Are Braces Worth it For Older Adults?
Orthodontic treatment is constantly improving thanks to technology and scientific advancements. It is probable that orthodontics nowadays are very different from what you once knew as aligner treatment.
The basis behind teeth straightening is the same, but the appliances, the processes, and the results are better now. The goal behind these changes it’s achieving more comfortable treatment, little to no interference with your lifestyle, and faster results.
Contrary to popular belief, orthodontic treatment is and has always been apt for patients of a wide range of ages and issues. People think only children and teenagers can wear braces or aligners, and that’s simply not true.
Thankfully, more adults in the U.S. are realizing orthodontic treatment is still an option for them. The increase in adult patients is significant, though the main reason why people seek orthodontic help is to enhance their appearance.
Orthodontic treatment does play a role in facial symmetry, which is a valid, important fact. But first and foremost, orthodontic treatment improves your oral health and overall well-being.
Misaligned teeth can lead to many oral health problems, including poor dental hygiene, a higher risk of tooth decay, periodontal disease, abnormal wear, TMD, and more.
As an adult, you have probably discovered the famous back or knee pains, and we are sure you do not want to add jaw pain or headache due to dental problems to the list.
What Is the Process for Starting Orthodontic Treatment as an Adult?
All orthodontic patients, regardless of their age, need to complete a series of steps to kickstart the treatment. Of course, the starting point is a dental examination with your dentist.
At Westwalk Orthodontic Group, we’ll hear your concerns and give you an idea of what we reasonably could expect as an outcome, along with a general timeline. The diagnosis process includes X-Rays, and a detailed plan is constructed and discussed with you and any other treating dentists or dental specialists.
Between you and your doctor, you will decide on an orthodontic appliance. Most adult patients want to choose Invisalign clear aligners because of the discretion factor.
However, there are cases where Invisalign is not the best option for a patient’s necessities, and that’s when the doctor’s input is so important. Traditional braces and clear ceramic braces are great alternatives for adults as well.
Some patients’ concerns can be addressed as quickly as several months; others may take up to two years. Once you start wearing your orthodontic appliances, dental checkups will become regular (once or twice a month).
In general, fees are commensurate with the length and complexity of treatment. Fortunately, we offer easy down payments and monthly payments with no added interest.
How Is Adult Orthodontic Treatment Different?
The main differences between orthodontic treatment for adults and children or teenagers come from physiological aspects. Orthodontists need to know how to approach and design a treatment plan for each type of patient.
Growth and Development of the Teeth and Facial Structures
Children and teenagers have the advantage that their teeth, mandibles, and faces are still malleable due to their developmental stage. Adults have more stable and rigid structures.
Fairfield Orthodontic treatment in adults focuses more on repositioning the teeth within the existing facial and jaw structure.
Adults Have Increased Bone Density
As people get older, their bones become more dense, meaning the teeth and the whole surrounding structures are more resistant to shifting positions.
This fact can intervene with the speed of the orthodontic treatment in Norwalk, requiring more force and patience to achieve teeth alignment in adults in comparison to children or teens.
Do Previous Dental Treatments Interfere With Orthodontics in Adults?
Although it is possible to encounter kids who have had endodontic treatment, dental fillings, or who have lost a tooth, it is adults who often have more dental work done.
Dental restorations such as dental crowns, bridges, or dental implants might create a different treatment plan with other dental experts to successfully complete the treatment.
Higher Risk of Periodontal Disease in Adults
As you may know, orthodontic treatment and periodontal disease do not make the best combination, and adult patients have a higher risk of experiencing this type of issue.
Before initiating the orthodontic treatment, it’s paramount to fix any gum disease or problems to ensure a responsible and safe environment for tooth movement.
Orthodontic Treatment and Gum Disease
Why is gum disease an issue for orthodontic treatment? Every organ in our body is connected. Your gums, hard and soft tissues, periodontal ligaments, and underlying bones are in charge of supporting your teeth.
Gum disease can cause inflammation, infection, and breakdown of these essential structures. Applying force to teeth under gum disease can compromise not only the treatment progress but lead to tooth loss-
Additionally, orthodontic appliances like traditional metal braces can cause extra difficulties in the oral hygiene routine. Poor oral hygiene is the main cause of periodontal disease, meaning orthodontic treatment could lead to the worsening of the existing condition.
Applying orthodontic treatment while there are gum issues present is risky and will likely cause delays, infections, and further complications to the process.
What Are Some Common Orthodontic Problems?
Orthodontic patients become so because they need to fix some type of dental malocclusion (dental misalignment, bite problems, etc.). Dental issues are pretty much the same for patients of all ages, with little variations.
Crowding and Overcrowding
Crowded teeth usually occur due to the lack of space in the jaw. Because teeth do not fit properly, they tend to overlap or rotate, creating hideouts for bacteria and altering your smile, and sometimes teeth function.
Teeth Gap or Diastema
Diastema is the medical term for a teeth gap or space between two or more teeth.
A diastema can produce due to one or more missing teeth, abnormal tooth size, or abnormal jaw development. Depending on the severity of the case, teeth gaps can cause pain, increased sensitivity, and speech or chewing problems.
Overbites are one of the most common malocclusion problems both in adults and children.
People also refer to this dental issue as a deep bite. Someone has an overbite when their upper front teeth sit, overlapping the lower front teeth.
Besides appearance changes, overbites can cause jaw joint problems and excessive teeth wear and tear.
An underbite is like an inverted overbite. Someone has an overbite if their lower front teeth overlap the upper front teeth when biting or closing down.
Underbites require orthodontic treatment because they cause biting problems, facial asymmetry, and pain.
Underbites happen when a patient has abnormal jaw growth, leading to overgrowth of the lower jaw or undergrowth of the upper jaw.
What Are Crossbites?
The name crossbite means misalignment of the jaws or dental arches. This happens when one or several teeth in the upper jaw sit and bite inside the lower jaw.
This type of malocclusion causes jaw asymmetry and raises the risk of TMD (temporomandibular disorder).
An open bite occurs when patients have a gap between the lower and upper front teeth in a rest position (closed mouth).
Speech problems like pronunciation and enunciation are likely consequences of this problem, as well as biting and chewing difficulties.
Open bites are often the result of bad oral habits, such as thumb-sucking.
What Are the Different Types of Braces for Adults?
Adult patients count on many treatment alternatives to correct their orthodontic problems. Finding an orthodontist who has experience with the different options, like Dr. Steve Cagliostro or Dr. Gary Romero, is crucial to choose the best one for you.
Traditional Metal Braces and Clear Ceramic Braces
You know, conventional braces. They are metal brackets cemented on the teeth and connected through metal archwires and ligatures.
Braces are still the most effective treatment since they can successfully correct various orthodontic problems from mild to severe and complex cases.
Traditional braces have their pros and cons. They are noticeable and can cause irritations in your mouth. For the visibility problem, clear ceramic braces can be an alternative.
Ceramic braces follow the same principles as metal braces to move teeth and align the smile with the difference that they are made of tooth-colored ceramic material.
Invisalign Clear Aligners
Invisalign is the most famous brand of clear aligners. They have been in the market for 20 years, though the popularity of this orthodontic appliance started in recent years.
Clear aligners are different from traditional braces in almost every aspect. They are a series of custom-made acrylic molds that gradually move the teeth to the goal position.
Invisalign clear aligners reduce orthodontic emergencies to almost zero, do not cause irritations, do not require dietary restrictions, and are virtually invisible.
And what are the cons of Invisalign treatment? They are highly effective, though not yet as effective as conventional brackets. Orthodontists recommend clear aligners to treat mild to moderate cases.
How to Find the Best Orthodontist in Fairfield?
Westwalk Orthodontic Group has the best orthodontic team in Fairfield. Drs. Cagliostro and Romero can address severe dental malocclusions successfully in state-of-the-art offices.
But what makes a good orthodontist?
Their knowledge and experience, of course, which Drs. Cagliostro and Romero demonstrate a priori thanks to their board certifications as orthodontists.
Reputation and reviews are also crucial, and the Westwalk team is backed by the local community in that particular aspect.
A wide range of orthodontic services gives you the certainty that you can choose the best appliance for your specific needs. Here at Fairfield Orthodontics, patients can find Invisalign treatment and traditional braces.
We love being your family orthodontist in the greater Norwalk and Westport communities! Set an appointment to meet the team!
Our office is located 10-15 min away from the maritime aquarium at Norwalk, Stepping Stones Museum for Children, Lockwood-Mathews Mansion, Sheffield Island Ferry, Norwalk Historical Society Museum, and Mill Hill Park.