Wearing braces as an adult sometimes comes with a certain social stigma. However, some people are willing to deal with temporary cosmetic compromises in order to enjoy permanent benefits. In today’s market, patients have the freedom to choose the most appropriate orthodontic treatment based on personal criteria. An initial consultation with a professional orthodontist can lead to a productive treatment plan that includes adult braces or other alternative solutions. Traditional X-rays and modern digital scans are used to determine the extent of misalignment of teeth. Based on these reliable images, braces or clear aligners can be suggested. However, some teeth might have to be extracted before any orthodontic appliances are installed.
Types of Adult Braces
Conventional orthodontic braces include small metal brackets that are bonded to teeth. Each bracket is then tied with a thin arch wire that’s also composed of a strong metal. Ligatures, elastic bands and hooks provide additional support to the brackets and wire. By manipulating the tension in the wire, our orthodontist is able to gradually move teeth into desirable positions. However, the tension exerts pressure on the roots, gums and soft tissue, which all become loose and sensitive over time. Small pieces of dental wax could help relieve some of the discomfort inside the cheeks and on the tongue.
Although they’re nearly identical to conventional braces, ceramic braces have some great aesthetic advantages. White or frosted brackets can be installed to give adult patients more confidence in social settings. Ceramic can also be fabricated in a texture that matches the natural color of enamel. Transparent arch wire and other hardware are usually paired with ceramic brackets. Compared to metal, ceramic is weaker and more likely to crack or chip.
Another alternative orthodontic solution is the installation of lingual braces. When the teeth are clenched together, these braces aren’t visible at all. However, smiling and raising the head can reveal the metal hardware that’s installed on the back surface of teeth.
Orthodontic patients who seek the ultimate convenience and aesthetic advantage should consider wearing clear braces. Technically speaking, invisible aligners are not true braces. These removable appliances are shaped and contoured to generate just enough pressure on teeth that are misaligned. More than a dozen different aligners have to be worn to successfully complete a treatment. Orthodontists usually take advantage of iTero™ technology to scan without causing any discomfort to patients. Based on the virtual renderings, the aligners can be fabricated by a third-party laboratory. The iTero™ scanning system also predicts the movement of teeth ahead of time. This equipment essentially creates digital impressions of the mouth. Therefore, patients who wear clear aligners don’t have to bite on dental trays with putty in order to get physical impressions of teeth.
You have many choices when it comes to choosing the right adult braces for your needs. Dr. Scott Runnels Orthodontics proudly serves Fort Walton Beach, Niceville, Freeport, Miramar Beach, Santa Rosa Beach, Seaside, Rosemary Beach, Panama City Beach and Panama City with customized orthodontic treatments for patients of all ages. Contact us today to schedule an appointment and learn more about the benefits of adult braces.