What is adult orthodontics?
Adult orthodontics is the process of correcting crooked teeth to produce a straight, confident and beautiful smile.
How is adult orthodontics different from children’s orthodontics?
On adult orthodontics we mainly concentrate on the appearance of the front teeth, and would tend to accept the position of the back teeth. With children’s orthodontics, it may well be necessary to move some of the back teeth as well as some of the front teeth to achieve a stable smile. This can be achieved in adults without having to move the back teeth.
Is adult orthodontics available within the NHS?
Probably not; there may be certain circumstances where referral to a specialist teaching hospital may allow an adult to undergo orthodontic treatment within the Health Service. Predominantly it is a cosmetic procedure which is provided privately.
How much would adult orthodontics cost?
Usually between £2000 and £4500, depending on the choice of treatment and the complexity of your problem.
What end result would adult orthodontics produce?
What we aim to produce with adult orthodontics is an arrangement of the top teeth such that the central incisors, the middle teeth, are level and in the midline. The adjacent teeth, the lateral incisors, should sit in a nice arc and not appear crooked. They are a little higher than the central incisors. The canine teeth should also sit in the line of the arc and should be on the same level as the incisors.
The lower teeth should also sit in a nice curve; none of them should be irregularly place, either forward or backwards.
So, if we can achieve this, a person will; have a confident attractive smile.
OK, so how do you do that?
There is a choice of three different techniques:
Tooth coloured brackets are placed on to the front six teeth and have a tooth coloured wire running in these brackets, with small elastic bands securing the wire. This procedure is called Cfast (Cosmetically Focused Straight Wire Treatment) and usually takes around six months to complete.
The wire can also be placed on the back of the teeth. This is possible is certain cases where the crowding is not too complex.
The third option is to have clear aligners. These are a series of clear plastic ‘shell’, which gently reposition the teeth I a process that may take between 12 weeks to 12 months.
What happens if I have a really bad bite?
If the situation is really tricky, it may be that a private referral to a specialist orthodontist is the best course.
We focus here at Fresh Dental Care on simple and moderate cases where the patient wants a cosmetic solution rather than total orthodontic treatment, i.e., we provide treatment to improve appearance rather than function.
How would the procedure work?
Records are taken which are then sent to a laboratory where they are digitised, and on the digital representation the teeth are straightened. We can then see what treatment is required. This is then custom made for you and fitted. After treatment the appliances are removed and retention is fitted.
What is retention?
Although the teeth are now straight, there is a tendency for the teeth to move back towards the original, pre treatment position. The teeth are ‘retained’ in their new position with a fine wire bonded to the back of the teeth. Sometimes this may not be possible on the upper teeth and then we would provide a clear removable retainer, which you would wear at night.
Are there alternatives to adult orthodontics?
Yes, it’s perfectly possible to have smile design porcelain veneers, where the position of the teeth can be reshaped. This is more destructive, compared with orthodontically moving the teeth, but is a much quicker treatment.