Orthodontic treatment was historically associated with teenagers. Braces aren’t just for kids anymore! Dr. Tsibel has treated patients from age 6 to age 75! Orthodontic treatment can be successful at any age, and adults especially appreciate the benefits of a beautiful, healthy smile. Today, an increasing number of adults are choosing to wear braces to straighten their teeth, improve their smiles and correct malocclusions (bad bites). In fact, it is now estimated that one third of all current orthodontic patients are adults.
Adult orthodontic treatment is predictable, versatile and incredibly successful. In short, an adult can experience the same beautiful end results as a teenager!
Benefits of Adult Orthodontics
Crooked teeth and a misaligned bite in adults can contribute to:
Gum and bone loss Tooth decay Abnormal wear of the tooth enamel and surfaces Headaches and jaw joint (TMJ/TMD) pain Difficulties biting, chewing and articulating speech clearly Self-esteem issues due to poor smile and/or facial aesthetic
Adult orthodontic treatment can predictably and successfully address all of the above. Straight teeth are easier to clean and maintain, and adult teeth can move orthodontically just like adolescent teeth. Generally speaking, dentists agree that straight teeth tend to be healthier teeth.
Fortunately, orthodontic techniques and braces have been adapted and modified to make them more convenient and socially acceptable for adults. There are now a wide range of fixed and removable orthodontic appliances available, depending on the individual situation.
What are the Main Adult Treatment Options?
The following are some of the most popular adult orthodontic options (also see "Types of Appliances"):
Ceramic (clear)/tooth-colored braces – These braces are strong and do not to stain. The ceramic brackets are generally just a little larger than the metal alternative, but are still very comfortable, and of course are much less noticeable. Clear Aligners – Clear aligner treatment (such as Invisalign, Clear Correct, etc..) is one of the more popular ways to move teeth for our adult patients. Many of our adult clear aligner patients wore braces as teenagers, but didn’t wear their retainers, and now their teeth have shifted out of satisfactory alignment (orthodontic relapse). Other patients just never had the opportunity to get braces as children. With the Clear Aligner systems, our patients can straighten their teeth without the appearance of traditional braces. Clear aligners are favored by many adults because they are both removable and invisible to onlookers. these aligners are clear trays, and should be worn 22 hours each day ("22/7" as we call it) for the best and quickest results. Clear aligners tend to be a little more comfortable and less obtrusive than traditional braces, but also tend to be more costly due to the advanced and patented technologies and the laboratory process involved in fabricating them. Furhtermore, not all patients are good candidates for Clear Aligner treatment, after examining you, Dr. Tsibel will let you know if the specific treatment goals of your case will be effectively addressed with clear aligner treatment. Lingual braces – These braces are usually metal and fixed on the tongue side of the teeth, (behind the teeth). They are relatively comfortable and easy to wear, but may interfere with normal speech initially, and they are completely hidden throughout the entire treatment process. Thus, this treatment is truly Invisible Orthodontics. These braces are not for everyone, Dr. Tsibel will tell you if you are a good candidate for this treatment modality.
Of course, adults often have issues with their teeth that may complicate treatment or make it difficult to achieve an ideal result. Jaw surgery is occasionally required for adult orthodontic patients because their jaws are not growing. Adults also may have experienced some breakdown or loss of their teeth and bone that supports the teeth. They may require periodontal or gum treatment before, during and/or after orthodontic treatment. Bone loss can also limit the amount and direction of tooth movement that is advisable. If your case is at all complicated, Dr. Tsibel will contact your regular dentist or any other dental specialists to coordinate and plan your treatment in order to optimize the end results. Prior to initiating specific adult orthodontic treatment, Dr. Tsibel may recommend treatment of any pre-existing dental and/or periodontal conditions such as gum or periodontal disease, excess plaque, and tooth decay. Orthodontic treatment in adults can greatly exacerbate any or all of these conditions, especially underlying active (and unmanaged) periodontal disease.