May 9th, 2017
Quick answer- NO. Our oldest adult patient during their treatment a few years ago was in their mid 70’s.
As we continue to thankfully live longer, more adults are seeking orthodontic treatment (braces and Invisalign) for the first time or being retreated because of infrequent/lost/damage/etc of their past retainer(s). Furthermore, with better access to dental care, education and income, more adults have all of their teeth and understand the important relationship between their teeth and their overall health; they want to invest the necessary time and money into their health. In the past for a lot of adults due to missing teeth and finances, straight teeth and a good, functional bite were often achieved with dentures/fake teeth only. Now, adults have their teeth and have options.
Past obstacles to orthodontic treatment that we hear from our past adult patients at their complimentary initial exams are the following:
1) Length of treatment- Will it take a long time?
2) Will I be the only adult among a bunch of kids?
3) Will I have a mouth full of metal like the old days?
4) Cost and financing.
Depending on the extent of an adult’s problems and their expectations, some patients’ treatment times can be as short as 6 months or less! Really, we are not joking. Dr. Altherr does joke that his patients’ treatment times are shorter because of him being naturally impatient; but more seriously, it’s because we are experts at orthodontics, we use up to date technology and Dr. Altherr’s board-certified experience and being UNC trained further adds to the efficiency in treatment and the corresponding brief treatment times.
Adults are about 20% or our practice, and growing. There are some mornings where we only see adults. There are many more aesthetic options than the metal braces of the past. We offer clear braces and Invisalign, which a lot of our adults really like. And finally, with all of our patients (not just adults) and the various treatment options offered, we have many flexible financing options that make affording orthodontic treatment simple and easy.
Note: Dr. Edward Altherr is a board-certified orthodontist in private practice serving Apex, NC, and the surrounding towns/cities of Cary, Holly Springs, Morrisville, Raleigh and Fuquay-Varina. Dr. Altherr’s training in orthodontics was at the prestigious University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s program where we studied under many great orthodontic icons like Dr. William Proffitt and Dr. Camilla Tulloch. During his orthodontic training, Dr. Altherr’s research and further focus was on the orthodontic treatment of the mixed-dentition (mix of baby and adult teeth in kids between 6 and 14 yo). With his research and over 15 years of clinical orthodontic experience as of 2017, Dr. Altherr is considered an expert in mixed-dentition orthodontics and other areas of orthodontics like temporary skeletal anchors. This web blog is for educational purposes only. Dr. Altherr is licensed only in the state of North Carolina, and cannot diagnose and recommend orthodontic treatment over the phone or internet.