Providence Pediatric Dentistry and Orthodontics

The Complete Guide to Adult Orthodontic Treatment

Dr. Adam looking at an x-ray with a patient - Providence Pediatric Dentistry and Orthodontics logo

Up until recent memory, it was a common stereotype that only children and adolescents were eligible to receive orthodontic treatment. This stereotype has continued to linger in recent years and many adults still wouldn’t go anywhere near the idea of getting braces or clear aligners. Although the majority of orthodontic patients globally are still under the age of 18, this stereotype has been proven wrong and many adults are starting to seek orthodontic treatment. In fact, the percentage of adult orthodontic patients has grown at an exponential rate in recent years to 1 in 3 patients. Here at Providence PDO, we take great pride in helping adults of all ages achieve their smile dreams! If you’ve been unhappy with your smile for many years but think you’re too old to correct your bite…THINK AGAIN! Let’s dive right in and discuss what is driving more adults to seek orthodontic treatment and how orthodontics can help you achieve the smile that you’ve always dreamt of!

Compared to children and adolescents, adults are more likely to have a better understanding of why clear aligners or braces can positively impact their life. As we age, we typically gain a better understanding of the important connection of oral health to our overall health. This has led some adults to seek out orthodontic treatment to improve the overall function and health of their smile, in hopes of increasing confidence and quality of life as a result.

Most people are aware that moving teeth into better alignment with orthodontics will likely improve the outward appearance of just about any smile. What many people don’t realize is that orthodontic treatment can lead to many other health benefits. Crooked or crowded teeth can make it difficult to brush and floss effectively, increasing the risk of tooth decay and gum disease. Misalignment can also cause excess wear on the teeth and enamel, which may lead to chronic headaches, jaw aches, and pain in the face and neck. Orthodontic treatment can reduce or eliminate symptoms like these altogether. It can also help protect you from serious oral health problems in the future. This will not only give you a healthier smile with improved function, but it can also mean major financial savings. That’s definitely something adults with bills to pay can appreciate.

There are more treatment options now compared to several years ago:

Metal Braces

Metal braces have come a long way since the days of wrapping around the entire and commonly causing discomfort. They are now much smaller and can be combined with an assortment of fun colors to give your braces some added personality. Metal braces are typically recommended for more difficult cases due to their long track record of success and work well for patients of all ages.

Clear Braces

Clear braces are the same shape and size as metal braces but are a newer technology and have the added benefit of being tooth colored. This is the main reason patients choose these over metal braces. They are durable but more prone to breakage compared to their metal counterparts, therefore we usually only recommend these for adults or adolescents. Clear braces can be used for any level of treatment difficulty as well. Dr. Adam loves clear braces and thinks you will too!

Clear Aligners

Throw out the brackets and wires, this treatment option involves moving teeth with invisible clear retainers or aligners that have forces pre-prescribed into a sequence of trays or aligners. After getting a digital of the teeth with our iTero scanner, Dr. Adam designs a fully customized 3D treatment plan with specific movements for each tooth, and from this plan the aligners are manufactured. Since they’re removable, they provide patients with a little bit more of flexibility and freedom versus braces. There are zero food restrictions and they make it easy to maintain proper hygiene. They also are barely visible to the average layperson, so they are great for patients that are looking to have some “invisible” or “hidden”. Dr. Adam believes that when worn as directed, clear aligners are just as effective as traditional braces and even work better for select orthodontic problems.

Lingual Braces

These braces are placed on the back sides of the teeth as opposed to traditional braces which are placed on the front sides of the teeth. These braces are custom manufactured from a digital impression/scan of a patient’s bite. When placed, they fit the teeth perfectly and have special wires with prescribed forces built into them. The best part about lingual braces are that they are completely INVISIBLE and don’t require major patient compliance. They work the same way as traditional braces, to gently move the teeth into position over time. Here at Providence PDO, we use a lingual brace system called InBrace. Through their digital platform, Dr. Adam designs a virtual treatment plan that custom arch wires are printed from. These wires move teeth gently into the correct position over time based on the custom treatment plan. 

There’s an assortment of great treatment options for adults to achieve the smile and oral health of their dreams. Take the first steps on your smile journey and schedule your FREE consultation with Dr. Adam today!