Getting Your Braces
The Journey usually starts with your general Dentist identifying your potential needs for braces (we say “usually” because, actually, you can contact us direct )
We then contact you to arrange a Consultation. Even before you attend the Practice for that appointment we provide you with your very own “New Patient Information” Booklet.
In it we give you all sorts of useful information. Please read it because you may find there are still questions you want to raise – we will be only too happy to provide Answers at the Consultation.
When you arrive for your Consultation you, or your parent/guardian will have some Forms to fill out. They will include your full details (name etc, contact address & number & email), your Medical History (in case there are important issues to take into consideration) and one called “Informed Consent“.
That document is an excellent example of your Journey being a co-operation between you and us. It contains important information about How we can best work together (“Patient Co-operation and compliance”), potential complications, Records involved and so on. As well, it provides a record of what was found at the Consultation, the proposed action from there and the things agreed to. It is an important “journal” if you like of the entire Journey. It is signed by YOU (parent or guardian for children under 18) and by US – at the start and, sometimes, as things change, during Treatment. You are given a copy of the initial findings and proposed Treatment Plan.
When the decision is made for you to have your Braces an Appointment will be made for that purpose. Before the Braces go on – either at the Consultation or the Appointment – a digital x-ray will be taken of your teeth. That provides valuable information for the Clinician in planning the details of your Treatment Plan. Sometimes you need to go back to your general Dentist for certain Treatment before your Braces can go on.
Once you are at your Appointment impressions will be taken of your teeth and then your Braces put on.
Once they are on you will be given important, useful instruction from the nurse on how to behave in a “braces-friendly” and “teeth-friendly” way. That will include proper oral hygiene: we also give you a Booklet to make it easy to remember and follow those instructions. “Oral Hygiene Booklet”
Then an appointment will be made, for about 8 weeks later, for your first “during Treatment” visit.
Having your Braces on is the start of a program of regular visits with us.
During that time it is very important that you continue to use the “braces-friendly” and “teeth-friendly” behaviours you received instructions on earlier. Your doing so – and you following instructions given to you throughout your Patient Journey – will be your contribution to the length of the Treatment Plan staying close to the time estimated at the start.
The program will require you to keep regular Appointments. They are usually about 8 weeks apart. To help you keep them we offer Patients a service of reminders via text (to the number you nominate). When you have changes in your personal details (for example change of address you should tell us immediately – at the very least at you next Appointment).
At each Appointment you can expect that we will check on your oral hygiene and the condition of your Braces. If necessary you will receive further instructions or information on proper behaviour, as needed. Also, the wires will be adjusted (tightened) to continue the planned movement of your teeth.
From time to time you may receive specific information for specific topics which come up (for example Disclosure tablets, Elastics, ???). At some visits we will ask you to take a moment to confirm or update the details of your Medical History.
Should there be a change to the details of your Treatment Plan, part way through your Patient Journey time will be set aside to explain it.
Throughout your time in our care WE promise to:
- Provide you with the highest level of professional and clinical service
- Maintain on-going, candid and relevant communication with you and your treating Dentist relating to your Treatment
- Provide you with appropriate instructions and information relating to your Treatment
- Provide a safe and secure environment for you to attend your Appointments
- Ensure our Premises and our Team meet the requirements and standards which are set by our professional governing bodies (CQC, GDC, LAT
During your Treatment YOU always need to:
- Provide us with accurate and honest information when required
- Ensure that the information we have about you on file is always accurate and up-to-date
- Attend your scheduled Appointments
- Take care of your Braces and you oral hygiene as directed
- Follow instructions provided to you by our Team relating to your Treatment as fully as possible
- Raise any questions you have relating to your Treatment
- Remember the “Rules” when you have a breakage or experience discomfort
Always remember that continuous failure by you to follow instructions (including persistent breakages of your Braces) can result in the Orthodontist deciding to take off your Braces early – to protect your health and the condition of your teeth. If that happens you will never get future Orthodontic Treatment on the NHS again!
During your time between visits you find it useful to look at the information we provide.
For example if you experience discomfort or inner cheek rubbing you should find pain relief tablets and using the wax we gave you helpful.
Then there can be times when the wire or a bracket might come loose. Just bend the wire out of the way and avoid behaviour which makes the dame worse – so long as you have an Appointment in the near future we can deal with it then.
However, if you can’t do that and avoid the damage causing injury (for example a wire has snapped and is sticking into the lip or gum) you have an Emergency. That means you call the Practice to arrange an Emergency Appointment. They are held at certain times only. We will se you quickly and briefly, to get you out of harms way. Further action will usually wait until your next proper Appointment.
If the Emergency is after hours you can do the following:
- Contact your dentist who may, at very least be able to trim the wire.
- Contact NHS direct (111) and they should be able to direct you to an emergency dental service who at very least be able to trim the wire.
- If all has failed – or, say, you are away on holiday for example with no access to dental care – use some nail clippers to trim the wire. We do not advocate this behaviour as a standard or advised practice. It is an absolute last resort when you cannot get any help.
Braces Off & Beyond
CONGRATULATIONS!! You have worked hard over the “in-Treatment” period to take good care of your Braces and, most importantly, your teeth. The result for you is a beautiful STRAIGHT SMILE. To ensure that all of the good work you have done to date is now held in place, we alert you about the importance of wearing and caring for your Retainer!
This part of your Treatment is extremely important.
We will make sure your Retainer fits you properly and we will give you directions on using it and caring for it. Failure to follow the directions of your Orthodontist OR Nursing staff may result in your teeth slipping back to their old shape and all of the good work coming undone. So, please note the Instructions regarding wearing and caring for your Retainer, listed in the Information Booklet you receive at the time of fitting. “Retainer Booklet”
THE GOLDEN RULE: ALWAYS wear your Retainers as instructed by the Orthodontist OR Nurse
The better you follow those directions, the sooner you can complete your Treatment AND the better your result will be. During that time you must continue all of the “teeth-friendly” behaviour as you were instructed to earlier, including of course, keeping your appointments with your general dentist.
Just like the time when you had your Braces on there will be a program of regular Appointments for you to attend the Practice. They will usually be weeks apart. At those visits we will check with you on how well you are following the care and use Instructions. Any questions or problems identified will be dealt with – all so this part of your Treatment stays on track as intended. The Orthodontist will let you know, in due course, when the Appointments are no longer needed.
IF you break, damage or lose your Retainer you will need to contact us to make another appointment, so we can organise another Retainer for you.
A charge (amount as indicated from time to time in displayed Price List) will be payable to the Practice for a replacement Retainer. The cost MUST be paid at the time at time the new impressions are taken. The cost may be reclaimable from the NHS BUT the Patient is wholly responsible to arrange for later reimbursement through the NHS.