• Byfleet Dental Boutique

Why adult orthodontic treatment has become popular with our dentist in West Byfleet

Orthodontic treatment has been heavily associated with young adults in the past. However we are noticing a substantial growth in the numbers of adult orthodontic patients all seeking low impact clear or invisible braces at our dentist in West Byfleet, Why is this?

One low impact, subtle orthodontic tool is the clear aligner provided by Invisalign; it is technically not a brace but performs many of the same functions. Both braces and aligners rely on the flexibility of teeth and the muscles in the mouth to move them into a more suitable position. It may not be immediately obvious to you, but our teeth are in a constant state of movement. And so, any pressure that is consistently applied in one direction on a tooth can cause its position to be permanently altered.


Braces achieve this through the tension stored in the archwire; this tension is then delivered to the teeth through the brackets which are added to the front surface of each tooth. Aligners don't have archwires; it's one of the reasons why they can be subtle. Instead, the tension is stored in the plastic device itself and delivered directly to the teeth. This results in the aligner feeling slightly tight and as the teeth adopt their new positions, the aligner feels looser.


This is why clear aligners are so popular. They are lightweight and minimalistic, which seems to be what our adult patients have been looking for. Unlike younger patients who will tolerate the unpleasantness of wearing a brace in order to eventually achieve the alignment when the brace is removed, adult patients simply do not have that luxury. Life cannot stop and the interactions, both professional and social, can be competitive and will not tolerate a metal brace.


Another big part of the age gaps in orthodontic treatment is probably due to the way the NHS organises its funding; children are entitled to completely free healthcare at our dentist in West Byfleet, and a 17 year old using braces would qualify for that. Whereas a 19 year old would not; aligners tend to be a slightly cheaper option, so when patients have to pay at the point of use, there is a big temptation to go with the aligner.


The way we deliver aligners with our dentist in West Byfleet, also makes them more appealing for adult patients. Compared to traditional braces, you only need to attend our clinic if there is a pressing issue related to moving on to the next aligner. This is not the case with the standard metal braces, where you would have to attend adjustment or tightening sessions at least every four weeks. You also have to stay on top of any potential issues you may be having with cleaning or with the brackets debonding from your teeth, which is part of the occasional maintenance you find with traditional metal braces.


The fitting process of an aligner is also far more convenient with it being more akin to being measured for a fine tailored suit. We take detailed 3D scans of the inside of your mouth, from which the aligners are designed and manufactured. So, each set of aligners designed by Invisalign is customised to each person's needs.