Types of Treatment Options
Treatment options for adults can include conventional braces, fixed braces made from natural looking materials, and Invisalign. Conventional braces made from materials like plastic and metal are the most cost effective while braces made from materials like clear plastic and ceramic are less obvious. Both of these types of braces present the same level of effectiveness and the same treatment times.
Invisalign, however, is a treatment option that does not rely on fixed orthodontic appliances and instead involves wearing retainer-like aligners that fit over the teeth. Aligners are custom made and fit snuggly. Their fit will apply constant yet gentle force to teeth to facilitate their movement. Every two weeks, a set of aligners is exchanged for a new, tighter set. Invisalign is popular among adults because it is very discreet looking, comfortable, and removable. Aligners are worn all day long but can be removed for short amounts of time. This allows patients to eat, brush, and floss without obstruction.
Tooth Alignment and TMJ Dysfunction
Patients who struggle with TMJ disorder or orofacial pain may benefit from orthodontic treatment. As we get older, our teeth become worn down. Worn dentition will affect our occlusions and eventually lead to strain on the TMJ (temporomandibular joint) and the facial muscles that support all mouth movement. This strain can cause discomfort, disrupted oral function, and permanently damage the TMJ. Moreover, patients who have never had orthodontic treatment and have issues with their occlusion may end up developing TMJ disorder. If a dentist suspects occlusal issues are to blame for TMJ disorder, he or she may refer adult patients to our office for treatment. By aligning teeth, our team can improve a patient’s bite and help relieve some of the stress on the TMJ.
If you have never worn braces or if your teeth have shifted out of alignment years after orthodontic treatment, our team can help you achieve the straight smile you have always wanted. If you have been considering braces, we invite you to give our practice a call to schedule a consultation with one of our experienced orthodontists.
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Frequently Asked Questions
Clear braces can refer to fixed appliances that are constructed from clear and tooth-colored materials or plastic aligner systems like Invisalign. Both options provide an inconspicuous, more natural approach to treatment, which may be ideal for adults who don’t want to wear obvious orthodontic appliances.
Fixed braces made from plastic and tooth-colored ceramics enjoy the same efficacy as metal braces. These types of braces can correct occlusal and spacing issues. Invisalign does not involve fixed oral appliances, however. This treatment option involves wearing removable appliances made of plastic. Called aligners, these appliances are custom made from computer-generated specifications. They fit snugly over teeth to create consistent pressure, which like conventional braces, is used to move teeth over time. Invisalign is worn throughout the day and night – except during meals and when brushing and flossing.