Possibly the most pressing reason as to why anyone will need to see an orthodontist would be to improve their smile if they are feeling pretty self-conscious about it. Why wouldn’t someone feel that way about their smile, though? It’s very often one of the first things that others would notice and make a first impression about you, and considering that we see models and actors with perfect smiles in movies, television and commercials, it is very important to have a straight, clean smile in America. For adults who never had the opportunity to correct their smile when they were younger, wearing something like braces may seem very daunting, since it looks very unprofessional (and possibly a bit embarrassing, considering that children and teenagers often make fun of those who need to wear braces). There are, actually, braces for adults that are better suited for the professional atmosphere (as well as the personal one), and many adults may not realize that they have options.
In order to explore these options, you will first need to see an orthodontist. The orthodontist is a specialist in the alignment and health of teeth, and he or she will be available to answer all questions as well as help you explore the options that are better suited for your lifestyle.
The first thing you need to realize is that the orthodontist may not choose to use braces for your particular case. Every person is different, and therefore the approach that an orthodontist will depend on how you smile looks like now. If the orthodontist doesn’t feel that you need braces at first, he or she will choose to use a retainer (which brings teeth closer together) or a spacer (which brings teeth further apart if they are crowding each other). If these methods do not work for you over time, then the orthodontist will take into consideration the option for using braces, of which there are many kinds.
The one most common type of braces that everyone is familiar with are the traditional steel braces. These are the ones we tend to see teenagers or children wear. The way they work is simple – there are brackets that are attached to the teeth that need serious alignment. There are also wires that are attached to the brackets, and through careful calculations, the orthodontist will use the wires to tighten the brackets to bring the teeth into alignment. This option of course isn’t very usable for many adults, because of the way they look. What other options are there for adults? Several, actually.
The first of which would be clear braces, which behave in its mechanism much like traditional braces do except that the brackets are almost invisible. Essentially, it just takes much more effort from others to notice the braces, and considering that they are used just like traditional braces, it is a very effective form of treatment that can offer some subtlety to the treatment process for the adult.
There are also lingual braces as a good option – they behave like normal braces as well, except they are applied to the back of the teeth instead of the front. Obviously, this is what helps them become so discreet as a treatment option. The drawback to this method? Well, you won’t be able to see them at all, so in case something slips or gets loose, you will need the orthodontist to make the corrections and further adjustments. There are also slightly uncomfortable, so if you have the tolerance to wear them for the prolonged period that you will need them for, then this would be a great option for you. It’s essential to talk to your orthodontist before making this decision.
Since technology has advanced so much in the past, orthodontic treatment has certainly been affected. What came about from this new technology is the invention of Invisalign, which is a clear, plastic aligner that was designed by a computer program, made especially for you specific case. Printed by a 3-D printer, the aligners are specialized to the individual, and throughout your treatment process, you will need to come into the orthodontist’s office and exchange your current aligner with a new one to continue the treatment process until your smile is corrected. You can imagine, then, that this will be an option that can potentially be more costly, but it is a very discreet method to use as someone who works in the professional environment.
Either way, you will not know what other options you will have out there that may be a good fit unless you speak to an orthodontist!