Sunday, August 26, 2012

A little bit of everything


Yes, guilty as charged, and I am so very sorry :(. I have been neglecting this blog for one complete year (or more) and after 500+ comments awaiting moderation I'm hopelessly helpless in replying! But to make it up, after going thru all the comments and queries, here I'm going to generally answer all the burning questions that were frequently asked:

 1. Cost of braces

 Yes, the cost for braces has gone up. Sadly. Not because we want to, but because the supply cost has gone up too. For convensional braces (the normal ones) the full charges are now RM4700, this is excluding retainers and any other treatment you might need, example tooth extraction or scaling. But the down payment remains at RM1500 and monthly charges is still at RM150-200 so nothing really has changed there except for perhaps the pay duration is a little longer. We have visiting specialist for braces, in which RM70 will be charged for consultation with her. Consultation with me remains at RM10.

 2. Damon Braces

 New in town! :D
 Damon braces charges are a little bit more than the convensional ones simply because Dr Damon himself has patented the system. So, when you pay for Damon braces you are not paying only for the braces but also for the patented technology. The downpayment will be RM2500 and per visit charges are RM300-500, depending on the treatment need. There are no maximum charge, because the treatment duration is much shorter as compared to the convensional braces. So you will only need to pay on what your teeth requires. Ain't that good? ;).
The follow up visits are also not on monthly basis but as what are required. Usually the appointments are 10 to 12 weeks apart. Here we are using the Damon Q system.

 3. Relativity between braces and 3rd molar eruption 

 There are actually two school of thoughts here. I was told during my uni days that it was almost impossible for a single tooth (that is your wisdom tooth) to single-toothedly malalign all your other teeth. But, in recent years, there are some research that claims that wisdom tooth can actually move your other teeth. Plus, i did notice a number of my patients who complained that their teeth moved when the wisdom tooth erupts. I would generally advice any of my patients who is planning to wear braces to get their wisdom teeth removed first, or have it removed during braces treatment. This is especially for those with no space for the wisdom teeth or the tooth NOT erupting vertically. Better safe than sorry, eyh?

4. More on braces, braces, braces!

- Yes, braces can be worn even if you have filling on your front teeth. but perhaps the movement will be a little slower.
- Usually we will advice to wear braces on both upper and lower teeth. This is so that your occlusion (pertemuan antara gigi atas dan bawah) is secured. In other words, you can still chew after your teeth are aligned. There are cases where patient only wears upper or lower, but usually for very very minor adjustment or retreatment cases (patients yg dah pernah pakai pastu pakai balik).
- For ceramic braces, added cost is around RM1000-1500 on top of the usual downpayment. Follow up treatment is the same.
- Generally for adult patients (18 yrs above) duration for wearing braces is >2.5 years. Damon braces will take shorter treatment duration, around 1.5-2.5 years. No age limit for braces, the oldest known braces patient is 73 years old! but of course, general health must count.
- I would suggest wearing retainers for as long as you can, if possible for lifetime, especially if you start wearing braces in your adulthood. You will get all sorts of advice on this, but our teeth, they moves whether we want them or not. it's a physiological thing. You and I both don't want any regrets later, kan?

 I hope that fulfill some of the queries. More questions are welcome, of course. Although, it would be more helpful for you and me if you can come to my clinic for a more personalized answer, especially regarding tooth discolouration and gap between teeth. This is simply because I can only give the more accurate answer or treatment options if I see the condition of the teeth myself. Don't worry, I don't bite hehe. Please call 03 89203758 during office hours for appointments.

 I thank you all, from the bottom of my heart, for your patience.