Orthodontic treatment is not just for children and teens. More and more adults are choosing to undergo orthodontic treatment to improve their oral health as well as their smiles. Some adults are seeking the treatment they were not able to get in their youth. Others may have experienced some regression since their treatment many years ago and would like to correct it.
Adult orthodontic treatment has some similarities to adolescent treatment and also some differences. If you’re considering orthodontic treatment as an adult, here’s what you should know.
What is Adult Orthodontic Treatment?
Adult orthodontic treatment is just what it sounds like: orthodontic treatment for adults. Many of the same goals and treatments are involved. Most orthodontists treat adults as well as children and teenagers.
Orthodontic Treatments for Adults
Orthodontic treatment for adults includes many of the same treatment options that are used for children and teens, such as:
- Metal braces. Metal braces consist of brackets that attach to each tooth and an archwire that connects them. Braces shift the teeth into proper alignment using a combination of wires and other mechanisms such as rubber bands (elastics).
- Clear braces. Clear braces work like metal braces but are made of clear or tooth-colored ceramic that blends in with your teeth to be more discreet.
- Aligners. Aligners are a different method for straightening the teeth. Clear plastic aligners (like retainers) are worn over the teeth to shift them into proper alignment. The aligners are virtually invisible and are also removable.
Is Adult Orthodontic Treatment Right For Me?
You may be a good candidate for orthodontic treatment in adulthood if any of the following apply:
- You are dissatisfied with your smile.
- You lack confidence due to the appearance of your teeth.
- Your teeth are showing signs of damage or premature wear.
- You have trouble keeping certain teeth clean.
- You have had cavities due to overlapping teeth.
Misaligned teeth and bite patterns can cause any and all of the above situations. If any of these apply to you, adult orthodontic treatment may be worth considering.
How Adult Treatment Differs From Adolescent Treatment
There are some differences between adolescent treatment and adult treatment, primarily the duration. Children and teens are still growing when they receive orthodontic treatment, which takes advantage of growth spurts when the jaw is more malleable, making it easier to change the shape of the jaw and shift the teeth.
Adult teeth are more set in place and the jaw bone is more firm, making it more difficult to shift the teeth and almost impossible to change the shape of the jaw without surgery. This is why orthodontic treatment takes longer in adulthood.
Frequently Asked Questions About Adult Orthodontics
Is there a discreet way to straighten my teeth?
Many adults are worried about how they will look with metal braces. But ceramic braces and aligners provide more discreet options for straightening teeth that most people won’t even notice. Clear aligners are virtually invisible and are also removable when necessary.
Does insurance cover orthodontic treatment for adults?
Some dental insurance plans cover orthodontic treatment for adults and others don’t. If you are over the age of 18 there is a higher chance that your plan doesn’t cover orthodontic treatment. To find out for sure, contact your insurance provider.
Getting Started With Adult Orthodontic Treatment
If you’re interested in adult orthodontic treatment, the first step is to schedule a consultation. Dr. Suzanne Stock will evaluate the current position and health of your teeth and make a recommendation for the best course of treatment.
To learn more, contact us today and schedule an appointment.