Getting Braces as an Adult: What You Need to Know
Now might be the perfect time to think about orthodontic work. As an adult, you may be ready to correct crooked teeth and realign a bite. Luckily, there are many methods and procedures available today.
Metal braces are still the most common type out there. Metal brackets and bands are cemented onto the front of each tooth and a thin metal band is held through them.
Pros: These braces are typically the least expensive option and are most likely to be covered by dental insurance. They can be used to treat most bite and tooth misalignments.
Cons: These braces are highly visible. Many patients also find them uncomfortable since there are many parts that can come into contact with the inside of the mouth, causing irritation. It’s also difficult to clean your teeth with metal braces.
Ceramic and plastic braces
Ceramic and plastic braces can be made in white or clear shades. Tooth colored ceramic and clear plastic brackets can be attached to your teeth in lieu of metal brackets. The arch wire will still be metal.
Pros: Sometimes, braces can be paired with a clear plastic wire, making orthodontic work less noticeable.
Cons: Plastic and ceramic brackets are not as strong as metal and tend to chip, crack or wear out during treatment. The cost for ceramic braces may be a little higher than metal braces.
Invisalign is a set of clear, colorless plastic aligners that fit directly over your teeth. They are replaced on a biweekly schedule to slowly shift your teeth into proper alignment.
Pros: These trays are more comfortable than other types of braces and can be removed for eating and tooth brushing. They are nearly invisible on your teeth.
Cons: Invisalign trays are not suitable for treating all types of bite problems. This treatment won’t work well for patients who don’t keep their trays in for the majority of the day. Invisalign treatment usually costs about $5,000.
Lingual braces are metal braces that are fitted on the back surface of your teeth inside the mouth. Brackets and wire are placed, so they work much in the same way as traditional braces.
Pros: These braces are virtually invisible. They are less likely to interfere with activities, since they aren’t placed between the tooth surface and the lips.
Cons: Lingual braces may cause significant discomfort for the tongue, at least at first. They are custom made, so they cost more than traditional metal braces. Some extra training is required for orthodontists, as the installation is more complex than with standard braces.
Damon braces use a passive slide mechanism to hold light archwires, which allow teeth to move more freely, quickly and comfortably. The slide mechanism eliminates the need for elastic or metal ties, which can cause discomfort and require tightening.
Pros: Studies show that treatment is up to six months faster than with traditional braces and requires fewer office visits. Damon braces feature smooth contours and round edges, which makes dental hygiene easy during treatment.
Cons: Damon braces can cost from $3,800 to $8,000, depending on the individual case.