Orthodontics Treatments for Adults

Orthodontic treatment isn’t just for kids anymore. If you’re not as proud of your smile as you’d like to be, orthodontic treatment can help – and thanks to advancements in technology and treatment methods, getting a new smile is easier, faster, and more convenient than ever before.

The days of clunky, oversized metal braces are long gone: today’s braces are slim, more comfortable, and more aesthetically appealing than ever. And, with treatment alternatives like Invisalign, no one even has to know that you’re straightening your smile! We’re proud to offer a wide variety of orthodontic treatments, including:

  • Braces
  • Invisalign
  • Clear Braces

We are proud to utilize only the latest orthodontic technology in our office! Now is the time to have the smile you’ve always hoped for!

The Change of a Lifetime

While orthodontic treatment provides a range of functional and health benefits, some of the most important advantages are psychological. A beautiful smile sends a boost of happiness, confidence, and self-esteem through every area of your personal and professional life. Just think how much easier that presentation, big social event, or first date would be if you had a smile you were proud to show off!

For many teens, braces are a rite of passage: They’re one more example of the changes adolescents go through at this time — along with growth in stature, edgier tastes in clothes and music, and an increasing degree of self-awareness. However, is there any particular reason why orthodontic appliances and teenagers seem to go together?

In a word: Yes.

First, orthodontic problems don’t improve with age, and can become harder to treat as growth reaches completion. It’s easier to treat many orthodontic problems during adolescence because the body is still growing rapidly and is still malleable.

Secondly, by the age of 11-13 most deciduous (baby) teeth have been lost and most of the permanent teeth have come in. This is the time when we can go to work correcting the problems that cause a bad bite (malocclusion), improper tooth spacing, and poor alignment.

Thirdly, whether we use standard braces, Invisalign Teen, or appliances like palatal expanders, we can create an improved appearance and function in a short period of time.

Lastly and especially for teens, improved appearance can have a major impact on self-image and lead to increased confidence. Many teens discover a social element to having orthodontic treatment. If your teen needs braces, you will discover that they not alone! Chances are that they will see some of their classmates in our office and may even make new friendships as they go through the process together. Our teenaged patients find that when their treatment is complete, they will have a smile that they can be proud of, and the benefits will last a lifetime!

The Orthodontic Treatment Process

Understanding what to expect goes a long way towards feeling absolutely comfortable with your orthodontic treatment. So, what can you expect? Your treatment plan will vary according to your specific needs. When you first come in, you can expect that we will take pictures and radiographic (X-ray) images of your mouth. Then we’ll determine your unique treatment plan. It may involve regular braces (with or without rubber bands), Invisalign Teen (“invisible” aligners), or the use of a specialized appliance. Here are some of the most commonly used orthodontic appliances:

  • Metal Braces: You’ll find that braces today are much better than the braces worn years ago. They are smaller and lighter than ever and even offer some customized options, like colored elastic ties on the brackets. We use low profile brackets, made by American Orthodontics, and these brackets are made in the USA.
  • Clear Braces: These braces feature brackets made of ceramic or composite materials that are made to blend in with your teeth making them harder to notice. They cost a bit more, but the cosmetic benefits are unmistakable.
  • Clear Aligners: (Invisalign) A series of removable, clear plastic trays that straighten your teeth as they are worn 22 hours per day. Parents will appreciate the compliance indicators which help you keep track of how often you’re wearing them and help you stay on track with your treatment. They’re great for teens and they’re practically invisible!

How long will I wear them?

There’s no one answer that fits everyone: It all depends on what we need to do in your individual situation. Generally, however, the active stage of orthodontic treatment lasts 18-24 months, but can be quicker depending on the degree of problem and depending on the level of compliance throughout treatment. After the braces are removed, you will wear a retainer and the new smile we’ve worked together to create will be yours for a lifetime.

The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that children see an orthodontist by age 7. This age is chosen because most children have their upper and lower front teeth as well as their first permanent molars (6 year molars). While most children do not need treatment at age 7, it is important to identify dental and skeletal problems at this age. Seeing an Atlanta orthodontist and becoming acquainted with an office also allows children to become comfortable with the environment and with the idea of beginning orthodontic treatment should treatment ever be necessary.

Developmental Supervision

At Silver Smiles, our desire is to treat the patient one time, at the right time. We are very conservative and only utilize early treatment when it is absolutely necessary. That being said, it is important to evaluate a child to monitor dental eruption and skeletal growth. Through the evaluation process, the doctors will determine if a problem is getting worse, if selective removal of baby teeth to aid in the eruption of the permanent teeth would be beneficial, and the appropriate time for treatment should it be necessary.

For children that do not require early treatment, we enter them in to the Silver Smiles Development Supervision Program. The program includes:

  • an initial consultation with our Atlanta orthodontist (Midtown or Snellville)
  • orthodontic records (pictures, xrays, and molds of the teeth)
  • growth and eruption check-ups with the orthodontist at 6 to 9 month intervals
  • any additional photographs and x-rays that should be required
  • recommendations for treatment, interventions, or early treatment required will be made at the appropriate time
  • most children will not require any interceptive treatment and full braces will be recommended once their permanent teeth have come in

Early Treatment

It’s not always easy to tell when your child has an orthodontic problem. Even teeth that look straight may be hiding an unhealthy bite. Here are some clues that may indicate the need for orthodontic attention:

  • Early or late loss of baby teeth
  • Difficulty in chewing or biting
  • Breathing through the mouth
  • Thumb-sucking
  • Crowded, misplaced or blocked-out teeth
  • Jaws that are too far forward or back
  • Biting the cheek or biting into the roof of the mouth
  • Protruding teeth
  • Upper and lower teeth that don’t meet, or meet in an abnormal way
  • An unbalanced facial appearance
  • Grinding or clenching of the teeth

Putting off a check-up with an orthodontist until a child has lost all baby teeth could be a disservice. Some orthodontic problems may be easier to correct if they’re found early. A check-up no later than age 7 gives your orthodontist the opportunity to recommend the appropriate treatment at the appropriate time. If early treatment is in order, the orthodontist may be able to achieve results that may not be possible once the face and jaws have finished growing, which could simplify or prevent a second phase of treatment. At Silver Smiles, our goal is to provide each patient with the most appropriate treatment at the most appropriate time.

Everybody loves having straight teeth and a beautiful smile. It’s how we present ourselves to the world. More than for social reasons, straight teeth and an aligned jaw are especially important for the overall health of your mouth. Our goal at Silver Smiles Orthodontics is to assure optimum health for our patients by correcting the placement of teeth. Our Orthodontists are specialists in their field and we care for our patients like they are members of our own families. Whether you have a child that could benefit from braces or you’re finally ready to undergo treatment yourself, we can help. We offer the finest orthodontic solutions available in the Atlanta area and are ready to consult with you right away!

How does Orthodontics work?

Generally, orthodontics gradually moves teeth and even reshape the jaw (non-surgical) to correct malocclusion or misaligned teeth. With the use of braces or Invisalign® clear aligners, we create a gentle force that over time moves the teeth into proper alignment. Our orthodontists can give you the beautiful smile you have always wanted all while correcting your bite and improving your overall oral health!

How Do Braces Work?

In their entirety, braces work by applying continuous pressure over a period of time to slowly move teeth in a specific direction. As the teeth move, the bone changes shape as pressure is applied. Once the teeth are moved into the correct position, they are held in this position for a period of time to allow the bone to “memorize” the new position.

Braces are made up of the following components:

  • Brackets are the small squares that are bonded “attached” directly to the front of each tooth. Brackets act like handles, holding the arch wires that move the teeth. There are several types of brackets, including stainless steel brackets, tooth-colored ceramic brackets and gold brackets.  Whether you choose tooth-colored braces or traditional metal braces, at Silver Smiles we use the best products available to make sure the braces are as comfortable as possible.
  • Arch wires attach to the brackets and act to guide the movement of the teeth. Arch wires can be made of metal or be clear, tooth-colored material.
  • Ties are small rubber rings that fasten the arch wire to the brackets. They can be clear, metal, or colored. This is where you can choose the color of your braces. You can change your colors at each appointment.
  • Springs may be placed on the arch wires between brackets to push, pull, open, or close the spaces between teeth.
  • Elastics or rubber bands attach to hooks on brackets and are worn between the upper and lower teeth in various ways. They apply pressure to move the upper teeth against the lower teeth to achieve a perfect fit of individual teeth.

How Do Invisalign Clear Aligners Work?

Clear aligners are a series of trays that deliver pressures to the teeth to move them. Each tray makes minor movements on the teeth so that they are comfortable when you place your trays, but cumulatively these minor movements can correct the alignment of your teeth and your bite. Patients typically wear each tray between 1-2 weeks. Often attachments are required to make movements on the teeth. The attachments are tooth colored shapes bonded or “attached’ directly to the teeth and act like handles for the aligners to grab on to the teeth to make the tooth movements. Sometimes Invisalign can be faster than traditional braces.