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What is Orthodontics?

Orthodontics is the branch of dentistry concerned with the growth of the teeth, jaws and face. Nearly one million people in the UK started having orthodontics (braces) last year and more adults than ever before want treatment.

Why? Orthodontic treatment is about making the best of your teeth. It's about impro​ving the harmony of your mouth and jaws. Once you can bite together correctly, you can eat more comfortably and care for your teeth and gums more easily. And your smile will benefit immensely.​​​

​The department is situated in the Main Building of the new hospital at the Royal Stoke University Hospital. There are also clinics at County Hospital.

Will my teeth move after I'v​​e finished my orthodontic treatment?

If you do not wear the retainers that have been made for you then your teeth will definitely move/relapse. Retainers are designed to keep your teeth straight.

How long will my​​ treatment take?

You will be informed by your orthodontist before treatment starts but expect to wear braces for 24-30months.

How often will I have to attend the​​orthodontic department? 

Expect to attend every 6-8weeks, unless advised otherwise.

How often will I have to ha​​ve my brace checked?

Expect to attend every 6-8weeks, unless advised otherwise.

Will I have to take time off sc​​hool / work?

Yes, the orthodontic department is open from 9.00am to 4.00pm, Monday to Friday.

Can I have white fixed (train trac​​k) braces?

No, unfortunately the department can only offer you the metal type braces.

Will my brace h​​urt?

A certain amount of discomfort can be expected after you have had your brace fitted. This usually lasts a few days. This can be relieved with a headache tablet. Fitting the brace is not painful. Your teeth may feel tender as they start to move. The brace may also rub your lips, tongue and cheeks. For fixed braces, use the relief wax that you have been given and place a small amount over the bracket which is causing the discomfort. If you are unsure then make an appointment and come back to see us.

My brace is broken, what​​ should I do?

You need to contact the department and make an appointment to be seen. If you delay the repair there may be unwanted tooth movement.

How long is the w​​aiting list?

Contact the orthodontic secretaries on 01782 674183 who will advise you on how long you will be waiting before commencement of your treatment.

Will I always be seen by th​​e same person?

Whilst you will always be under the supervision of a named orthodontic consultant you may well be treated by one of our other orthodontic clinicians. Where possible we try to keep you with the same person throughout the course of your orthodontic treatment.

What do I do if I lose ​​my brace?

You need to contact the department and make an appointment as soon as possible, if you delay contacting us there may be unwanted tooth movement.

Why do I need retai​​ners?

The bone around the roots of your teeth take time to adjust to the new tooth positions and there is a risk of relapse in the early months after the brace is removed. Retainers are designed to keep your teeth straight.

What will happen if I don't wear ​​my retainers?

If you do not wear the retainers then your teeth will almost certainly move/relapse. This movement is likely to be minor but if you want your teeth to stay straight you should wear your retainer as directed.

Why does my retaine​​r not fit anymore?

The retainer has not been worn as instructed by your orthodontist and the teeth could well have moved.

Why haven't I received an appo​intment to check my brace?

Please contact our department on 01782 674653 to check if you have an appointment.

Why are my gums bleeding w​​hen I brush my teeth?

If you neglect toothbrushing at the gum line the plaque (bacteria) will start to irritate the gums and make them bleed. This can be rectified by thorough brushing over / under the brackets and at the gumline.

What are the white / brown​ marks on my teeth?

Failure to keep your teeth and brace clean will result in permanent white or brown marks on your teeth.

Why do my teeth feel t​ender?

A certain amount of discomfort can be expected after you have had your brace fitted or after a routine adjustment to your brace. This usually lasts for a one or two days. This can be relieved with a headache tablet.

Why do I need dental x-​​rays?

Dental x-rays enable us to see all your teeth and roots and help us to make an assessment of your mouth.

Why am I not being t​​reated by the consultant?

Whilst you will always be under the supervision of a named orthodontic consultant you may well be treated by one of our other orthodontic clinicians. UHNS is a teaching hospital and the department fully supports the training of orthodontists and dentists. Your care plan will be carefully monitored by your consultant.

When is my brace comi​​ng off?

You will be told when your brace will be removed as it requires two visits on the same day. We cannot predict how slow or fast your teeth will move.

Why can't I contact t​​he reception desk?

We are a very busy department and on occasions our receptionist may not be able to answer the telephone if she is assisting patients at the reception desk. Just keep trying!

Will I need a sports m​​​outh guard?

The department will give you advice on the most suitable mouth guard for you to wear if you participate in any contact sports. 

Can I have colours on my br​​ace?

Most of the time you can have colours on your brace, but not always. This depends on the type of brace you have fitted. Please be aware that certain types of food and drink can discolour the coloured elastics.

Do I still need to see my ​​own dentist for check-ups?

Yes. It is very important you continue with your regular dental check ups at your dentist to check the health of your teeth.

Will I need e​​xtractions?

Extractions may be needed if there is not enough space to align your teeth. The extractions are normally carried out by your own dentist, but may have to be done here at the hospital if they are particularly difficult.

Do I have to we​​ar a brace?

No. Although we may tell you how you would benefit from orthodontic treatment. You are free to make a choice about whether you want treatment of not.

Are there risks to havin​​g fixed braces?

Please click here to see the risks of orthodontic treatment

What is the orthodontic e​​ducation clinic?

Before you are accepted for treatment you will be given an appointment for the Orthodontic Education Clinic. At this clinic you will be shown how to clean your teeth effectively, how to care for your brace and shown the sort of braces you will be expected to wear. We will be happy to answer any questions or quiries that you might have about orthodontic treatment.

Where else can I access m​ore information?

You will be sent an appointment to attend the orthodontic new patient clinic. This is based on the central outpatients site. Car parking in the surrounding area is for staff use only, so please ensure that you have adequate time to park your car in a designated visitor space.

You will first have to report to orthodontic reception. The receptionist will take your details and confirm your address and telephone contact numbers. They also require the details of your doctor and general dentist.  

An orthodontic assessment is very similar to a dental check up that you have at your dentist. You will usually be seen by a consultant orthodontist, but you may be assessed by an orthodontic registrar, working under the supervision of a consultant. Your first visit is nothing to worry about. We just want to meet you and look at your teeth. We won't be giving you a brace straight away and we won't be taking any teeth out!

​First of all, we'll count your teeth and maybe take an X-ray picture. We will then chat with you to try to find out what you think about the way your teeth look and how you feel about wearing a brace. This orthodontic assessment takes around 20 minutes.

Following your consultation you will either:

  • Be discharged from the orthodontic department and referred back to your dentist
  • Another appointment will be made to discuss your treatment further
  • An appointment will be made for you to attend our orthodontic education clinic prior to your name being added to our treatment waiting list  

As with other specialities in the hospital, new patient clinics are often very busy and you may not be seen at your exact appointment time. We always endeavour to see patients at their allocated appointment time but sometimes a delay is unavoidable.

Please make sure that you have given the receptionist details of your dentist as a letter following your new patient consultation will be sent to both your own dentist and the referring dentist detailing the outcome of the assessment. If you would like a copy of the letter please ask the consultant, who will be happy to arrange this. 

Following your orthodontic assessment you may be offered orthodontic treatment (braces) here in our department. If so, you will need to attend our nurse led Orthodontic Education Clinic.   

The aim of this clinic is to:

  • Instruct you how to clean your teeth effectively
  • Demonstrate how to care for your brace
  • Discuss the risks associated with treatment and how these risks can be reduced​
  • Show you the sort of braces you might have
  • Ensure you are motivated for a long and complex course of treatment

At your first visit we will complete an oral health assessment and score the plaque on your teeth (with the aid of a disclosing solution).​

You may require one or two further appointments at this clinic in order to ensure your oral health is at the required standard for orthodontic appliances. If, at your third appointment, you fail to meet the required tooth brushing standard, you will not be offered treatment in the department as we feel that the risk to your teeth (due to poor cleaning) is too great.

As treatment often takes 2.5 years or more to complete we need to ensure that you have a consistently good standard of oral hygiene to help you avoid you developing tooth decay, gum disease or unsightly permanent  white and brown marks on your teeth.

The team will instruct you on the most effective way to look after your oral health and give you advice on dental care products. 

At the request of the orthodontic consultant, there may be occasions that the dental nurses / educators on this education clinic will take records (impressions, photographs) for further planning. 

At this visit the orth​odontist will:

​Take moulds of your teeth ​​Update your x-ray pictures ​Take clinical photographs

The orthodontist will use these records to devise a treatment plan or treatment options. When you have an agreed treatment plan you will be asked to sign a consent form.

Conta​ct us

Royal Stoke Appointments & enquiries: 01782 674653

County Hospital: 01785 257731 ext 4577​

Opening Times

Monday to Friday:  9.00am - 1.00pm & 2.00pm - 4.30pm​