Problems in adults


There are a number of issues affecting adults that can be addressed by orthodontic treatment.



Dental crowding is one of the most common orthodontic problems. It exists when the total size of the teeth is larger than the total size of the jaw-bone that holds them. Minor crowding can be corrected solely with braces. Moderate and severe crowding situations may require additional treatment prior to braces – such as palatal expansion, tooth size reduction or extractions in some severe cases.



Spacing is the opposite of crowding and is an excess of available space resulting in gaps between the teeth. This generally occurs when the collective size of all the teeth are smaller than the jaws they sit in.

tooth wear bruxism

Tooth wear/Bruxism

Tooth wear results from a bite whereby there is not an ideal anatomical meeting of the teeth. The two surfaces contact out of balance and you will preferentially use the front or back, left or right teeth to grind. Over time the enamel is worn down and with that the front teeth present as shorter with an edge to edge bite. The restoration of this condition requires a general dental solution, however correct positioning by orthodontics prior to this restoration can be advantageous.

peridontal problems

Periodontal problems

Periodontal diseases are infections of the gums and bone that surround the teeth. In its early stage, called gingivitis, the gums can become swollen and red, and they may bleed. In its more serious form, called periodontitis, the gums can pull away from the tooth, bone can be lost, and the teeth may loosen or even fall out. An early diagnosis of the disease, and associated difficulty of plaque removal from crowded teeth, can be rectified by moving the teeth into a correct alignment for easier home care.

missing teeth

Impacted/Tipped/Missing teeth

Impacted teeth most commonly present when a baby tooth fails and the patient has been unaware of the lack of eruption of an adult tooth. The roots of the impacted tooth can fuse to the surrounding bone creating a tooth frozen in an unerupted or partially erupted state.

Tipped teeth usually occur when a tooth in front has been lost or is missing. The tipped tooth can become problematic if hygiene becomes impossible or the tooth is required to restore the space for the missing tooth.



Dental protrusion exists when the top front teeth are too far forward or flared. As an adult presentation, the main concern is usually aesthetic.

open bite

Open bite

Open bite can either be caused by an oral habit which effects the dentition only, or by a skeletal problem and can be more complicated to correct. Careful diagnosis is important with open bites as they are notoriously difficult to treat. Increasing evidence shows that invisalign is good at correcting these dentally derived open bites.

deep bite

Deep bite

The upper and/or lower front teeth can erupt to produce a deep bite. In severe cases, the upper teeth can cover the lower teeth completely. A deep bite can cause excessive wear of the front teeth and can damage the gum behind the upper front teeth.

class ii

Class II/Class III

When the face is viewed in profile, the balance of the upper and lower jaws can be classified, when the lower jaw is more prominent than the upper jaw it is termed Complete Class III, in reverse this is class II, when the jaws are in balance it is class I. This traditionally, has been objectively observed in a lateral cephalogram.

retained baby teeth

Retained baby teeth

When baby teeth have been retained into adulthood, they can become ankylosed (fused to the bone) and are resistant to movement. The evidence suggests that healthy baby teeth presenting at age 20 should last until approximately 40 but at that age a solution will need to be found for the missing tooth. An alternative to replacing the failed baby tooth, orthodontics can intervene and close the space, negating the need for any further dentistry in later adulthood.