Am I too old for braces?

Adults in the UK have for some years now sought orthodontic treatment for cosmetic reasons. 

However, there are very good medical reasons to seek help from an orthodontist.  You may have an incorrect bite.  A bite is how the upper teeth align with the lower teeth.  Are the upper teeth in front of the lower when the teeth are closed?  Or are the lower teeth in front of the upper?  Are there gaps between the upper and lower teeth when closed?  If your bite is not correct, this can cause headaches and other issues.

Help is at hand with adult braces.  Adults, unlike people under 18 years of age, will usually have to pay for the treatment involved, unless serious health problems are involved, when braces may be available on the NHS.

So – what are the types of brace available in the UK?

Fixed Braces

Fixed braces made of metal are recognised as the most cost-effective solution, whilst being the most visible.  They require regular adjustment as the teeth slowly move position.

Fixed braces made of ceramic are an alternative.  They work just like metal braces but are tooth-coloured and slightly more expensive than the metal version.  However, some people opt for the ceramic type because they are less obvious to others.

In both cases, there will be some discomfort at first.  The length of time they will have to be worn will vary, depending on the alignment issue.  The timescale is usually anywhere between a few months to a few years.

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Clear Aligners

Clear aligners are not usually used for anyone with more than a mild issue.  They are removable and are made for each individual patient after dental scans, xrays and impressions have been taken.  Treatment can last from 9 months to two years.  

Patients can remove the aligners to eat or to brush their teeth.  With clear aligners, there is in any case a need to brush teeth more frequently and to floss, because it is easier for food to become trapped.  This type of aligner is not suitable for everyone, and usually costs more than other types of brace.  

Cost

There is a wide variation in costs.  Metal braces start at around £1,500 but that can as much as triple with private specialist care.  Costs also vary depending on where you live.  The most expensive are invisible braces, the cost of which starts at several thousand pounds.

What are the risks? Correct fitting and adjustments are crucial to success, otherwise you may end up with more problems than you started.  Always consult a professional, like those at The Mall.  Your dentist may also be an orthodontist.  If not, your dentist will refer you to an orthodontist to prescribe, treat and monitor your braces. 

Never agree to treatment online or remotely.  The imperative is that your specialist is equipped to understand your pathology, prescribe according to your individual needs and supervise the progress of your treatment.  It is too great a risk to go elsewhere, because this could result in distress, pain, suffering and permanent damage.

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