Why consider orthodontics?
Many people are happy to live with crooked teeth which are not all straight and in line, and from a cosmetic point of view this is absolutely fine and does not need to be addressed. There are however some instances where crooked teeth can be more difficult to clean, often with straight teeth it is difficult to get the floss or small brushes between your teeth each night and this is made much harder if your teeth crooked or overlapping.
The result of this is that crooked teeth, because they are harder to clean, can also collect stains and plaque more readily which could lead to gum disease if not dealt with.
This means that if you have crooked teeth you really must ensure that you visit the hygienist as often as you dentist advises (typically once every six months) and possibly more if your gums need additional treatment.
Having straighter teeth not only look better but can help you achieve a healthier smile, which smells fresh and ensures you enjoy healthy teeth for life.
How do orthodontics work?
Very simply, if we apply a small amount of pressure to tooth in a given direction it will gradually move in that direction. In fact it is only the constant pressure of your cheek pushing one side and your tongue pushing the other side which keeps your teeth in the centre of your gums, in dentistry we call this the neutral zone and it is where your teeth will sit. Also if you have missing teeth, perhaps if you’ve lost a tooth towards the back of your mouth, then the adjacent teeth will start to fall into this gap and the opposite teeth will drift up or down respectively into the space.
This is also because your teeth have a tendency to naturally move if they are not supported in the neutral zone, bearing this in mind if we apply pressure one-way teeth move quite readily.
What type of adult orthodontics are available?
Typically orthodontics are split into 3 specific categories.
- The most cost-effective adult orthodontics.
- Invisible orthodontics.
- Rapid or fast orthodontics.
Cost effective adult orthodontics
Many people look for the alternative which provides the cheapest orthodontic braces, whilst we don’t you any orthodontic treatment as cheap we do provide more cost-effective options, in summary these are.
Each of these systems offers a slightly different view and technique. Six month smiles, ceramic braces and stainless steel braces are all fixed orthodontic options. Because they are fixed they have the ability to move teeth quickly and whilst not being completely invisible are a genuinely good cost-effective option.
The inman aligner normally works out as the cheapest orthodontic system, it consists of a removable appliance which by its nature is more bulky and visible. One of the biggest advantages of the Inman Aligner is its ability to move teeth very rapidly and at a lower cost than many other systems.
Invisible adult orthodontics.
Some people are not particularly bothered about rapid orthodontics or having the cheapest orthodontics, they simply want no-one to know and so they opt for invisible braces. These systems give you that invisible advantage and include:
Invisalign works by having a removable clear brace which fits over all of your teeth. It is like a thin plastic sheet which is precisely moulded to the shape of your teeth but applies pressure to move them. Each plastic aligner moves your teeth a small amount and you simply replace it once every two weeks. In the planning stages of Invisalign we will work out how many aligners you will need to move your teeth, each aligner moves your teeth small amount towards their final destination.
Incognito braces fixed to the inside of your teeth. They are not removable like Invisalign but because they go on the inside of your teeth are completely invisible to the outside. Not everyone is suitable for Incognito or Invisalign so you will need to have a full assessment to ensure that your bite is adequately positioned to allow these braces to fit on the inside of your teeth.
Rapid adult orthodontics.
If you are not particularly bothered that other people know you are having orthodontic treatment and simply want to get it over and done with as fast as possible then these quick adult orthodontic options could be right for you.options include
Once again you will see these three systems appearing again, this makes this type of treatment highly desirable – especially as the cost can be lower also (please see the cost section above). There are however some downsides to these rapid systems, and that is they usually only treat front teeth.
Back teeth have a much bigger root system and are therefore more solidly fixed into the bone of your jaw, this means moving them takes a longer period of time and is often done with a specialist orthodontist rather than using these limited outcome orthodontic systems. If you only have front teeth which need to be moved then one of these rapid adult orthodontic treatments could work perfectly for you.
When do adult orthodontics not work?
This is a great question. Most of the systems above, with the exception of stainless steel brackets, are considered either limited outcome orthodontics or short term orthodontics. These phrases are used interchangeably within the profession to indicate orthodontic treatments which can be provided by a general dentist rather than a specialist orthodontist.
The result is that if your front teeth are crooked but your back teeth are fine then the orthodontic options listed above could work excellently for you. If however you need to move your back teeth also you may find that many of the systems are not suitable and that you will need to see a specialist orthodontist. (Just as a sidenote if you are looking for a specialist orthodontist in Bristol or Portishead then our practice could be the perfect solution for you).
How much does adult orthodontics cost?
This truly is a difficult question to answer as it is a little like saying how much does a car cost? It depends on which car, and in dentistry it depends on many clinical factors. Unfortunately the more complex your case is the chances are that it will cost more to achieve the result that you are looking for. For teenagers we offer orthodontic treatments from £1500 for both upper and lower teeth. Adult orthodontics begins at £1350 through to around £2500 for Six Month Smiles.
If you shop around and visit many dental practice websites you could find this cheaper, however with our state-of-the-art practice in a convenient location with the advantages of our specialist orthodontist and our years of experience we know that you want more than just cheap dentistry!
Evolve Dentistry is a private dental practice offering orthodontics for adults and children in the Bristol and Portishead area.