New options include:
- Clear plastic instead of silver
- Lingual braces. These braces attach to the back of the front
- Removable clear plastic aligners (Invisalign). These are
molded specifically for you.
Lingual braces and aligners don't work for everyone. They
aren't options for children. Your orthodontist can tell you the best choices
for your situation.
Orthodontic treatment for adults may also
- Removal (extraction) of teeth to create more
- Orthognathic surgery of the jaw.
retainer, after braces are removed.
- Adjustments, such as grinding
of high tips of teeth, to prevent continued or increased malocclusion for
Most adults have little or no jaw growth. This means
that surgery is the only way to correct jaw-related bite problems. Some adults
may benefit from simply camouflaging, or hiding, a jaw-related problem. Using
braces, the orthodontist can move the teeth so that they fit together, despite
the jaw discrepancy. But surgery is the best way to treat more severe jaw
What To Think About
Some cases of malocclusion
clearly require orthodontic treatment to straighten teeth. In many cases,
though, the decision is a matter of personal choice. Besides looking nice,
straight teeth can improve how you bite, chew, and speak. They are also less
prone to decay, gum disease, and injury.
timing of treatment is ultimately up to you and your
child or teen. Talk with your orthodontist about the pros and cons of treatment
Orthodontic treatment isn't an exact science. The
average treatment time is about 2 years, but it can take longer than planned.
Usually, adult treatment takes longer than a child's treatment. The treatment
time can vary, so ask your dentist how long it may last for you.
After treatment ends, teeth often begin to shift. Molded plastic
retainers, usually worn at night, help prevent this tooth movement. You may
need a retainer for an indefinite amount of time.
treatment is costly. Most medical and dental insurance plans don't pay for
orthodontics. Before deciding on treatment, ask about the projected cost, terms
of payment, and terms of the treatment contract.
treatment doesn't pose risks to adults who have healthy teeth and gums. But adults
gum (periodontal) disease must first get
treatment from a periodontist to avoid possible gum damage or tooth loss.
Orthodontic treatment sometimes can make preexisting gum conditions