Adults can be great orthodontic patients!
Every year the population of adult patients in our practice grows. We are glad to service this group of patients that pursue better esthetics and health. With the advent of technology, orthodontic treatment is ever gentler and more precise, making the orthodontic journey easier on adults (and younger patients)!
What are the pros and cons of adult treatment and how is it different from adolescent treatment?
- Adult patients are more motivated. Unlike the children and adolescent patients that are brought in by their parents, adult patients usually pursue treatment because they want it. It is not uncommon to hear during consults that the adult patient has waited a long time to pursue treatment. As the result, they have researched and understood their own condition and treatment options. They are better informed and more motivated. This usually leads to better compliance and better hygiene.
- The biggest difference in adult treatment is there is no longer growth. Growth is helpful in correcting many malocclusion conditions. This could mean that some of the corrections that we expect to see in young patients would require additional auxiliary appliances in adults. It is also more likely that the skeletal discrepancy would require a surgical or extraction approach for a complete correction.
- Adult patients also exhibit lower metabolism than young patients. Tooth movement, thus, is slower and would require longer treatment time to accomplish.
- Adults tend to have more missing teeth and tooth restorations, which would require a team approach. Once orthodontic treatment is complete, a restorative dentist would provide dental work to the missing or compromised teeth. The missing teeth adds complexity to the orthodontic treatment as well. Due to the space, the teeth around it tend to collapse into it and create undesirable occlusion changes that need to be corrected during treatment.
- Since many adults don’t want to have teeth removed or have jaw surgery, many are willing to accept a degree of compromise.
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:
- Transparent Aligners
- Ceramic (clear) Braces
- Lingual Braces
- Metal braces
Why Adults Should 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 costing you more in the end.