Orthodontic Treatment for Adults
Orthodontic treatment is no longer just for teens. In fact, the American Association of Orthodontists states that one in five orthodontic patients is over the age of 21.
Many adults are choosing to receive treatment because they understand the importance of maintaining their health, and they want to feel better about their appearance. Adults everywhere are taking advantage of the opportunity to receive orthodontic care, and now you can too.
Common reasons why adults are considering orthodontic treatment
- A bad bite or malocclusion, which causes teeth to fit together incorrectly
- Teeth are crowded or spaced apart, possibly leading to tooth decay or gum disease
- Abnormal jaw pain or pressure caused by crooked teeth
- Desire for a healthier mouth and a more confident smile
Treatment Options for Adults
For many adults, the thought of having metal braces is enough to discourage them from receiving treatment. However, today’s orthodontic treatment options offer a variety of braces and appliances that are comfortable, aesthetic, and customized to meet your needs. Types of braces include:
- Clear braces
- Ceramic braces
- Self-ligating braces
- Invisible braces
- Traditional metal braces
The difference between adult orthodontics and orthodontics for children and teens
The main difference between treating adults and children or teens is that the jawbones of younger patients are still developing. For adults, these bones have stopped growing, which may make orthognathic surgery necessary to align the jawbones. Other differences include:
- Gum or bone loss (periodontal disease) — Adults are more likely than children to experience gum recession or even bone loss due to gingivitis or advanced periodontal disease. Patients with straighter teeth are less likely to get gum disease.
- Worn or missing teeth — Over time teeth can become worn down and shift into different positions that can only be corrected with orthodontic care. Missing teeth can cause other teeth to shift and tilt, and create a bad bite and increase the possibility of gum disease.
- Incomplete orthodontic treatment as a teen — Many adults received some orthodontic treatment as a child or teen, but never completed their treatment. As an adult, they choose to complete their orthodontic treatment to achieve the healthy, beautiful smile they always wanted.
- Relapse of a previous orthodontic treatment — At least 60% of Dr. Donnelly’s adult treatment is re-treating cases that have relapsed or cases that finished with poor or less-than-ideal results.
Treatment of patients with very special needs requires an orthodontist and team who can form a close relationship with the patient, provide lots of extra time and TLC. Dr. Donnelly treats many such patients, and finds it very rewarding.
Why should you consider orthodontic treatment?
- Straight teeth are healthy teeth — Teeth that are properly aligned are easier to keep clean with flossing and brushing, and may help prevent other health problems.
- A beautiful, straight smile builds confidence — Orthodontic treatment can help boost your self-confidence, giving you a better quality of life and the freedom to smile without holding back!
- Mouths left untreated can get worse — Not receiving orthodontic treatment when it’s needed can create long-term health issues that cost you more in the end.
To learn more about the benefits of adult orthodontics, please contact our practice to schedule an appointment. We understand you have a busy schedule, and we will work with you to make sure each office visit is as convenient as possible.