If you are an adult considering orthodontic treatments here is some general information about treatments that far too many people wrongly assume is for children only.
Most adults consider seeing an orthodontist for two reasons:
- Their dentist has told them that their teeth are misaligned, a problem which may eventually affect their oral health; and/or
All of us naturally approach any new project with some concern. We expect you will feel the same at this point.
In this fact sheet we have answered the most frequently asked questions by adults considering orthodontic treatment:
Am I too old for orthodontics?
There is no age limit for orthodontics. Crooked teeth can be successfully realigned or a protruding overbite corrected regardless of age.
Adult patients make up 15 to 30 percent of most orthodontic practices. Dr Tobin and his team have treated 100's of adult patients from 18 to 68. It is becoming a more common option for adults who are unhappy with their present appearance.
Can my appearance be improved?
Most definitely yes! Dramatic changes in a person's smile and profile can be achieved. A person can actually look years younger by straightening crooked teeth or correcting an overbite/underbite.
A beautiful smile can increase your self-confidence and, in turn, enhance your sense of well-being.
Will it hurt?
You may experience discomfort which usually lasts about 48 to 72 hours before your teeth are comfortable again. Each adjustment you have will mean some minor discomfort, although patients report a reduction in the discomfort as the treatment progresses.
How long will it take?
Timescales for orthodontic correction can vary from the comparatively simple closing of front spaces in a few months, to the realignment of unsightly and disfiguring teeth or the complete rehabilitation of a neglected mouth which can take up to two years or longer.
Most orthodontists agree that adult treatment will usually take 10 to 20 percent longer than a child due to the difference in the responses of the tissues in the mouth of an adult compared with a 10 or 12 year old. Simply put an adult's bone structure is denser and firmly set, so a slightly longer response time for tooth movement can be expected.
Will I look funny?
Orthodontic treatment will not necessarily impair how you look or interrupt how you speak. Minor corrections can be accomplished with braces completely concealed within the mouth. More involved treatment may require fixed braces on the teeth to successfully move them to the desired positions. Braces vary from the conventional steel brackets fixed to the teeth to the less obvious tooth coloured brackets.
Why should I be concerned about a bad bite?
Bad bites can be detrimental to your dental health. Restorations, crowns or bridges are often impossible for a dentist to perform without prior repositioning of teeth by an Orthodontist. Properly aligned and supported teeth are healthier, easier to clean and therefore more likely to last throughout your lifetime.
What about surgical correction?
Surgery can be a viable alternative to conventional orthodontic treatment and can offer dramatic results in certain cases where jaws are severely mis-aligned meaning that tooth movement alone cannot accomplish the desired changes. Surgical intervention is called ortho-gnathic surgery and does requires close co-operation between your orthodontist and the oral surgeon.
Will the improvement be permanent?
Teeth, like all parts of the body, are constantly changing and adapting. You must remember, teeth that have been crooked for years have marvellous memories. Minor movement or relapse must be expected, but conscientious wear of retainers following treatment can minimise these changes.
What are you waiting for?
This information has been designed to answer the most frequently asked questions for adults considering orthodontic treatment. The answers to your individual problems or specific concerns you have can only come after a personal orthodontic consultation.
If you want to find out more about orthodontic treatment options speak to our Treatment Co-ordinator about arranging a consultation with one of our Specialist Orthodontist.
E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone 0844 387 8260 & 0844 387 8262.