Dr. Wessner:
Adult Orthodontics

Can you guess whose teeth these are??

If you haven’t guessed it, they are Dr. Wessner’s. If you would have asked her a few weeks ago if she would ever have braces, the answer would have been no! To look at her teeth, they look straight, why does she need braces? The answer is she has a traumatic bite. Here is her story:

When Dr. Wessner was in high school gym class, playing field hockey, she and another classmate were looking down at the ball until-BANG- they collided. The incident was minor but it left her one front top tooth ‘pushed in’ a little. Dr. Wessner’s hometown dentist examined it and no treatment was needed at that time. As a child, Dr. Wessner never had to have braces. To the untrained eye, one would barely notice the ‘pushed in’ tooth. For many years, it did not even bother her. As we age, unfortunately our teeth shift. With the ‘pushed in’ tooth and the gradual shifting with aging, Dr. Wessner became more aware of this top tooth. Some days, it would even hurt to the point she could not eat on it and sometimes it would feel quite loose. Yes, even dentists get toothaches! Dr. Wessner even had jaw pain related to her uneven bite. Dr. Wessner thought about orthodontics because she was afraid the constant banging of her pushed in tooth would lead to eventual tooth loss, which is likely if left untreated. A dentist with a missing front tooth would not be good for business!

Dr. Wessner finally met with a Severna Park orthodontist, Dr. Karina Spivack. Dr. Spivack knew how Dr. Wessner felt about the ‘ugly brackets’ but she convinced her that the brackets would be the quickest way to alleviate the pain from banging the front tooth. In Dr. Wessner’s situation, she will only be in the brackets for 1 month and then she will move forward with Invisalign for about 9 months – 1 year. The picture shows Dr. Wessner’s teeth with ceramic brackets.

In Dr. Wessner’s case, the main reasons to go through with orthodontics was to prevent tooth loss of her top tooth and to help alleviate her traumatic bite and jaw pain. There are many reasons, however, that adults may chose orthodontics. Some of the reasons include straighter teeth, better oral health, room for other dental work, and shifting teeth.

There are many options for adult orthodontics including ceramic brackets (like Dr. Wessner), brackets on the back of your teeth, and clear aligners that gradually move teeth into the desired position. The only way to find out what is right for you and how long your treatment would take is to talk to Dr. Wessner or, more ideally, have a consultation with an orthodontist. Dr. Wessner chose Dr. Spivack because she liked her style of treatment and felt comfortable with her. If you need help on deciding if orthodontics is right for you, talk to Dr. Wessner or Dr. Morgan at your next cleaning. Most orthodontists even offer free consultations! If you have any questions about Dr. Wessner’s experience with braces on, feel free to ask. To be continued on how the Invisalign experience is!