Which treatment you go for will be dictated by your degree of crowding or spacing, your timeframe and your budget.
Check out our earlier post on the different types of braces for adults.
The Rise Of Teeth Straightening
The demand for orthodontics (teeth straightening) services has greatly risen in recent years due, we believe, to the following reasons:
- Social media and the desire for the perfect selfie (especially Instagram!)
- Invisible braces and aligners and advances in dental orthodontic technology
- Teeth straightening has become more affordable
As a result, we see more and more people asking about teeth straightening and how it works.
In this post we're going to try and answer some of the more frequent questions we get asked.
1. How long will braces take to straighten my teeth?
This is the question we are asked the most and to be honest there is no definite answer.
It all depends on how much tooth movement is required and how out of place the teeth are to begin with.
A fairly comprehensive case which aims to correct bite issues would usually take at least 18 months but can often take longer. Dr. Paul O'Connell
Cases where we are correcting front teeth only often take a lot less time e.g. 6 months or so. Also, problems such as open bites or overbites can complicate things and may take longer.
2. What is the cheapest way to straighten teeth?
The least expensive way to straighten teeth is to focus on the front teeth only i.e. to fix the smile.
This costs a lot less than more comprehensive braces as it takes a lot less time and doesn’t generally require removable or functional appliances such as expanders or bite blocks.
Regardless of the type of braces, we always strive to be the most affordable dental providers in Ireland. Dr. Paul O'Connell
We provide payment plans and very reasonable overall costs and we are always happy to talk to you about how affordable we can make your braces.
3. What are the different options to straighten teeth?
These days we have a lot of different options to straighten teeth. We do still use the traditional metal ‘train track’ type fixed braces but mostly these are reserved for adolescents.
Adults usually prefer clear braces which can be fixed or clear aligners e.g. Invisalign. They all work and some are more suited to certain cases over others.
Our dentists and orthodontists are happy to talk you through the different types and options on your free consultation.
4. Can teeth be straightened at any age?
Pretty much yes! We've recently straightened a 70 year olds teeth and she was delighted with the result!
In general, the younger you start braces, the better, as your jaws and teeth are more malleable and move more quickly. As you age, your jaw sets and teeth become more difficult to move.
Generally changes in the bite are harder to achieve in adults but can be more straightforward in kids and adolescents. That said each case is judged on its own merits.
You’re never too old for a beautiful smile!
5. Do braces push your teeth back?
Braces are often used to retract teeth where there is an overjet (where the top teeth stick out over the bottom ones).
We can do this either by closing gaps, extracting pre-molars or in very mild cases by doing a little inter-proximal reduction called IPR.
This allows us to reduce slightly the contact points between teeth and close them together.
6. Do teeth move after braces?
Yes they will. All braces require a retainer after completing treatment. An orthodontist professor once told me:
‘moving teeth is straightforward (usually). It’s keeping them straight afterwards that’s the hard part’.
At 3Dental we offer both clear retainers (called Essix retainers) and/or a wire that is fixed to the back of the teeth called a bonded wire retainer.
7. Will braces damage my teeth?
No, braces don’t damage healthy teeth. We remove braces using burs that don’t damage enamel.
Moving teeth causes no long-term damage if the timeframe is kept minimal and the patient maintains good oral hygiene.
With long-term treatment some shortening of the roots, called root resorption can happen but this is minimal.
Congratulations on getting through all the questions and answers above! If you've read this far, we're going to assume that teeth straightening is something you are considering.