Many adults are contending with crooked teeth, crowded smiles or poorly aligned bites because their teeth are not lined up as neatly as the keys on a piano. These problems can create more than just cosmetic concerns. Crowded or overlapping teeth can be difficult to clean requiring the individual to visit the dentist frequently with tooth decay and gum disease. They can also have problems with chewing and swallowing. Poorly aligned teeth can cause difficulties pronouncing certain words and put excessive stress on the chewing muscles to cause pain in the face.
Childhood is the ideal time for making changes to the position of the teeth but it in no way suggests that dental treatments for adults are not available. More adults are presently opting for orthodontic treatment and achieving excellent results in the process. It has been noted by the American Association of Orthodontists that adults over the age of 18 comprise nearly 20 percent of all patients. Therefore if you want to receive adult treatment from an orthodontist you can rest assured you are just one among the thousands that are choosing to correct orthodontic issues with their mouths.
Adults considering orthodontic treatments to correct cosmetic or bite problems or therapy to stabilize the effects of tooth loss must keep a few things in mind. They are:
The bones of adults have ceased growing and therefore some structural changes may require surgery to be accomplished.
The entire process for adults may take longer than for children or adolescents. The average treatment time can last for about two years even as the time taken for straightening the teeth may vary from person to person.
Adults preparing to undergo orthodontic treatment must also see a periodontist as well as a general dentist and orthodontist to ensure the treatment will not be complicated by bone loss resulting from gum disease.
Placing pressure on the teeth to change their position is the science on which orthodontics relies. The orthodontist accomplishes this objective by attaching mechanical appliances to the teeth to gently push them into the proper position. When a tooth is subjected to pressure on one side, its root pressurizes the underlying alveolar bone. Ultimately this pressure causes the bone next to the root to dissolve to allow the tooth to move into the direction it is being pushed. Braces for adults work similarly to cause movements in the tooth to the desired position.
Present-day braces are more comfortable and less obtrusive than their ancestors. Fewer brackets are required because the braces are smaller. The wires are not noticeable as earlier but are strangely more effective again than their ancestors. Stainless steel brackets are still being used because they are effective and economical. However, adults can choose to have gold brackets and wires if they wish to. Teenagers are increasingly opting for colored wires and elastics for a bolder appearance.
Many adults are opting for tooth-colored ceramic or clear plastic brackets that are less noticeable. However, this is an expensive option as compared to metal brackets. Ceramic brackets tend to break and therefore may not be comfortable on the lower teeth which are smaller. Ceramic brackets can also wear down the enamel of the teeth because they are stronger.
Some orthodontists are offering lingual braces that are attached to the back of the teeth ensuring that the brackets and wires do not show up when smiling. Unfortunately, they can irritate the tongue and cause problems with the speech.
Orthodontists are approached by parents of children when they are younger to correct the problems with their teeth. However, most do not have any problems offering dental treatments for adults and are not limiting themselves to children. Dr. Kathleen Valencia in Weston, FL, specializes in orthodontics and can offer braces for adults for correcting problems with their teeth after conducting an examination. This doctor is qualified and experienced to treat orthodontic issues both for children as well as adults and can satisfy the unique requirements of adults that are usually cosmetically inclined.