Adult Orthodontic Treatment Options for Tooth Gaps

Many adults find themselves with gaps between their teeth that can only be fixed by an adult orthodontic treatment. The gaps could be due to numerous reasons, including the extraction of a tooth, an injury to the mouth or only because of the way the adult teeth have grown in the mouth. Learning information about each of the three different adult orthodontic options available to patients can help them make an informed decision on which appliance to choose.

Three common orthodontic treatments

Traditional braces

The most common, and notorious, type of orthodontic appliance to fix gaps in the teeth and other significant dental issues are traditional braces. This appliance uses metal brackets and a larger archwire to shift and pull the teeth into their proper position. While an orthodontist will typically use metal brackets, there is also the option of ceramic brackets to make the braces less noticeable. Most likely, patients will also need to wear a retainer while sleeping after removing the braces.

Traditional braces are a likely option for those who are suffering from an extreme gap as well as other tooth issues such as an overbite, underbite or any form of misalignment between the top and bottom teeth. If the problem is only a small gap in between the teeth, another type of adult orthodontic treatment may be a better choice to solve the problem.

Lingual braces

Lingual braces are another option in adult orthodontics. These are not used as often as traditional braces as they are a bit more expensive and more difficult to clean. However, people enjoy the fact that they are unnoticeable due to their placement in the mouth. Dentists position lingual braces differently than traditional metal braces. Instead of having brackets placed on the front of the teeth they hide them on the other side. They exert the same push and pull effect on the teeth as traditional braces, but there are no unsightly wires or brackets.


The most popular choice when it comes to adult orthodontic appliances is Invisalign. Invisalign works to move teeth back into position by the use of clear plastic aligners that are custom made and require new trays every couple weeks to move the teeth.

The most significant advantage to clear plastic aligners is that they are virtually unnoticeable. The clear, mouth guard-like appliance slides on top of the teeth and allows the actual teeth to show through them. Clear aligners are generally best for minor fixes such as gaps between the teeth. Traditional braces must be used to fix more extensive problems as Invisalign cannot provide the proper pressure to alter extreme cases.

Consider your options

There are many options when it comes to fixing your smile. A person with a small gap and no other tooth-related problems will likely be able to use Invisalign. However, more extreme cases that require work in addition to any tooth gaps may need to utilize other adult orthodontic appliances like traditional braces or lingual braces.

Are you considering an adult orthodontic in the Rhinelander area? Get more information at

Share this story

Request an Appointment

We would love to hear from you. Request an appointment or you can contact us directly at or call us at (715) 365-1777