What are the Options for Referring Adults or Patients with Mild Problems?
Many adults are now seeking orthodontic treatment for a wide variety of problems. There is limited funding for adult orthodontic treatments with the majority being carried out on a private basis. For patients with mild orthodontic problems who do not qualify for NHS treatment some may choose to seek a private referral regardless.
- An increasing number of adults are seeking orthodontic treatment and the improvement in aesthetic appliances has made it more socially acceptable to wear braces at any age. It is really never too old to have orthodontic treatment assuming good dental health, good oral hygiene, and sufficient teeth and supporting alveolar bone.
- Aesthetic appliances include clear brackets on the labial surfaces of the teeth, lingual appliances and removable aligners. Not all cases are suitable for these appliances but your orthodontist will be able to advise the most appropriate type of brace.
- For many adults the orthodontic treatment will be similar to that received by children and adolescents. However, orthodontic treatment for some adults can prove more challenging due to the presence of restored teeth, especially crowns and bridges. Fixed-fixed bridges will need to be sectioned prior to active tooth movement, and special measures may be needed to bond brackets to porcelain. Patients should be made aware of the possibility of the need to replace such restorations at the completion of orthodontic treatment.
- Orthodontic treatment can be beneficial in contributing to oral rehabilitation in complex restorative and periodontal cases. Orthodontic treatment can be an excellent way of uprighting teeth to improve the path of insertion of fixed and removable prostheses in cases with missing teeth. This can minimise the need to remove healthy tooth tissue; such orthodontic treatment can often be achieved using sectional rather than full arch appliances. Similarly, orthodontic treatment to upright teeth and roots can create sufficient space for the placement of implants. Orthodontic treatment is also an excellent way of resolving incisor spacing following drifting due to periodontal disease. Once the periodontal disease is stabilised, space closure can be achieved with braces even in cases where there has been significant bone loss.