In a perfect world, people would be born with straight teeth – teeth that line up similar to that of the keys on a piano. However, we do not live in a perfect world and many often worry about having crowded smiles, crooked teeth and/or misaligned bites. Such cases, though, aren’t solely an aesthetic problem.
For example, crowded and crooked teeth are difficult to clean and are more prone to tooth decay and gum disease. Meanwhile, bad bites or malocclusions can cause problems with speaking, chewing and swelling, as well as put additional strain on the chewing muscles, which may eventually lead to facial pain.
Although most dental care professionals would recommend that such problems be treated while patients are still young, they aren’t exactly against those who opt for orthodontic treatment well into their adult years.
If you’re already an adult and you’re considering orthodontic treatment for your teeth, you may want to keep in mind a few things.
For starters, because your bones have already stopped growing, your orthodontist may recommend that you undergo surgery to accomplish the necessary structural changes in your teeth. Also, the treatment for adults may take as long as two years, if not longer.
Your orthodontist may also recommend that you have your teeth and gums checked by a general dentist and/or a periodontist first. This is to minimize the risks for complication resulting from gum disease.
How Treatment Works
To put simply, what orthodontic treatment does is place pressure on the teeth, slowly “pushing” them to their ideal position. Orthodontists accomplish this by attaching mechanical devices or appliances to the teeth.
There are many types of orthodontic appliances used to straighten teeth, but braces are, by far, the most common. This is because these dental appliances are extremely versatile and are able to move plenty of teeth in a variety of directions.
The typical treatment takes around one to two hours, after which you’ll have to visit the dentist every few weeks or months for adjustments.
Choosing The Right Type of Braces
Adults and working professionals who’re looking for orthodontic treatment for their crooked, misaligned and crowded smiles don’t have to worry much anymore about unnecessarily standing out because of their braces.
Besides the traditional metal braces, there are other options today, including ceramic braces, invisible lingual braces and even invisible and removable braces known as Invisalign.
Of course, metal braces are still the cheapest and considered the “go-to” treatment of choice for a variety of cases. However, if you only need to have your upper teeth fixed, you can opt for ceramic tooth-colored braces and not have to feel as self-conscious whenever you smile.
Lingual braces are also another option and they work similarly to metal braces. Though, instead of being fitted in the front, lingual braces are custom-fitted to the back and hidden from plain sight. The problem with lingual braces, however, is that they cost significantly more than traditional braces and are much harder to clean.
Invisalign is also another alternative and is considered the best looking out of all the braces. The treatment straightens teeth using invisible aligners that you can also remove at any time, preferably when eating or brushing. The downside is that the treatment is costly and is not suitable for cases of severe crowding and malocclusion.
In any case, regardless of which type of orthodontic appliance is used to straighten your teeth, the results will still be the same and you’ll still end up with a better-looking smile.
If you are interested in straightening your teeth with the help of orthodontics, contact Dr. James Yankowskas with Tyngsboro Cosmetic Dentistry at 987-649-7773 to schedule a consultation today. Or visit www.tyngsborocosmeticdentist.com for additional information about braces.
Dr. James Yankowskas proudly accepts patients from Lowell, Nashua, Dracut, Chelmsford, Dunstable and surrounding areas.