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Adult Orthodontics

April 3, 2018 by Fairlight Dental

Everybody wants straight white teeth. Every time you switch on the TV or internet, you will see celebrities with beautiful straight white teeth. Not everyone is blessed with a natural bright white beaming smile.

Here in the UK, our teeth and smiles are often made fun of by people from other countries, as up until recently, having straight white teeth was not seen as a priority for the British population. With the advent of social media and phones that can take great pictures anywhere, the ‘millennials’ are more image conscious and a great smile is an important part of this. They are also more educated in looking after their teeth, and more and more people are keeping their own teeth for longer and want a great smile to maintain a youthful appearance – a smile makeover can knock 10 years off your appearance!!!

The trend in having a “smile makeover” became popular in this country in the early 2000’s.  American dentists led the way and came over to the UK and taught our dentists the concepts of smile design using dental veneers. This is a great treatment, but, veneers, crowns and bridges eventually need replacing. Currently, we as dentists try to be as conservative as possible. Moving the teeth and whitening them is a better option in the majority of cases.

Adult Orthodontics?

So how do we solve the problem, how do we give our patients straight white teeth? Simple, we can now provide adult orthodontics or braces for grown-ups to straighten the teeth. Most of the time, when I mention this option to patients they instantly say “No chance, I had train tracks as a child, and I’m not having them again!!!”. However, upon explaining that now braces are different, soon, our patients begin to listen and the begin to understand the benefits of braces. The whitening bit is relatively easy once the teeth are straight.

Why patients don’t want braces

Commonly, patient’s main objections to adult orthodontics are:

  • I had them when I was young and the teeth moved back
  • I don’t want train tracks
  • I don’t want braces for 2 years
  • I don’t want to have any teeth extracted for the brace to work.
  • I don’t want people to see that I have braces
  • Braces hurt

Ok, so you have to permanently retain the teeth-period!  This means some form of retainer on a permanent basis, either a removable worn at night (my personal preference!), or a wire on the back of your teeth. Most patients feel this is a small price to pay for maintaining a beautiful smile!

Newer teeth straightening systems come in tooth coloured, or completely invisible options. The treatment times are much quicker; many treatments can be completed in as little as six months! Also, these days we try to practice extraction free orthodontics – we don’t want to take any teeth out if we can avoid it.

What are the problems that adult orthodontics/braces can treat?

  • Crowded Teeth – Teeth which are twisted or overlapping
  • Spaces –  Spaces between teeth
  • Teeth that stick out
  • Fang-like Canines
  • Open Bites – Teeth do not meet when you bite, especially at the front
  • Deep Bites – You cannot see your lower teeth when you bite
  • Cross Bites – Teeth that overlap in the wrong way.

What are the options?

Now the braces are tooth coloured. These can only be seen when you are standing very close to the person. You will be shocked at how many people have this type of appliance in their mouths and you will not have known!

Clear aligners (a removable brace that looks a little like a gum shield or whitening tray) can be made to be almost invisible. This device is only removed when you eat and causes your teeth to move into a straighter position. This type of brace was made famous by the Invisalign company.

For more complex cases there are lingual braces, where the brackets are put on the palate side of your teeth.

Although a dentist, I am also a dental patient. I can totally empathise with my patients, I had aligner treatment and am really pleased with the results.

Which dentist do I go to?

We are biased and would say come and see us here at Chepstow Dental Care and we will ensure that the solution provided is the right one for you. Take advantage of our offer this month of free whitening with adult orthodontics! Call us on 01291 622450! If you cannot come and see us, then talk to your normal dentist for advice.

P.S.  Here’s one of the team on a recent night out (over 50% of us have had adult orthodontics- can you spot them!)