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Going with partner to orthodontist consultation — advice please

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Hi, my partner has gone from saying she'd never endure braces to not only accepting that metal braces are the best way to fix her teeth but is actually starting to get excited about it (I never thought we'd get to this point, it took years).

We have the consultation booked. Since it's a lot of money and I want her to have the best outcome, I started researching braces and didn't realise what a minefield orthodontics is now.

I'm in the UK where, as an adult, most healthcare is free at the point of use but, for most people, dentistry is not. I only say this because when you look at dentists' websites, they are very sales-orientated, which you wouldn't get with the NHS. And they seem to heavily push things like Invisalign and “six month smiles” over traditional metal.

The orthodontist we are seeing seems to have a good reputation and is very well qualified. However, her practice, on top of Invisalign and traditional metal/ceramic braces, offers Fastbraces.

I started looking into Fastbraces and could not believe the amount of bad experiences. They claim to be a lot faster but seem to be a quick cosmetic fix and many people either end up wearing them longer or have a worse bite at the end of it. My partner's teeth are crowded and crooked (been told before that it's “moderate to severe”) and the thought of them being shifted into place in a few months doesn't sit right and I would worry about the long term health of her teeth with this option. Her dentist said in passing at a previous checkup that fastbraces could fix things in 6–8 months, surely not!

From what I've read Invisialign can be quite good but relies on patient compliance. But from my research it seems that fixed metal braces are the gold standard and are reliable, predictable and powerful in the hands of the right orthodontist.

I was starting to worry if an orthodontist who offered fastbraces would be any good but every single dentist I have looked at offers some kind of cosmetic option like “six month smiles” (which seems to be a similar approach to fastbraces).

My questions are:

* Should I be concerned that an orthodontist is offering fastbraces? Should I expect her to disclose that fastbraces are faster but purely cosmetic whereas traditional metal are far more comprehensive? From looking at websites it looks like dentists generally assume no adult is willing to don train tracks and they do the hard sell on other options. However, maybe that won't be the case in the consultation (I hope!).
* I'm curious about others' experiences when having a consultation. If we go in asking for fixed metal braces from the outset will she try pushing other options (that may be faster for them and more lucrative)? I know no one can answer that as it depends on the orthodontist but interested to hear opinions all the same. My wife has agreed fixed metal is best and I have made list of reasons why we want them and why we don't want Invisalign, ceramics or fastbraces in case they do in case it comes up.
Maybe I'm worrying about nothing but after years and years I am so close to getting her in metal braces I want to make sure it happens!

You might contact a guy named MikeB, who, some years ago, happened to convince his wife Carrie to undergo orthodontic treatment. She did not despearatly need them, but was willing to have her treatment done. She did very well and he followed her treatment with some youtube films. She was very brave and now has a perfect result.

There's really little I can add here, but if you want to read a tome:

Pics and video:

Good luck!

So, I just spent 10 minutes reading about "Fastbraces". They say things like "unlike traditional braces, which first move the crown then move the roots, fastbraces move them both at the same time". There's also a comment that their special square archwire  "reaches down to the roots...".

Here's what https://dereferer.me/?https://www.fairfaxvirginiadentist.com/services/fastbraces-orthodontics/fastbraces-vs-regular-braces says:

Consider These Advantages of Fastbraces®

Although Fastbraces® have been around for a few decades, many people aren’t as familiar with them as they are with Invisalign® or traditional wire braces. Fastbraces® have revolutionized the teeth straightening process in recent years. Here are a few of the many advantages offered by Fastbraces®:

Faster Teeth Straightening – As their name implies, Fastbraces® take less time to straighten your teeth on average when compared to other alternatives. The average treatment time is less than a year, with many patients noticing results in as little as three months (about 100 days)!

Less Awkward Than Wire Braces – Because Fastbraces® don’t rely on clunky metal brackets and wires to hold them securely in place, many patients find them more comfortable to wear. They apply less pressure on your teeth and gums without losing any effectiveness in their treatment.

A Patented Design – While regular braces usually use square or rectangular brackets and metal wires, Fastbraces® use a patented triangular (elbow) shape and superelastic wire. In other words, Fastbraces® are usually more flexible and more comfortable than regular braces.
Fewer Visits to the Dentist – Fastbraces® require fewer adjustments than traditional braces, meaning you won’t have to visit your dentist as often (not that we don’t enjoy seeing you!).

Effective Orthodontic Treatment – Fastbraces® are an effective orthodontic treatment for many types of alignment issues. Whether you have an overbite, underbite, crooked teeth, or excessive gaps in-between your teeth, Fastbraces® will help you smile in confidence in no time!

More Affordable Than You Think – Many patients are pleasantly surprised to discover Fastbraces® are more affordable than they had anticipated. Fewer dental visits and faster treatment times mean fewer bills to worry about from our dentists! Many dental insurance plans cover Fastbraces® costs at least partially to make them a viable solution for many patients.

Cons of Fastbraces® to Correct Your Crooked Teeth

While Fastbraces® provide a great orthodontic treatment option for many patients, they may not be suitable for everybody. There are a few cons associated with Fastbraces® that you should consider to make a well-informed decision when determining the best teeth straightening option for you:

Mild Discomfort – Due to the speed at which Fastbraces® reposition your teeth, some patients may experience mild discomfort or itchiness in their gums and teeth. However, any discomfort experienced with Fastbraces® is usually minimal and only temporary.

Not Suitable for Everybody – While Fastbraces® are generally considered a universal orthodontic treatment for both adults and children, they may not be suitable for everybody. A consultation is necessary to determine your eligibility.

A Higher Cost Upfront – While you generally will save money with Fastbraces® in the long-term thanks to fewer adjustments and appointments, you may see a higher price tag upfront when compared with traditional braces.

So a triangular (and Patented!) shaped bracket? Big deal! Ah, hold on "Fewer dental visits"... that's gonna reduce the costs (so why are they more expensive?). "they may not be suitable for everybody"... so I suspect they are 'cherry picking', rather like "Smile Driect Club" do (and watch out for SDC, they only guarantee to straighten your front 12 teeth!).

The way I read this , in reality it like being offered "damon braces" because they are better than "traditional braces".... They seem to be just another type of ceramic bracket.

So, you need to be clear about WHY your wife is wanting treatment. Is it just simple cosmetic (just want front teeth to look nicer), more in-depth cosmetic (want more than the front 12 teeth to look good!), or is it functional (to fix bite problems etc).

Compare it to a kitchen makeover: is it "new doors on cabinets, replace the worktop & oven/hob, replace that old tiling too".... or is it a "rip the old kitchen out and start from a bare room!"

There's a reason that XYZ treatment is faster than other treatments: XYZ is clearly NOT doing the same job!

(and I haven't even mentioned "snake oil" once!!!)

Thanks for the replies. I think my situation is different to Mike's as she has moderate-to-severe crowding and a cross bite that causes pain so she will really benefit from treatment.

Thanks for your detailed post, Sparky. I totally agree about fastbraces. I can only find two practitioners of Damon Braces in our entire city and neither are near to us. I have to say, Damon Braces did not ring the same alarm bells with me as fastbraces (though up until a month or so ago I knew almost nothing about braces). I thought the self-ligating nature of them just meant you had constant pressure rather than having to rely on tightenings so it spend things up a bit. It's irrelevant anyway as they're not an option for us.

We have talked at length about it now and want it done properly, not just cosmetic. Of all the reading I've done it looks like fixed metal is the most reliable, predictable option — and to fix her problems it's worth spending time on it.

I'm not sure if it's the same everywhere but in the UK pretty much every dentist website I've looked at has a huge push on anything that isn't traditional braces and is, in many cases, cosmetic only. I've read so many poor experiences of fastbraces, people who went with Invisalign and regretted it. Conversely, traditional braces seem to always do the job and most people seem fine wearing them after the first month. I think it's a shame we have a culture that is so superficial.

I'm glad I researched it properly first anyway.

Thanks again for the info.


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