All about orthodontic treatment

wisdom teethMy name is Emma, I am the manager at Southgate Dental in Drogheda. I absolutely love my job and more importantly I love teeth.


In my opinion there is nothing more attractive on a person than a good smile. I am always fascinated with what can be done nowadays to give everyone, regardless of their age, a better smile improving not only their health but their confidence as well.


My biggest passion in dentistry has always been orthodontics (Braces). It really frustrates me that there are so many children in need of treatment who are currently on very long waiting lists to be seen. An article written by The Irish Times in Mar 2015 said that there was more than 17,600 children awaiting treatment and that only those with the greatest need are provided with treatment!


It is really terrible and it upsets me to see so many children who become adults that are conscious about their teeth and smile :)




As somebody who had full orthodontic treatment twice in the past I can assure you all of one fact.


It changed my life!!


Now having completed treatment I’m sure all my social media friends can attest to fact that, there are hundreds of pictures of me smiling and as my family, friends and indeed our patients here at Southgate can tell you, they can’t shut me up. I definitely don’t hide my teeth anymore and I haven’t since the day my braces were removed.


Having orthodontic treatment is the best decision I ever made and it was by far the best money I ever spent. It really changed me and gave me so much more confidence. Who would have thought that something as simple as a smile could do that, but I promise you it works wonders.


If orthodontic treatment is something you have been considering for a while for you or your child, all I can say is DO IT!


I promise you, you will never regret it!




• The earlier you start treatment the better


There is a long standing myth that you should wait until a child has all their adult teeth. Of course in some cases this can be true, but for most, it is vitally important to assess and possibly treat your child while they are still growing. Think about it, if you wait until the child has all their adult teeth and they have finished growing, then it is more likely that they will need extractions to make room, especially in cases of overcrowding. However that being said, it is never too late. I had treatment in my late 20’s with 5 teeth extracted and I am still absolutely thrilled with the results even now over 10 years on.


• Orthodontics is not a cosmetic treatment


A lot of children on the current waiting lists are told that they don’t meet the criteria for treatment or that their case is “cosmetic”. While in some cases this can be true, it is rare. Most forms of malocclusion (misalignment of the teeth) are functional problems. The cosmetic part, in my opinion, is the bonus result of having full orthodontic treatment to restore better functionality. If you can imagine your teeth being in the wrong position all of your life this can result in over pressuring as some teeth are having to bear a heavier load than they should be. If you are constantly over pressuring and biting with your teeth incorrecly, over time this can result in TMJD ( Temporomandibular Joint Dysfunction), chipped, cracked, worn and even broken teeth. Which in time will need further dental treatments like fillings, crowns, veneers etc... Obviously there are other things that can cause the need for dental treatment in life, but having orthodontic treatment corrects the position of the teeth making them easier to maintain and keep for the whole of your life.


• Limitations


It is important to point out that as with everything there are some limitations with certain types of orthodontic treatment. It is not always possible to create the perfect orthodontic result without orthognathic surgery or without combined dental and orthodontic treatment. Be sure that you have discussed all aspects of your treatment with your orthodontist both pre and post treatment. Again I must stress that the younger you have your child assessed the better it is and in some cases can help to provide the best results.


• Orthodontic Specialists


There are two recognised dental specialities in Ireland, oral surgery and orthodontics. If you are considering orthodontic treatment for you or your child, be sure to do your research first. There are many dentists out there who carry out basic orthodontic treatments, which of course they are permitted to do. However an orthodontic specialist is a qualified dentist who has gone on to specifically specialise for three years in the field of orthodontics. In my opinion as an orthodontic patient, orthodontic nurse and dental practice manager, this is what makes all the difference between a good and an excellent result. If you are considering orthodontic treatment you can check the full list of registered specialist orthodontists on The Dental Council website or The Orthodontic Society of Ireland website


• 6 Month treatments


As an orthodontic nurse and treatment co-ordinator the most common things I’ve heard from patients who are considering treatment are as follows:

1. Can treatment be done any quicker?

2. It’s just this one tooth that annoys me, how can it possibly take that long to fix?

3. It’s very expensive isn’t it?


Cost and length of treatment seem to be big deciding factors for patients when choosing to have orthodontic treatment. Although it is true that in some very minor cases treatment can be done in as little as 6 months, this is not always the best solution as it doesn’t address the mouth fully. It often takes a minimum of 12 months (even for minor treatments) to correct the teeth and bite.


I have an analogy I use for patients who are concerned about that “one tooth” that annoys them. If you had a row of 12 cars parked bumper to bumper with some overlapping each other and you needed to move “just one” of them, you would first need to move the others out of the way before you can move just that one car. This is why even for one tooth, full treatment is generally required.


For more information please read the following article from The Orthodontic Society of Ireland:


• Orthodontic treatments cost a fortune


I completely disagree with this statement and I have made it my mission to try to re-educate people about the vital importance of orthodontic treatment. Part of that re-education is showing patients that orthodontic treatment is far more affordable than you might think.


Most patients who have full metal brackets for 18-24 months’ pay a deposit when the braces are fitted and then a monthly payment until treatment is completed. For example a basic non extraction treatment of €2450 includes fitting of upper and lower braces, all adjustment appointments, a full set of removable retainers at the end of treatment and quarterly check-up appointments for the first year post treatment.


This is approx. 3 years of treatment with roughly 28 monthly visits to the dentist. So when you hear the initial treatment total, yes of course it’s a lot of money, but if you step back and think about what’s involved, it’s not really that expensive and it is completely worth it.


I personally would do it again and again and pay double what I did 10 years ago, for the result I got and for the confidence it gave me in my life.




One of our patients Aisling who attended the clinic at age 14 and finished treatment at age 16.


ortho 2

Average Treatment Total                         Deposit                            18 monthly payments of     

€2450                                €367.50 x 2 payments                                   €95.28     


The quarterly visits post treatment are included so there is no charge for these appointments. Orthodontic treatment is currently tax deductible at 20% which equates to a tax refund of up to €490 on a basic treatment of €2450.


This means a full 3 year treatment costs you, the patient/parent or guardian approx. €1960 (with the tax deduction) which works out at approx.

€54.45 per month.




There are various, more discrete orthodontic treatment options available, other than the traditional metal braces (train tracks).


For example Invisalign, for patients over 18, which is clear and removable or ceramic (clear) braces available for patients of all ages who are concerned about the aesthetic element of treatment.


It’s time to stop looking at your smile in the mirror and wishing you had nicer teeth. In my opinion that’s what everybody deserves. So let us help you achieve it. I’m sure most of us spend or even waste the amount outlined above sometimes more on things we don’t really need! I believe orthodontic treatment is an absolute necessity not a luxury like some people think.


There are skeletons in the grave that still have their teeth, if you look after yours you should always have them in order to enjoy the foods you love and to give you more confidence.


A smile is one of the most beautiful things we can show to the world and you can get yours at Southgate Dental.









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 I am a current customer of Southgate Dental. I am very happy with Southgate Dental. The office and surgery are sparkling clean and modern, the reception staff are at the top of their field, friendly and very helpful. As a nervous patient the entire staff helped put my mind at ease. The dentist himself was very informative and gave me mutipul choices on treatments which i did not get elsewhere. The work so far is of excellent quality and i would have no problem recommending Southgate Dental to any of my friends or family. To top off all the good that is Southgate Dental the one thing that first attracted me to their office was the price. I am paying upto 40% less than i was quoted in Dublin. 

Patient: Derek Andrews


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