Quality of life after treatment

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The primary motivators for patients to seek malocclusion correction tends to be psychological and social effects. Therefore the oral health-related quality of life is a good indicator of overall satisfaction after treatment. Orthodontics in Harley Street Dental Clinic has been shown to improve overall self-esteem in patients. Increase by self-esteem by orthodontics was measured by a group of researchers who investigated “The impact of orthodontic treatment on quality of life and self-esteem in adult patients”, measuring oral health-related quality of life.

There are many different types of treatments to treat an array of patients, from lingual braces to Invisalign braces.

Orthodontic treatments

Braces are becoming increasingly popular. It seems that in recent years people care more about achieving their desired smile. However, for some adults, wearing braces can affect their confidence. Consequently, there has been a move towards inconspicuous treatments.

For instance, lingual braces are similar to traditional fixed braces, except for one key difference; they are located on the back of the teeth. This means they are discreet. Therefore, patients can observe all the advantages of regular braces while not being noticed for wearing braces. However, because they only work on the back of the teeth, it is significantly slower than regular braces.

Other discreet options include the popular clear aligners; Invisalign being the most well known of this different style of braces. Invisalign is made from a plastic mould that slips over the patient’s teeth. To fit the patient, they are custom fit from a computer software imaging system, designed especially for Invisalign. Treatment for Invisalign occurs in three main steps.

The first step is attending an appointment with an approved Invisalign dentist who will take a scan of the patient’s teeth. This 3D digital scan will map out the patient’s entire treatment plan.

The second step is wearing the assigned aligners. The wearing of the aligners is the most important step and requires commitment. Because the patient has more autonomy with the aligners being removable, it means it is up to the patient to wear the aligners for the required 20-22 hours. There is an advantage for the patient being able to remove their braces in maintaining greater oral health by brushing and flossing. Every 6-8 weeks, the patient is to attend a check-up with the dentist to ensure the treatment is progressing in the desired direction.

The third and final step in protecting the newly acquired smile the patient has achieved. In all orthodontic treatments, it is expected the patient continues wearing a retainer to ensure there is no regression by the teeth. The whole procedure of Invisalign can see faster results than regular braces, depending on the severity of the alignment.

Raising Self-esteem

Dental treatment

As mentioned briefly before, self-esteem has been measured to improve in patients after orthodontic treatment. In this study, it was also found that self-esteem lowered in the initial three months of treatment with conventional fixed braces before returning to normal. Given this, it can be inferred braces that are more ‘discreet’, can both improve the self- esteem of patients, while also avoiding the initial negative drop.

The authors of the article also noted self-esteem is a complex area, fluctuating at many stages in life being influenced by many factors. Despite this, orthodontic treatment is considered an option to impart psychological benefits to potential patients.

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