Braces for Adults
Adults often have problems with misalignment, crowding, and crooked teeth caused by a phenomenon called adult longitudinal crowding. The good news is we can fix these problems with orthodontic treatment just as we would with pre-teens and teens.
Dental Complications and the Need for Braces
Addressing these dental problems goes beyond cosmetic concerns. If teeth are crowded or overlap, it becomes difficult to clean them and makes it easier for bacteria to develop there. If your teeth don't align properly when you close your mouth (a condition known as malocclusion), you can end up with problems chewing and swallowing. Malocclusion can also make it harder to pronounce certain words and put too much strain on your chewing muscles, resulting in facial pain or discomfort.
Differences in Orthodontic Treatment for Teens and Adults
According to the American Association of Orthodontists, 1 in 5 orthodontic patients is over 18, but the number of adults seeking orthodontic treatment is increasing exponentially. Repositioning teeth during the pre-teen and teenage years can sometimes afford more flexibility in treatment plans, but adults can also achieve incredible results with our care.
If you are an adult seeking orthodontic treatment to fix cosmetic issues and realign your bite, there are a few things to note. First off, since adults' bones are no longer growing, they may need orthognathic surgery to achieve certain structural goals. Second, orthodontic treatments for adults can take longer than they do for pre-teens and teenagers. The average length of treatment is two years, but this varies from person to person.
Further, if you have experienced gum disease or bone loss, we'll need to make sure that these conditions won't complicate your planned orthodontic treatment.
Different Types of Braces
Thanks to advances in orthodontic technology, braces today are more comfortable than ones made in decades past. They're also smaller, use fewer brackets, and are less obtrusive.
Stainless Steel Braces
Stainless steel brackets are still commonly used for braces because they are economical and effective.
If you want braces that are less noticeable, we have tooth-colored ceramic brackets as well. But compared to their metal counterparts, ceramic brackets are often more prone to breakage.
A lingual appliance involves brackets and wires that are attached to the back of your teeth, concealing the fact you are in orthodontic treatment from onlookers. The downsides to these discrete braces include potential speech problems, irritation of the tongue, a higher cost, and a more detailed level of care.
For more information, please contact our office at 267-703-7877.