Lake Minnetonka Orthodontics specializes in orthodontic treatment and we are pleased to be able to offer orthodontic treatment for adults. Orthodontic treatment is used not only to align and straighten teeth, but also to improve a person’s appearance and bite no matter what age. Orthodontics may be used to correct malocclusions, overbites, underbites, cross bites, deep bites, crooked teeth and other imperfections of the teeth and jaws.
Dental technology has improved over the years to include new options to help correct the above issues, and there are a number of techniques and products available that offer treatments that are less conspicuous than the full braces that were common in the past.
Your visit will begin with a consultation with your orthodontist to review the best alternatives for your orthodontic care. Your orthodontist will address any questions you may have regarding your treatment and will provide a plan for orthodontic therapy.
Metal braces made from stainless steel brackets and wires remain the most popular choice for braces and are very effective. The metal braces we offer for adults utilize smaller brackets and wires to be more comfortable and less noticeable!
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Clarity Clear Braces
Virtually invisible and comfortably fitting, there are several advantages that Clarity™ clear brackets have over traditional braces and aligners. With small, translucent brackets, Clarity™ Ceramic braces are designed to blend in with your teeth and are shaped to reduce gum and tissue irritation. They are created to resist stains and discoloration, to be hassle-free when eating or drinking, and to be easy to care for with simple brushing and flossing. Clarity Clear ceramic braces work to keep your orthodontic treatment continually advancing and your new smile right on track.
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It’s never too late to straighten your smile! Clear aligners offer adults a comfortable and affordable orthodontic solution without the look and feel of traditional metal braces. These removable aligner trays are made of comfortable and virtually invisible clear material that you wear over your teeth.
With a modern approach to straightening teeth, Invisalign® uses custom 3D computer graphics technology and a series of custom made aligners created for you and only you.
Invisalign® is the perfect solution for adults on the go. You can gently shift your teeth into place by wearing each set of aligners for about two weeks, removing them only to eat or clean your teeth. Being able to remove the aligners whenever you like allows you to enjoy life without restriction or inconvenience. The best part is that Invisalign® aligners are virtually invisible- so no one will ever know!
Once treatment is complete, a retainer is worn for a period of time, usually just at night. The retainer helps maintain the new smile and also allows for small adjustments, if needed, once the braces have been removed.
Your orthodontist will go over the options with you and provide specific instructions on the use of your retainers.
Made with a plastic or acrylic base which holds a metal wire that fits flush against your teeth, Hawley Retainers are affordable and effective. The wire sits against your front teeth and it can even be adjusted to refine the alignment of your teeth if needed.
Essix retainers are similar to invisible aligners in that they are thin, plastic trays molded to fit flush against your teeth. Unlike aligners, an Essix retainer doesn’t shift your teeth into different positions, but instead holds them in place or makes slight refinements to them as the final stage of orthodontic treatment.
Bonded retainers are one of the options we have for keeping your teeth in place once your orthodontic treatment is complete. Also known as a permanent or fixed retainer, a bonded retainer is a metal wire that is bonded to the backs of your teeth. With this retainer, we can prevent something called orthodontic relapse, or your teeth shifting back to their original positions.
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Frequently Asked Questions About Adult Orthodontics
Can adults get orthodontic treatment?
Absolutely! Anyone can get orthodontic treatment at any age. It is not uncommon to see adults with braces today. And, thanks to treatments such as Clarity™ clear braces and Invisalign®, it can be done very discreetly.
Do braces take longer for adults?
Sometimes, yes, braces treatment can take longer for adults. When treating children with braces, their teeth are still moving into place and their jaw is still growing. This can make it easier to move their teeth, however each case is unique.
Adults, on the other hand, have all of their permanent teeth and their jaws have finished growing. Sometimes it requires a little more effort – and a little more time – to get the desired results.
Are traditional metal braces a better option than clear braces?
There are many different types of braces available. And while all have the same end goal in mind, they each have their pros and cons. For instance, traditional metal braces may not be very discreet, but they are effective at straightening teeth – even for the most complex cases.
Clear braces, such as Invisalign® will also straighten teeth, but they do so differently. There are no brackets or wires to worry about – and no tightening appointments to attend regularly. Instead, you have a set of aligners that you switch out in set intervals and straighten your teeth without everyone knowing. Unfortunately, Invisalign® may not be the best option for the most difficult cases.
Talk about your options with your orthodontist and do your research before you move forward with your orthodontic treatment.
Why is a retainer necessary after braces?
Once your braces are removed, you may be thrilled to be done with them. However, the celebration may come to an abrupt halt as your orthodontist hands you a new retainer.
For teeth that have just shifted due to braces, removing the braces gives them the ability – and freedom – to move right back. Give them some time and that is exactly what will happen. Unless, of course, you wear your retainer.
Retainers keep teeth from shifting back so that you can retain your new beautiful, straight smile.
How long will I have to wear a retainer?
Initially, following the removal of your braces, you will likely need to wear a retainer – at all times – for a few months to give your teeth some stability. Then, you may only need to wear it at night. Every patient is different so be sure to discuss your timeline with your orthodontist.
Keep in mind that you may end up having to wear your retainer at night for the rest of your life. Your teeth will never stop moving. But, you can stop them from doing so by being diligent with wearing your retainer.
How can I get started?
If you are interested in learning more about obtaining a straight smile, then book a consultation appointment with Lake Minnetonka Orthodontics. That way we can discuss your needs and present you with the best options available.
We have three convenient offices for you to choose from:
Minnetonka Office: 952-938-1443
Excelsior Office: 952-474-0288
Wayzata Office: 952-473-1993