Orthodontic Treatment for Adults
Orthodontic treatment is no longer just for teens. In fact, the American Association of Orthodontists states that one in five orthodontic patients is over the age of 21. Many adults are choosing to receive treatment because they understand the importance of maintaining their health, and they want to feel better about their appearance.
Dr. Cottingham loves her adult patients and solving the sometimes challenging orthodontic issues they may have. She especially enjoys working with a team of dental professionals, such as a restorative dentist, oral surgeon and/or periodontist to treat complex cases. You are never too old for braces — Dr. Cottingham has many patients who are in their 50's, 60' and 70's.
Common reasons why adults are considering orthodontic treatment:
- A bad bite or malocclusion, causing teeth to fit together incorrectly
- Teeth are crowded or spaced apart, possibly leading to tooth decay or gum disease
- Abnormal jaw pain or pressure that is caused by crooked teeth
- Desire for a healthier mouth and a more confident smile
- Preparation for restorative needs including missing or worn teeth
The difference between adult orthodontics and orthodontics for children and teens:
The main difference between treating adults and children or teens is that the jawbones of younger patients are still developing. For adults, these bones have stopped growing, which may make orthognathic surgery necessary to align the jawbones. Other differences include:
- Gum or bone loss (periodontal disease) — Adults are more likely than children to experience gum recession or even bone loss due to gingivitis or advanced periodontal disease. Patients with straighter teeth are less likely to get gum disease.
- Worn or missing teeth — Over time teeth can become worn down and shift into different positions that can only be corrected with orthodontic care. Missing teeth can cause other teeth to shift and tilt, creating a bad bite and increasing the possibility of gum disease.
- Incomplete orthodontic treatment as a teen — Many adults received some orthodontic treatment as a child or teen, but never completed their treatment. As an adult, they choose to complete their orthodontic treatment to achieve the healthy, beautiful smile they always wanted.
Our practice also recognizes that adults and children have different needs, and require a different level of attention and care. We will work with you to ensure that you receive the most appropriate treatments, and that your needs are met with understanding and respect from us.
Why should you consider orthodontic treatment?
- Straight teeth are healthy teeth — Teeth that are properly aligned are easier to keep clean with flossing and brushing, and may help prevent other health problems.
- A beautiful, straight smile builds confidence — Orthodontic treatment can help boost your self-confidence, giving you a better quality of life and the freedom to smile without holding back!
- Mouths left untreated can get worse — Not receiving orthodontic treatment when it's needed can create long-term health issues costing you more in the end.
Treatment Options for Adults
For many adults, the thought of having metal braces is enough to discourage them from receiving treatment. Cottingham Orthodontics offers clear ceramic braces, and many of our patients tell us their family and friends didn't even notice the braces!
Adults often ask, "Will my treatment take longer because I am older?" Most of the time the answer is "No." The majority of our adult patients are treated in the same time frame as our teenage patients. However, adults can certainly have other complicating factors that may extend treatment time or limit what can be accomplished. Sometimes in these situations, adults may choose to have limited vs. comprehensive treatment to address specific issues only.
To learn more about the benefits of adult orthodontics, please contact our practice at 317-299-0576 to schedule an appointment. We understand that you have a busy schedule, and we will work with you to make sure each office visit is as convenient as possible.