Do you want to straighten your smile or adjust your bite? Braces and other orthodontic options aren't just for children and teens. If you're considering adult orthodontic treatment, take a look at the top questions patients have about these services.
Is Orthodontic Treatment Different for Adults?
More specifically, is adult orthodonture different than childhood treatment? While the types of treatments are similar, adult and child orthodontics do have some differences. These include:
The overall complexity. A child's facial bones are still forming. This can make it easier to treat younger patients. In comparison, the adult's fully-formed jaw may require a complex type of treatment.
Past dental history. An adult may have an extensive dental history, including the use of orthodontic devices in the past, tooth extractions, caps, bridges, veneers, fillings, and other dental issues that may change the way an orthodontist needs to approach treatment.
Aesthetic issues. Between work, your social life, and your love life, you may not want to show off obvious signs of orthodontics. This may make noticeable types of treatment, such as metal braces, options you don't want to explore.
Even though the aesthetic issues of orthodonture can make an adult psychologically uncomfortable, don't let the look of braces or other dental devices get in the way of your treatment. Before you skip orthodontics, talk to a professional about the available options.
What Orthodontic Options Are Available to Adults?
The answer to this question depends on several factors. In general, adults have a few different orthodontic options. But your orthodontist may recommend one type of treatment over another, depending on your teeth, bite, and overall needs.
The most common orthodontic treatments adults choose include:
Conventional braces. These are the braces you may have had as a child. Conventional braces use metal brackets and wires to move or shift the teeth. While these braces are noticeable, they may take less time than other options to achieve orthodontic goals.
Variations on conventional braces. If conventional braces are the best option for your needs, but you don't like the look of metal, you may want to explore tooth-colored ceramic or clear brackets. Even though the brackets aren't as noticeable (compared to the metal type), you will still need metal wires.
Clear aligners. This orthodontic treatment is the least noticeable choice. Aligners are clear trays that you can remove to eat or brush your teeth. You'll need a series of different trays, used over time, to achieve the maximum results.
Along with these popular options, some adults choose lingual braces. The orthodontist cements these braces to the back of the teeth, hiding the metal and wires.