In recent years, with the development of technology and the invention of other, alternative methods regarding the alignment of teeth, adult orthodontics is constantly gaining ground.
Most people think that orthodontic treatment is only for children and teenagers, but the truth is that today, one in four patients is an adult. This is because modern technology in medicine has led to the production of orthodontic appliances that are more discrete and comfortable than the aligners of the past. There has never been a better time than now to seek orthodontic treatment as an adult.
Adult patients aim, either at the complete restoration of their occlusal problem, or they turn to the orthodontist after a referral from their dentist, so that after a short period of orthodontic treatment, they can continue with prosthetic treatment in their mouths in order to create more favourable conditions. Other times the referral is made by the periodontist with the aim of orthodontically moving the periodontal teeth into a more favourable position and then immobilising them in this position so that they do not receive excessive forces. In these latter cases there is close cooperation between the orthodontist and the general or specialist dentist.
There are usually different reasons why adults aim to improve their smile. Initially, patients are encountered who have never been treated, for various reasons. In other cases there are adults who have already had braces at some point in their lives, but now they have to repeat the treatment, due to a relapse related to incorrect or non-existent use of the special mechanism for maintaining the orthodontic effect (retainer). But there are also cases of adult patients who did not need orthodontics when they were younger, but need it now because their wisdom teeth have started to erupt and displace their remaining teeth.
But in addition to the above, there is also a multitude of different dental problems that can be treated by adult orthodontics, the most common of which are:
- The correction of prognathism of the lower jaw. This happens when the upper arch teeth are further back than the lower ones.
- The palate expansion, with the aim of restoring its narrowness.
- Addressing crowding within the oral cavity, as it is not large enough to accommodate all of the patient’s teeth.
- The treatment of open bite. This occurs when the patient bites or smiles and there is a gap between the upper and lower arches, causing the upper and lower front teeth not to touch.
- The treatment of increased horizontal prothesis, when the teeth of the upper arch protrude more or exceed those of the lower arch.
- The treatment of excessive occlusion, which involves covering the lower teeth from above when the patient bites.
- The treatment of the gap between the teeth (teeth spacing).
Most cases these days can be treated with great success through the transparent splint method. These are a series of fully customised clear polyurethane braces that completely cover the teeth and can be removed during meals.
Invisalign clear braces are the most popular orthodontic treatment for adults, and are often referred to as “invisible braces” because of their discreet appearance. This is because these mouthpieces are transparent and specially made, so that they fit comfortably on the teeth. As a treatment, it applies gentle pressure (of the order of 0.25 millimeters per aligner) on the teeth that need to be moved, while at the same time it may be necessary to use attachments to help the braces move the teeth more efficiently.
Invisalign clear braces are made of a high-quality medical material called polyurethane and created with the latest technology. They are the most comfortable and functional orthodontic option for adults. With them, the patient can brush their teeth unhindered and maintain good oral hygiene by flossing regularly, making them an excellent alternative to conventional braces.
The advantages resulting from orthodontic treatment for adults are the following:
- Improved aesthetics.
- Improved health, as it facilitates chewing, digestion and certain respiratory or muscle problems can be treated.
- Improved articulation.
- Preparation for subsequent treatment, as orthodontics can help prepare the oral cavity for other dental procedures, such as implants that require space.
This minimally invasive treatment can be used throughout the day, while also providing the option of removal during meals. Also, due to the fewer components that this treatment has, it is worth noting that it has fewer complications than conventional braces that can break, irritate or even injure the inside of the oral cavity. Orthodontic results for adults can be just as good as for teenagers and children.