Teeth Straightening Options for Adults

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It’s never too late to straighten and beautify your smile. There are plenty of different options to help you straighten your teeth. The type of orthodontic treatment that best suits your needs depends on how much tooth movement is required and not your age. To better understand this, we will break down tooth movements into 3 categories:

  • Complex tooth movements
  • Mediocre tooth movements
  • Simple tooth movements

Each type of tooth movement requires its own teeth straightening system. Let’s take a closer look at how each one works:

Complex tooth movements

What are complex tooth movements?

Complex orthodontic tooth movements require the most amount of force to move your teeth. For example, moving back teeth, correcting extensive misalignments and any type of tooth movement combined with tooth extraction falls into the complex category.

Examples of complex tooth movements:

  • Underbites
  • Crossbites
  • Large overbites
  • Large open bites
  • Severe teeth crowding
  • Any type of problem caused by poor skeletal relationship
  • Orthodontic treatments which require tooth extraction

What is the ideal treatment for complex tooth movements?

Complex orthodontic tooth movements require braces. Clear aligners are never an option for treating complex orthodontic conditions. Here are several different braces options to consider from:

  • Standard braces
  • Lingual braces
  • Ceramic braces

To learn more, talk to your dentist or orthodontist to see if you’re a candidate for braces treatment.

Mediocre tooth movements

What are mediocre tooth movements?

Mediocre tooth movements are those which don’t require as much force to move your teeth. Most mediocre tooth movements qualify for clear aligner treatment instead of braces. Therefore, if your orthodontic treatment is not too complicated, you may have the option of treatment with clear aligners. It’s recommended to choose dentist delivered clear aligners (such as Invisalign® or Even28 at-dentist™) to treat mediocre tooth movements.

Examples of mediocre tooth movements:

  • Moderate overbites
  • Moderate openbites
  • Moderate teeth crowding
  • Large gap teeth

What is the ideal treatment for mediocre tooth movements?

There are a few different clear aligner systems to choose from when considering dentist-delivered clear aligners, such as:

Keep in mind, your dentist plays an integral role in these types of clear aligner treatments. For instance, your dentist may have to perform treatments such as tooth contouring, bite calibration and/or attachment placement. Plus, your dentist or orthodontist will monitor your progress to ensure that your treatment is on track. Dentist delivered clear aligner treatments generally give you better results as compared to at home aligners. Plus, the results are more likely to last you a life-time (so long as you wear your retainers of course!)

Simple tooth movements

What are simple tooth movements?

Simple tooth movements are those which require the least amount of force to move your teeth. Typically, simple orthodontic cases involve no more than 2 to 3 millimeters of movement per arch.

Examples of simple tooth movements:

  • Mild overbites
  • Mild openbites
  • Mild teeth crowding
  • Mild-to-moderate gap teeth

What is the ideal treatment for simple tooth movements?

Simple orthodontic movements can be treated with braces or dentist delivered clear aligners. However, there’s an easier way to fix these simple tooth movements. You can actually treat most simple tooth movements with at home clear aligner programs. There are plenty of different at home clear aligner treatment options available, for instance:

  • Smile Direct Club
  • Candid Co.
  • Byte
  • SmileLove
  • Even28 at-home

Keep in mind, there’s still a dentist involved in your treatment with at home clear aligners. However, chances are you may never meet the dentist or orthodontist in person. At home clear aligner programs work well for fixing simple orthodontic movements. However, they are not recommended for complex or mediocre tooth movements. More complicated tooth movements must always be treated under direct dentist supervision. Otherwise, you risk damaging your teeth, gums or even your bite in the long run!

Best orthodontic option for me?

Orthodontics is not a one size fits all. One patient may need 5 years of braces along with jaw surgery. Another one may need just 4 to 5 months of at home clear aligners. The orthodontic treatment that is best for you depends on how much tooth movement is required. Talk to your neighborhood dentist or orthodontist to see which treatment option is most suitable for your needs. Just be sure to enjoy your smile journey and best of luck with your new and improved smile!


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