Orthodontics for adults
Beautiful teeth are attractive.
Beautiful teeth symbolise vitality and health and are an expression of one's personality. For adults especially, missing or malpositioned teeth or jaws can negatively impact a harmonious facial expression.
Usually, a correction of malocclusions is considered to be available only for children and adolescents. However the perfect scenario of beautiful and straight teeth that are aligned "like pearls on a string" is also attainable in adulthood.
Tooth corrections for adults are not necessarily made for purely aesthetic reasons. In many cases misalignments are a cause of "malfunctions" in the oral cavity. They can cause various ailments such as headaches, neck or back pain, dizziness, tinnitus and many more. Thus the correction of tooth and jaw misalignments are important for your personal health. Modern adult orthodontics offers these possibilities at any age.
Before each treatment we perform a thorough diagnostic and discuss the diagnostic assessment. As part of the diagnosis we use modern computer technology. This ensures highly accurate results. Digital, low-radiation X-ray is also part of our standards.
After the diagnosis we decide which of the available therapies are suitable for the patient. Not only medical aspects are important, but also the desires and needs of the patient. Not every treatment method is equally well suited for each individual. For patients who need to communicate a lot at work, aesthetic aspects are a significant factor. We consult with you in detail about the various possibilities for your individual treatment.
Metal brackets with corresponding arches of various metal alloys provide the most cost effective, fixed variant for adult patients. They allow a three-dimensional adjustment and accurate positioning of the teeth. It is also possible to supply these brackets made of titanium, a variant that is particularly useful for patients who are allergic to nickel and other metals. However, the use of metal brackets is rather disadvantageous for aesthetic reasons. Many people do not accept the look of metal brackets, even for a limited time.
All-ceramic brackets are a much better aesthetic alternative than metal brackets. The natural tooth color shines through the brackets and makes them virtually invisible. The smooth surfaces facilitate the cleaning and provide a comfortable fit. Ceramic brackets are also an alternative for allergy sufferers and metal sensitive patients.
An innovative form of brackets are the so-called self-ligating brackets - especially in miniature format or in combination with ceramic. Their small size and rounded surfaces, in combination with the absence of wings and ligatures (where food leftovers often remain), make it easier to keep them clean and ensure good oral hygiene. This is very important during orthodontic treatment. It is a very gentle form of fixed treatment; friction and forces are reduced and the success of the treatment is achieved faster and with less pain.
The lingual brackets (lingual = tongue side) allow a straightening of the teeth which is completely invisible from the outside. With this method, the brackets are attached to the inside of the teeth. Just as with the visible brackets, invisible brackets are bonded to the teeth. Fine wires take over the work of the orthodontics. Treatment steps become apparent more rapidly as the wires do not block the view of the teeth.
The lingual technique can achieve the same results as visible brackets. In addition, the treatment time is not significantly longer than with brackets that are glued from the outside. One caveat however is clearly the impairment of tongue relief, which can primarily lead to a limitation of speaking capabilities. Additionally the treatment costs are 2 to 3 times higher than with conventional brackets and often not fully covered, even by private health insurance.
This method originates from the US. The teeth are straightened with invisible aligners. It is suitable for dental misalignments and light malocclusions. The aligners are similar to "contact lenses for teeth". An aligner is worn for about two to three weeks and then replaced with a new one. The teeth are gently moved to a position previously calculated by a computer programme. At each stage only certain teeth are being moved. Plastic attachments are fixed onto the teeth, which will be removed at the end of treatment. The number of aligners, the duration of the treatment and the cost depend on the severity of malocclusions and the treatment objective.
However, this treatment method is not suitable for every patient and requires a high grade of discipline during wear. Therefore we take our time for an individual consultation.
After the active orthodontic treatment it is important to secure the success and consolidate the new position of the teeth.
The moved teeth have the tendency to shift back for a lifetime and this should be, of course, avoided.
This is done with the help of so-called retainers that can be either removable or fixed. The removable retainers are splints, that should be worn at least during the night for a longer period. They are part of the treatment and their position should be checked regularly by the orthodontist.
The fixed retainers are bonded wires which are running behind the front teeth and remain in the mouth after the completed treatment. Good oral hygiene is absolutely necessary to guarantee the success of fixed retainers.
Fixed retainers are usually not covered by the health insurance.
In connection with the "retention", it is also always important to clarify the situation of the wisdom teeth that could jeopardize the outcome of treatment. Usually they should be better removed!
A word on costs
Orthodontic treatments for insured patients of 18 or older are usually not covered by public health insurance and have to be paid by the patient. Exceptions to this rule apply to patients with severe jaw anomalies that require combined orthognathic surgery and orthodontic treatment measures. This includes serious jaw anomalies, congenital malformations of the face and jaw, skeletal malocclusions and injury caused malocclusions, as long as its classification fulfills a certain treatment requirement grade.
For patients who have private health insurance, these requirements are less stringent, depending on the individual plan. After an initial examination, we will determine if your health insurance is likely to pay for the orthodontic treatment. We are more than happy to consult with you and assist you in the application process with your health insurance provider.