There was a time when orthodontics was largely limited to children and teenagers. It only made sense, as teenager’s jaws are still growing, making it much easier for them to move their teeth successfully. They recover quickly and usually end up with beautiful results.
Though teenagers are still the primary candidates for teeth straightening, it seems that more and more adults are choosing to undergo orthodontic treatment as well. In fact, adult teeth straightening has increased by as much as 40% in the past decade alone.
It seems that adults these days are more conscious about their smiles, and there is an increased demand for straight, healthy, and attractive teeth. Straight teeth can make the face look younger and more radiant, and make oral hygiene easier. A majority of adults want to keep their teeth for as long as possible.
A More Complex Procedure
Whether you are a teenager or an adult, the basic process of orthodontics does not change. You will still need to wear braces or aligners over a set period of time to create straighter teeth. Adults, however, may be faced with a more complex procedure compared to teens due to a number of factors.
First off, adults already have a fixed bone structure – should they require a more intensive treatment than a simple teeth straightening procedure, they may need surgical intervention. For example, teens that require crossbite correction just have to wear a dental appliance to correct it, while an adult with a crossbite will need jaw surgery.
Second, adults are also more prone to having periodontitis, or gum disease. About 47% of the adult population has periodontitis, which will get in the way of treatment. A patient will have to clear all traces of periodontitis before they get their teeth straightened.
There is also the problem of existing dental work – the presence bridges and crowns may interfere with the straightening treatment.
There are Better Options
Despite some of the challenges, many adults are getting their teeth straightened. This is due in part to the availability of Invisalign and other invisible aligners. According to Vaksman Dental Group, Invisalign is made of a clear, plastic material that fits around the teeth. It is removable and comfortable to wear, compared to fixed metal braces.
Many adults feel embarrassed about wearing metal braces because the brackets may receive a lot of unwanted attention. Invisalign braces have the advantage of being discreet and nearly invisible – it is difficult to see if a patient is wearing them unless you get up close to inspect them.
Since Invisalign braces are removable, it is much easier to maintain proper oral hygiene. Patients can remove them and brush and floss normally. This is beneficial to adult patients, as they are at higher risk of periodontitis.
Many adults want to gain the benefits of having straight teeth. Some may be straightening their teeth for the first time, while others wish to correct straightened teeth that have relapsed as they aged. No matter the reason, many adult patients are seeing the value of having a beautiful smile.