Dentists in Northfield, Birmingham


Minor Orthodontics at Hilltop Dental Spa

Teeth can be moved into ideal positions for both optimal appearance and function by fixed or removable appliances. Often teeth need to be extracted in order to create space for the teeth to be re aligned.

Regular checkups for children when the teeth are erupting allow your dentist to assess when treatment should be provided. This is usually at the age of 12 or 13 when all the permanent teeth are present. Although orthodontic treatment is still available under NHS regulations if the tooth mal-position is minor NHS funding may not be available. This is based on an assessment called the Index of Orthodontic Treatment Need (IOTN).

A removable appliance can be used satisfactorily to achieve tooth realignment for a number or poorly positioned teeth such as instanding teeth where the upper teeth are trapped behind lower teeth. An instanding tooth can often be moved over 3 to 4 months and once it is in position a retainer is often not required.

Fixed appliances involve placing brackets on the teeth. Tooth movement of a number of teeth is possible by using wires and elastics. Treatment usually takes about a year.

A newer treatment involves a sequence of thin, clear plastic trays that are moulded to your teeth such as Clearstep. Following an initial assessment impressions are taken of the teeth. The Clearstep plastic appliances are then shaped to gradually alter the position of your teeth over several months. Although expensive they have the advantage of being more aesthetic and it is easier to maintain a healthy gum condition.