Orthodontics for Adults – Invisible Braces
Although childhood or adolescence is the optimum time for orthodontic treatment, there are options for older ages as well. However, the requirements for starting an orthodontic treatment as an adult are more demanding, as both periodontal (absence of gingivitis or periodontitis, proper oral hygiene) and dental health (absence of caries, acceptable restorations) are necessary.
A major concern for adults who decide to undergo orthodontic treatment is the aesthetic aspect. The most common way of treatment, is the bonding of brackets (braces) to the teeth and the orthodontic wire that exerts the forces.
The alternatives in terms of braces are: metal, ceramic or clear braces, which are welded to the outer surfaces of the teeth, and lingual (internal) braces, which are the most aesthetic choice of all. The last alternative is to weld the brackets to the inner surfaces of the teeth, making them practically invisible.
The transparent braces (Invisalign) technique is also very popular for adults. In this technique, the patient wears a series of personalised splints, which are made of hard transparent plastic and exert forces on the teeth in order to move them to desired positions. The splints must be worn for most of the day, for at least 20 hours. This practically translates to the fact that they are only removed at mealtimes or on special occasions.
Orthodontics with transparent splints is the main preference of adults, as it brings together significant advantages such as ease of oral hygiene, fewer appointments with the orthodontist, no permanently bonded appliances in the mouth, maintaining the same eating habits as before since there are no restrictions as with braces and fewer extraordinary incidents.