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Looking for Private or NHS Orthodontic treatment in Ayr or Irvine?

Embrace-U - Specialist Orthodontic Practice - Ayr and Irvine

Benefits and Risks of Orthodontic Treatment


Normally, excellent orthodontic results can be achieved with close co-operation between the patient, parent and orthodontist and the following information is supplied routinely to anyone considering orthodontic treatment.  The benefits of orthodontic treatment are a pleasing smile and healthy teeth and gums, but there are limitations.


There are always some disadvantages to any form of treatment, however, these can be minimised by following the orthodontist’s advice.


Poor toothbrushing and excessive sugary or acidic foodstuffs can result in permanent white/brown marks, or even holes in the teeth.

These are unsightly and require filling by your dentist at your cost.  If severe they may result in loss of teeth.

Gum Damage:

Poor tooth brushing can allow bugs, plaque and calculus to attack your gums.  This leads to sensitivity, bleeding and eventually to recession of the gum.  The root of the tooth can then be seen in the mouth, which looks poor, is very sensitive to hot/cold and likely to wear away.  This greatly reduces the life of your teeth.

Root Resorption:

Is loss of part of the tooth root.  It is normal for 1 – 2mm to occur during orthodontic treatment and this amount has no long term effect on the health of your teeth.  Some individuals have a greater susceptibility to root resorption but this is very difficult to predict.  Certain actions increase root resorption e.g. sucking habits, intermittent brace wear or trauma (knocks to teeth).  Care should be taken to minimise root resorption.  Your orthodontist may ask you to have additional x-rays to check for root resorption during treatment.  In these cases some treatments may need to be stopped or modified, producing a compromised result.

Cyst Formation:

Teeth in the jaws that have failed to erupt normally have a chance of forming a cyst.  Abnormal unerupted teeth need to be monitored; usually by x-rays to ensure a cyst is not forming that may damage adjoining teeth, nerves, blood vessels or bone.

Poor Result:

An excellent orthodontic result requires teamwork.  You are part of that team.  If you do not follow the orthodontist’s advice, the end result will be compromised.  If the braces have to be removed before the end of treatment because of problems, then it is likely the teeth will become squint again.  It is essential that the patient, parent and orthodontist are clear from the start as to what is required for success.

Extended Treatment Time:

The objective is to produce straight teeth as efficiently as possible.  Remember the patient must, keep their teeth and gums clean and healthy, keep the brace in one piece, seek repair of any breakages as soon as possible, attend when requested and wear all components of the brace.  Failure to do so will inevitably increase treatment time.  As a guide – each time the brace is broken, one month is added to the treatment.  Failure to wear part of the brace may make it impossible to achieve straight teeth.

Temporomandibular Joint Dysfunction Syndrome (TMDS):

A condition resulting in pain, clicking and stiffness in the jaws and head.  Patients who already suffer from this condition should inform the orthodontist prior to treatment.  Orthodontic treatment may improve, worsen or have no effect upon this condition.  It’s difficult to predict.  If TMDS should arise, it is usually temporary and doesn’t prevent treatment continuing.  If very severe, however – treatment may be compromised or even stopped prematurely.


During and after orthodontic treatment, fillings, crowns, bridges and dentures may require placement/replacement.  This can be due to new tooth position or because of damage during brace wear or removal.  Your dentist will carry out this treatment for you, however you will be liable for any costs involved.


Once the teeth have been straightened, the braces are removed.  Retainers will need to be worn. These hold or retain the new tooth positions and can be removable or glued onto your teeth (fixed).  Failure to wear these would result in the teeth moving back towards their start positions.  The only way to guarantee straight teeth is to continue to wear retainers.  After a period of time you may decide to stop wearing retainers.  This will inevitably result in tooth movements, which should be accepted.


Lack of cooperation, broken appliances and missed appointments are all important factors that can lengthen treatment time and affect the treatment result.

Jaw growth is outwith the orthodontist’s control.  If unfavourable growth occurs it may lead to a change of treatment objectives e.g. orthognathic surgery and extended orthodontics.

It is rare for tooth movement to cause a tooth to die, but an undetected dead tooth may cause symptoms during orthodontics and require root treatment or extraction.


Keep your teeth clean and healthy.

Keep all parts of your brace intact.

Keep your appointments with your orthodontist.

Embrace - U Ayr

01292 268444
27 Miller Road

Opening Hours
9-5 Mon - Fri

Embrace - U Irvine

01294 276153
47 Townhead
KA12 0BH

Opening Hours
9-5 Mon - Fri

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