Reasons for seeking treatment
Orthodontic treatment is not restricted to children and teenagers. The basic process involved in moving teeth is the same at any age. Adults make up approximately 20% of our practice. You are never too old to improve your smile, your bite, or your self-esteem.
With the average life expectancy continuing to rise, why live 30, 40, 50+ years with problems that can be easily corrected with 12-18 months of orthodontic treatment? Many adult orthodontic patients have discovered that dramatic improvements in appearance and dental health can be quickly obtained due to the incredible advancements in tooth movement.
Our adult patients represent a wide range of issues
Some patients had braces as a child and didn’t wear their retainers. We now teach our patients that retainers are a lifetime commitment of night-time wear only, as teeth can and will move for a variety of reasons. Some patients come to us after their children are grown, when they have decided it is “their time.” Often adults want to straighten their front teeth for aesthetic reasons, or seek bite correction to alleviate their jaw symptoms. We also see patients who need to close space from missing teeth or align teeth better in order to restore (crowns, bridges, etc.) remaining teeth properly.
Treatment may take longer for adults because their jaw bones are denser than in children
While wearing braces as an adult does present real challenges, it’s worth remembering that these are only temporary, whereas your teeth will remain aligned for the rest of your life, so long as you are diligent in following the retention regime prescribed by our orthodontist.
A range of aesthetic options are available for adult patients who do not wish to have too much metal colour showing or do not wish to let anyone know they are having orthodontic treatment. Apart for having aesthetic braces, we understand adult patients are also concerned with discomfort and duration of treatment. We use state of the art technology to help minimise the discomfort during tooth alignment. Braces can also be placed either on the upper or lower arch only with limited treatment goals.
The aesthetic options available to adults include:
- Clear brackets and clear wires in addition to the traditional stainless
- Highly specialized invisible lingual braces (placed behind teeth)
- Invisible clear aligners (Invisalign or Clearsmile)
Many adults are starting to discover the real advantage of having lingual braces. Rather than getting the brackets attached to the front side of your teeth, you have them fixed on the inside. As they are fixed, there are no problems with remembering to wear plates such as with removable clear aligners.
Removable clear aligners such as those manufactured by Invisalign and Clearsmile, are an increasing alternative. These clear, plastic aligners are not attached to your teeth. There are no metal wires. You wear them for up to 22 hours a day, taking them out to eat. The treatment begins with our orthodontist taking impressions of your teeth. The company then produces a series of aligners especially for you. You wear each aligner for about two weeks, then move on to the next one.