer tray will be used to localize and bond the braces onto your teeth.

The Cost of treatment
The cost of treatment depends on many factors such as the type and complexity of the treatment plan proposed, severity of the malocclusion and even the experience and qualifications of the orthodontist. However, there is a range of acceptable fees for each type of treatment and service and most qualified orthodontists do not go too far below or above this range.

Treatment Fee Installment Plan
We offer an interest-free installment plan (both in-house as well as via credit cards) to allow gradual payment of the agreed treatment fee over the duration of treatment. We will discuss the terms clearly with you during your first visit.

All of us have only one set of permanent teeth. Teeth and faces are permanently changed by orthodontic treatment. It is therefore important that treatment is properly carried out by an experienced and qualified orthodontist.

Extraction of teeth?
Most patients hold the idea that extractions of teeth are necessary in orthodontic treatment. With proper diagnosis and setting of treatment goals, correct timing and sequencing of treatment, proper application and control of the orthodontic appliances, extractions can be avoided in more than two-thirds of the patients.

For adults, we try to avoid extraction of permanent teeth if possible. Extractions of teeth are recommended only in severe cases. Achieving a natural and harmonious profile of the face and a full smile is the primary objective. Treatment planning must be profile-driven with consideration of future changes to the thickness and tone of the facial soft tissues. Unnecessary extractions may result in over-retraction of front teeth and create a “dished-in” profile.

Will it be very painful?
The pain from wearing braces has been exaggerated. The placement of braces is painless but once the pressure from the braces sets in, there may be some discomfort in the first few days. With the use of more "patient friendly" tooth-moving wires such as the titanium wires, the level of discomfort is significantly reduced.

After this initial breaking-in period, patients are able to adapt well to the braces. The levels of discomfort vary with the thresholds of the individuals with a small group of patients even reporting minimal or no discomfort. Most patients reported the discomfort as mainly due to a mild ache or tenderness of teeth during chewing. Each subsequent adjustment of the braces may again cause some discomfort that lasts for only 2 to 4 days. The level of discomfort will also lessen as the treatment progresses.

For lingual (invisible) braces, patients may experience soreness of the tongue and some initial speech impairment such as lisping. However, almost all patients with lingual braces adapt to it within a month.

Options to suit your needs and budget
Treatment with lingual (invisible) braces for the upper teeth and ceramic (clear) braces on the lower teeth is very popular with patients as almost all of them have no problems adapting to the upper lingual braces. The lower teeth can be bonded with ceramic braces on the outside surfaces of the lower teeth because the lower teeth are usually not apparent during speech and smiling. This treatment option lowers the discomfort level as well as the treatment cost.

For patients who are unwilling to reveal even a trace of braces on the lower teeth, lingual (invisible) braces on both upper and lower teeth will be the option for them. The procedure for this option will be to place the upper braces first to allow the patient to adapt it before placing the lower braces 2 to 4 weeks later. By doing so, most patients will be able to gradually adapt to the lingual (invisible) braces with minimum discomfort and impairment of chewing and speech.

How long will the treatment take?
Treatment duration varies according to many factors. Depending on the treatment objectives and severity of the problems, it can range from a few months to two years or more. On the average, comprehensive orthodontic treatment takes about slightly over a year to two years. Other factors that will influence the length of treatment time are the regularity and frequency of attendance by the patient, care and maintenance of the braces by the patient and compliance to instructions during the course of treatment.

Although treatment of similar problems in adults may generally take a little longer than in children, the better cooperation and compliance from adults can sometimes more than make up for this disadvantage.

Treatment duration aside, a desire to seek improvement and a positive attitude towards treatment are essential. A healthy set of teeth and a great smile for the rest of your life will more than justify the short period of time invested.

Will the improvement be permanent?
Teeth, facial bones, facial muscle and soft tissue tones are constantly changing and adapting as we age. Teeth that have been crooked for years will have a tendency to return to its original situation after treatment. However, with proper treatment planning and execution of treatment, you should expect more than 90% permanent improvement in most cases. Minor movements or relapse may occur but with conscientious and periodic wear of retainers (available with lingual fixed retainer or clear/invisible retainer nowadays) following treatment, these changes can be minimized. In fact, some minor movement or settling of teeth into occlusion may even be desirable.

Take the first step.
The answer to your individual problems can come only after a consultation with the orthodontist. The most difficult step is the first step in seeking treatment. This first step is to seek a professional opinion about your condition.

Do consider an appointment for an orthodontic consultation. During the consultation, your overall dental health will be assessed and you will be advised on the need for treatment, the cost, types and duration of treatment.

Consultation fee is S$60.00 (which can be offset from the total fee package once you have decided on having the treatment).You are not obliged to commit to any treatment after the consultation if you are not agreeable with the treatment options or the treatment cost.

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