If most of us are honest we don’t have a perfect Hollywood smile and for a lot of people that is not an issue. However, a growing number of people are seeking a makeover to improve their appearance and want to know what can be done to enhance their smile. Adults in the past tended to have veneers or crowns to mask crooked teeth. However, as we are all living longer and care more about our ongoing health, many prefer not to sacrifice healthy tooth tissue and look to braces to deal with the problem instead.
But how can we deal with crooked teeth? Even within the profession there is a difference in approach. Some favour taking out adult teeth, whilst others (like ourselves) prefer to preserve them if at all possible.
The first thing is to establish what else is going on. Why do you have crooked teeth in the first place? Is it because you have “too many teeth” or the teeth are “too big to fit in”, or could it be that you have a mismatch of your jaw, meaning there is more pressure on the teeth due to tight lips. By assessing the face, jaws and teeth, an orthodontist can establish what is going on and then be able to advise what can be done. So having a proper orthodontic consultation is really important before embarking on any teeth straightening treatment. But as well as a proper consultation you also want that orthodontist to listen to you, and tailor your treatment to get the outcome you want.
The main thing is to get a result that is pleasing, works well and remains stable. This is why most of us still prefer to use fixed braces – the results are predictable and within our control, and our understanding of the relationship between the jaw and teeth means we can put the teeth where they are happy to stay. Other non-fixed braces are improving all the time and are getting better results than ever, so more of us are using solutions such as clear aligner braces (e.g. Invisalign), and offering a more convenient (and removable) way to straighten teeth for our patients.
The most important thing is for you to have a choice of options which can deliver the result you want, as quickly as possible and comfortably for you and your pocket. So plenty of research is needed, especially if you are not sure what treatment you might be interested in, and whoever you choose to do your teeth straightening treatment (Dentist or Orthodontist) always ask to see photos of treatment results they have achieved for their patients.