Published on October 13, 2016, Updated on April 24, 2020
Advances in science and medicine offer adult orthodontics with more choices than ever for your treatment goals and needs. For adult patients who fear the cosmetic impact of orthodontics, Dr. T.C. Hardy offers alternative methods to traditional metal braces that are much less conspicuous and more comfortable. Gone are the days when your only option for straightening your teeth were noticeable, traditional metal braces with their accompanying metal brackets and wires. If you were unable to have your teeth straightened in your youth, or if your smile has changed over time after having braces in your youth, you have options!
One of the things that excites us at Hardy Pediatric Dentistry and Orthodontics is the ability we have–in this day and age–to give our patients treatment options. Never before have there been so many options available for your adult orthodontics needs and goals.
Misaligned bites can cause headaches, TMJ jaw pain, tooth injuries, tooth decay, speech problems, chewing and digestion issues and reduced self-esteem. Most adults understand the need for adult orthodontics, but are hesitant to seek it out because they worry about how it will impact their professionalism or image. The good news is, we have options that can straighten your teeth without anyone noticing. Our most popular, discreet options for adult orthodontics include: short-term braces, ceramic clear braces, hidden lingual braces, and Invisalign clear, removable aligners. These treatment methods, allow us to offer you shorter treatment times and with nearly invisible bracket systems.
Some working professionals and adult patients are only interested in aligning their front six teeth–the teeth that are most apparent when they smile. If you don’t have complicated orthodontic issues that would disqualify you for short-term braces, we offer this treatment option for fast, effective smile improvement. This alignment process doesn’t work to adjust the occlusion (bite). If your primary goal with adult orthodontics is a straighter smile, we can evaluate your smile/occlusion and see whether short-term braces will succeed for your needs.
Ceramic Clear braces are another popular adult orthodontics option that more and more are turning to. Ceramic clear braces give you the convenience and functionality of the traditional metal bracket system, but we custom-match them to the color of your teeth so that they blend in. The ceramic bracket offers a cosmetic benefit that many of our patients feel supply them with results and excellent aesthetics at the same time. Ceramic bracket systems don’t require that you remove them when you eat, unlike the Invisalign system, and are easy to maintain with proper oral hygiene practices and good eating.
To date, Invisalign® is one of the most innovative, invisible systems out there for straightening your smile. Popular among working professionals and adults, the Invisalign® treatment utilizes a system of removable, clear, custom-fit aligners that gradually and gently move your teeth into the desired position without infringing on your ability to eat, drink, brush, and floss with ease. You are in charge of changing the aligners yourself when adjustments are needed so you forego the need for a trip to your orthodontist–saving you time! If you have a special event or family photo, Invisalign allows you the freedom to remove the appliance–temporarily–and then reinsert it when you are done. This freedom has helped many adult and working professionals straighten their smiles without feeling limited in what they can do.
Lingual braces, from the innovative minds of 3M Technologies have come on the scene recently and to favorable reviews. Lingual (tongue-side) braces are affixed behind your teeth rather than in front so they are not visible to others when you converse or share your smiles. Lingual braces offer the same benefits and results as traditional braces, but with a behind-the-scenes approach during treatment. Patients who are not candidates for Invisalign treatment, along with musicians and other working professionals appreciate the subtlety and freedoms lingual braces offer them over other methods.
The last decade has brought us an array of different types of braces and adult orthodontics options for all our patients’ unique needs. If you have more questions about the types of braces offered by Dr. Hardy at our Erie office, or would like to schedule a consultation, please contact our office today at 720-887-6003 to make an appointment. Understanding why you need braces and what to expect from the experience can help you make up your mind about committing to orthodontic treatment and care. Together, we can help you meet your smile and health goals!