Orthodontic Options for Adults
posted on 7-20-18
It may seem like orthodontic treatment is just a young person’s game, but that simply isn’t true. Orthodontic treatment has many benefits for individuals at any age and stage of life.
Most obvious is the aesthetic benefit of having straight teeth after orthodontic treatment, but the benefits extend far beyond appearance. Crooked teeth, improper spacing, and incorrect jaw positioning can cause various health problems that can be helped with orthodontic treatment.
A few health issues that may be improved with orthodontic treatment include:
- Issues with chewing, speaking or biting
- Intestinal problems from the inability to chew properly
- Jaw pain and/or popping
- Trouble cleaning teeth
- Gum and bone erosion
- Facial pain
Now there are a variety of options for orthodontic treatment, and many are discreet options, which are often more desired by adult patients. An orthodontist is the only one who can decide if you really need braces, and what form of treatment is right for you, but there are many options that you can discuss in order to determine what fits your needs and lifestyle the best.
Here are some common orthodontic options for adults:
Standard Metal Braces
Metal braces are the typical image that comes to mind when you think of braces and orthodontic treatment, but they aren’t as bulky and troublesome today as they have been in the past. Brackets have become smaller and less obtrusive. These are noticeable, but are often the quickest form of treatment.
Most adults will wear braces for 12-24 months, but each case is different, and your orthodontist will be the only one who can truly estimate how long your treatment will be, and whether your desired treatment will work for you.
Ceramic braces are similar to metal braces in shape and size, but they are made of clear or tooth-colored ceramic rather than metal. They are more subtle than metal braces, but may break more easily, and can stain without proper care.
Lingual braces are similar to traditional metal braces, but the brackets and wires are applied to the back of the teeth. This makes them considerably less noticeable, as the hardware is not visible on the front of the teeth.
Clear aligners are provided in sets of clear plastic trays that you will change every couple of weeks. This option is attractive because you can brush, floss, and eat normally. However, this option is often not as speedy as other options, and is not effective for severe cases.
Some questions to ask your orthodontist
Now that you know some of your treatment options, you’ll need to consult with an orthodontic specialist about which appliance is right for you. Luckily, most UAO orthodontists offer a free initial consultation, so don’t worry about the price of the appointment. A few questions to ask are
- Am I a good candidate for [preferred treatment type]?
- How long do you estimate my treatment with [preferred treatment type] will be?
- Do you have appointments available that work with my schedule?
Find a UAO orthodontist near you for your initial consultation.