Do I need to be referred by my dentist to have an appointment?

Not at all, we welcome patients who come to us directly. We will keep your dentist fully informed after your visit to us and all through any treatment. We are delighted to say that many of our patients come to us through recommendations by previous patients.

What will happen at the first appointment?

We want to find out what it is you really want to see improved about your smile. We’ll take a set of photographs and probably one or two x-rays, before making lots of notes on the computer.

We will then have a good chat about the treatments available to give you a perfect smile, we take your desires and lifestyle into account, discuss how long your treatment will take and what the financial investment will be. The process is relaxed and informal and designed around you. Occasionally, for more complex treatments, a second planning visit is needed to finalise your treatment plan.

You will see photos of other patients who want to show-off their new smiles, as well as examples of the different braces we can use. It’s great if both mum and dad can come along with a child patient to make the process more fun and relaxing. We’re very happy for adult patients to bring a long a relative or partner too.

Why a specialist consultant-level orthodontist?

In the UK, all dentists are permitted to provide orthodontics and can even call themselves ‘orthodontists’. In contrast, ‘Specialist Orthodontists’ undertake three years of extra full-time training and study. Exams must be passed before qualifying (MSc and MOrth) to be registered as a ‘Specialist’ with the General Dental Council. You will be pleased to know that in addition to Specialist Orthodontist status, both Dr. Orton-Gibbs and Dr. Slattery have had three further years of training – treating the most difficult orthodontic cases – to become hospital Consultants. They are the best of the best, top of their field and adhere fully to GDC rules and guidelines.

Why a purely private orthodontic practice?

We are one of a handful of purely private orthodontic practices in the UK. There are no compromises at Walpole – The Orthodontic Specialists. You will receive the treatment you deserve in the time you desire.

When is it best for children to first see us?

We like to meet patients at age eight to nine years, so that we can plan the best time for starting treatment. This is especially important if facial growth guidance is needed. An early diagnosis of certain problems can dramatically reduce the amount of treatment needed. We are, of course, happy to meet your child/teenager whenever you, or your dentist, desire our specialist opinion. We also welcome patients who are new to the area for continuing orthodontic care.

What treatments do you offer?

We provide a full range. We will guide you to the option best for delivering a great transformation whilst fitting into your lifestyle.

Do I need to see my own dentist during my orthodontic treatment?

Yes please. We like to maintain a good relationship with your dentist throughout treatment and keep them informed as to your progress. We also ask you to see your dentist for your normal check ups and every six months for hygiene appointments (every three months if you are an adult).

Are there any risks with orthodontic treatment?

Orthodontics is one of the least invasive ways to improve your smile and is suitable for almost everyone. We carefully check to see if there are any reasons why you should not undertake treatment and will explain any risks.

Plaque left on teeth can scar them, so during treatment you will therefore need to take a little more care to keep your teeth clean. We give you lots of help and advice on how to avoid this and also provide complimentary special orthodontic toothbrushes to help you do a great job with your tooth brushing.

During treatment the length of the roots of the teeth can shorten slightly – this is such a small change for most patients that it does not affect the health of your mouth. A few patients are more prone to root shortening due to the shapes of their roots. If this is the case with you, we will explain that you might have a greater chance of root shortening and tell you what we will do during treatment to minimise this risk.

Is treatment a bit of a pain?

In our end of treatment questionnaires, our patients say their new smile makes treatment worthwhile. For some patients, when braces are fitted or after each appliance adjustment, there can be soreness of the teeth, but this goes after 3 or 4 days. For a few of these, a mild analgesic such as Paracetamol may be needed. We give our patients a complimentary amenity pack including special brushes to help keep teeth nice and clean. This also contains special wax to put on the brace if it catches the cheek, which can happen occasionally, especially whilst you are getting used to a new brace.

When will my smile be perfect?

We will give you a very good estimate of the treatment time at your first visit to us, along with the total investment you will make in your new smile. We choose the most efficient and comfortable appliances and techniques for you and schedule appointments to complete treatment as fast as possible. It’s rare to take longer than two years and depending on age and the issues that need addressing, you can be finished in less than a year.

How often will I need to visit?

It varies depending on what stage of treatment and what type of brace. On average your brace will need adjusting every 6 to 8 weeks.

How much will treatment cost?

The investment depends on what type of brace you choose to use, the length of time your treatment will take and how complicated your treatment is. One of our experienced treatment coordinators can usually give you an indication of price over the phone once you have given us some details about yourself. At your first appointment the exact investment for each suitable treatment will be outlined and we will help you choose the treatment that best suits you. Occasionally, for more complex treatments, a second planning visit is needed to finalise your treatment plan. We have a variety of payment options which can spread out your financial commitment, lightening the load if necessary.