Frequently Asked Questions at our clinics in Dublin or Galway

Before you come to see the orthodontist you may have some questions…


  • What is orthodontic treatment?
  • Why might I need orthodontic treatment?
  • What will happen next?
  • What will happen at my first appointment?
  • What happens if I am ready to start treatment?
  • When will treatment start?
What is orthodontic treatment?

Orthodontic treatment usually involves the wearing of braces (removable or fixed) with or without extraction of teeth.

Why might I need orthodontic treatment?

There are 3 main reasons for having orthodontic treatment:
•    To improve the appearance of the teeth and your smile.
•    To improve function i.e. to make it easier to chew food.
•    To improve the health of the teeth and gums.

The pictures below show the teeth of a patient before and after orthodontic treatment.

What will happen next?

There are likely to be four possible outcomes, each of which will be explained to you in plain and simple language by Dr. Liam.

These include:
•   You are not yet ready for treatment, in which case you may need to see the orthodontist again when you are older
•   You are ready for treatment but before it can start you need to have some dental work
•   You are a surgical case in which case you might be eligible for treatment with the healthboard if you are a certain age
•   You are ready to start

What will happen at my first appointment?

It is likely Dr. Liam will have a look at your mouth and teeth using a small mouth mirror and a ruler. X-rays (Profile & Panoramic), photographs and study models (impressions) may also be taken.

All of these measurements and records will help the orthodontist decide which is the best treatment for you.

Profile (left) and Panoramic (right) x-rays

What happens if I am ready to start treatment?

Dr. Liam will explain:

•   The options for treatment and which is the best for you.
•   The advantages and disadvantages of treatment.
•   The length of time the treatment will take.
•   The commitment needed on your part if treatment is to be successful.
•   When you can expect the treatment to begin.

At this point you will be given the chance to ask any questions.

If you would like to go ahead with the treatment, the orthodontist may ask for written consent.

When will treatment start?

When will treatment start?

This will depend on:

•   How many of your adult teeth have come through? Some treatments are best left until all of the adult teeth have replaced the first (milk) teeth.
•   Problems with tooth brushing or tooth decay which may have to be dealt with.
•   The degree of urgency for your particular case. For example, certain types of bite are best treated while you are growing fast and would be given priority. Other types of treatment may need to be delayed until growth of the face has almost stopped.
•   Your orthodontist will explain the exact timing of the treatment for you


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