With the innovations in orthodontics that make attaining straight teeth and a flawless smile more comfortable, convenient, and aesthetically appealing than ever before, it comes as no surprise that more adults are choosing to get braces. Orthodontic treatment can be successful at any age, and as many as 25% of today’s orthodontic patients are adults. Iris Erdell, DDS, MS Orthodontist in Walnut Creek, California has years of experience treating patients of all ages, including adults. To learn more, call or book your appointment online today.
While most adults seek orthodontic treatment in pursuit of a more attractive smile, there are many other important benefits of having straight teeth and a properly aligned jaw.
First and foremost, crooked or crowded teeth are much harder to clean and maintain. Using braces to straighten your teeth and improve spacing can substantially reduce your risk of tooth decay, gum disease, and ultimately, tooth loss.
Orthodontic problems can also cause inefficient chewing, abnormal wear and tear on the surface of your teeth, gum tissue stress, and misaligned jaw joints.
The main benefits of adult orthodontic treatment include:
It is estimated that about one in four orthodontic patients is past the age of 21. Adult treatment can be a more involved process than orthodontic treatments used for children and teenagers for a few different reasons.
Adult patients tend to have conditions that generally do not affect younger patients, including mild gingivitis, marginal bone loss, and insufficient bone between the roots for adequate blood supply.
Adults are also affected by the fact their bones are harder and no longer growing, and aging tissues typically take longer to adjust to newly positioned teeth.
Adults who have experienced tooth loss or some breakdown of the bone that supports their teeth may need periodontal treatment before, during, or after orthodontic treatment. Some adults also require a tooth extraction as part of their overall treatment plan.
Traditional metal braces, which consist of brackets, bands, and archwires, are a highly reliable way to straighten teeth. Technical advances have made them smaller and more comfortable than ever.
Also known as ceramic braces, clear braces work the same way as traditional metal braces, but they are made out of a truly clear sapphire like material that visually blends into your teeth. They are as effective and versatile as traditional metal braces.
Because clear braces can be used to address more severe spacing and alignment problems, they are an ideal solution for adults with more significant orthodontic issues.
Clear aligner therapy (Invisalign and 3M Clarity Aligners) is an orthodontic treatment that uses a series of clear plastic aligner trays to straighten your teeth over time. These aligner trays need to be worn for 22 hours each day and should be removed for eating and brushing only.
In addition to fixing mild to moderate spacing problems, clear aligners can also help correct small gaps, crowded teeth, protruding teeth, overbites, underbites, and crossbites.
Because the system’s special aligners are removable and virtually invisible, you can take them out to eat or brush your teeth, and no one can easily see that you’re wearing them.