Not only the youngsters wear them: the braces. Many adults are also finding out more and more and want straight teeth. But what options are there to correct misaligned teeth? We will introduce you to the various orthodontic treatments and give you an overview of the advantages and disadvantages of braces.
When are braces necessary?
Orthodontic treatment can be useful if there is a misalignment of the jaw or teeth. Very few have naturally harmonious rows of teeth and ideal dentition. Often the teeth do not have enough space and are then crooked. This has not only optical disadvantages. The chewing function or speaking can also be restricted. In addition, narrow teeth are harder to clean and dental care is difficult.
Braces in children
When the milk teeth fall out, the permanent teeth often grow back crooked. The orthodontist then takes advantage of the growth of the jaw and usually begins treatment between the ages of 9 and 14. In some cases, however, an “early measure” is necessary: if an extreme misalignment such as a so-called crossbite or open bite is detected in the child.
What braces are there for children?
Loose braces consist of a plastic base that is attached to the teeth with wire clips. These are particularly useful for children, as they are most effective in the growth phase.
- Active devices: These braces exert an active force on teeth and bones and can be used for minor tooth movements.
- Passive devices: The so-called “FKO devices” lie in the mouth without pressure. They influence the movement of the muscles and the position of the lip, cheek, and tongue. This allows you to positively direct jaw growth.
In the case of fixed braces, the orthodontist applies brackets to the teeth. These metal, ceramic or plastic plates are connected by an arch wire. This arch then brings the teeth into their correct position. The advantage of these bracket appliances is that they can be worn for an unlimited period, which means that pressure can always be exerted on the teeth. This makes good oral hygiene more important, as deposits can easily collect between the brackets and the arch wire.
What do braces cost for children?
The medical justification of the therapy is decisive for the assumption of costs by the health insurance company. If the orthodontic treatment is started before the age of 18, the statutory health insurance companies will cover the treatment costs. Here, the health insurers pay the majority at the beginning and reimburse a small percentage, which was initially paid by the patient himself, after the therapy has been successfully completed. The patient must pay for services that go beyond standard care. These are mostly additional services that serve for aesthetics and comfort.
The braces for adults
But not everyone had the opportunity to have crooked teeth straightened orthodontically in their childhood. The increasing desire for an aesthetic smile means that this omission is now being made up more and more often.
What aesthetic braces are there for adults?
Older patients like to fall back on subtle variants of the classic braces, which one does not recognize as such at a first glance.
“Invisible” fixed braces
- clear or tooth-colored brackets
- Lingual technique: brackets on the inside of the teeth
- tooth colored wires
Aligners are removable clear plastic rails. These are worn almost continuously, whereby they hardly interfere with speaking or can be visually perceived. The treatment is carried out with a series of splints, whereby the wearing time of a splint is around 2 weeks. In contrast to fixed braces, aligners have less effect because they can exert less force on the teeth. Unrestricted oral hygiene is an advantage, as the splint can be removed for dental care.
What do braces cost for adults?
The exact costs depend on the extent of the treatment, whereby the patient should expect high sums. Smaller corrections will be charged at least 1000 euros; for complex services, the cost burden may rise to 6,000 euros.
For adults, statutory health insurance only pays in exceptional cases: for severe jaw anomalies that are treated, for example, in combination with oral surgery.
The assumption of costs by private health insurances and supplementary insurances depends on the respective tariff. To find out exactly to what extent the treatment costs are covered, you should submit a cost estimate and obtain detailed information beforehand.
Tips for the success of the treatment
- Adhering to the instructions of the orthodontist (e.g. sufficient wearing time)
- regular checks by the orthodontist
- intensive oral hygiene to avoid tooth decay and inflammation of the gums
- Securing the treatment result through a retainer (fixed arch wire on the inside of the tooth)
Not only children but also adults have the chance to straight their teeth. The orthodontist has numerous options available for this, which are adapted to the initial situation and the respective needs of the patient. The basis for the successful treatment of misaligned teeth is detailed advice at the beginning and motivated cooperation during the therapy.