Orthodontic Treatment Can Produce Dramatic Changes at Any Age
Braces are no longer just for teens. It is never too late to wear braces or begin other orthodontic treatments to achieve the smile of your dreams.
The American Association of Orthodontists states that one in five orthodontic patients is over the age of 21.
The practice of orthodontics has continued to evolve, combining advances in technologies and treatments with better materials to make orthodontic procedures for adults an easy, affordable, and convenient option for optimal oral health and a stunning smile.
Benefits to Orthodontic Treatment as an Adult
An attractive smile can do wonders for your self-esteem and confidence. A great smile helps you make an excellent first impression and improve your professional achievements.
Beginning treatment as an adult can allow you to stop hiding behind your orthodontic conditions and allow you to start living your best life.
- Correction of long-term dental issues
- Less noticeable treatment methods
- Faster treatment time than older orthodontic techniques
- Straight teeth and an aesthetically pleasing smile
- Enhanced quality of life
- Positive impact on your success at work
- Improved oral health
Untreated Dental Problems
As an adult, you do not have to live with dental problems. You’ve probably noticed that these issues do not go away on their own.
There are a number of treatment options available to adults that can end the suffering you may be experiencing. Some adults have had long-term issues such as crooked or crowded teeth and improper bites, while others are dealing with newer conditions such as fractured or shifting teeth.
Dental conditions can eventually lead to:
- Periodontal (gum) disease
- Gum recession
- Tooth decay
- Tooth and bone loss
- Tooth discomfort and sensitivity
- Nerve and jaw pain
- Speech problems
- Tooth loss
- Headaches and earaches
- Biting and chewing problems
Is Orthodontic Treatment Different for Adults?
Yes and no. Braces can provide the same benefits no matter the age but treatment most often takes longer for adults than for children. The average treatment time for adults can be anywhere from 18 months to three years. The reason for this is that an adult’s facial bones have developed and hardened years before treatment.
Because the jawbone, teeth, and gums are now fully developed, treatment to correct your orthodontic issues may be more challenging to correct. Dr. Righellis and his team are experienced in solving these concerns while achieving ideal outcomes and happy smiles.
Types of Orthodontic Treatment
When it comes to treating your orthodontic issues, there are several options to consider. Dr. Righellis and his team will help you make the best choice for your particular needs. Let’s look at some of the most common types of braces and what issues they are best at correcting:
Type 1: Self-Ligating Braces
Self-ligating braces can be found in both metal and ceramic options and make use of the bracket and wire system. This type of braces uses brackets with clips that hold the wires, instead of using the traditional rubber band tie system.
This option holds on to less food and it is most often less painful. Self-ligating braces do shorten treatment times but they may not provide all of the features to successfully treat more challenging orthodontic conditions.
The stigma associated with metal braces is now a thing of the past. Modern brackets are now smaller and less noticeable than years ago, making them more comfortable, lighter, and less intrusive. New technology has helped to improve this option significantly. New heat-activated archwires respond to your body heat to force the movement of teeth more quickly and are less painful than what people experienced in the past with metal braces.
Type 2: Ceramic Braces
This option allows the braces to blend in more naturally with the smile, making them far less noticeable. The brackets are made from a tooth-colored ceramic material. Even the wires are colored to match the teeth. However, the downside to this is that the brackets can easily stain if the patient is not diligent with their brushing and flossing.
Due to the type of components used, ceramic braces are more expensive than their metal counterparts. They are less durable than traditional braces, but technology is constantly changing and improving. Choosing ceramic braces will offer the patient a faster treatment than using Invisalign.
Type 3: Invisalign
Instead of metal components, the Invisalign system uses a series of 18 to 30 customized, removeable, clear plastic trays. Similar to mouth guards, the trays are designed to fit snugly over the teeth. These aligners are generally switched out every two weeks to keep your teeth moving in the appropriate direction. Invisalign is one of the most commonly preferred and most effective invisible braces on the market.
Invisalign allows the patient to completely remove the device to clean the teeth, which can make it easier to lose or break resulting in costly replacements. While more comfortable, these trays are also more expensive than traditional braces. Technology in this area is advancing every day but at this time the Invisalign option is not best suited for severe orthodontic conditions.
Contact Us Today
If you’re unhappy with your teeth and considering dental braces for yourself, schedule a consultation today with Dr. Righellis at our Oakland, CA practice. During your visit, we will evaluate your concerns and customize a treatment plan that’s suitable for you as well as discuss our affordable and convenient payment options. Dr. Righellis and his team have the experience and expertise to deliver results that will exceed your expectations. Contact us online or give us a call at 510-482-0600.