ORTHODONTIC TREATMENT FOR ADULTS

 

You’re never too old for braces! Today with the advanced technology in aesthetic orthodontics, orthodontic treatment is no longer exclusive for teens. In fact, the American Association of Orthodontists indicates that one in five orthodontic patients is over the age of 21.

Many adults are choosing to perfect their smiles and start treatment because they understand the benefits to having straight teeth are worth the treatment phase.

 

WHAT ARE THE ADVANTAGES TO HAVING ORTHODONTIC TREATMENT AS AN ADULT?

  • You’ll look great and become more confident about your smile
  • It helps prevent or improve periodontal problems
  • It helps  prevent or reduce further bone loss around teeth
  • Improves the success of implants placements
  • Improves aesthetics for a better smile and facial appearance
  • Improves the function of teeth and jaws
  • Reduces the risk of teeth wear
  • Improves self-confidence and self-esteem, impacting how others perceive you.
  • Mouths left untreated can get worse
  • Improves overall oral health.

 

WHY WOULD AN ADULT NEED ORTHODONTIC TREATMENT?

  • A bad bite or malocclusion, which causes teeth to fit together incorrectly and cause teeth wear and many problems over time.
  • Teeth that are crooked/crowded or spaced apart, possibly leading to tooth decay or gum disease.
  • Abnormal jaw or facial pain.
  • Upper (maxilla) and lower jaw (mandible) asymmetry
  • The desire for a perfectly aligned and more harmonious smile.

 

WHAT ARE THE OPTIONS FOR ADULT ORTHODONTIC TREATMENT WHO DO NOT WANT TO WEAR METAL BRACES?

For many adults, the thought of having metal braces is enough to discourage them from seeking treatment. However, today’s orthodontic treatment options offer a variety of braces and appliances that are comfortable, aesthetic, and customized to meet your needs. These types of braces include:

  • Clear braces or Ceramic Braces
  • Invisible braces or Lingual Braces
  • Clear Aligners or Invisalign

Dr. Cope can advise you as to what options are recommended for your particular needs. More information on types of braces can be found here, including Invisalign and Lingual Braces (braces that fit on the inside surface of the teeth). These options allow you to have flexibility during treatment and allow for discretion.

 

IS THERE A DIFFERENCE BETWEEN ADULT ORTHODONTICS AND ORTHODONTICS FOR CHILDREN AND TEENS? 

Yes! The main difference between treating adults and children or teens is that the jawbones of younger patients are still developing, so we can take advantage of their growth to enhance certain treatments and more easily eliminate the need for jaw surgery. On Adults, it is not that simple. Also, our bones naturally get denser throughout our lives, therefore in adult patients the teeth tend to move a bit slower than in younger patients.  Other differences also include:

  • Gum or bone loss due to periodontal disease: Adults are more likely than children to experience gum recession or even bone loss due to gingivitis or advanced periodontal disease. That affects treatment because patients with history of gum disease require a closer watch and lighter orthodontic forces. Those patients also require more x-rays to be taken, so we can observe the bone and teeth roots behavior throughout treatment.
  • Excessive teeth wear or missing teeth — Many adults have received some orthodontic treatment as a child or teen, but never completed their treatment or their teeth shifted back to bad positions due to lack of retainer wear. Teeth that are not ideally positioned are more likely to have issues, such as abnormal wear and teeth loss. The Orthodontic treatment when there are missing teeth must take into consideration the space needed to replace that tooth with implants and make sure the smile is ideally restored.
  • Patient Cooperation – Orthodontic treatment is a partnership between the orthodontist and the patient. With Adults patients, the patient cooperation is a breeze, they usually brush, floss and do what needs to be done to optimize and speed up their orthodontic treatment.

 

IS ORTHODONTIC TREATMENT EFFECTIVE FOR ADULTS?

Absolutely, our oldest patient was 75 years old and though her treatment was taken slowly and Dr. Cope was closely monitoring her teeth, it went great and she was ecstatic with the results. Healthy teeth can be moved at any age.

WILL BRACES FIT MY LIFESTYLE?

You can do almost anything during orthodontic treatment. Some adjustments may be necessary, but, if you’re like the vast majority of adult patients, you’ll adjust quickly. New techniques and materials today have made wearing braces more comfortable than ever.

 

HOW DO I KNOW IF I’M A GOOD FIT FOR ADULT BRACES?

During your initial consultation, Dr. Cope can determine if you can benefit from treatment or not. After carefully analyzing the nature of your issues, Dr. Cope will recommend the best course of treatment for improving your smile, including the different types of braces that are best for your treatment. If you have missing teeth or gum issues, treatment may require an interdisciplinary team, such a combined team that includes Dr. Cope and your dentist, periodontist and/or oral surgeon.

Here at Cope Orthodontics we understand that adults and children have different needs, and require different levels of attention and care. We’ll work with you to ensure you receive the most appropriate treatment according to your needs and expectations. Dr. Cope is very experienced in treating Adults, in fact almost half of his patients are adults. He will make sure you understand what’s going on every step of the way.

 

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