Orthodontics For Adult: Basic Treatment Types For A Perfect Smile

Orthodontics For Adult: Basic Treatment Types For A Perfect Smile

May 20, 2021

Orthodontics is a field of dentistry that diagnoses and corrects teeth and jaws that are ill-positioned and bite patterns that are misaligned. Most of these treatments are progressive and, therefore, require time for positive results to appear.

Is Orthodontics Only For Kids?

This is a misconception that adults tend to have when it comes to orthodontics—that they are only for young children. But, contrary to popular belief, adults can benefit from orthodontic treatments, too. Take a look at some of the basic treatments available to adult patients:

Basic Orthodontic Treatments

1. Braces 

Dental braces are alignment tools wherein brackets are adhered to each tooth and are regularly adjusted to forward your teeth’ alignment development.

These “brackets” are typically made of metal, although there are options for ceramic and/or plastic as well. Like the brackets, the coils, wires, wire ligatures, and hooks are also composed of metal. In contrast, its other parts like the separator, elastic ligature, and elastic chain are either latex or vinyl.

Patients who are allergic to these elastics can opt for their non-synthetic alternative.

There is a reason why braces are “glued” on with a tough, specialized bonding agent. The glue is used to affix brackets securely since you wear your braces for about two to three years or more.

And after that, you will be prescribed a set of retainers. Retainers are to be worn consistently for several months to a year or two.

2. Clear Aligners 

Clear aligners are well-known from the brand “Invisalign.” These removable aligners are used to align teeth gradually. Your dentist will plan your dental condition and map out how many aligners you will be using throughout the treatment.

Each new tray will differ in structure to slowly advance the alignment process.

Clear aligners generally necessitate 12 to 18 months before maximum results are seen. However, it is possible to notice minor teeth shifting in less than a few weeks from your first day of putting them on these trays.

Ensure to follow your dentist’s recommendation regarding these invisible braces for adults, which is to wear at least 22 hours daily.

3. Lingual Braces 

Lingual braces are similar to traditional braces. However, they are glued to the distal or “back” part of your teeth. Therefore, the brackets, coils, and wires are not visible when you smile.

These braces require adjustments, much like their traditional alternative.

You will have to wear lingual braces for about one to two years. At any rate, extremely overcrowded teeth will need an extra year or two. Afterward, I will fashion a retainer for you once your braces are removed.

4. Self-Ligating Braces 

Self-ligating braces function the way traditional braces do. Each bracket is bonded onto the anterior (front surface) of your teeth. But instead of having metal ties or elastics for securing the archwire in position, the self-ligating type has either an active or a built-in passive mechanism. This mechanism works as a door-like tool in locking the archwire to the brackets.

Active self-ligating braces require some pressure around the spring clip as it is slid in place. In contrast, passive self-ligating braces do not require pressure. Instead, your dentist will slide them through.

Despite the differences in their mechanism for holding the archwire and keeping it from moving, self-ligating braces are similar to traditional and lingual braces in function and treatment duration. They require a minimum of 12 to 24 months of treatment, with scheduled adjustments in between.

5. Surgical Orthognathic Procedure

Also called “orthognathic,” orthognathic surgery or “jaw surgery” is a dental operation that corrects severely misaligned teeth and jaws. This is an option for patients whose dental conditions are untreatable by orthodontic devices alone.

Patients with congenital disabilities in and around the oral cavity, along with those who have suffered from major accidents, can go for this type of dental surgery. Beyond cosmetic purposes, orthognathic surgery aims to repair teeth and jaw abnormalities permanently.

The surgery itself will take two to six or more hours. But the treatment duration, which includes a lengthy healing process, may last from one to three years. Furthermore, patients who undergo orthognathic surgery may still be prescribed specific orthodontic devices as a post-surgery treatment.

To schedule a consultation for orthodontic treatment in Del Mar, CA, give Sunny Smiles Kids a call. We provide orthodontic treatment to kids, teenagers, and adults.