Orthodontic Appliances for Adults
Unfortunately, many people, even several dentists, think orthodontic treatment in adults would be extremely risky or even impossible. In fact, there is no limit whatsoever concerning the age for orthodontic treatment and adult treatment does not carry higher risks than that of children and young adults.
The treatment duration is normally a little longer and often complicated by abraded teeth, loss of teeth, artificial dentures or earlier periodontal disease. However, today there is no age limit at all for the treatment with braces, and even seniors in old age have been treated with orthodontic appliances in our offices without any problems.
Many orthodontists do not treat adults for two reasons: not only is it technically more difficult, but also do adult patients often demand much more discussion than young patients. In our offices, we have got the knowledge and the longtime experience for the treatment of adults, as well as the will to meet their need for information.
Before Orthodontic Treatment
The most common wish of adult patients is to accomplish better aesthetics of their front teeth. While the treatment of children mostly aims at attaining perfection in all aspects, adults often have their front teeth straightened but have a large overbite or a deep bite left uncorrected. These are results from our consultation, in which we always ask our patients to tell us their treatment wishes.
In this way most adult patients’ desires are fulfilled pragmatically and at the same time unsuitably invasive, demanding and expensive measures are avoided. No, orthodontists do not always have to rebuild the whole house!
If requested, even extreme tooth and jaw misalignments in adults can be corrected completely by cooperating with a maxillofacial surgeon. First, the dental arches are straightened and coordinated by the orthodontist. Afterwards, the oral surgeon will reposition one or both jaws surgically. These procedures – the so-called orthognathic surgery – have been routine for 50 years, have been steadily improved and have manageable burdens and risks.
The big question with adults is always with which orthodontic appliances they should be treated. For small to medium size treatments, removable, transparent aligners or fixed braces may be considered. The decision in these cases depends solely on the patient’s personal preferences. Extensive treatments are best performed with fixed appliances that can quickly and precisely perform all tasks without limiting your life. Aligner as well as fixed braces usually do not trigger speech impediments and are therefore fully suitable for everyday use.
After Orthodontic Treatment
Since 1999, we have been offering braces attached to the backside of the teeth which are completely invisible, the so called lingual technique, to especially demanding adult patients who do not want to wear fixed visible braces in public. Since 2001, we have also been offering the Invisalign system. Invisalign is a treatment procedure with removable, transparent aligners that can be worn by adults all day long. With both of these techniques (lingual technique, since 1999) and Invisalign (since 2001) we belong to the orthodontic pioneers in Germany.