Return To Blog

Issues You Should Be Aware of as an Adult When Visiting Your Orthodontist in Thornton


January 17, 2018

The number of adults seeking treatment from their orthodontist has risen tremendously within the last ten years. Between the years of 2010 and 2012, American and Canadian orthodontists saw a 14 percent rise in the number of adults seeking treatment, according to a study by the American Association of Orthodontists survey of AAO members. The number of adults receiving treatment from their local Thornton orthodontist has also risen in recent years. If you are an adult and are wondering if you should seek treatment from your orthodontist, there are a few things to be aware of.

Oral Ailments Affect Adults to a Greater Degree than Children

As the various types of orthodontic treatments have improved over the years, this has led to an increase in the number of adults seeking treatment, as it has made the process more accessible and less intimidating. If you are an adult that is seeking orthodontic treatment, there are a few key differences between adult and child orthodontic treatments.

First, adults are more likely to suffer from other oral ailments, such as gingivitis and marginal bone loss. Because adults bones are hard and no longer growing, it can make procedures a more sensitive process. Aging tissues also complicate the matter, as they can take a longer period of time to adapt and adjust to your teeth’s new position. Biomechanical limitation can make the process of realigning teeth a much more delicate process for adults as compared with children.

Tooth Extraction Issues

Adult individuals a more likely to have one or more teeth extracted due to cavities or other issues. This can present an added challenge for orthodontists, as they will have to be mindful of fillings when applying braces or other types of appliances. Sometimes, old extraction sites be can be problematic in terms of shifting teeth into their desired position. An orthodontist may need to adjust the treatment plan to take this into consideration.

These sections may be filled using prosthetic bone to allow for any teeth-straightening procedure to occur. In making any oral corrections, you will have to take into account that the adult bone will be less malleable than that of a growing bone.

Bite Correction Considerations

One of the main reasons why an adult seeks orthodontic treatment is to address a malocclusion, which is an incorrect bite. Often, there is not enough room in an adult’s mouth to completely correct an overbite without extracting one or more teeth. In this situation, an orthodontist may instead opt to focus on functionality instead of attempting to achieve the perfect bite.

That isn’t to suggest corrective procedures can’t have immense results in these cases, both in terms of functionality and teeth straightness, however it is important to be realistic about results. Even if you may be dealing with what is referred to as ‘perio-restorative’ issues, you can still expect to see a great deal of improvement from any orthodontic treatment.

Vulnerabilities as an Adult

Something to keep in mind if you are an adult seeking orthodontic treatment is that you will be more at risk for dealing with root resorption than children. Root resorption is when your body begins to reabsorb the root after treatment, which can leave your teeth without the necessary anchorage.

While rare, it is important to have your orthodontist assess you for this condition prior to treatment. Genetics and family history can be a major factor with root resorption, so it can be helpful to determine whether anyone in your family has suffered from this condition.

As a result, it is important to choose an orthodontist who is experienced and knowledgeable about these types of conditions. If you are an adult seeking orthodontic treatment, it is a good idea to speak with your orthodontist about this condition. The sooner your practitioner catches this condition, the better prepared you will be at remedying the situation. As an adult, you are also more at risk for temporomandibular disorder, which can develop after orthodontic treatment. Much like with root resorption, early detection is key to treating this disorder.

Psychosocial Factors

Adults that seek orthodontic treatment may deal with elevated levels of psychosocial factors. These issues include a heightened sense of treatment expectations, as adults are more likely to be their own advocate and ask a series of informed questions regarding the procedures. Older patients are also more likely to comply with the requests of practitioners, as they are the ones seeking treatment for themselves and not for their child. An adult will likely want a complete breakdown from their orthodontist about the options that are available to them, and will want to understand the cost-benefit analysis of the procedure.

Adults are also more likely to have discomfort with wearing appliances and may have a greater degree of self-awareness about any orthodontic procedure as a result. Fortunately, the advent of new technology and advances in the orthodontic field have lessened these concerns.

Advances in Treatment

Thankfully, there have been a great deal of advancements in regards to the types of orthodontic procedures available to adults. The advent of procedures such as Invisalign, braces for adults, have made the process of receiving corrections to your bite much more accessible to an older population.

Invisalign offers the same degree of teeth straightening and bite correction features as that of traditional braces, but without the invasive mouth appliance. Instead, you are able to remove the appliance when needed, and can rest easy knowing your oral appliance will not be on another person’s mind whenever you smile. The discreteness of Invisalign’s clear and removable appliance has made it much easier and less invasive to receive orthodontic treatment.

If you are interested in finding out more information regarding Invisalign treatments or have any questions regarding orthodontic services, contact Prentice Orthodontics and one of our smiling associates will be happy to assist you. We look forward to serving you and providing the best care for your teeth in the new year.