Who provides Orthodontics?
In our practice we only have registered specialist orthodontists providing orthodontic care for our patients. Specialist orthodontists are dentists who have continued their training within accredited training programs and have satisfied the inclusion criteria set down by the General Dental Council of Great Britain. They usually see their patients on referral from a general dentist however adult private patients are welcome to contact the practice directly.
Orthodontic Therapists are dental care professionals (DCPs) who work as part of the dental team. They carry out orthodontic treatment under the prescription and close supervision of our specialist orthodontists.
When should I have my first appointment?
Most children begin their treatment once all the permanent teeth have erupted (around the age of 12), however some patients need to start treatment earlier. Your dentist will refer you when you need to be seen. But age is not a barrier to treatment and the number of adults seeking treatment is on the increase.
Am I too old for braces?
There is no age limit for braces. As long as your gums and the bone around your teeth is healthy, braces can be used to straighten your teeth and correct your bite. More people over the age of 30 are getting braces today than ever before, as the older we get, the greater the value we place on the appearance and health of our teeth.
How is treatment paid for?
NHS orthodontic examinations are offered free of charge to all patients under the age of 18 years referred by their general dentist. NHS treatment is based upon the Index of Orthodontic Treatment Need. If you qualify for treatment under the NHS you will be exempt from paying any charges except for replacement braces (due to loss or damage).
If you do not qualify for NHS funding we can offer you treatment on an independent or private basis.
Private treatment can offer a wider choice of braces, including clear brackets or invisible braces, and more convenient appointment times. The full fee for orthodontic treatment can be paid upfront minus the administration fee for standing order payments. We accept all major debit cards, master card and visa. Alternatively a 20% deposit is payable at the start of treatment with the remainder paid by monthly standing orders over the treatment time, 12 to 18 months.
How often will I need an appointment?
You will usually need to have appointments every six to eight weeks. It is not advisable to start treatment if for any reason you will not be able to keep regular appointments.
What if I move away and change orthodontists or dentists once my orthodontic treatment has begun?
Changing orthodontists is possible mid-treatment but not ideal. If your treatment started under the NHS it should be possible to continue. Please speak to your orthodontist as soon as you know you are about to move, so we can get your transfer records together. You will need to find an orthodontist close to your new home who is willing to take you on as a transfer, alternatively you can contact the local LAT who should be able to give you details of local orthodontists.
If you are a private patient again please let us know as soon as possible so we can make arrangement for your treatment to be continued in a new practice.
Will treatment be uncomfortable?
Having fixed braces fitted does not hurt, and does not require any injections, it just takes time. New braces are a little like a new pair of shoes. They may feel tight, rub and cause blisters (ulcers within the mouth), however this always improves with time. Remember to take some painkillers, the type you would normally take for a headache to ease these symptoms. Any part of the brace that is rubbing against the lips or cheeks can be covered with small pieces of wax provided by the clinic. If discomfort persists for more than a week please do not hesitate to contact the practice for further advice or an appointment to review the brace.
Removable braces and functionals
Fitting removable braces is not painful. However, as the teeth begin to move there may be some discomfort which will get better so long as you persevere. If there are any areas that rub, please ask your orthodontists to adjust the brace. Please book an appointment as soon as possible. To help us identify the areas that are rubbing please wear the brace for 12 hours before coming to see us.
Do you have to change your diet when you wear braces?
Yes you will need to change your diet to avoid damaging your brace. If your brace breaks your treatment time will be increase. You will need to avoid all hard or chewy foods for the duration of your treatment. You should also avoid sugary foods, fizzy drinks and snacking between meals.
We cannot give you a definitive list of what to avoid, you will need to use your common sense. Please see our section on dietary advise
Will I need extractions?
Teeth are only taken out if necessary and due to advancements in treatment technologies this happens less often nowadays. Please discuss with your orthodontist if you have any specific concerns in this matter. The extractions are normally carried out by your own dentist.
Should I have check-ups with my own dentist during orthodontic treatment?
Yes definitely, whilst your orthodontist will always be vigilant about dental decay and gum disease, any treatment would need to be carried out by your dentist.
It is more difficult to brush your teeth with fixed braces and if your brushing is not good enough, you are more at risk to dental decay and gum problems. So it is particularly important that you continue to have regular check-ups with your dentist.
Can I get braces just on the top or bottom?
In certain circumstances single arch treatment is possible. However generally to achieve the best result braces on the top and bottom teeth are required. Your orthodontist will be able to discuss the best treatment options for you.
Why do I seem to be drooling more, now that I have removable braces?
When a removable brace is first fitted it is like having a boiled sweet in your mouth all the time, causing your body to produce extra saliva. Your body will soon adjust and your saliva production returns to normal.
I’ve developed gaps between teeth which never had gaps before is this normal?
It is very common for your teeth to shift and thus develop gaps during treatment. Your bite changes many times during the course of your treatment, any strange gaps or bite problems will be resolved by the time your treatment is finished.
Can you wear braces if you play a wind instrument?
Yes you can. The most common problem is the brackets rubbing against the inside of your lips when playing the wind instrument. Each different type of wind instruments creates its own individual challenge. These challenges can be reduced by wearing lip protectors or Comfiguards™ which cover the front brackets of the brace. These can be purchased at reception.
Do teeth move after orthodontic treatment?
If you do not wear your retainers after orthodontic treatment your teeth may move. Minor tooth movement can occur throughout life but if you continue to wear your retainers these movements can be prevented. We always encourage you to continue wearing your retainers for a prolonged period to reduce this risk of movement. If you feel your teeth are moving and you have stopped wearing your retainers then returning to wearing your retainers may improve the position of the teeth, if they do not improve please contact your orthodontist for advice.
Complaints Procedure (NHS)
Code of Practice for NHS Patient complaints
At Cygnet Orthodontics we want all our patients to be pleased with the service they receive, so we take complaints seriously. If a patient makes a complaint, we will deal with it promptly and courteously. Our aim is to resolve the matter as quickly as possible following the agreed procedure and, wherever possible, to the satisfaction of the patient.
A complaint may indicate a failing on our part, which we can learn from and make improvements to our service. We will adopt a ‘no blame’ approach when investigating a complaint and especially where individuals are identified, with the aim of reach a satisfactory conclusion. We will, at all times, be polite and respectful to our patients.
- The Practice Complaints Manager Trevor Wynne-Hughes is responsible for dealing with all complaints about our service.
- If a patient makes a complaint in person or by telephone, the member of staff receiving the complaint makes an initial record of their concerns and checks this for accuracy with the patient. The patient is given a copy of the record and the original is passed to the Complaints Manager. If the Complaints Manager is available, the patient is asked whether they would like to see him immediately. Otherwise the patient is advised when the Complaints Manager will make contact to arrange a meeting in person or by telephone.
- If the patient complains in writing or by e-mail, the complaint will be passed immediately to the Complaints Manager.
- Complaints about clinical care or the amount charged for treatment will be referred to the orthodontist concerned, unless the patient requests otherwise.
- All complaints are acknowledged in writing as soon as possible but within three working days. A copy of this code of practice will be sent with the acknowledgement. If the patient has not yet discussed the matter with the Complaints Manager, they will be offered the opportunity to do so and also be asked how they would like to be kept informed of developments – by letter, e-mail, telephone or face-to-face meetings. The patient will also be advised of the process we will follow in resolving the complaint and the anticipated timescale.
- We will investigate the complaint speedily and efficiently and, as far a reasonably practicable, will keep the patient informed of our progress. Investigations will normally be completed within six months.
- On completion of our investigation, we will provide the patient with a full written report, which will include:
- an explanation of how the compliant has been considered
- the conclusions reached in respect of each specific part of the complaint
- details of any necessary remedial action and
- whether the practice is satisfied with any action it has already taken or will be taking as a result of the complaint.
- Proper and comprehensive records will be kept of any complaint received as well as any actions taken to improve services as a consequence of a complaint.
- If a patient is not satisfied with the result, then the complaint may be referred to:
- For complaints about NHS treatment write to National Customer Contact Centre, NHS England, PO Box 16738, Redditch, B97 9PT or telephone 0300311 22 33 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
- Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman, Millbank Tower, Millbank London SW1P 4QP, telephone: 0345 015 4033 or www.ombudsman.org.uk for complaints about NHS treatment.
- The General Dental Council, 37 Wimpole Street, London, W1M 8DQ the dentists’ registration body.
Complaints Handling Policy (Private)
Code of Practice for Patient complaints
At Cygnet Orthodontics we take complaints very seriously and try to ensure that all our patients are pleased with their experience of our service. When patients complain, they are dealt with courteously and promptly so that the matter is resolved as quickly as possible. This procedure is based on these objectives.
Our aim is to react to complaints in the way in which we would want our complaint about a service to be handled. We learn from every mistake that we make and we respond to customers’ concerns in a caring and sensitive way.
- The person responsible for dealing with any complaint about the service which we provide is Trevor Wynne-Hughes our Complaints Manager.
- If a patient complains on the telephone or at the reception desk, we will listen to their complaint and offer to refer him or her to the Complaints Manager immediately. If the Complaints Manager is not available at the time, then the patient will be told when they will be able to talk to the dentist and arrangements will be made for this to happen. The member of staff will take brief details of the complaint and pass them on. If we cannot arrange this within a reasonable period or if the patient does not wish to wait to discuss the matter, arrangements will be made for someone else to deal with it.
- If the patient complains in writing the letter or email will be passed on immediately to the Complaints Manager.
- If a complaint is about any aspect of clinical care or associated charges it will normally be referred to the dentist, unless the patient does not want this to happen.
- We will acknowledge the patient’s complaint in writing and enclose a copy of this code of practice as soon as possible, normally within 3 working days.
- We will seek to investigate the complaint within 10 working days of receipt to give an explanation of the circumstances which led to the complaint. If the patient does not wish to meet us, then we will attempt to talk to them on the telephone. If we are unable to investigate the complaint within 10 working days we will notify the patient, giving reasons for the delay and a likely period within which the investigation will be completed.
- We will confirm the decision about the complaint in writing immediately after completing our investigation.
- Proper and comprehensive records are kept of any complaint received.
- If patients are not satisfied with the result of our procedure then a complaint may be made to:
- The Dental Complaints Service, Stephenson House, 2 Cherry Orchard Road, Croydon CR0 6BA, Telephone: 020 8253 0800
- The Care Quality Commission, Telephone: 03000 61 61 61
- The General Dental Council, 37 Wimpole Street, London, W1M 8DQ Telephone: 0845 222 4141
- The Dental Complaints Service, Stephenson House, 2 Cherry Orchard Road, Croydon CR0 6BA, Telephone: 020 8253 0800
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