Orthodontic Digest

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Q&A with Orthodontist Adam Jowett: Part 3 – Are Aligners Right for Me?

Award-winning writer Lisa Dawson received so many questions from her followers after announcing she was having treatment with Autograph Aligners, she decided to interview her Orthodontist, Adam Jowett.

In this three-part blog series, we share the topics covered in that interview.

Part one covered all things aligners and part two revealed the difference between aligners, retainers and braces.

Here, Adam responds to three real-life questions; Are implant patients suitable for aligners? Do Wisdom teeth affect crowding? And, what are the ways to close spaces with aligners?

Lisa reads out question one: “I had my braces removed too early and it left a gap on the side. What can I do? I am 37 now and it really affects my confidence.”

I think that is true that it really can affect your confidence. I’m really aware that I’ve got lots of other friends as well who are really aware of the fact that their teeth are crooked. And it can really affect your confidence. What can they do about that?

Adam: First of all, I’m sorry to hear that it affects someone’s confidence and you should always try and fix it. It is difficult to give you a definite answer because it is all dependent on lots of different things. Generally, if it is a small gap, you can close it up with a brace or something like aligners or fixed braces to try and close the teeth together. It does depend on stuff so you can do other things like add bits of filling material to the teeth if it is a small gap. But it is really case dependent.

Lisa: “Next question asks; I have an implant on my top front tooth. Can I still get them (aligners) to straighten my front teeth?"

Adam: “I’ll start by telling you what implants are and then move onto why it might affect the treatment. The Implant is using a titanium screw into the bone itself, and it is fixed there. You then have a cap or a crown; the tooth shaped bit stuck to it, on the top. The difference between that and a normal tooth is that one is (the implant) screwed in and cannot be moved and the other teeth can be moved around. It can be quite difficult, because you can’t move the implant, but you can move the other teeth, so what we do is move the other teeth to the position of the implant.”

Lisa: “So how do you do that then? So, you do the aligners so that you keep that one (implant) in the static position the whole time, and then the others gradually move?”

Adam: “Perfect, yes. If it’s a front tooth, people have implants because they knock their teeth when they were younger, or fell and tripped and knocked it out. And, so they have an implant put in there to restore the space. And, that makes complete sense. If they then develop crookedness at the front, that implant is stuck. It doesn’t really move. There is some flexibility there if you change the position of the (false) tooth on the top of it, but it’s quite limited; you can’t move the root of the implant, but you can move it back to where the implant sits.”

Lisa: “Can aligners be worn to straighten back teeth where a wisdom tooth has been removed?”

Adam: “Really interestingly, some people think that wisdom teeth cause everything to become really cramped and crooked at the front. Loads of people come in saying that and it’s not strictly true. It tends to be the irregularity or the crookedness at the front tends to be as a result of other changes. Narrowing of the bottom jaw tends to cause the crookedness at the bottom. So, the question is hinting at why has wisdom teeth caused my crookedness? If I get my wisdom teeth taken out maybe I can shuffle them back. It’s actually really difficult to do. The approach to manage it is smoothing between the teeth to create a bit of room, to straighten everything up.”

 Lisa: “It’s so different than how it used to be. I think it’s really good for people to be able to know. It’s one of those things that so many people think ‘oh my, I really want to straighten my teeth’, and it can make people feel really awkward that they’re not straight. And you can get really aware of it. Actually, sometimes people just don’t know where to start with the process. So, it’s so good just to get some clarity on how to go about (aligner treatment) and what exactly will it involve because obviously sometimes a lot of these things feel quite scary and actually, they’re not really!

Especially now they know you don’t have to have the big stuff (impression material) stuck down their gob, which is what was always the worst thing! That’s my massive memory, being 11 and having all that stuff in my mouth!

So, thank you Adam, that’s amazing!”

Watch the full interview on Lisa Dawson’s Highlights page here

Award-winning writer, blogger, creator, presenter, and self-confessed story addict Lisa Dawson is currently undergoing aligner treatment with Autograph Aligners. Follow her on Instagram @ _lisa_dawson_ to see her aligner story in her highlights, featuring the full live Q and A with Orthodontist Adam Jowett at Honesty Dental, Baildon.

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