Orthodontics for Adults
Orthodontic treatment is no longer just for teens. In fact, the American Association of Orthodontists states that one in five orthodontic patients is over the age of 21, which is the percentage for Dr. Altherr's patients as well. Many adults are choosing to receive treatment because they understand the importance of maintaining their health, and they want to feel better about their appearance. The most common things our adult patients mention after their treatment is complete is that they're so glad they went through it and that it wasn't nearly as long as they had thought.
Common reasons why adults are considering orthodontic treatment:
- To look and feel better about themselves
- A bad bite or malocclusion, causing the teeth to fit together incorrectly
- Teeth that are crowded or spaced apart, possibly leading to tooth decay or gum disease
- To assist them and their general dentist in aligning the teeth prior to extensive crown and bridge treatment
- Desire for a healthier mouth and a more confident smile
Treatment Options for Adults
For many adults, the thought of having metal braces is enough to discourage them from receiving treatment. However, today's orthodontic treatment options offer a variety of braces and appliances that are comfortable, aesthetic, and customized to meet your needs. Types of braces include:
- Clear braces
- Clear plastic aligners like Invisalign
- Traditional metal braces
The difference between adult orthodontics and orthodontics for children and teens:
The main difference between treating adults and children or teens is that the jawbones of younger patients are still developing. For adults, these bones have stopped growing, which may make orthognathic surgery possible to align the jawbones. Other differences include:
- Gum or bone loss (periodontal disease) — Adults are more likely than children to experience gum recession or even bone loss due to gingivitis or advanced periodontal disease. Patients with straighter teeth are less likely to get gum disease.
- Worn or missing teeth — Over time teeth can become worn down and shift into different positions that can only be corrected with orthodontic care. Missing teeth can cause other teeth to shift and tilt, creating a bad bite and increasing the possibility of gum disease.
- Incomplete orthodontic treatment as a teen — Many adults received some orthodontic treatment as a child or teen, but never completed their treatment or stopped wearing their retaienrs. As an adult, they choose to complete their orthodontic treatment to achieve the healthy and beautiful smile they always wanted and deserved.
Our practice also recognizes that adults and children have different needs, and require a different level of attention and care. We will work with you to ensure that you receive the most appropriate treatment, and that your needs are met with understanding and respect from us.
Why should you consider orthodontic treatment?
- Straight teeth are healthy teeth — Teeth that are properly aligned are easier to keep clean with flossing and brushing, and may help prevent other health problems.
- A beautiful, straight smile builds confidence — Orthodontic treatment can help boost your self-confidence, giving you a better quality of life and the freedom to smile without holding back!
- Mouths left untreated can get worse — Not receiving orthodontic treatment when it's needed can create long-term health issues costing you more in the end.
To learn more about the benefits of adult orthodontics, please contact our practice to schedule an appointment. We understand that you have a busy schedule, and we will work with you to make sure each office visit is as convenient as possible.