Having straight, symmetrical teeth is a huge confidence booster

Orthodontics is that branch of dentistry which is concerned with the treatment of irregular and crowded teeth or misaligned bites (‘malocclusion’) between the upper jaw, called the ‘maxilla’, and the lower jaw, the ‘mandible’.

A Common Problem

A survey demonstrated that 70% of all British school children would benefit from having orthodontic treatment to straighten irregular teeth. This figure compares with the fact that only 10-15% of British children actually undergo orthodontic treatment. The differences are attributed to patients own perceptions and the availability of services.

The causes of ‘malocclusion’ are often attributed to oral habits in growing children, such as finger or thumb sucking, regular biting of pens or other objects, even awkward or abnormal posture can influence the development of the dental arches.

Modern Techniques

The technology of orthodontics has made enormous progress in recent years. Long gone are removable plastic appliances with limited scope and metal bands with ‘train tracks’ utilised. Almost invisible tooth coloured or clear ‘brackets’ are now cemented directly onto the teeth with discrete nickel titanium wires requiring minimal intervention. In fact, these often only necessitate visits every 6-8 weeks to the surgery. ‘Lingual’ brackets may now allow for the brackets to be placed on the inside surfaces of the teeth so they are completely invisible to others. Finally, computer generated clear ‘Invisilign’ moulds have been used to fine tune minor tooth movements to effect invisible orthodontics. In other words, orthodontic treatment no longer needs to be unsightly.

Consultant Orthodontists based in hospitals and dental schools are invariably now involved with the treatment of the most complex irregularities of teeth often in conjunction with other facial anomalies such as cleft lip and palates.

Specialist practitioners in orthodontics are found in practice in the high street. They have attended 3 years post-graduate training programmes before being registered as a Specialist Orthodontist.

How to find an Orthodontist

There are two ways to identify the Specialist Orthodontist in your area:

  1. The General Dental Council (GDC) assists the public in distinguishing between those General Practitioners with a ‘special interest’ from the fully accredited Specialists. Visit http://gdc-uk.net/ and type “Bath” into ‘Town’ field to find all registered specialists in the local area.
  2. The British Orthodontics Society (BOS) is a dedicated group of 1800+ dentists promoting the study and practice of orthodontics, maintaining and improving professional standards and encouraging education and research in the specialism. Visiting their website on the following url: http://bos.org.uk/orthodonticsandyou/findanorthodontist/ will allow you to distinguish from the Specialist Orthodontist and the dentist with a ‘special interest’.

Both the GDC and BOS websites lists the following Specialists in Orthodontics in Bath:

  • Eric Tonge
    Bath Orthodontics, Sydney Road, Bath, BA2 6NR
  • Christina Mathieson
    Bath Orthodontics, Sydney Road, Bath, BA2 6NR
  • Graham Edwards
    Circus Orthodontics, 20 The circus, Bath, BA1 2EU
  • John Kerrigan
    Circus Orthodontics, 20 The circus, Bath, BA1 2EU
  • Helen Knight
    Edgar Buildings Dental, George Street, Bath, BA1 2EE
  • Anthony J Ireland
    24 Newbridge Road, Bath, BA1 3NG
  • Heidi Rowland
    10 Lambridge, Bath, BA1 6BJ

If you’re worried about misaligned teeth don’t hesitate to contact one of the Orthodontic Specialists listed here.

Toby Talbot, is Clinical Director of the Talbot Clinic in Bath and registered with the General Dental Council as a Specialist in Restorative Dentistry, Prosthodontics, Periodontics and Endodontics.

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