Case Study – Young Adult with crooked teeth
Kerry, aged 19, had a nasty fall onto her face as a young child. As a consequence of this, one of her adult front teeth grew crooked and for years she had felt uncomfortable with her smile. Realising that there was now teeth straightening technology to correct this crookedness, she came for a consultation with Dr Sam Wong, to discuss the remedial options. As it turned out, not only was her one obvious tooth out of line, but so were many of her others, as a result.
What motivated you to straighten your teeth?
I’ve always been conscious of my crooked tooth and as I got older, I wanted to sort it out once and for all and give myself my best ever smile.
Did you have teeth straightening treatment as a child?
No. Every time we enquired about NHS treatment, we were told it wasn’t bad enough or that there was nothing could be done. At the time private treatment was too expensive
How did your misaligned teeth make you feel?
I couldn’t smile in pictures and was very conscious of smiling in front of people
Why did you decide to have Inman Aligner treatment in preference to other teeth straightening treatments?
I listened carefully to what Sam told me about the various options for teeth straightening and decided that the treatment time plan and the Inman aligner process were just right for me. I was about to go to university and needed a process and a plan that would fit in with my new education and social life!
How long did your treatment take?
It took about six months overall, but some of the delay was when I had to cancel scheduled appointments because of my course work at Uni.
Did you tell anyone that you were having treatment?
Yes! I told everyone! I saw the treatment as a celebration not as something to be embarrassed about!
Did your treatment impact your lifestyle at all?
No – that was part of the reason for choosing the method that we did. I went off to University and was able to play a full part in all the sports and social activities that any fresher wants to! The reason for this was that I could take the brace out when I wanted to without doing lasting damage to the treatment
Now you have finished treatment, has anything changed for you?
Yes. I love my smile! I do feel more confident as a result (and I was not really lacking in confidence beforehand!) Everyone who knows me has noticed the change and paid me some lovely compliments as a result
Would you say that age should be a barrier to having treatment?
Absolutely not – age is no barrier to anything!
Do you have any pictures of yourself before and after treatment that you would be happy to share?
Yes – after; Sam may have a good before
Crooked Teeth: –
Teeth can be straightened with orthodontics (braces). This is usually done during teenage years, when the jaws are going through a period of growth. However, many adults also have treatment to straighten their crooked teeth or to improve their appearance. The treatment can take much longer in adults and is therefore more expensive.
For cosmetic reasons, clear or plastic braces can be used, which are hardly noticeable. If you are considering orthodontic treatment, then like Kerry, first go along to your dentist and get their advice. Your dentist can talk to you about your treatment options and if necessary refer you to an orthodontist.
There are a number of different technologies or methods that are available. These are three of the most popular.
Sam and Kerry settled on the Inman Aligner teeth straightening system. The Inman Aligner has Nickel Titanium coil springs that power two aligner bows, which gently oppose each other, guiding the teeth into their new position. These gentle forces are active over a very large range of movement, which is why the Inman Aligner works so quickly.
The inner bow pushes forwards, while the outer bow pulls back on the front teeth. The ‘lifetime’ retainer, is like a gum-shield, but the acrylic casing that covers the teeth is transparent. This means that it can hardly be seen, which is a big benefit for the patient. It is also quite comfortable to wear. The treatment time when using the Inman Aligner can be shorter than is required for other types of invisible braces. This was a factor in Kerry’s decision.
The Invisalign method is a fast new way to move teeth so that you can close gaps, re-align crooked teeth and cure over or under bites. It performs the same function as conventional braces but what makes Invisalign different is the technology behind it. It is based around a series of clear plastic aligners, rather than traditional metal track braces. These aligners are each less than one millimetre thick and are also removable. So while you are wearing them, they are very discreet
Six Month Smiles. This method uses tooth-coloured braces to gently straighten teeth in an average treatment time of only six months. It focuses on the teeth that show when you smile. But it doesn’t attempt to make significant changes to your bite. It creates a big cosmetic impression, while only making small adjustments to your teeth.
Before making any suggestions or recommendations, Sam took numerous photographs of Kerry’s mouth, from almost every conceivable angle! He also took a series of moulds, or impressions, of her teeth so that the laboratory could build Kerry’s unique Inman Aligner.
The photographs and model were analysed after the moulds were made with Plaster of Paris. A digital analysis was made, initially to determine the amount of space required to align the teeth and to ensure that it was within the limits of the appliance capability.
Then, when Kerry accepted the appliance on those terms, a 3D final model was made so the final teeth position could be simulated on a digital 3D model.
The first fitting, involved polishing the front teeth with strips to smooth them so that the aligner bows can slide over smoothly. At the first fitting, some slenderising of the appropriate teeth would also occur. Small, white, discreet filling bits will be placed on to the teeth to secure the aligner and help to adjust the specific teeth in the right direction.
Subsequent visits are arranged two weekly and photographs are taken each time to gauge the teeth’s movement.
The Retainer, is for life and it can be fixed or removable – or both, for extra security! During the retaining stage, Kerry had her teeth whitened as well, to give the best possible impact of her new ‘straightened’ smile.
Kerry is delighted with her new smile but recognises that she had an important role to play in the teeth straightening treatment plan by ‘sticking to the rules’ and wearing the aligner and then the retainer precisely as required by Sam.