If you are an adult who wishes to have your front teeth straightened, but haven’t been willing to undergo a full course of traditional or Invisalign™ orthodontic care because of the time or costs involved (or you just don’t want to wear metal braces), you may be interested in an alternative orthodontic treatment now available at Ailin Teo Dental Surgery in Geelong.
Why Adults Don’t Always Choose Traditional Orthodontic Treatment
Adults who want treatment to straighten their crooked or crowded teeth might be put off by traditional orthodontic treatments which usually involve
- long treatment times, typically around 24-48 months
- an investment of many thousands of dollars, and
- wearing visible metal brackets and wires on their teeth, which many adults prefer not to do for extended periods of time.
Why Does Traditional Orthodontic Treatment Take So Long And Cost So Much?
Traditional and Invisalign™ orthodontic methods take longer and cost more because they are comprehensive methods of treatment that addresses both the appearance and function of the teeth. Put simply, traditional orthodontics makes teeth straight and ensures that the bite of front and back teeth is correct.
Adults often ask whether they can just have their front teeth straightened and to leave the bite alone. After all, they have often functioned for many years with a non-ideal bite, and in many cases, this hasn’t led to any significant dental or health problems. Unfortunately, traditional orthodontic methods does not treat the front six teeth in isolation from the rest of the bite: it’s been considered to be too great a compromise up until now.
This has left adults with a difficult choice:
- invest the time and money involved to undergo traditional orthodontic treatment
- consider “masking the problem” through dental veneers or crowns (which is a much faster treatment but still requires a significant financial outlay and often involves cutting away lots of otherwise-healthy tooth structures to make room for the crowns)
- do nothing and continue to live with crooked teeth
Introducing Cfast Orthodontics
The demand for a discreet, rapid orthodontic treatment of just the visible front teeth of adults has now been addressed with a new orthodontic system called Cfast Orthodontics.
Dr Ailin Teo has now introduced Cfast Orthodontics into her practice.
What Is Cfast Orthodontics?
Cfast orthodontic treatment is a tooth-straightening system developed for adults who are only interested in altering the appearance of their “social six” front teeth that make up the visible smile. Teeth are gently moved in a controlled fashion, using lighter forces than traditional orthodontics, hence treatment is often more comfortable and quicker.
The treatment does not alter the bite (or “occlusion”). If your bite is misaligned and you would like this corrected as well, conventional orthodontics or Invisalign™ treatment may be the preferred option.
Since only the six front (upper and/or lower) teeth are being treated, treatment times are dramatically shortened and the associated costs are far less than traditional orthodontics.
Is This Suitable For Every Adult?
The short answer is no.
For some adults, Cfast Orthodontics is a wonderful option; they don’t mind if their bite isn’t perfect, as long as their front teeth are straight and uncrowded.
For others, Cfast isn’t a viable solution. This is particularly true of adults who have a serious or complex problem with their bite, especially if it threatens their general or long-term dental health.
Cfast is not recommended for people:
- with severe malocclusions, including bad bites that occur because of mismatched jaw size and position, also known as “skeletal malocclusions”
- with pre-existing problems with their jaw joints (TMJ)
- expecting comprehensive orthodontic treatment which includes correction of the bite as well as straightening of all the teeth
If your current bite means that Cfast is not an appropriate method of treatment, Dr Teo will recommend alternatives treatments.
The Pros And The Cons Of Cfast Orthodontics
There are many things to love about Cfast Orthodontics:
- The treatment components attached to the teeth are tooth-coloured and therefore more aesthetic than metal counterparts. The brackets are clear and the wires have a tooth-colored coating.
- Treatment is usually quite fast – most adults can expect to wear their braces for between 2-9 months
- The treatment preserves tooth structure (enamel and dentine), which is in contrast to using veneers or crowns
- Cfast is often very welcome if the patient has a short window of time to achieve straighter teeth. (for example, an upcoming wedding or special event)
- The treatment is cheaper than a full course of fixed orthodontics or Invisalign™
- Cfast typically moves teeth much faster than a full course of fixed orthodontics or Invisalign™
- The treatment works on the upper and lower teeth. You can choose to have one or both arches treated.
- Extractions of adjacent teeth are not usually required to straighten the “social six”. If additional space is needed, the teeth are “slenderised” by careful removal of tiny amounts of enamel.
However, there are some compromises that you will need to be aware of before undergoing treatment. Some of the downsides include:
- This treatment is for adults only
- Cfast is not comprehensive orthodontic care: it only treats the front teeth and makes no change to the existing bite.
- There may be a need to “slenderise” or recontour some teeth to create the space needed to properly align the teeth (which is common in orthodontic treatment).
- Retention is for life (which is common in orthodontic treatment) – this means you’ll need to wear plastic retainers at bedtime and/or have a discreet tooth-colored wire bonded to the back of the teeth to prevent them from drifting back into their original positions
- You will have to take care with oral hygiene and avoid certain foods (hard, sticky or very sugary foods) during treatment (common in orthodontic treatment).
- Once the teeth are straight they may need some minor cosmetic treatment. This is because the edges of the some of the teeth may have worn down at an odd angle as a consequence of crowding. Bonding or veneers may need to be used to make the teeth look the right shape. However, given the teeth are now in an improved alignment, any cosmetic work will be much more conservative. We are able to preserve much more tooth structure, and are less likely to need extensive crown/veneer work.
How It Works
During your first appointment you’ll come in and meet with Dr Teo to discuss your treatment goals. She will examine your teeth are suitable for Cfast. She’ll discuss treatment length, costs and advise you about the possible risks of treatment.
If you wish to proceed, she will take an initial set of impressions of your teeth. Models of your teeth are created and analysed to determine the best approach to your treatment. Your custom brackets (the small anchor points that are bonded to your teeth) are built by a 3D printer.
Dr Teo will bond each bracket to the appropriate tooth, and will clip the wire into place. The bonding appointment takes about an hour.
You’ll return for visits every four weeks, during which Dr Teo will measure progress and make adjustments to continue to straighten your teeth.
Once the teeth are straight, the brackets and wires are removed. Dr Teo will then provide either fixed or removable retainers to stop the teeth drifting back into misalignment.
How To Get Started
Please feel free to call Ailin Teo Dental Surgery on (03) 5298 1020 to make an appointment.