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Cosmetic Dentistry: Part 2
by: Shaan Randow
Let’s explore the cosmetic options:


While you may have worn braces as a child, braces are now a treatment option for adults as well although realignment may take longer for an adult. In some cases an adult will require more than just an orthodontic procedure.

Braces are the recommended treatment to correct an orthodontic problem called malocclusion or “bad bite.” A few of the causes of the bad bite are extra, missing or crowded teeth. This condition is usually inherited although some may be caused by accident or other means. Having a tooth knocked out and chronic thumb or finger sucking may contribute to a bad bite.

Before treatment can begin, a thorough history is necessary for the dentist to render a proper prognosis. The dentist may take numerous xrays, plaster molds and photos of your face and teeth before determining whether orthodontics is an appropriate method to apply to your individual situation.

If the dentist determines that your treatment requires mechanical appliances, the information gathered in his preliminary examination will help to create your custom appliance(s). There are many different types of appliances and the best recourse is the one created specifically for you.

Once created and put in place, the appliances will require periodic adjustments. The dentist needs to monitor the progress frequently in order to assure that the teeth are shifting in position accurately.

Finally, once the appliances have done their work, they will be replaced by a “retainer.” The retainer will stay in place so that the newly aligned teeth will remain in their proper location.

One of the first questions from patients is usually, “how long will I have to wear this?” This not a “one size fits all” situation as the time varies from patient to patient. It will take as long as it takes and greatly depends on patient cooperation. Average time for orthodontic treatment is around 24 months with adult treatments requiring just a bit longer.

Other factors apply, of course, such as how severe the bad bite, overall gum and tooth health not to mention how well the patient cooperates with the procedure. Most people who have worn braces report years later that it was well worth it!

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