Orthodontics is not just for children and teens! In fact, 1 in every 4 patients in orthodontic treatment is an adult. At Anchored Orthodontics, no one is too old for orthodontic treatment and to invest in their smile and dental health.
Adults seek orthodontic treatment for many of the same reasons as children do. Some adults had orthodontic problems as children but were unable to correct them until now. Others, who had treatment as children, may need further treatment as adults due to relapse or limitations in initial treatment. Or some may simply want to improve their smile.
Benefits of Adult Orthodontics
Adults can benefit from orthodontic treatment in many ways. These include:
- Align the teeth to create a more aesthetic and beautiful smile
- Correct relapse after previous orthodontic treatment due to lack of long term retainer wear
- Improve the ability to brush and floss, especially for crowded or overlapping lower front teeth
- Create a better or more comfortable bite and ability to chew
- Address missing teeth
- Close spaces between the teeth
- Reduce excessive wear on the teeth due to grinding or poor bite
- Jaw surgery to correct discrepancy between the upper and lower jaws.
Appearance of Braces
Many adults are concerned with the appearance of braces. Oftentimes, Invisalign® (The invisible alternative to braces) can be used to treat adults. This technology involves clear removable aligners, fabricated through advanced 3D imaging to align the teeth. For more severe problems, we have the option of clear ceramic brackets instead of metal.
Soreness and Discomfort
Orthodontic treatment is no more uncomfortable for adults than children. Adults undergoing orthodontic treatment report the same level of soreness and discomfort as children (although adults are usually more willing to tell us about the soreness).
Typically, the teeth are most uncomfortable 12-24 hours after an orthodontic adjustment and will disappear within 3 to 5 days. Modern appliances are smaller and more comfortable to wear. Due to innovations in orthodontics and the use of technology, less pressure is put on the teeth. Bite and alignment are actually corrected faster and with much less discomfort this way. Treatment time, on average, is completed in 15-18 months.
The fee for adult orthodontic treatment is determined the same way as child or adolescent treatment. It is based on the severity of the problem, the complexity of the correction, the appliances used and the length of time to correct.
Dr. Molly McMahon has treated individuals in their 50’s, 60’s and even their 70’s. It is never too late to gain the smile you have always wanted
Surgical orthodontics is more commonly known as orthognathic surgery. Surgical orthodontics is usually carried out to improve jaw alignment and bite disorders. This surgery requires the teamwork of an oral and maxillofacial surgeon, and an orthodontist. A patient benefits from surgical orthodontics in multiple ways. The surgery helps in improving a patient’s speaking, chewing, and breathing capabilities. It also greatly improves a patient’s facial appearance.
How Does Surgical Orthodontics Work?
In certain cases, treatment with braces may actually worsen the bite instead of correcting the alignment. A patient may visit the orthodontist for routine adjustments during orthodontic treatment. As the braces move the teeth, the bite is observed to be getting worse and the treatment is not proving to be effective. The orthodontist may then decide to recommend orthognathic surgery.
Orthognathic surgery places the jaws into proper alignment, which results in the teeth fitting properly into the correct position. The surgery may take several hours. The time required for surgery depends on the condition of the patient. Orthognathic surgery is performed by an oral and maxillofacial surgeon.
The surgery of the lower jaw requires the separation of the jawbone behind the teeth and moving the tooth-bearing portion of the jawbone forward or backwards as required. In surgery of the upper jaw, the jaw can be raised, repositioned or lowered forward or backward. Some movements may need the jaws to be separated and addition or removal of bones to attain stability and proper alignment. Facial bones that help in the alignment can also be repositioned or augmented.
How Long is the Post-Surgery Recovery Period?
The recovery period of orthodontic surgery is about two weeks, and the patient will be able to return to school or work after this time period. The surgery will take between 4 and 8 weeks to completely heal. Minor adjustments will be required to be made to the patient’s bite by the orthodontist after the surgery. The removal of braces is usually carried out 6 to 12 months after the surgery. The patient is required to wear a retainer after the braces are removed to maintain the corrected position of the teeth.