Orthodontics (Braces)

A smile is a curve that sets everything straight.”- Phyllis Diller

Always wanted a straighter, more beautiful smile?

Orthodontics can help you achieve that smile you always wanted…

What is orthodontics?

Orthodontics is a dental specialty that focuses on the diagnosis, prevention and correction of irregularities of the teeth, bite and jaws.

Who are orthodontists?

Orthodontists are specialist dentists who have undergone further advanced training in a full time course of at least 3 years in the field of orthodontists. This is in addition to their Bachelor in Dental Surgery degree which is a full-time course of 4 years.

The extra years of training equip the orthodontists with skills needed to treat the varying types of malocclusion. Their scope of work also includes interceptive treatment for certain types of developing malocclusion in children.

Our orthodontist at Smileworks, Dr Geraldine Oh, is an accredited specialist registered with the Singapore Dental Council.

Visit the Association of Orthodontist (Singapore) website to find out more on the differences between an orthodontist and a dentist.

What is a “Malocclusion”?

A malocclusion is the term used to describe a misalignment of the jaws and teeth. This can be due to a skeletal component, a dental component or a combination of both.

A skeletal malocclusion occurs when one jaw does not line up with the other, or when the jaw is too big or too small for the teeth. A dental malocclusion occurs when the teeth are out of crowded, turned or spread out. This can happen with or without a jaw problem.

Why straighten teeth?

The benefits of having straight teeth are numerous:

  • Straight teeth contribute to an attractive smile which in turn boosts self-confidence and self-image.
  • Straight teeth are easier to clean.
  • Straight teeth are less prone to injury.
  • Straight teeth can help one to bite, chew and speak more effectively.

What is the best age for an orthodontic consultation?

The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that your child get an orthodontic check-up no later than age 7.

Although your child’s teeth may appear to be straight, there could be a problem that only an orthodontist can detect.

This is important as some orthodontic problems are easier to correct if they are detected early. Also, by correcting the problem earlier, this may eliminate or reduce the complexity of treatment in the permanent (adult) dentition.

Our orthodontist can assess the necessity for interceptive (or early) treatment, and also the best timing for this treatment. Early assessment can help identify the ideal window of opportunity to treat your child’s malocclusion. Is this the right to treat your child’s malocclusion, or is it something that we have to wait and treat at a later stage?

Click here to visit the Association of Orthodontist (Singapore) website to find out more about early intervention and for a photo guide to possible malocclusions to look out for in children.

Is there an age limit to having braces treatment?

Both children and adults can benefit from braces treatment. There is no age limit to having your teeth straightened. So long as the teeth and gums are healthy, they can be moved and straightened at any age.

What is the duration of treatment?

Treatment time typically ranges from one to 2½ years, depending on the growth of the patient and the severity of the problem. Early interceptive treatment may take as few as six months to 1 year.

What type of braces are available at our clinic?

There are orthodontic solutions to suit every lifestyle. At our clinic, we offer various options for you to achieve that straighter smile….

  • Metal Braces (with coloured modules of your choice)
  • Esthetic Ceramic Braces
  • Self-ligating braces eg Damon Clear®
  • Clear aligner systems
    • Invisalign®  
    • eCligner®    
  • Removable Appliances

Metal braces

These are brace systems where the bracket and the wires are made of metal. The wire is held to the bracket by small elastomeric rings called modules.

These modules come in a multitude of colors. There are color choices to suit the understated to the flamboyant. The modules are changed at every visit and colors can be mixed-and-matched.

Esthetic Ceramic Braces

These are brace systems where the brackets are made of ceramic and are tooth-coloured.  The metal wires are held in place by transparent modules.  These systems function the same as the traditional metal braces but are much less obvious.

Self-ligating braces

Self-ligating brace systems are made up of brackets that have a special gate or clip to hold the wire in place. These systems move the teeth with less friction.  Hence, some patients report less discomfort as the teeth are moving and treatment times can be shorter in some cases. Self-ligating brace systems come in metal or ceramic forms.

Clear / “Invisable” Aligner Systems

These systems involve a series of custom-made aligners worn over your teeth to gradually reposition them. Mild to moderate malocclusions can be treated successfully with these systems. However, as the technology of the aligner systems advance with time, more and more malocclusions of increasing difficulty have been treated.

The advantages treatment with customized transparent aligners are:

  • Clear: The aligners are almost invisible when placed on the teeth.
  • Comfortable: No metal wires or brackets that stick out.
  • Customised: Each treatment plan is custom-made and each aligner is individually fabricated to be customized.
  • Removable: Patients can remove the aligners to eat, drink, brush, floss and for that special occasion.

Invisalign®

Invisalign® straightens your teeth without most people even noticing you’re going through treatment.

Treatment consists of a series of nearly invisible, removable aligners that you change every two weeks for the next set of aligners. With each aligner change, your teeth are moved. These aligners are made of strong plastic.

A virtual 3D treatment plan (Clincheck®) shows the series of movements your teeth will go through over the course of treatment.  From the results of the Clincheck®, custom-made, clear aligners are made just for you.

Click here to visit the Invisalign website

Our clinic benefits from the latest 3Shape intraoral scanner, which allows 3D images to be electronically ported directly to Invisalign. This significantly reduces the waiting time of patients before starting with their Invisalign treatment as we now do away with the time needed to courier the physical dental impression overseas to Invisalign.

Patients also do not have to tolerate having sticky dental impression material in their mouths.

It’s wonderful to have great technology at our fingertips!

Click here to find out more about our latest intraoral 3D 3Shape TRIOS® scanner.

eCligner®

Each eCligner® therapy is individually designed treatment that caters for the unique treatment objectives of each individual patient.

After a PVS or digital impression is done and sent to eCligner®, a computerized set-up is done to plan the number of “eCligner® steps” needed to achieve the treatment objectives.

Each step of the eCligner® treatment consists of 3 aligners of different thickness (soft, medium, hard) which are worn in weekly intervals. The applied layer thicknesses are 0.5 mm (soft), 0.62 mm (medium) and 0.75 mm (hard). The use of varying layer thicknesses is one of the essential differences of eCligner® to other products.

Click here to visit the eCligner website.

Removable Appliances

This treatment modality is used to correct simple misalignment of teeth or in interceptive (early) treatment. A removable appliance is made up of plastic and wires. The orthodontist will customize the design of the removable appliance according to the needs of the patient.