Many adults suffer with misalignment of the teeth and jaws, unaware of the ease of adult orthodontics today. There is often the fear of high cost and undesirable appearance. However, changes in orthodontic techniques and procedures have made adult orthodontics more affordable and less noticeable than ever before. As a result of these changes, more adults are opting to improve their smiles every day. At this time, about one in five orthodontic patients are adults.
The benefits of undergoing orthodontic procedures are the same for adults as for teenagers and children. These benefits include straighter teeth and better alignments of the teeth and jaws. Having straighter teeth can help to improve appearance, which can boost confidence. Straighter teeth can also make dental care easier and improve overall health. In addition, better alignment of the jaws and teeth can make chewing easier and correct issues with speech.
There are now many different options for orthodontics that are barely noticeable. A widely popular type of orthodontic treatment is Invisalign. Invisalign uses customized clear plastic trays to straighten teeth. Lingual braces, which are fitted behind the teeth, are also a less noticeable option. For those that require more extensive straightening, white or light braces may help to reduce the visibility of the braces.
Some adults avoid orthodontic treatment out of the mistaken belief that treatment is not possible due to missing teeth or past dental complications. If teeth are missing, orthodontists can customize prosthetics to hold the place so that the remaining teeth come into alignment. If gum disease or other past complications were present, orthodontists may work together with the patient’s dentist or periodontist to customize the orthodontic treatment. Patients should still continue to visit the dentist or periodontist regularly in addition to the orthodontist.
The costs of adult braces may vary depending on the patient’s needs. Many dental insurance plans now offer some degree of coverage for orthodontics due to the improvements in dental health that orthodontics provides. Orthodontists can go over all costs with patients before beginning treatment. Orthodontists may also offer payment plans to make treatment more affordable.
Certain lifestyle changes may make orthodontic treatment smoother and more effective. Diet alterations and quitting smoking may help to prevent build-up on the teeth when braces are worn. Tooth care may also have to be more strictly followed to prevent complications. Otherwise, most activities can be performed as normal while undergoing orthodontic treatment. Most patients adjust very quickly to the minor differences and the feel of orthodontic devices.