Ask A Burton Dentist – Invisible Braces

A patient asks us about straightening his teeth in middle age.

In the next question from a patient of Mike Allen’s Dental Practice, we look at straightening teeth in our adult years.

Q. I have always had teeth that were slightly crooked, but not enough so to bother me; especially because the thought of wearing dental braces totally put me off. I have noticed though that they seem to be getting worse as I get older (I am now in my mid forties), and I am starting to feel self conscious about them. Am I too late to have them straightened?

Thank you for your question. The situation you mention is quite common and a lot of people do avoid dental braces during the early stages of their teeth becoming crooked. This is probably due to traditional braces appearing unsightly and at a time when looks are seem to be especially important because of peer pressure and style magazines etc. Of course, our appearance may well concern us at any age, and the good news is that dental braces can be used for adults as well as teenagers.

You will also be happy to hear that the traditional metal braces generally used, are not the only choice that patients have these days, and a wide range of ‘near invisible braces‘ are available at our Burton practice. These braces take various forms. Even those that follow the general system of traditional braces, which, it should be said, are still a highly effective method, use much finer materials for the wires and brackets. Modern braces are also tooth coloured to make them even more discreet.

Whilst there are invisible braces that are designed to straighten a full set of teeth, and can take a year or more for the results to be seen; there are also some which are designed to be used primarily for cosmetic purposes. Unlike other braces, they work by straightening the visible teeth only, ignoring the more difficult to move rear teeth. This means that, if you are looking to improve your smile only, this can often be done in a much shorter period of time.

Finally, there is a new generation of invisible orthodontics which avoid the use of wires and brackets altogether, and, instead, consist of a series of ‘trays’ which fit over the teeth; each moving the teeth just a little further than the previous one. With regards to your teeth looking more crooked than before; without a full examination, I can’t say if there is a specific underlying cause, but once teeth start to move, they also leave spaces into which other teeth can encroach. Over a period of time, this ‘domino effect’  is often the reason that teeth become more crooked, the older we get, if left untreated.

My recommendation would be to make an appointment at our Burton cosmetic dentists so that we can examine your teeth and discuss the best way forward for you. Please call Mike Allen’s Dental Practice on 01283 845345 to make an appointment, and I look forward to meeting you.