The invisible brace has opened up orthodontics beyond teenagers; now braces and aligners are becoming commonplace, by removing the social stigma of the metal braces. Data from the British Orthodontic Society (BOS) shows an increase in adults attending dental surgeries for treatment, with invisible braces in Clapham becoming normalised.
The trend seems widespread with Barclays bank coming close to doubling the number of approved loans for dental surgeries in the last two years, for new equipment and expansion, strongly indicating a rush in demand.
Isn’t this just vanity?
Some have been quick to look at the online Instagram rush of everyday celebrities and see a link, but many adults who seek out orthodontic services were in some way in need of them as a child but failed to receive treatment. After hitting their 20’s, they simply assumed that they were too old to receive the treatment or it would be ineffective.
According to a BOS survey
- 80% per cent of adults with braces are aged 26 to 55
- Women make up 80% of patients
This has been a shock to dental clinics, for whom adult braces were only seen in the most complex cases, which rather than providing care would be referred on to specialists.
The clear ‘invisible’ options like ceramic braces and aligners are changing the question in peoples minds and removing the barrier to entry. Alongside the use of a lingual brace, which is similar to the standard brace but is fitted to the back instead of the front of the teeth.
What are the safety concerns?
Orthodontics in general is considered very safe, in that it is extremely unlikely to harm you. However, it is not without discomfort and treatment can continue over years in difficult cases. Re-structuring teeth are only recommended if the teeth and gums are healthy and in good condition. This is one of the roles of a dentist during your first discussions about orthodontics. There are increased risks of cavities due to trapped food particles and therefore, thorough cleaning and good overall oral hygiene is a must.
The major differences in the use of clear aligners over ceramic braces are the severity of the underlying misalignment you’re trying to address. Aligners are only considered effective on mild to moderate crowding or spacing, whereas braces can be applied to a wider range of conditions and have been used with a greater number of patients.
The BOS has voiced its concerns over the use of clear aligners without qualified dental supervision, only endorsing suppliers who work within clinics. Even among the adult population, you should always have a grounded, thorough discussion with a dental professional before engaging in treatment with postal only aligner suppliers.
A whole world of options
So, with the convenience of aligners to your door which is unobtrusive, and practical for everyday wear, mixed with the removal of the stereotypes of orthodontics, a whole new demographic is engaging with this type of dental care. Which at the end of the day has to be a good thing.