What Does an Orthodontic Treatment plan consist of?

Posted by admin on July 18, 2023


The world of orthodontics can often appear complex and overwhelming to those outside the industry. The process can seem intimidating With many treatment options, equipment and terminologies. In this article, 'What does an Orthodontic Treatment Consist of?', we seek to dispel any misconceptions and fears and to provide clarity to individuals considering orthodontic care. 

What is orthodontic treatment?

Orthodontic treatment, as defined in the broadest sense, is a specialised field of dentistry that addresses irregularities of the teeth and jaw. It revolves around the design and application of corrective appliances, such as braces and aligners, to bring teeth, lips, and jaws into proper alignment, thus improving oral function and aesthetics. 

Here at Scottish Orthodontics, we think of orthodontic treatment as more than a simple procedural undertaking; it is a transformational journey tailored to every individual's unique needs. It's not just about crafting radiant smiles - though that is undoubtedly one of the outcomes we take great pride in. Instead, it's about enhancing our patient's overall quality of life through improving their oral health, function, and self-confidence. 

Orthodontic treatment commences with an in-depth consultation, where we explore the individual's dental history, conduct a thorough examination, and obtain necessary radiographs and models. The heart of orthodontics lies in accurate diagnosis and careful planning, and at Scottish Orthodontics, we take the time to ensure we understand every patient's specific needs and expectations. 

Types of orthodontic treatment

At Scottish Orthodontics, we offer an array of orthodontic treatment options. We understand that each individual requires a personalised approach. Therefore, we have you covered whether you're an adult seeking discreet treatment options or a parent searching for practical solutions. Let's explore the different types of orthodontic treatments below:

  1. Traditional Metal Braces: This tried and tested treatment method has stood the test of time and has seen vast improvements. Modern braces are far less conspicuous and much more comfortable than their predecessors, yet they remain efficient and cost-effective for correcting many orthodontic issues.  

  1. Ceramic Braces: Similar in design to metal braces, ceramic braces offer a less noticeable alternative because they blend with the natural colour of your teeth. Making them particularly popular amongst adult patients or those conscious about aesthetics during treatment. 

  1. Lingual Braces: These braces are fixed on the backside of your teeth, making them invisible when you smile. At Scottish Orthodontics, we understand that discretion can be crucial for some individuals, and thus, we offer this incognito alternative. 

  1. Clear Aligners: Clear aligners could be ideal for those who desire the utmost discretion. These are virtually invisible and removable, allowing more freedom during treatment. The aligners are custom-made and can effectively treat orthodontic issues without interfering with daily life. The most attractive feature about using aligners is that there are no brackets and wires, making it a much more comfortable form of orthodontic treatment.  

  1. Early Intervention Treatments: At Scottish Orthodontics, we also believe in proactive care. Early orthodontic evaluations can help identify and correct potential problems before they become more severe. For children, this could involve space maintainers or palatal expanders designed to guide the growth and development of the jaw. 

  1. Orthodontic Appliances: Apart from braces and aligners, we also use specialised appliances such as headgear, and Herbst appliances to correct specific orthodontic issues, such as overbite or underbite. These appliances can be fixed or removable, with braces or standalone treatments, to limit or reduce the need for greater orthodontic treatment in the future.  

  1. Retainers: Retainers are used to keep teeth straight AFTER orthodontic treatment. They can either be fixed or removable depending on what would be most suitable for the patient.  

Here at Scottish Orthodontics, we offer a comprehensive range of orthodontic treatments. But what truly sets us apart is our offerings' breadth and dedication to tailoring each treatment plan to the individual patient. By understanding your unique needs and aspirations, we strive to provide you with an orthodontic solution that leads to a beautiful smile and a healthier and more confident you. 

Who should see an orthodontist?

At Scottish Orthodontics, we firmly believe that orthodontic treatment can be a positive, transformative journey for individuals. Everyone deserves a healthy, confident smile, and orthodontic care can often be crucial in achieving that goal. But who exactly should see an orthodontist? 

  1. Orthodontic treatment for children and adolescents: The British Orthodontic Society recommends that children have their first orthodontic consultation around the age of 7. At this stage, a child's jaw and teeth are still developing, and early identification of potential problems can allow for effective, proactive treatment. Issues like crowding, overbite, underbite, and crossbite can be more easily corrected during these growing years. 

  1. Orthodontic treatment for adults: Many people often associate orthodontics with children and teenagers. However, there is no age limit for achieving a healthy, beautiful smile. More adults than ever before are seeking orthodontic treatment. Correcting misaligned teeth, gaps, and improper bites that may have been overlooked or untreated in earlier years is always possible. Moreover, adults who have previously undergone orthodontic treatment might also need a consultation if they've noticed their teeth shifting over time. 

  1. Individuals with Oral Health Concerns: People experiencing difficulty chewing, persistent jaw pain, speech issues, or irregularities in their facial profile should see an orthodontist. These issues can often be symptoms of underlying orthodontic problems that can be effectively addressed through treatment. 

  1. Cosmetic Concerns: If you're unhappy with the appearance of your smile due to crooked, crowded or spaced-out teeth, an orthodontist can help. Here at Scottish Orthodontics, we understand the importance of a confident smile and offer a range of aesthetic treatments tailored to your needs. 

  1. For Preventive Measures: Even if you don't experience any specific problems, a consultation with an orthodontist can be beneficial. Regular check-ups can help in the early detection and prevention of potential issues. 

  1. Snoring & Sleep apnea : If you experience problems with sleep or snoring which affects your quality of life, the Orthodontist can specifically design aligners / invisalign or other devices to hold the jaw in a favourable position at night. 

Essentially, anyone seeking to improve their oral health, function, and aesthetics can benefit from seeing an orthodontist. Remember, it's not just about creating beautiful smiles; it's about enhancing your overall health and quality of life. So, whether you're considering orthodontic treatment for yourself or your child, we're here to guide you through this transformative journey towards a healthier, brighter smile. 

Orthodontic diagnosis

At Scottish Orthodontics, we use various sophisticated tools and equipment to diagnose our patients and accurately plan the most effective treatments. Here's a closer look at how we use these tools:

  1.  3D Scanners & Dental Impressions: Historically we would take dental impressions to create a 3D image of the teeth. However, we have ITERO scanners in all of our practices, which generate a 3D digital model of your mouth. The scanner is a compact wand device, which is comfortable for the patient. It captures thousands of frames per second, which are pieced together to create an incredibly accurate 3D digital model. Scanning is an innovative technology which reduces the amount of waste generated by old fashioned dental impressions, making it much better for the environment. Furthermore, it is more comfortable  and bearable for the patient unlike taking mouldings of the teeth, which most patients did not enjoy. 

  1. Digital X-Rays: Digital X-rays offer a clear image of the mouth's underlying structure, including the roots of the teeth and the jawbone. These images are crucial for identifying issues that might not be visible to the naked eye, such as impacted teeth.

Cephalometric Analysis: A cephalometric X-ray is a diagnostic tool unique to orthodontics. It allows us to see the side profile of your face, providing vital information about the positioning and relation of your teeth to the jaw and skull.

  1. Photographs: We take comprehensive pictures of your face, teeth, and mouth from various angles. These images provide a visual record of your oral condition, allowing us to see how your mouth fits into your overall facial structure.  

  1. Cone-Beam CT Scans: We utilise Cone-Beam Computed Tomography (CBCT) scans when a more detailed view is required. In a single scan, these provide a 3D image of your teeth, soft tissues, nerve pathways, and bone, which is essential for complex cases and surgical planning. 


What is the most common orthodontic treatment?

When discussing the field of orthodontics, one particular treatment method often stands out due to its longevity, effectiveness, and familiarity - traditional metal braces. At Scottish Orthodontics, while we offer a range of treatment options designed to cater to the varied needs of our patients, metal braces continue to be one of the most common orthodontic treatments utilised in our practice and worldwide. 

Traditional metal braces consist of high-quality stainless-steel brackets bonded to each tooth and archwires that exert gentle pressure to gradually move the teeth into their desired positions. Over the years, these braces have evolved significantly, becoming more comfortable, efficient, and aesthetically pleasing with smaller, low-profile brackets. 

The primary reason for the enduring popularity of traditional braces is their effectiveness in treating a broad spectrum of orthodontic issues. From simple cases of mild misalignment to more complex problems such as severe crowding, underbites, overbites, and crossbites, metal braces provide a versatile solution capable of addressing a broad range of needs. 

Moreover, braces provide a degree of control and precision, which is particularly advantageous in more complex cases. The orthodontist can make precise adjustments to the tension and direction of the force applied, facilitating the accurate movement of teeth. 

It's important to note that while metal braces are commonly utilised, the 'best' orthodontic treatment always fits the individual patient's needs and lifestyle best. At Scottish Orthodontics, we pride ourselves on our personalised approach to care. We take the time to understand each patient's unique circumstances and goals, and based on these, we design a treatment plan that best addresses their requirements. From metal braces to ceramic braces, lingual braces to clear aligners & Invisalign, each treatment option has its strengths, and we're committed to helping our patients find the one that's just right for them. 

What is dental vs orthodontic treatment?

We are specialists not generalists

While dentistry and orthodontics focus on oral care, they address different aspects of dental health. Understanding these differences is vital to ensuring the appropriate care for your oral health needs.


This broad medical speciality deals with the teeth, gums, nerves, and jaw. Dentists provide comprehensive oral health care. They diagnose and treat issues affecting these areas, offer preventive advice, and conduct treatments like tooth extractions, fillings, crowns, bridges, root canals, teeth cleaning, and gum care. Dentists also play a significant role in the early detection of oral cancers and systemic conditions that may manifest in the oral cavity. 


This is a speciality within the field of dentistry. Orthodontists require additional years of training beyond dental school, focusing specifically on correcting alignment issues and occlusion (the way teeth fit together). Their work primarily involves diagnosing and treating malocclusions, misaligned jaws, and overcrowded mouths, using appliances like braces, clear aligners, and other corrective devices. 

So, all orthodontists are dentists, but not all dentists are orthodontists. 

At Scottish Orthodontics, our focus is primarily on orthodontic treatments supported by our team of Orthodontists. We believe in collaborating with your general dentist to ensure a comprehensive approach to oral health. This collaborative approach ensures that while your dentist addresses your overall oral health needs, we focus on perfecting your smile and bite, effectively enhancing your dental aesthetics, your mouth's function, and overall health. 

Orthodontic treatment for adults / Orthodontic treatment for children

Understanding the intricacies of orthodontic treatment and knowing when to seek professional help can make a drastic difference in your oral health journey. At Scottish Orthodontics, we're committed to empowering our patients with knowledge, as we believe an informed patient can make the best decisions for their oral health. 

Orthodontic treatment goes beyond cosmetic enhancement; it's about improving functionality, preventing potential health issues, and boosting self-esteem and quality of life. Remember, orthodontic treatment isn't just for kids and teens . It allows you to seek treatment and achieve the smile you've always dreamed of even in your adult life. 

For further questions and queries, why not contact us today or book a FREE initial consultation?