Continuing with our series of blog posts regarding straightening of teeth, here we will discuss Short Term Orthodontics, which can also be described as Short Duration Orthodontics or Cosmetic Orthodontics.
In general, teeth treated during this short term orthodontics are your front 6 to 8 teeth, so from canine to canine or first premolar to premolar. The aim is to level and align teeth, in the same way as teeth are levelled and aligned for comprehensive orthodontics, and mentioned in the previous blog post. This can be completed by using brackets and wires on teeth (Six-Month Smiles is an example of this), or by using clear aligners to move the teeth (Invisalign Lite).
It is a treatment for adults who want to improve the appearance of the teeth that people see the most, but are not too concerned about moving all the teeth into the perfect relationship to each other. The treatment times are 4-9 months with treatments on average lasting 6 months.
For many years, patients who wanted cosmetic treatment to deal with crowding in their front 8 teeth would have been treated by placing veneers and crowns. Often healthy tooth structure would be removed from the already crowded teeth, to enable the placement of fascias that then gave the appearance that the teeth were straight. Often the teeth that were most out of line would be heavily prepared, and this could potentially cause problems with the nerve of the tooth.
More recently, in line with the general move of dentistry towards minimally invasive treatments, meaning we try to keep healthy tooth tissue as much as we can, it is now much more appropriate to move these crowded teeth so that they are well aligned with each other. Often this, and non-invasive whitening of the teeth gives the great result that the patient wanted. In other situations, it may be appropriate to ‘bond’ unnoticeable white filling material to the teeth to repair areas of wear from when the teeth were crowded, and to reshape them. It may also be appropriate to veneer or crown the teeth following orthodontic treatment, but as the teeth have by this time been moved into a pleasing alignment with each other, little or no preparation is then required, and so healthy tooth structure is preserved.
Adults choosing to straighten their teeth often choose Short Term Orthodontics to achieve great, pleasing results in a time frame that suits them and their lifestyle. Click here for more information on Short Term Orthodontic treatments.