Smiles are important. Not only do they visibly show happiness, but a smile has the power to make a conversation more pleasant. Many people say that a nice smile is the thing they remember after first meeting someone new. Perhaps it is due to this that having a nice smile is so important to many people. Unfortunately, as we grow up, many of us find our teeth twisting out of alignment, and we seek to restore that perfect smile by straightening them. We talked to expert cosmetic and general dentist Dr Adam Thorne, who explained how his patients at his Harley Street clinic leave with a smile on their face.
What ways are there to straighten teeth?
Teeth may be straightened in a number of ways. First, there is the option of orthodontics or braces. There are three types:
- Standard outside braces – the metal “train tracks”, as people often know them.
- Tooth-coloured braces on the outside
- Fixed braces on the inside of the teeth. The inside braces are known as lingual braces (meaning tongue) and they are hidden behind the teeth.
An alternative to orthodontic or braces treatment is with removable braces. At Harley Street Dental Studio, we tend to favour something called Invisalign. This is a series of clear aligners that you change weekly. We don't need to see you every week, but they gradually guide your teeth into a better position. You must wear these aligners 21-22 hours a day and each one has a slightly different position to move the teeth gradually towards the end result. We find it’s very popular with our clients here.
How much do braces cost?
Braces vary in cost depending on which type of brace you’re going for and how complex your case is. At our clinic, fixed braces on the outside of the teeth (which can be tooth-coloured or regular metal braces) and Invisalign removable braces start from about £85-90 a month, based on about £4,000-5,000 total investment.
The other type of brace we offer is Incognito, as a brand, which is known as an inside or lingual brace. That starts at about £130 per month based on about £8,000 investment.
All of those fees include the retainers at the end, which are as important as the brace, because without them, teeth may relapse or move back to their original position.
Can you straighten your teeth without braces?
Some people, however, do not want braces. Even though it’s very acceptable nowadays for adults to wear braces, some people don't want to wear them. For those clients, if they want to straighten their teeth, we can do numerous things. This might consist of something called contouring, where we can adjust the tooth or round the corner of a sharp edge to make it look straighter. There’s something called bonding, where we can add tooth-coloured filling material to the tooth. That can give you a longer tooth, replace missing tooth structure or widen the teeth. That is usually reversible because we’re just adding onto the tooth, which makes it a popular treatment.
The ultimate, however, for non-orthodontic treatment is something called veneers. These are porcelain facings that go on the front of the teeth and give us the ultimate control over tooth shape, size, structure, position, and color. We can make them whiter or brighter to suit our clients. Depending on where the tooth sits, sometimes we don't have to do any drilling to accommodate those, but they give us the ultimate Hollywood smile.