Orthodontics is not just for children and teens. In fact, 1 in every 5 patients in orthodontic treatment is an adult. No one is too old for orthodontic treatment.
Adults seek orthodontic treatment for many of the same reasons as children. Some adults had orthodontic problems as children but were unable to correct them until now. Others, who had treatment as children, may need further treatment as adults due to relapse or limitations with their initial treatment.
Benefits of Treatment
Adults can benefit from orthodontic treatment in many ways. These include:
- Align the teeth to create a more esthetic and beautiful smile
- Correct relapse after previous orthodontic treatment due to lack of long-term retainer wear
- Improve the ability to brush and floss, especially for crowded or overlapping lower front teeth
- Create a better or more comfortable bite and enhance the efficiency of chewing
- Address options for missing teeth
- Close spaces between the teeth
- Reduce excessive wear on the teeth due to tooth grinding or a malocclusion (bad bite).
- Jaw surgery to correct the discrepancy between the upper and lower jaws.
Appearance of Braces
Many adults are concerned with the appearance of braces. Often, Invisalign can be used to treat adults. This technology involves clear removable aligners, fabricated through advanced 3D imaging to align the teeth. For more severe problems, we have the option of clear brackets instead of metal.
Orthodontic treatment is no more uncomfortable for adults than children; however, children and adolescents tend to adapt to changes in their teeth/bite more quickly than adults. Adults undergoing orthodontic treatment report the same level of soreness as children.
Typically, the teeth are most uncomfortable 12-24 hours after an orthodontic adjustment and will disappear within 5 to 7 days. Today’s appliances (braces) are smaller and more comfortable to wear. Modern techniques, with the new wire technology, put less pressure on the teeth (less discomfort), while moving the teeth more rapidly and efficiently. Also, the time required between adjustments is increased to every 8 – 10 weeks. Treatment time, on average, is completed in 18-24 months.
The fee for adult orthodontic treatment is determined the same way as child or adolescent treatment. It is based on the severity of the problem, the complexity of the correction, the appliances used and the length of time to correct.