Orthodontics for Adults
Orthodontics is not just for children and teens. In fact, 1 in every 5 patients in orthodontic treatment is an adult.
There is no age limit for adult orthodontic treatment as long as your teeth and gums are relatively healthy.
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 patients, who had treatment as children, may need further treatment as adults due to relapse, unexpected growth or limitations in their initial treatment process.
Benefits of Adult Orthodontics
Adults can benefit from adult orthodontic treatment, in many ways. These include:
- Being able to have a more comfortable, pain-free bite where chewing, eating and smiling is a joy
- Being proactive with your health so your teeth that can last a lifetime – the longevity of your smile is very important to us
- Benefiting from our sleep apnea screening and orthodontic treatments
- Aligning your teeth to create a more aesthetic and beautiful smile
- Correcting relapse after previous orthodontic treatment due to loss of a previous retainer
- Improving the ability to brush and floss, especially for crowded or overlapping lower front teeth
- Address missing teeth to close spaces or make room for bridges or implants to replace them
- Reduce excessive wear on the teeth due to grinding or poor bite
- Jaw surgery to correct discrepancy between the upper and lower jaws.
The Appearance of Braces
Many adults are concerned with the appearance of braces. Often, Invisalign® (the invisible alternative to braces) can be used to treat adults. This technology involves clear removable aligners, fabricated through advanced 3D planning methods to align the teeth. For more severe problems, we always have the option of clear ceramic brackets instead of metal braces though many adult patients like the metal braces too!
Soreness or Discomfort of Braces
Orthodontic treatment is no more uncomfortable for adults than children.
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 3 to 5 days. Modern appliances are smaller and more comfortable to wear than ever. Modern techniques, including space age nickel-titanium orthodontic wires, put less pressure on the teeth to lessen discomfort, while moving the teeth rapidly and efficiently.
Cost of Braces
The fee for adult orthodontics 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 their bite. Marda Loop Braces can provide a complimentary private exam to assess your needs.
Dr. Andrew Chen has treated individuals in their 40s, 50s, and even their 60s with great results. It is never too late to gain the smile you have always wanted!
When to Seek Treatment?
There are several indicators that suggest it’s time to consider getting braces on. Most important, it’s best to consult with an orthodontist for a professional assessment, but here are some common signs that may indicate the need for orthodontic intervention:
- Crooked or Misaligned Teeth: If your teeth are noticeably crooked, twisted, overlapping, or out of alignment, it may be a sign that you need some form of orthodontics. Misaligned teeth can impact your appearance, bite, and overall dental health.
- Overcrowding: Overcrowded teeth happen when there isn’t enough room in your jaw for all your teeth to fit properly. This can lead to tooth rotation, overlapping, or a tooth being pushed forward or backward.
- Tooth Gaps: On the other hand, excessive spacing or gaps between teeth can also indicate the need for orthodontic treatment. These gaps can occur due to a missing tooth, small teeth, or abnormal jaw growth.
- Bite Problems: Issues with your bite can be a significant indication for seeking orthodontic treatment. Examples include:
a. Overbite: When the upper front teeth significantly overlap the lower front teeth when biting down, it’s called an overbite. It can lead to jaw discomfort, uneven wear on teeth, and potential speech difficulties.
b. Underbite: An underbite occurs when the lower teeth protrude forward, overlapping the upper teeth. It can cause difficulties in chewing, speech problems, and may affect facial aesthetics.
c. Crossbite: A crossbite happens when the upper teeth fit inside the lower teeth instead of outside. This can lead to tooth wear, gum recession, and jaw misalignment.
d. Open Bite: In an open bite, the upper and lower teeth do not meet when biting down, leaving a gap between them. It can affect speech, chewing, and may cause temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorder symptoms.
- Jaw Pain or Discomfort: If you experience chronic jaw pain, clicking or popping sounds in the jaw joint, difficulty in opening or closing your mouth, or general discomfort, it could be related to misalignment issues that may benefit from orthodontic treatment.
- Difficulty Brushing Teeth: When teeth are crowded or overlapping, it becomes challenging to clean them effectively. Inadequate oral hygiene can lead to tooth decay, gum disease, and other oral health problems. Orthodontic treatment can help create proper alignment for improved oral hygiene.