Orthodontic treatment isn’t just for kids anymore! Tooth alignment can be changed at any age if your gums and bone structure are healthy. Believe it or not, 40% of our new patients seeking orthodontic treatment are adults. Of those patients, half have had previous orthodontic treatment, typically stopped wearing a retainer, and their teeth have shifted, and the other half have never had any orthodontic treatment. All of these adult patients would agree that it’s never too late to improve your greatest asset – your smile!
Orthodontic treatment at later stages in life can dramatically improve your personal appearance and self-esteem. Improving the health of your teeth and gums is equally important. Crooked teeth and a bad bite can contribute to gum and bone loss, tooth decay, and abnormal wear of the tooth enamel and surfaces. Dr. Eberle is a member of the Spear Faculty Club, a continuing education organization that focuses on complex dental treatment concerns and solutions for adult patients. Increasingly, adult patients are in need of orthodontic treatment prior to completing veneers, crowns, or dental implants in order for them to achieve the best result.
Adults have more orthodontic treatment options than other before. The new techniques and appliances Dr. Eberle uses greatly reduce discomfort levels, decrease the frequency of visits, shorten treatment time and may allow you to choose from several options. Treatment appliances for adults include traditional braces on the front of the teeth (either metal or clear), Invisalign® (a series of clear aligners to move teeth), or lingual braces (an esthetic choice where essentially invisible braces are placed on the inside of the teeth). Because adults are not growing, sometimes orthodontic treatment is completed in conjunction with orthognathic (jaw) surgery to achieve esthetic and functional goals as well as improved facial harmony. Regardless of what type of treatment option is best for you, retainers are essential to maintaining your orthodontic treatment results.
During your complimentary new patient consultation, Dr. Eberle will be able to determine the best possible treatment for your individual needs. Dr. Eberle and her team will also outline the treatment plan, expected treatment duration, and the approximate cost.
Traditional braces are braces on the front of the teeth. They are either metal or clear. Today's metal braces are smaller, more comfortable and more attractive. Clear braces are made of porcelain and are most popular with adults due to their cosmetic appeal.
Invisalign® is a series of clear, removable, custom-made aligners that sequentially move your teeth towards the desired position. The aligners are worn 22 hours per day, removed only to eat and brush. Because they are removable, you can still eat and drink what you want and brush and floss normally to maintain healthy gums and teeth. This system is available to adult patients with certain orthodontic esthetic and bite concerns. Dr. Eberle is a leading Invisalign® orthodontist in Denver and was recently honored by Invisalign as a Preferred Provider for 2016, our sixth consecutive year with this distinction! Learn more at www.invisalign.com.
Lingual braces are placed behind your teeth so no one will know that you are wearing braces unless you tell them. Lingual braces come in two types – one for very minor tooth movement and a second for comprehensive treatment.
When only your front teeth have shifted slightly, lingual braces on your front 6 or 8 teeth are an appropriate way to align them. Our adult patients appreciate this treatment option because these lingual braces are very small and not visible when you are smiling or talking.
Full upper and lower lingual braces, called Harmony, are a perfect option for someone who is very esthetic conscious and not a good candidate to get a great result with Invisalign due to certain functional bite concerns. This is also a great option for those adults who lose things frequently (therefore not making them a good candidate for something removable like Invisalign) and who do not want braces to be seen on the front of their teeth. Each of the Harmony braces and the corresponding wires that go thru the braces are completely customized to the shape of your teeth and to your dental situation. With Harmony braces, you get efficient, effective tooth movement and great esthetics. Learn more at www.myharmonysmile.com
Because adults are no longer growing (at least not in the direction we want to), some adults present with orthodontic concerns that cannot be addressed with traditional orthodontic treatment alone. These concerns include a very large overbite, a significant underbite, front teeth that do not touch, a cant to the smile with facial asymmetry, and a very narrow upper jaw. Corrective jaw surgery (orthognathic surgery) treats and corrects abnormalities of the facial bones, specifically the jaws and the teeth. Often, these abnormalities cause difficulty associated with chewing, talking, sleeping and other routine activities. Orthognathic surgery corrects these problems and, in conjunction with orthodontic treatment, will improve the overall appearance of the facial profile.
Orthognathic surgery may be unnecessary if orthodontic treatment alone can correct the problem. With the latest advances in orthodontics, this is sometimes the case. Dr. Eberle will determine if orthognathic surgery is an appropriate treatment option for you.
Wouldn’t you love to make your orthodontic treatment go faster? Now you can with AcceleDent! AcceleDent is an FDA-approved device that speeds up orthodontic treatment by as much as 30-40%. It is safe, gentle, and effective with only 20 minutes of daily use.
As an adult we know that there is no time in our life when our bodies are not changing. The same is true for our teeth. Retainers are the key to holding your orthodontic correction. Without retainers your teeth will slowly but surely move back to their original position, like watching a movie on rewind. Because half of the adult new patients Dr. Eberle sees have already had orthodontic treatment before and stopped wearing a retainer, these patients are our cheerleaders and advocates for retainer wear for life.
There are two kinds of retainers Dr. Eberle uses - a removable type and a permanent type. In our office everyone gets a removable retainer that is either thin, clear plastic similar to an Invisalign aligner or a kind that has a wire on the front of the teeth and colored plastic behind your teeth like the pictures below. Permanent retainers consist of a wire cemented to the back of the teeth specific teeth that Dr. Eberle is concerned about shifting back to their original position with age. This permanent retainer typically goes behind initially crooked front teeth or where there used to be spaces among front teeth. Dr. Eberle is a big believer in permanent retainers - she's had one herself for over 20 years!