It’s a popular misconception that braces are for teenagers only – one that often gets in the way of people achieving the smile of their dreams. With such a busy lifestyle, it can be hard to imagine living your everyday life with the added nuisance of braces – but luckily, with modern technology and methods, straightening your teeth is no longer an unsightly and inconvenient process.
You can get braces as an adult
The bottom line is – YES – you can get braces as an adult. There is nothing stopping a person of any age from receiving tooth straightening treatment. The way that straightening works means your teeth can be moved into a straight position no matter how long they have been misaligned for. Now, the biggest questions is – what type of braces should I get?
Types of braces
There are many types of braces on the market, each with its own pros and cons. The main two contenders are traditional metal braces and clear aligners, such as Invisalign.
Traditional metal braces are the well-known “train track” style. Braces. These are fixtures, glued to the tooth surface with a metal wire connecting each fixture. Every 6 weeks or so, a patient visits their dentist to have the wires tightened, and each appointment moves your teeth closer to the required place. Traditional braces are often cheaper to purchase – the materials are lower in cost and the technology behind them is not necessarily state of the art.
Traditional braces cons
They are a good option for somebody on a budget. But they do come with a few cons. The most obvious is that these are extremely visible. There are variants that are made of partially clear materials and more discreet wiring, however the fixtures often make this a potentially unsightly treatment option – everyone will know you are wearing them. The upkeep is quite intense too – as you’ll be visiting your dentist around every 6 weeks, with each tightening appointment resulting in some soreness of the tooth and gums, and tenderness when eating.
Occasionally, a wire may snap or a fixture comes loose, which can cut the inside of your mouth and require an emergency appointment. One final thing to take into consideration is also the length of time it takes to complete treatment. As the teeth can only be moved closer to their final destination every 6 weeks or so, it can take up to three years to get your teeth into the place that you want them – that’s a pretty long treatment plan!
All that being said, if you don’t mind the upkeep and the visibility, these traditional braces can certainly save you some money and keep your costs low – something which we can all appreciate.
Are clear aligners a better option?
The other most popular option, and one that has certainly gained some traction in the last few years, are clear aligners – such as Invisalign.
Invisalign Clear Aligners
Invisalign is the leading brand of clear aligners – clever clear plastic trays created to perfectly fit your teeth. They help to straighten wonky or crooked teeth and can improve issues such as overbites, underbites or twisted teeth.
Operating since 1997, these state-of-the-art alternatives to chunky, metal braces appeared to straighten teeth in a whole new way.
Patients will get a series of aligners to wear for 22 hours per day, for a couple of weeks before moving onto the next set. Each aligner moves the teeth that little bit closer to the finished product. These trays are bespoke for the patient, created using a mould, or ‘impression’ of their teeth before starting the treatment.
Much faster treatment
They work in a similar way to traditional braces, such as a much faster rate – they work by gently pressuring out-of-line teeth into place, usually only taking between 3 and 18 months, depending on how much movement is required. This means it is a popular choice for those with limited time – for example, people who want to have straightened teeth for an event or wedding.
Clear and comfortable
Because they are made of a special clear acrylic, they are hard to spot and even cut to your gum line using a laser so that the edges of each aligner are almost invisible. You also won’t need to keep visiting your dentist to complete the treatment, saving you time and a sore mouth, compared to traditional metal braces.
Is Invisalign aligners worth the cost?
One downside to Invisalign and other clear aligners is that they do cost more than the traditionals – this is mainly due to the materials being of high quality and created using state-of-the-art computer technology and equipment in specialist labs.
However, the cost is often well worth the results. You can expect to have perfectly straightened teeth in a fraction of the time, with little discomfort and nobody having to know.
It can be hard to choose the right option for you – so why not let us help you? At Oradent we have dedicated Treatment Coordinators to help you decide the right treatment plan to fit your needs and budget. Contact us today and we would be happy to get you started on your journey to a perfect smile.