Fixed appliances are the most commonly used braces today, because they allow accurate positioning of the teeth.
The braces are securely fixed onto the teeth and cannot be removed by the patient. There are various systems available ranging from the standard metal brackets to clear or aesthetic brackets.
Fixed braces are now available with clear brackets, dramatically reducing the visibility of fixed braces. They are particularly popular for adults, where aesthetics are of the utmost importance.
I wanted to correct one particular tooth that had only come through in my 20s. There was a gap as it came through quite far back and I was always biting my tongue.
I found Goldsworth Road Dental Centre on the internet. It was reasonably local and seemed good value and very reputable, so I made an appointment. That was in 2009 and since then the rest of my family has joined following my recommendation.
The practice has a homely environment and is very clean. It's not a scary place to visit and the team are always very friendly and welcoming.
It was definitely on my agenda to undergo adult orthodontics when I contacted the practice and I decided to go for tooth-coloured, ceramic fixed braces. It only took a day to get used to them after they were fitted and they very quickly became normal. They weren't uncomfortable and I had no problems – it was plain sailing really.
I was aware of wearing braces and I did wonder about the effect they would have on my appearance but even after I'd had them a while one or two people still hadn't noticed. They said they knew something was different but they couldn't place what it was.
The ceramic braces aren't invisible but I didn't expect them to be, and I had decided against clear aligners because they are in a different price bracket. I went for 0% finance over 12 months and I actually paid it off early but the option was there. It was straightforward to set up and I would certainly recommend that option generally as the cost was a major consideration for me. I was surprised though as it was lower than I expected. I started my treatment in 2009 and the cost for braces on my top jaw was around £1,650, which I think is very good value – I've got no complaints.
It's an excellent practice and they're very accommodating. Once or twice the elastic snapped but Mrs Pritchard was able to fit me in straightaway. I had the brackets removed last November and I'm very pleased because both problems have been fixed. I no longer bite my tongue and the gap has gone - mission accomplished!