When most people think of orthodontic treatment, they think of a teenager with braces. However, adult orthodontic treatment has grown increasingly popular in recent years. According to the American Association of Orthodontists (AAO), one in five orthodontic patients is over 18 years old.
At Kelly Smile Dentistry, we offer a wide variety of orthodontic treatments designed for our older patients. Although children and adolescents are the ideal candidates for treatment, adults can also benefit from orthodontics with excellent results. If you want a straighter, more beautiful smile, orthodontics may be the ideal solution.
Why Undergo Orthodontic Treatment Later in Life?
Orthodontic treatment is not just concerned with cosmetics. Correcting crooked or crowded teeth can make it easier to brush and floss your teeth. These types of problems can significantly increase your risk of developing tooth decay and gum disease.
Adult orthodontics can also be used to correct malocclusion or misaligned bite. A malocclusion can often result in problems with your jaw, specifically the temporomandibular joint (TMJ). These problems, often referred to as TMJ disorders (TMD), can prevent you from properly using your jaw during everyday activities such as eating, speaking, and yawning. In many cases, the symptoms are also quite painful.
Orthodontic treatment is a minimally invasive way to correct TMD with long-term results and without surgical intervention. It can also be extremely beneficial after significant tooth decay or gum disease due to crowding issues. Once these problems have been addressed, orthodontics can reduce your risk of a reoccurrence.
Popular Treatments Among Adults
Due to cultural stigmas, some adults are apprehensive when it comes to traditional metal braces. If you are concerned that orthodontic treatment may hurt your personal and professional life, you have come to the right place. We offer some safe, effective, and aesthetically pleasing alternatives to traditional braces.
Once of the most popular treatments among adults is the clear aligner system. This system involves a series of clear plastic aligner trays that are virtually invisible, making them highly discreet. Each tray in your series is custom-designed to move your teeth to a slightly straighter position.
Two other common alternatives are ceramic and lingual system braces. Ceramic braces consist of clear or tooth-colored brackets, wires, and elastic bands. Lingual braces are positioned on the back of your teeth, effectively hiding the appliance. During your consultation, Dr. Kelly will be able to determine which alternative is right for you.
Managing Your Treatment
Regardless of your appliance, a typical course of orthodontic treatment takes about 18 to 22 months. If you choose clear aligner trays, the length of your treatment is dictated by your commitment to wearing the trays. Most adults are usually motivated enough to comply with our instructions, which state that your aligner should be worn more than 20-22 hours a day.
It is important to note that as an adult, your bones have stopped growing, meaning some structural changes may not be possible without oral surgery. To ensure the optimal results, Dr. Kelly will conduct a thorough exam and review your dental and medical histories. In most cases, orthodontic treatment will provide you with an aesthetically pleasing smile and improved oral health.
Schedule Your Consultation Appointment
Find out if you, too, could benefit from adult orthodontic treatment! Call (442) 229-0766 to schedule your consultation appointment today!