Braces For Adults

Braces for Adults

More and more adults are looking for orthodontic treatment to correct anomalies with their teeth and although children and teenagers are the most common orthodontic patients, adults too seek to perfect their smiles.

Why adults consider having braces fitted

Private dental treatment for braces in adults has increased a lot over recent years. People want to make the most of their smile and improve the harmony of their teeth and the set of their jaw. A bite that has been corrected will make the patient more comfortable and will ensure the best for the health of all their teeth and at the same time provide optimum function.


Most orthodontics treatment will begin with your dentist referring you for a consultation.


Is Adult orthodontic treatment different to the treatment that children have?


The two are different but it is true to say that teeth can be moved in patients of any age as long as the teeth and gums are healthy. Although children will be eligible for NHS treatment for orthodontic treatment, adults will not normally be entitled. Also adults are often looking for more of an aesthetic /cosmetic result of treatment.


Some of the most common reasons for people to seek orthodontic treatment

  • Upper teeth that protrude
  • Crowded teeth in a narrow jaw
  • Gaps between teeth
  • Asymmetric teeth
  • A bite that is too deep - the upper teeth severely overlap the lower teeth
  • A reverse bite where the upper teeth are inside the lower teeth
  • An open bite where the front teeth are apart at the point where the back teeth meet.
  • An imbalance in the spacing or number of teeth or where teeth are impacted

What choice of braces is there?

The most sophisticated and the most common braces choice is the fixed brace. Made from different materials, they will mostly be silver coloured metal made of stainless steel but might also be tooth coloured or even gold. These braces will normally be fitted on the outside of the teeth although more recent developments have seen these braces fitted to the back of the teeth so that they are not as visible. These are called lingual braces. Another kind of brace is the aligner type of brace that is much like a mouth-guard and carries out a gradual moving of the teeth to the desired position. There are also removable braces made of plastic and metal that effect simple tooth movements. Your dentist will discuss what treatment would be suited to you.

How long does this kind of treatment take?

Where the straightening is uncomplicated the treatment can usually be completed in six months especially if the teeth being treated are the six front teeth. However this kind of treatment is only capable of delivering limited change and may not be a long-term solution. To affect a permanent repositioning of the teeth can take one to two years of treatment, if it is a complicated case, it may take even longer.

How will I know which of the choices is best for me?

Your dental team will discuss the pros and cons and will help you decide which of the options will offer the best result for your individual problem. You should be wary if, when you discuss the choice of braces, you are only offered one choice.

What would I expect from an orthodontist or dentist in terms of treatment etc.?

A professional dentist or orthodontist will be one who:

  • Asks if you have any concerns.
  • Outlines different treatment options as well as any risks and benefits.
  • Explains the function of different types of braces.
  • Give you an estimate of how long the treatment will take.
  • Tells you about the role of retainers at the beginning of treatment, including the likelihood that you will need to be prepared for lifelong wear to keep the teeth in their new place.
  • Discusses how likely it is that the teeth will stay in their new places when treatment ends.
  • Explains what other procedures may be needed, at the start of the treatment.
  • Gives you some time to think it over and decide if you want to proceed.
  • Supplies you with a written treatment plan and estimate of cost.
  • Tells you about their orthodontic training and how much experience they have.

The choice of braces has come on a lot in recent year and there are many different options for the youngest to the oldest patient.


There are several options that you can discuss with your dentist to ascertain which will be best for you:

  • Ceramic brackets - tooth coloured or white.
  • Lingual braces - fitted inconspicuously to the back of the teeth.
  • Aligner braces - these are removable and made from plastic fitting over the teeth to move them gradually to the right position.

Ceramic brackets:

These brackets are translucent and tooth coloured. They show less than metal brackets and are often a favoured choice of adult patients. There are, however, some drawbacks that should be considered. This kind of brace does tend to get discoloured over time and is also more prone to breaking. Additionally the wire’s sliding action through the slots is not as fluid so treatment can take longer. These types of brackets can be more costly than metal brackets and with anticipated problems might take longer and cost even more. If appearance is of paramount concern then it will be these brackets that appeal.

Lingual Braces

These braces take their name from the fact that they attach to the lingual surface of the teeth - the surface nearest the tongue. Positioned in this way these braces will be all but invisible. This kind of treatment is not as widely available as other types of braces and you should only go to a dentist who is a specialist in carrying out this procedure. The drawbacks of this type of brace are that the tongue can sometimes get sore from rubbing up against the brace and speech might also be affected initially. The cost will also be significantly more because the materials cost more and the treatment takes longer with extra training needed.


The relatively new to the market aligner type brace brings modern technology to traditional orthodontics. It works with progressive splints being worn until the teeth are brought into line. The splints are virtually unnoticeable so this is another good option if appearance is something that you are concerned about. This type of tooth straightening works well where teeth are mildly misaligned because they do not have the control to tackle more complex tooth straightening tasks. These braces will cost more due to the laboratory costs that are necessary to make the splints. Due to the fact that these braces are virtually invisible they are another good option for those for whom appearance is important.

I really don't want to wear a brace, what options are there?

Having orthodontic treatment can take a considerable time and because of that people looking for more instant results might consider having crowns or veneers fitted to their teeth so that the irregularities are disguised in that way. Doing nothing is also always an option but your Dentists Near Me dentist will discuss the pros and cons of all the treatments on offer, with you.


Veneers are small porcelain caps that are fitted onto the teeth and can disguise gaps and other imperfections. Although there is no doubt that this kind of treatment achieves quick results there are some points that you need to understand that are relevant to this kind of procedure.

  • Crowns or veneers are not expected to last forever and consideration must be given to replacements being required over the years.
  • There is only a certain amount of irregularity that these treatments can tackle. Veneers can also get very thick and crowns can be reshaped only by a limited degree.
  • Underlying gum tissues might suffer over the years from the edges of the crowns or veneers that encroach on the gums.

Will treatment be painful?

There will initially be some degree of discomfort with your treatment. There might be some tenderness and aching in the gums as the teeth begin to change position but this discomfort should soon resolve.


The actual fitting of the brace will not be painful for fixed appliances as it only involves the brackets being glued to the face of the teeth. Metal bands may be cemented around the back teeth as well but no local anaesthetic should be needed for any of these procedures. The aim is to move teeth and it is inevitable that there will be some aching from time to time as this process is accomplished. Over the counter painkillers should be enough to deal with the pain when it occurs.

What is the procedure when it comes time for my braces to be removed?

The tissues around the roots of a moved tooth and even the bone take time to adjust to the new positioning and in the early stages after the braces have been removed the risk of a relapse is high. Retainers might be recommended and they can be removable or fixed. These are a great idea if a relapse is to be avoided although both have their pros and cons.

  • Removable retainers will initially be worn full time but in time the period during which they are worn might be night time only. Your orthodontist will advise on what you should do. These retainers will need to be repaired or replaced from time to time.
  • The permanent and fixed type of retainer will normally be glued to the back of the teeth so are there all the time. Tooth cleaning is very important in this instance as food can easily get trapped and decay set in if cleaning is not very thorough. Regular inspection will ensure that there is no failure of the glue that would allow the teeth to drift.

Whatever it is that you want to discuss you will find well qualified and experience professional at Dentists Near Me at a location convenient to you.