This is a field of dentistry that specializes in the diagnosis, prevention and
treatment of dento-facial irregularities. The practice of orthodontics requires
professional skill in design, application and control of a host of corrective
appliances (braces) to bring the teeth, lips and jaw into proper alignment and
If your teeth are irregular, do not bite right and you feel conscious about it,
an orthodontist can help. Such problems are called malocclusion. Orthodontists
are dentists who are specially trained to straighten teeth (orthodontics) and
intercept certain types of developing malocclusion in a growing child by
modifying bone growth in the jaws (dento-facial orthopedics).
We are pleased to introduce Dr Susan Boey, an orthodontist (braces specialist)
accredited by the Singapore Dental Council, who has many years of experience using the Damon braces.
She practices at our Dental Centre located at City Square Mall (Tel: 6509 1133).
What Causes Malocclusion?
Malocclusions occur when the jaws and teeth do not meet right.
Malocclusion may be inherited or acquired.
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.
Dental malocclusion occurs when the teeth are out of line, crowded,
turned or spread out. This can happen with or without a jaw problem.
A child may inherit jaw from one parent and teeth from the other parent. This
may lead to crowding, spacing or extra or missing teeth.
Such condition may be due to poor dental care leading to early loss of
deciduous (milk) teeth, traumatic injuries, habits such as thumb sucking and
chronic airway obstruction such as enlarged adenoids.
Other types of malocclusion may be congenital in nature such as cleft
lip and palate deformity and other syndromes.
Why Is Treatment Important?
These irregularities, if not treated, may lead to more problems as follows:
Tooth decay and tooth loss as misaligned teeth are difficult to clean and
Abnormal wear of tooth surfaces.
Excess stress on supporting bone and gum tissues.
Misalignment of the jaw joints, resulting in chronic headaches or pain in the
face or neck.
Lower self esteem as the facial appearance is affected.
When Should Treatment Start?
A child should have his/her teeth checked at about age seven, when the
permanent teeth start to grow. Although adolescents (11 to 15 years of age) are
most responsive to orthodontics treatment, this early examination will alert
the dentists to any potential problems. Orthodontics treatment is also suitable
for adults and about 25% of patients today are adults.
In general, treatment with braces will take approximately 1 to 2.5 years
depending on a few factors such as the growth of the patient's face and mouth,
co-operation of the patient and the severity of the problems.
For children, the best time to start depends on the type of malocclusion.
Sometimes treatment is done in 2 phases:
Before Treatment Begins
If the child's jaws are not aligned right or too small, the orthodontist may
start treatment while the jaws are growing. This is called growth modification
and is usually carried out between ages 7 to 12 and takes about 1 year.
Subsequently, the orthodontist will review the child 6-monthly or yearly to
monitor the development of the permanent teeth.
If the child's adult or permanent teeth are not properly aligned when they
erupt (usually between ages 11 to 13), they will need to be straightened and
this is called Phase 2. Most children who have undergone Phase 1 treatment also
need Phase 2.
During the first visit, the orthodontist examines your teeth and jaws and
advises you whether you need treatment and what treatment will involve. You are
under no obligation to proceed if you think you need more time to decide.
If you decide to proceed with treatment, the orthodontist will carry out
further analysis of your condition by means of X-rays, dental models (study
models) and sometimes photographs before making a treatment plan. Informed
consent is necessary prior to treatment so that you are fully aware of what
treatment will involve.
|Types Of Braces:
Braces can be divided into removable or fixed type.
Removable appliances are usually used for growth modification (phase 1) and mild irregularities.
Clear aligners are available for correction of mild to moderate malocclusion and post-treatment relapse.
Invisalign® treatment consists of a series of custom-made removable aligners. Each aligner is individually made using the latest advances in 3-D computer technology. You wear each set of aligners for about two weeks, moving your teeth gradually week by week, until you have achieved the planned optimum result.
Unlike conventional braces, these aligners can be removed when you eat or drink and during your daily routine brushing and flossing.
The most efficient type of braces. Instead of winking metal, colours may be
added to make your braces more attractive and they can be changed upon monthly
adjustment visits. Self-ligating braces such as Damon, Smart Clip, Inovation etc are also available.
Our orthodontist (braces specialist) Dr Susan Boey who uses Damon braces practices at our Dental Centre located at City Square Mall (Tel: 6509 1133). For more information on Damon braces, please visit www.damonbraces.com.
Plastic or Ceramic Braces
Made with translucent brackets, these tooth-coloured braces will not attract as
much attention as metal braces.
| Retainer and aligner
Or Ceramic Braces
A Colourful Smile
The position of our teeth continues to change throughout life. This is a long
term process that can lead to changes in the bite or in the alignment of the
In addition, teeth have the tendency to return toward their original position
after orthodontic treatment. This is called relapse. Therefore, retainers are
provided to minimize this and ensure stability of the treatment outcome.
The orthodontist will provide you with instructions on care and use of the
Frequently Asked Questions on Orthodontics (Braces)
When is the best age for orthodontic treatment?
Although adolescents (11-15 years of age) are most responsive to orthodontics, treatment is sometimes provided for younger patients to intercept a developing malocclusion. Orthodontic treatment can also be done on adults and there is no age limit.
How long must I wear braces?
Usually 1-2.5 years but some cases may need shorter or longer duration. If you always fail or cancel your appointments, it may take even longer.
Retainers will be fitted to hold your teeth in their new positions after your brace is removed. If these are not worn,
your teeth may slip back.
Is orthodontic treatment painful?
During the first few days your teeth may be a little tender. This will soon pass off as you get used to your brace. If
necessary, take a mild painkiller.
The brace may rub your lips, cheeks or tongue and cause ulcers initially. Your orthodontist can give you some
wax and a mouth ulcer gel.
How do I care for my brace / teeth?
Brush your teeth well using a small head orthodontic toothbrush. Use a mouthwash at night.
It is very important to maintain good oral hygiene as teeth may discolor and/or decay and gum disease may develop. Regular 6 monthly cleaning are required during treatment. More frequent cleaning may be required depending on patient’s overall oral hygiene.
What food or drinks should I avoid?
Avoid sticky or hard food e.g. chewing gums, toffees, apples, carrots or crusty bread as these may break and bend
the wires. Avoid sweets, mints and sugary or fizzy drinks since these may dissolve the enamel.
How will brace affect my lifestyle?
You may lisp for the first few days. Only by wearing your brace full-time will your speech return to normal.
If you play contact sports or a musical instrument, let your orthodontist know.
What to do If I notice broken braces or wires?
Braces and wires should be checked daily after cleaning. If you find something loose or broken, please call the
clinic immediately to fix an appointment. Do not wait until your next appointment.
Broken wire or braces can cause teeth to move in the wrong direction and hence prolong the treatment time
How much do you charge for braces?
The estimated cost for braces treatment is FROM $4,601.00. An initial deposit of about $2,140.00 is payable upfront with the remaining sum to be paid via monthly installment of $107.00-$160.50 over 18-24 months period usually.
This is for braces treatment ONLY and does not include charges for other procedures, for instance x-ray, extractions, if required.
|"The above information and photos are provided by our Clinical Director in Orthodontics, Dr Wong Dai Chong."