Orthodontics

What is an orthodontist?

  • Orthodontists are dental specialists who diagnose, prevent and treat dental and facial irregularities.
  • Orthodontists are specialist in all types of Braces including: Ceramic/Crystal Braces, Metal Braces, Lingual Braces & Invisalign.
  • The path to become an orthodontist in Singapore:
    • Dental School program in an accredited dental school leading to Bachelor of Dental Surgery
    • Additional three year of specialized education in an accredited orthodontic residency program (Master degree) to learn the skills required to manage tooth movement (orthodontics) and guide the facial development (dentofacial orthopedics). These skills are not taught in the most basic dental program.
    • An orthodontist in Singapore has to be accredited by the Singapore Dental Council, after gaining at least five years of clinical experience in orthodontics, through an exit exam conducted by the Dental Specialist Accreditation Board.
  • Only dentists with a Master degree in Orthodontics can be confer Fellow of Academy of Medicine Singapore (FAMS) and are eligible to be a member of the Association of Orthodontists (Singapore).

Why should I see an orthodontist to treat my teeth/jaw alignment problem?

Just like you trust a cardiologist for your heart problem and a dermatologist for skin problem, an orthodontist have in-depth experience in treating your crooked teeth/jaw through a formal education program after their general dental program. They use their knowledge and skills to help you get the best results possible and are able to identify and plan the right treatment options for you.

Orthodontists have the knowledge of the full range of orthodontic appliance available. You may only see your crooked front teeth, but the orthodontists will be able to see the cause of crooked teeth and use their expertise to plan the solution to give you a healthy, attractive smile.

How do I know if my dentist is an Orthodontic Specialist?

Patients can easily find out by calling the Singapore Dental Council at (65) 6355-2401 or email to enquiries@dentalcouncil.gov.sg

Will the cost be more to see an Orthodontist versus a general dentist?

Surprisingly No! Our Specialist charges for Invisalign Lite starts from $5000 and Metal Braces starts from $3900 (excluding X-Rays and Consultation).

What causes orthodontic problems?

The main causes of orthodontic problems include:

1. Genetically inherited—These include problems like crowding, spacing, protrusion, extra or missing teeth and some jaw growth problems (e.g. Jaws that are too far forward or back)
2. Environmental/Habits—Examples include early extraction of baby teeth due to decay, or late loss of baby teeth, thumb or pacifier sucking, fall accidents during childhood/adolescent
3. Disturbances during fetal development— Mothers who consume alcohol or certain drugs during pregnancy may result in facial/jaw deformities such as cleft lip/palate or fetal alcohol syndrome

Why is orthodontic treatment so important?

  • Crooked teeth are hard to clean and maintain, increasing the chance of tooth decay
  • A bad bite can make eating or chewing more difficult and may even affect your ability to produce certain sound. Teeth will also be worn down abnormally and there will be excessive stress on the supporting bone and gum tissue.
  • Without treatment, many problems become worse and can require additional dental treatment later in life
  • Crooked teeth or jaw disharmony can also become a social problem as you may feel conscious about your smile and hence self-esteem
  • Braces can also be used in conjunction with other dental treatment to improve the outcome of the overall treatment.

When should I bring my child to see an orthodontist for the first check-up?

  • The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that your child get an orthodontic check-up no later than age 7.
  • This is the age when the child’s adult teeth are developing and orthodontists can spot problems such as jaw growth discrepancy or improper position of emerging teeth at this stage.
  • It is important to bring the child early as some orthodontic problems may be easier to correct if they’re found early.
  • Early treatment may give your orthodontist the chance to:
    • Guide jaw growth
    • Lower the risk of trauma due to protruding upper front teeth
    • Correct harmful habits such as thumb sucking
    • Improve appearance
    • Guide the eruption of permanent teeth into a better position
  • Most patients begin active treatment between age 9 and 14.

What are the things I should look out for in my child?

Check with your orthodontist if your child has the following:

  • Crossbite of front or back teeth
  • Early or delayed loss of baby teeth
  • Crowding or spacing
  • Upper and lower teeth as not meet (open bite)
  • Protruding upper teeth
  • Lower teeth sit in front of upper teeth when biting together
  • Biting the cheek or the roof of the mouth
  • Mouth breathing
  • Oral habits such as thumb sucking
  • Speech difficulties
  • Facial imbalance

Is there an age limit for doing braces?

No. Orthodontic treatment can be done successfully at almost any age. Although most orthodontic patients are teenagers, about one in every five orthodontic patients today is over 18 years old. The braces technology has advanced tremendously and there is orthodontic options today there are smaller, less visible and more comfortable which adults are finding more appealing.

How long does braces treatment take?

The duration of treatment will depend on the severity of the problem and patient compliance. On average, patients who need orthodontic treatment will need one to three years of active treatment. After removal of braces, retainers will be issued to patient for long term maintenance.

What is my role in treatment?

  • Braces treatment requires cooperation between the patient and orthodontist
  • Patients will need to follow the orthodontist’s instructions e.g. elastics wear
  • Keeping regular appointments as scheduled (every 4-6 weeks)
  • Maintain good oral hygiene throughout treatment to reduce the risk of decay and gum disease. Poor oral hygiene can also lengthen treatment time as patient will be more prone to braces dislodgement and slower tooth movement.

How much does treatment cost?

The cost of orthodontic treatment will depend on many factors, including the severity of the problem, the complexity as well as the length of treatment. After a detailed consultation with the orthodontist, the various possible treatment options will be discussed, as well as the cost of treatment. Your financing options and installment plans will be discussed before treatment begins.

What are the different kinds of treatment options available?

There are many treatment options available in the market, each with its pros and cons. An orthodontist has the specialized knowledge to plan and identify the treatment type that is the most suitable for you.

At TLC Dental Centre (Braces Specialist), we provide the following treatment:

  • Removable appliance (For early treatment, jaw growth correction, etc.)
  • Conventional fixed braces (Metal, Ceramic,  eg. Damon SimpliClear® and 3M ClarityTM)
  • Lingual braces(Braces at the back of the teeth, eg. IncognitoTM)
  • Clear aligners (Invisalign® and ClearPath®)