Frequently asked questions [FAQ's] 11

Fixed brace or removable appliance?
As the efficiency spectrum of braces is so vast, there is no significant difference between a fixed or a removable brace.
Removable appliances are often used to correct malocclusion in very young patients, where they are ideal for this early orthodontic treatment. During child growth, tooth displacement can be corrected especially effectively with specific orthopedic appliances, such as the Bionator, enabling a gentle, longterm solution.
Even with appropriate solutions, removable braces can sometimes involve longer treatment periods and unsatisfactory results. Certain dental corrections are extremely difficult or virtually impossible with removable braces. This is when a fixed appliance (brace) will be recommended.
In adult orthodontics, fixed appliances cannot be bettered. They satisfy all criteria: aesthetically pleasing, functionally perfect and within a minimum treatment time.
For patients who cannot risk appearing in public with a fixed, visible brace, we offer barely visible braces with ceramic brackets or the non-visible treatment, which involves braces fixed behind the teeth [Lingual technique].
This usually involves an advanced appliance (brace), which is miniaturised and as thus more aesthetic and hygienic than normal appliances. This brace also enables a speedy and fairly pain-free treatment.
The Invisalign-system with its transparent, removable foils (aligners), can be implemented in straightforward orthodontic cases.
Will I need extractions?
The wish to preserve all one's teeth is understandable. Almost all orthodontic treatments using modern fixed appliances do not require teeth extractions. However in some cases, a patient's insistance on keeping all his / her teeth can cause other significant complications.
If, for example, too many or too large teeth are crowding a small jaw, it will still be possible to straighten the teeth, but the jawbone will be overstrained. This will cause damage to the periodonal apparatus, and is definitely not the right treatment concept.
We always aim to use extraction as a last resort.
Is orthodontic treatment necessary?
There are many good arguments in favour of orthodontic treatment. However, in most cases, it is patient choice, with a purely aesthetical motive, rather than a medical imperative.
This is where every patient has to weigh for him / herself, the advantages and benefits to be gained in terms of aesthetic appeal and considerations of hygiene.
It is paramount to analyse the risks involved if a proposed treatment is not carried out and to consider the risks and implications for health in the treatment itself.
We are always happy to assist by private consultation, so that an informed decision can be reached.
How long does treatment take?
Two stages are always involved: active treatment [tooth correction] and a retention phase - permanent stabilisation of treatment results.
The active treatment duration depends on the severity of the case. The correction of two incisors can be completed within 3 months. However, a major active treatment usually takes 1 - 2 years.
If treatment planning is sound, the active treatment phase rarely exceeds 2 years. The length of retention is decided on a case-to-case basis. A permanent retention phase with a fixed retainer has been proved to be most effective.
We strive to achieve the shortest possible treatment times for our patients.