From mild cosmetic issues to more severe matters, patients will seek the services of an orthodontist for a variety of reasons, but many avoid doing so due to concerns about their appearance during treatment.
For the most part, teen patients are willing to endure years of orthodontic treatment in order to beautify their smiles for life. On the other hand, orthodontic appliances were once quite noticeable and this fact still deters many adults from receiving treatment.
Luckily, several recent innovations, some virtually undetectable, have made a number of personal options available to patients and led to an increase in the number of adults seeking the services of an orthodontist.
Avoiding orthodontic treatment can cause serious periodontal problems, but removable aligner trays make treatment more appealing to adults while allowing them to maintain better oral hygiene.
When appropriate, Invisalign is a great choice for adults wanting to improve their smiles while they also maintain their overall appearance.
First of all, users of these comfortable, nearly invisible, and highly discreet, aligner trays have reported that the devices are more comfortable and much easier to maintain than traditional braces.
With Invisalign, the treatment times for several issues including protruding and crooked teeth, malocclusions, and overbites, are often reduced. In addition, Invisalign trays require less adjustment and fewer office visits than other devices.
When developing your treatment plan, an attentive orthodontist will consider your individual needs, goals, and finances and work with you to determine the best course of action.
Depending on your situation, you may be limited to a specific appliance for the correction of your smile. Then again, you could be given a choice between several types of devices.
Designed to blend with the natural color of your teeth, ceramic braces are less noticeable than traditional braces and produce faster results than aligners.
However, the brackets are easily stained and will cost more expensive than their metal counterparts.
Archaeologists have found evidence that devices resembling today’s metal braces were being used to straighten teeth and fix various dental conditions as far back as Cleopatra’s reign.
Since then, the brackets have gotten smaller and the use of ligatures and rubber bands has shortened treatment times. At the same time, new heat-activated archwires are producing faster results with a lot less pain.
While traditional metal brackets are still quite a bit more noticeable than other options and remain the most affordable choice available, some dental deformities do require their use.
Colorful elastic ties in the form of bands, threads, or chain, long ligatures, are sometimes used in conjunction with these metal brackets to tie several teeth together. Adolescents, especially, seem to enjoy expressing themselves with an endless array of options.
Treatment Plans: Very Personal & Highly Functional
Each method of orthodontic repair will require a specific timeframe for treatment. In some situations, patients may need to see their orthodontist every four to five weeks for three years or more.
Similarly, some patients will need to undergo the extraction of one or more teeth to reduce crowding and make room for any planned adjustments. Other appliances, such as headgear or a face mask, may be needed as well.
Seeing an orthodontist is often a personal choice and patients should feel comfortable throughout the entirety of their treatment. Thankfully, the availability of various devices makes this easy to accomplish.
Teens have the opportunity to show their school spirit with bold colors or, if desired, an adult can keep his or her treatment under wraps.