Braces for Adults
If you missed out on having your teeth straightened as a child, no worries. You can still have them corrected as an adult. Many adults have crowded or crooked teeth, and some have misalignment with their bite. While many adults may be concerned with the aesthetics of these conditions, there are also other reasons for getting your teeth straightened.
Approximately one in five adults over the age of 18 opts for orthodontic treatment, according the American Association of Orthodontists. If you are considering this option, good for you. Keep in mind that it may take longer for your teeth to move now that you are older. You also need to be aware of being at a greater risk for gum disease. Adult bones are no longer growing, so some structural changes may require surgery in order to accomplish the desired results. Your orthodontist will advise you of your risks and what to expect during the process.
How the Process Works
Braces help the teeth move in a desired direction by applying constant pressure. This is done with dental appliances such as braces or aligners. The teeth are gently pushed in a particular direction and the roots press against the bone. Slowly the tooth migrates through the bone to the desired position. In adults, this process can take about two years, depending on the severity of the condition.
Braces use brackets bonded to the front of each tooth. Wires are attached and anchored to the molars on each end. These wires direct the path of the teeth. You may feel some discomfort getting your braces fitted and when they are adjusted during the process. Pain relievers such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen are usually enough to eliminate any pain.
Types of Braces
Metal braces have long been the standard orthodontic treatment. Today’s braces are smaller and more comfortable than those of the past. Fewer brackets are used, and the wires are less noticeable and more effective.
Ceramic and plastic braces are also available and are less noticeable. Brackets are clear or tooth-colored. There are some drawbacks to this option. These braces can be more expensive than the metal counterparts. Ceramic brackets can break. Metal brackets are more comfortable on the lower teeth. Plastic brackets are less noticeable, but they may also stain after a while. The length of treatment may also be longer with this option.
To determine the best choice, schedule a complimentary appointment with Dr. Schatz. After a thorough examination and analysis, he will suggest the most effective treatment plans for your situation. Contact Schatz Orthodontics today to book your visit with us.