Orthodontics for Adults
Now more than ever before adults are choosing to undergo Orthodontic treatment to correct a myriad of dental health problems. The reasons are varied and include:
- Tooth alignment for a straight smile
- Close spaces between teeth
- Correct jaw misalignment which can cause headaches jaw and neck pain
- Correct dental problems caused by a missing tooth
Adults have special needs in their Orthodontics treatment, as the rapid facial growth that occurred during childhood and adolescence is completed and therefore, cannot be incorporated into their treatment plan.
Adults generally have a dentition that has been modified (sometimes extensively) due to tooth wear, previous dental or Orthodontic procedures, disease and other factors such as trauma, which may include tooth loss or facial bone damage such as a broken jaw. The health of the soft tissues which surround the tooth (periodontium or gum) requires careful assessment to ensure that future problems do not arise. Time pressures with work and availability for treatment are also a greater concern to many adults. Therefore, there are many additional factors, which modify the treatment options that are available to correct their malocclusion.
Generally adult Orthodontic treatment progresses smoothly. Due to a high level of acceptance and motivation, most adults are more cooperative than adolescents, which result in treatment duration of between 18-24 months for many procedures. The use of clear braces can further improve the experience, as these appliances are considerably less noticeable than traditional metal braces. For mild crowding problems, it is possible to use invisible clear aligners or hidden braces, which are not detectable to correct the alignment of your teeth.
With adult treatment, tooth extraction to relieve moderate to severe crowding or bite discrepancies may be required. Where Orthopaedic expansion or a large correction of the bite is required, surgical assistance is usually provided by our specialist Oral Surgeon. When extractions are needed, the pattern chosen often has to be modified to take into account existing fillings or complex dental restorations such as bridge work or dental implants.
Another important area of adult Orthodontics is ‘adjunctive’ to other dental procedures. When complex, multidisciplinary treatment is needed, Orthodontic scan be used to streamline and simplify the treatment and significantly improve the outcome, both functionally and aesthetically.