Adult Orthodontics

What are the benefits of adult braces?

Most people associate braces with straight teeth, but the benefits don’t end there. They can help with:

  • Removal of dental crowding or help to close spaces

  • Alignment of the upper and lower dental arches

  • Correction of the bite of the teeth so that the front teeth meet on closing and the back teeth mesh together

  • Reducing the likelihood of damage to prominent teeth

  • Enhancing facial aesthetics

  • Preparation for advanced dental treatment, such as crowns, bridges or dental implants

  • Reversing the drifting of the teeth in older patients who have suffered from advanced gum disease

 

Many people want their crowding corrected for cosmetic reasons, but from a functional point of view, crowded teeth are also harder to clean, increasing the potential for gum disease or tooth decay in those areas.

Why is adult orthodontic treatment becoming more common?

Orthodontics is not just about straight teeth - it can make a difference to your appearance, bite and overall oral health. It’s a specialty which blends science and art.

Adults wearing braces is becoming more and more common as people see the benefit of having this treatment. The most common reasons adults seek treatment are shown below:

  • Your teeth have become more crowded or have moved with age

  • You had orthodontic treatment when you were younger but stopped wearing the retainers and the teeth have moved

  • You have had some gum problems and your teeth have moved

  • You need a dental implant and you need space created as the teeth either side have moved

  • You simply want to improve your smile

  • You have seen advertising that has made you aware that orthodontic treatment in adults is possible

 

What are my options for my braces?

Technology has progressed and now there are a whole range of different braces available, each with their own pros and cons.

 

Traditional fixed braces

These are the traditional metal train tracks that have been around for many years. Over time the technology has improved making them an efficient and effective system.

Tried and tested over many years, traditional brackets and wires are very effective systems for moving teeth. They can come in metal system or a less visible ceramic tooth coloured system.

 

Removable clear aligners

These mouthguard-style aligners are individually made for you and your teeth. You are given a new aligner every few weeks to gradually move your teeth into a new position.

 

What about the fast brace system I have heard about?

In recent years there has been a growth in quick and short-term options which will improve the alignment of the front six teeth but do not give the same emphasis to the bite and function. These tend to focus on fast results but with limited objectives.

 

Before your treatment starts, ensure you are completely clear about what can and cannot be achieved. It’s important to understand how your bite may be affected if the treatment only concentrates on your smile only.

 

Is there an age limit for orthodontic treatment?

You’ll be pleased to hear that there’s no upper age limit for braces, the only criteria is to have healthy teeth and gums.

 

How long does adult orthodontic treatment take?

Treatment times vary between patients depending on what needs to be achieved. Mild problems can sometimes take just a few months to treat, while more complex problems can take closer to two years.

 

Usually, on average, comprehensive orthodontic treatment takes 12 to 18 months.

 

Can I have braces if I have crowns, fillings and root canal fillings?

Yes, in most cases we can move teeth with any restoration, provided they are healthy. We can also work around bridges and implants.

 

During your initial consultation, your teeth will be assessed and your suitability for orthodontic treatment will be discussed  you will be given the options for your teeth. If you do require any remedial work prior to braces this will be carried out and allowed to stabilise before the braces are fitted.

 

Can I whiten my teeth after braces?

Yes, you can whiten your teeth after orthodontic treatment - this is a finishing touch that many of our adult patients opt for.

Last Updated September 2019

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