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Dental Procedure Guide: Braces Fitting

Have you found yourself wondering ‘how long does it take to fit braces?’ If so, you’ve come to the right place. At the Dental Law Partnership, we’re an expert team of solicitors, with many of our employees having worked directly within the dental industry.

Braces are a fairly common procedure for dentists to carry out, with the majority of cases going ahead without any problems. However, in rare circumstances, dental negligence can occur, which can be extremely distressing for the individual involved.

If you’ve already had braces fitted and you feel like you’ve undergone dental negligence, our expert team of dental solicitors will be happy to help. As market leaders in our field, we’ve helped thousands of people with their dental negligence claims over the years, and we hope to help thousands more.

To open a dental negligence claim, please complete our online enquiry form and we’ll contact you as soon as possible.

See if you have a case for dental negligence:

What are braces?

Braces are a common procedure within the orthodontic treatment category, with around a third of children requiring them at some point in their lives. However, whilst they’re commonly fitted for children, some adults may also require braces in later life.

There are several different types of braces available, which are:

  • Metal braces – Traditional metal braces use stainless steel bands, wires and brackets to gently shift your teeth over a period of time.
  • Lingual braces – Similar in style to metal braces, lingual braces go on the back of your teeth, instead of the front. Many people choose lingual braces as they are less visible than traditional metal braces.
  • Ceramic braces – Ceramic braces work in much the same way as metal braces, although they’re made from a clear, ceramic material. As they’re tooth-coloured, they’re less noticeable, blending in with your teeth.
  • Clear aligners/Invisible braces – Clear aligners/invisible braces are a modern alternative to conventional braces, using a series of custom-made trays to straighten your teeth.

If you have a particular type of brace in mind, it’s advisable to consult with your dentist to see whether they are available for your situation. With non-traditional braces (such as ceramic braces), there may be a slightly higher charge.

Essentially, the main purpose of fitting braces is to straighten crooked or crowded teeth, allowing you to care for your teeth and gums more easily, as well as improving your bite and smile. The ideal age to have braces fitted is when the child’s mouth and teeth are still growing, although they can be fitted at a later age.

Treatment is provided free of charge through the NHS for people under the age of 18, if specific criteria are met. However, you may need to pay if a child’s orthodontic need is considered mild or if you require adult braces.

When might braces be required?

Braces are usually required to straighten misaligned or crooked teeth. Whilst orthodontic treatment is usually associated with children, around 20% of people with braces are adults. Usually, your dentist will tell you if braces are required for yourself or your child, but if you feel that braces would be beneficial, it’s advisable to consult a dental professional yourself.

The sooner you get your braces fitted, the quicker you can improve your smile, so it’s important to contact your dentist as soon as possible. Whilst orthodontic treatment is commonly viewed by the public as cosmetic dentistry, having braces fitted can also have a positive impact on your oral health.

Common signs that you may need braces include:

  • – Visibly crooked or crowded teeth
  • – Frequent occurrences of tongue or gum biting
  • – Difficulty pronouncing certain words
  • – A clicking sound (or other abnormal noises) when chewing
  • – Difficulty flossing or brushing your teeth
  • – Teeth that don’t close properly when your mouth is closed
  • – Jaw fatigue after chewing food

However, some of these symptoms may arise from other oral health issues, so it’s advised that you speak to your dentist as soon as possible to get a diagnosis.

girl with braces sitting on a dental chair

Fitting braces: A step-by-step guide

As braces are fairly common, the fitting procedure is usually fairly straightforward. However, depending on your individual circumstances, your treatment may differ slightly from the steps laid out below. If you’re unsure about the process of fitting braces, you may want to speak to your dentist first to find out what the procedure entails.

In most cases, orthodontic treatment for metal braces observes the following steps:

  1. First, you’ll have an initial consultation with your dentist to assess the issue and confirm whether treatment is required. Your dentist has a duty of care to obtain informed consent, as well as providing information about any side effects, risks and alternative treatments. X-rays may also be required during this stage, so your dentist can adequately assess your teeth.
  2. During your procedure, your dentist will first need to clean your teeth, before ensuring they’re dried and ready for treatment to go ahead.
  3. Your dentist will attach metal brackets to your teeth using dental glue, usually on both the top and bottom rows.
  4. Metal bands will then be placed around your back molars using dental glue, anchoring your braces in place.
  5. Finally, your dentist will attach the archwire to the brackets with a ligature (a small rubber band), which will hold the wire in place. Your dentist should ensure the end of the archway is trimmed to make sure it does not rub against your gums.
  6. The previous stage marks the end of your initial treatment, although you may need to return to your dentist occasionally to have your braces readjusted and tightened. Your current wires may also need to be replaced periodically.

Whilst orthodontic treatment is usually relatively simple, mistakes can occur. If you’ve had braces fitted and you think your dentist acted negligently we may be able to help you open a claim.

To get started, please call our dedicated team of solicitors on 0800 152 2038.

How long does it take to fit braces?

One of the main questions you may have when undergoing orthodontic treatment is ‘how long does it take to fit braces?’ This is another factor that depends on your personal circumstances and the type of braces being fitted. However, on average, it should take between one and two hours to complete the procedure.

The length of time you have to keep your braces on for may also differ, although it’s typically between 16 to 18 months. However, in some cases, you may need to keep your braces on your teeth for a longer period of time.

How many appointments can I expect when having braces fitted?

The number of appointments required to fit braces is another factor that depends on your individual circumstances and the type of braces required.

You’ll need an initial consultation appointment to correctly diagnose the issue. When the time comes for your orthodontic procedure, your braces will usually be fitted within one appointment. However, you’ll usually need a series of later sessions to readjust and tighten your braces.

What should be covered in my consultation?

Before your braces are fitted, your dentist will need to carry out an initial consultation to assess the situation and decide if orthodontic treatment is right for you.

Your dentist will assess whether braces are necessary for your situation. You may need to have an X-Ray carried out, and your dentist should thoroughly examine your mouth to get a clear picture before your treatment. Your dentist should also make you aware of any risks, side effects and alternative treatments (if available), whilst getting voluntary consent from you.

The aftercare process

When having braces fitted, it’s important to follow your dentist’s aftercare advice, to ensure the success of the procedure. Your dentist has a duty of care to inform you of the steps to take after treatment – if they fail to do this, you may be able to open a dental negligence claim.

The NHS recommends the following steps after having traditional braces fitted, although the advice given may differ slightly depending on the type of braces installed:

  • – You should regularly clean your teeth and gums, using floss and toothpaste
  • – Your braces should be worn as instructed by your dentist
  • – If you have a retainer, you should wear it every night when you go to sleep
  • – You should follow your dentist’s advice about food and drink – soft food may be recommended for the first few days following treatment
  • – Repeat appointments may be required to assess your braces and tighten/readjust them. It’s important to remember to visit your dentist for further consultations, to ensure the treatment is working correctly.

If your dentist has failed to provide you with the appropriate aftercare advice and something has gone wrong with your braces, you may be able to open a claim for negligence.

Please contact our expert team and we’ll assess your claim.

female dentist in a dental clinic

Who should you contact if your treatment goes wrong?

Orthodontic treatment is common and most people are satisfied with their braces. However, in some circumstances, the procedure can go wrong. If your dentist does not carry out a thorough assessment of your mouth before starting treatment, diagnoses the issue incorrectly or provides incorrect advice, this may be classed as negligence. In some cases, you may also find that your braces have been fitted incorrectly, which can cause further issues to your mouth and gums.

If your treatment goes wrong, it can be an extremely distressing situation to find yourself in. You may want to make a complaint to your dental surgery – it should be noted that there is a strict time period of one year from when the treatment occurred to make an official complaint. You can also request a copy of your dental practice’s complaints procedure if you need advice on how to open your complaint.

Alternatively, you can start the dental negligence claims process and open a case against your dentist. This may help you to pay for any remedial treatment required, as well as getting you justice for the negligence you’ve suffered through. At the Dental Law Partnership, our expert team of solicitors is on hand to help you through this distressing situation.

If you’d like to proceed to a claim, there is no need to make a complaint to your dentist first. Instead, please request a callback here.

Questions you should ask your dentist before undergoing treatment

Having braces fitted can be a scary proposition, particularly if you already have a fear of the dentist. As orthodontic treatments are fairly common, most procedures are performed safely and accurately. However, if you have any questions, it’s recommended that you speak to your dentist before your treatment is carried out. As a trained dental professional, your dentist should be able to answer all your enquiries before your braces are fitted.

Here are a list of question you may want to ask your dentist at your initial consultation appointment:

  • – How long does it take to fit braces?
  • – How much will the treatment cost and can I get the procedure carried out for free?
  • – Am I able to get a reduction in cost?
  • – Is a written treatment plan available for me to view beforehand?
  • – Are there any side effects or risks that I should be aware of?
  • – What aftercare will I require after my braces are fitted?
  • – How long will my treatment take, and will I need any follow-up appointments?
  • – How do I prepare for my appointment?
  • – Are there any alternative procedures I could try instead?
  • – Are there specific cleaning products I should use during the recovery process?
  • – Is there anything else I should be aware of before undergoing treatment?

However, you may have other questions about your treatment which aren’t listed here. If you’re still unsure, you may want to consider speaking to several dental surgeries to ensure you find the right dentist for your needs.

If you’ve already had braces fitted and you think you might have experienced dental negligence, you may want to sue your dentist.

Our team will be happy to help – please contact us here for more information.

Male,Dentist in a dental practice

Rise above dental negligence with the Dental Law Partnership

Now that you’ve read through this dental procedure guide, you should have the answer to the question ‘how long does it take to fit braces?’, as well as a range of other common queries.

However, if your dentist has made a mistake when fitting your braces, and you think you may have suffered from dental negligence, you may be wondering what the next steps are. When you entrust your oral health to a dental professional, you rightly expect a high level of care that safeguards your well-being, so it can be very distressing when the standard of care fails.

At the Dental Law Partnership, we’re a reputable law firm specialising in the area of dental negligence claims. We can help you to sue your dentist after negligence, aiming to get all our clients the compensation they deserve. We operate on a no-win, no-fee basis, which means that you only pay if your case is successful.

If you’d like to get started with your dental negligence claim, please contact us, and we’ll do whatever it takes to secure justice for you.

See if you have a case for dental negligence:

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or call us free on: 0800 0853 823