Everyday more and more adults are taking charge of their smiles and overall health by seeking orthodontic treatment. New appliances that are barely noticeable have also been developed to meet the needs of adults and offer more discreet options when it comes to orthodontic treatment. Adults who undergo orthodontic treatment will discover that benefits go beyond looking and feeling great, a beautiful smile can also welcome positive changes in your social and professional life while improving your overall health.
Healthy teeth can be re-positioned at any age which means there is no age limit for orthodontic treatment. However, it is important to remember that orthodontic treatment for adults is different in two ways: First of all, the jaws are done growing and maturing, which means that changes in actual jaw structure cannot be achieved with orthodontic appliances in the same way these changes can be achieved when treating children.
Next, periodontal or gum disease is more prevalent in adults than in children. Orthodontic appliances work by applying gentle forces to your teeth to move them through their surrounding bone. Periodontal health plays an important role in all of this. The gum tissues must be healthy during this process to avoid bone loss. If you have any gum disease, your doctor will work to get it under control before your orthodontic treatment can begin. During your treatment, you will have to work to maintain your periodontal health by obtaining regular professional cleanings and maintaining good oral hygiene at home.
All orthodontic appliances work essentially the same way: they employ light and constant force to move teeth into their desired position. However, the way this force is applied can vary as many innovations have been developed in recent years. For example, today, adult patients will find a variety of appliances that are less visible and more comfortable than in the past. Types of orthodontic appliances include:
Traditional Metal Braces — This is probably the image that comes to mind when thinking of braces: small metal brackets are bonded to the front of the teeth. A thin archwire then runs through the brackets and is attached to metal bands that go around a back molar.
Clear Braces — Clear braces are an alternative to metal braces that is less visible. These braces are typically made of ceramic, plastic or a combination of both. Clear braces are virtually invisible, except for the thin wire running through. However, clear braces are typically more fragile and therefore more susceptible to breakage than metal braces.
Clear Aligners — this treatment option consists of a series of clear plastic “trays” that precisely fit over your teeth. Each tray is part of a series of trays that move your teeth a little bit at a time until they are in the proper position. Your trays are custom designed and manufactured with the help of specialized computer software that generates a virtual model of your bite. Clear aligners are favored by many adults because they are customized, removable, and virtually invisible.
Lingual Braces — These metal braces are bonded to the back of your teeth (tongue side) and are therefore difficult for others to see. However, some patients find it difficult to get used to wearing, and the cost of lingual braces typically surpasses the cost of traditional ones.
Upon completing treatment, patients will have to wear an additional appliance for some time to maintain their new and improved smile, this appliance is called a retainer. A retainer is a part of post-treatment care for all patients regardless of the appliance they wore, the length of treatment, or the age of the patient. Retainers help keep teeth in their new position long enough for surrounding bone to form and new position to become permanent. We will be sure to instruct you on how to maintain your new and improved smile and oral health.
The Magic of OrthodonticsProper alignment of the teeth is basic to “Smile Design.” Their position dictates how they work together and affects the way you look and smile. Only orthodontic treatment can move teeth into the right position. Simply put, when things look right, they probably are right. Learn the basics of smile analysis and design and whether the magic of orthodontics will work for you… Read Article
Orthodontics for the Older AdultHealthy teeth can be moved at any age, so there’s no such thing as “too old” for braces. In fact, nowadays about one out of every five orthodontic patients is an adult. Yet this figure represents only a small portion of adults who could actually benefit from orthodontic treatment… Read Article