Orthodontic treatment is not just for children and teenagers. In fact, it's never too late to achieve a beautiful smile. Orthodontics for adults has been booming in recent years. Today, more and more patients are getting braces. HELVIDENT explains when to consult an orthodontist. What are the different solutions? How long does treatment last?
Why consult an orthodontist?
Orthodontics is a specialty of dentistry. In other words, an orthodontist is a dental practitioner who has completed additional training after his or her initial training. In Switzerland, orthodontics is one of four federally recognized specializations, alongside oral surgery, periodontology and reconstructive dentistry.
Contrary to popular belief, teeth alignment can be corrected at any age. For a minor defect, you can contact a trained dental surgeon. If the situation is more complex, we recommend consulting an orthodontist in Lausanne, Fribourg or Aigle at one of HELVIDENT's dental clinics.
Reasons for adult orthodontic consultations
Adults generally seek orthodontic treatment for the following reasons:
- Overlapping teeth
- Dental misalignment
- Teeth too far forward
- Spaces between teeth
- An unharmonious set of teeth
- Secondary tooth migration following periodontal disease
- Dental crowding due to aging of the dentition
Aesthetic or functional care?
Teeth perform essential functions. They enable not only chewing, but also phonation. If teeth are misaligned or missing, they can lead to a handicap that impairs the patient's quality of life. Orthodontic treatment for adults is therefore primarily functional. Of course, by correcting your teeth, you'll also have a beautiful smile. You also gain in terms of aesthetics.
Types of braces for adults
In the collective imagination, braces tend to be associated with visible, unattractive and painful braces. However, in response to growing demand from adult patients, braces have evolved to offer greater discretion. What's more, now that growth is complete, adults benefit from a more comfortable feel than children.
Here's a list of braces for adults:
- Traditional bands: this is the most economical option, but also the least aesthetic.
- Multi-ring or multi-attachment braces: these consist of metal dental wire and more discreet ceramic elements. They are versatile and can treat a variety of problems.
- Lingual braces: the orthodontist places them on the back of the teeth. The advantage lies in the discreetness of the appliance, but at the cost of discomfort for the tongue.
- Invisible, removable, disposable aligners: this new type of adult braces is made of transparent plastic from the patient's dental impressions. The aligners must be worn for at least 20 hours a day, 24 hours a day. They also need to be changed regularly during treatment.
In complex cases, braces alone are not enough. Your orthodontist in Fribourg, Lausanne or Aigle may recommend surgery.
Duration of orthodontic treatment
The time required to correct an adult patient's teeth varies according to a number of factors. You'll need to take into account the nature of the problem to be treated, as well as the type of braces worn. Only your orthodontist will be able to estimate the duration of treatment after your consultation. On the whole, you can expect at least 6 months for minor problems. More complex treatments can take up to 30 months.
At the end of treatment, your orthodontist will consolidate the result. To do this, he or she will fit a night retainer or a wire retainer. These techniques ensure the long-term alignment of your teeth.
The price of braces depends on the type of appliance chosen, the complexity of the problem and the duration of the treatment. Orthodontic treatment for adults remains expensive.
Is it painful?
It's true that braces used to be rather unpleasant to wear. Fortunately, technical advances have brought their share of innovations in the field of orthodontics for adults and children. Wearing braces is now less painful and much easier to bear on a daily basis. Wires are more flexible, while brackets are smaller. You're bound to feel a tugging sensation when you first break them in, and each time you readjust them.
HELVIDENT welcomes you to its three dental clinics in Fribourg, Lausanne and Aigle. Our dentists and orthodontists perform all dental procedures. Don't hesitate to Contact us to schedule a consultation.