Dreaming of a straighter smile this autumn? You are not alone! Many adults do not realize that it is never too late to get their teeth straightened and may not be aware that a straighter smile is a lot more achievable that they thought. With a range of modern techniques to choose from, it is now possible to correct crooked, crowded or irregular teeth in a way that fits your lifestyle and guarantees the best possible results, no matter what your age. Let’s take a closer look at the options available.
What is Orthodontics?
Orthodontics refers to the process of moving teeth into a better position and is ideal if you have crowded teeth or gaps in between teeth. Contrary to popular belief, there is no real age limit for orthodontics so in most cases as long as your teeth and gums are healthy they can be straightened.
Although people traditionally connect orthodontics with the metal braces they may have been familiar with as a teenager, there is now a range of discrete options for adults available. Modern techniques also allow for quicker results and greater comfort.
For most adults, the visual appearance of their teeth is the greatest priority, as this can have a significant impact on confidence and self-esteem. This means that aesthetic orthodontics, which is solely concerned with the appearance of your front teeth and typically offers the quickest results, can be a great option. In some circumstances, however, it is recommended to undergo comprehensive orthodontics which will improve the function of your jaw and bite and may lead to a more stable long-term outcome.
Discrete Ceramic Fixed Braces
For those who need precise repositioning of the teeth but want to keep things as discreet as possible, fixed ceramic braces can be a good option. The brackets are made out of materials that can be entirely transparent, allowing the natural shade of the teeth to show through. To help prevent the braces from being notices, they can be combined with tooth coloured or clear wires.
Damon/Insignia fixed braces
If you are experiencing orthodontic problems such as misaligned bites, gaps between teeth, overcrowding and crossbites, then Damon fixed braces may be the best option. Using a combination of memory wires and very low friction brackets, the fixed braces are able to quickly move the teeth into the desired position. To help make them more comfortable, they use a smaller and flatter bracket than conventional braces. For extra convenience, they are customised so that you require less frequent dental visits during the treatment.
Invisible/Lingual fixed braces
Lingual orthodontics refers to the correction of crooked teeth by means of fixed braces bonded to the inner side of the teeth. This allows correct tooth positioning to be achieved without the braces being seen. As long as the teeth and gums are healthy, there is no age limit for lingual braces and more and more adults are opting for this type of treatment.
Known as the clear alternative to fixed braces, Invisalign® is one of the most popular choices for adult teeth straightening. The innovative brace system uses a series of clear plastic aligners that are virtually invisible to the untrained eye - so nobody needs to know that you are having your teeth straightened (until you are ready to wow them with your new smile). The aligners are custom made to fit exactly over your teeth and are replaced every two weeks to gently but effectively move your teeth into the correct position. Your treatment plan is prepared using advanced computer technology to ensure the best possible results.
Whilst the aligners are fully removable, they do need to be worn for 22 hours each day for treatment to be completed within the predicted time frame. However, this gives you the flexibility to remove them should you wish to for personal or professional occasions, so that you don’t have to make changes to your lifestyle.
For patients who have crowding just affecting from 4 to 6 teeth, the Inman Aligner is a fantastic solution. It is a removable brace that is ideal for straightening front teeth in a short space of time. The system uses two nickel wire aligner bows that are powered by titanium coil springs. One bow is fitted across the front of the teeth while the other bow is fitted across the back of the teeth. The bows use opposing forces to squeeze the teeth into the correct positions.
Where only a small number of teeth or even individual teeth require straightening, clear aligners can be a good choice of treatment. They allow teeth to be straightened using a set of custom-made, removable aligners which gradually move the teeth until they reach their optimum position.
Removable and fixed orthodontic retainers and repairs
It is important to be aware that the tissues around the roots take time to adjust to the new tooth positions. This means that there is a particular risk of relapse in the early months after braces are removed, as well as a longer term risk. For this reason, retainers are always used near the end of a course of orthodontic treatment. Retainers hold newly straightened teeth in place while the surrounding gum and bone adjusts to the new position of the teeth. This part of the treatment may be long term or even infinite to preserve results.
If you are interested in having your teeth straightened but are unsure about what might be the best option for you, please contact the experts at Field House Dental Practice to arrange a no charge consultation with one of our dentists who will help you to make the right choice. Call today on 01892 782300.