Adult OrthodonticsPhoenix, AZ
Adult orthodontics focuses on providing teeth straightening treatment for adults typically over the age of 21. While people may believe that teeth straightening treatments are only possible when a patient is young, the reality is that adults can straighten their teeth. Adult orthodontics involves treatment to straighten teeth and address alignment issues.
Adult orthodontics is available at Camelback Pediatric Dentistry & Orthodontics in Phoenix and the surrounding area. By considering adult orthodontics, you can straighten your teeth and help promote your oral health in the process. According to the American Association of Orthodontists, one in five orthodontic patients is an adult.
Call us at 602-362-7072 to schedule an appointment and learn what adult orthodontics can do for you.
Why Adults may Need Orthodontic Treatment
Common reasons why many adults are straightening their teeth include:
- Malocclusion – a situation where the teeth do not align together correctly
- Crowded or unevenly spaced teeth – could potentially lead to tooth decay or gum disease
- Pain or discomfort – Abnormal jaw ache or pressure due to crooked teeth
- Appearance and oral health – The need to have a healthier oral cavity and a confident smile
For patients considering adult orthodontics, it is advisable to schedule an appointment to learn about possible options. When they meet with the orthodontist, the professional will ask questions about their health and perform a clinical examination. They may also request a series of X-rays of the head and mouth, as well as take photographs and impressions for fabricating a plaster model of the patient’s teeth.
With these, the orthodontist will be able to recommend an effective treatment plan for the patient’s condition.
Teeth Straightening Options for Adults
Two common teeth straightening options for adults include braces and Invisalign®. There are pros and cons to each that we can go over in greater detail during a consultation.
Braces are perhaps the oldest teeth straightening options available. Braces consist of small metal brackets and arch wires. To begin the procedure, the orthodontist will start by cleaning and drying the mouth thoroughly. Afterward, they will apply an adhesive on the teeth to attach the brackets. Once in place, the dentist will run the arch wire into the bracket and secure them in place with an elastic. The entire process takes about one or two hours.
Although the procedure itself is not painful, patients may feel a little discomfort afterward. Their tongue and cheek may rub on the braces, causing soreness or slight sensitivity. It may take about a week to get used to having braces finally. While a traditional straightening option, braces are effective and do not require regular removal for cleaning.
The length of treatment may take between 15 to 18 months, depending on the patient’s condition.
Many adults are not comfortable with the idea of having brackets and wires on their teeth. For them, Invisalign may be a more suitable alternative. Invisalign uses a series of clear plastic trays that patients must wear on their teeth. Each pair of trays shift the teeth gradually until they get to the desired position. Patients have to switch out the trays every two weeks for a new set of trays.
By taking a digital model of the patient's teeth, it is possible to measure the most effective path to shift the teeth into the correct alignment. With this, we can determine the number of aligner trays the patient will need. Invisalign uses removable aligners and offer an advantage for adults who want to keep the teeth straightening procedure on a need to know basis.
They are generally less visible and make oral hygiene easier. Patients can easily remove the trays for cleaning, but for effectiveness, the tray must stay over the teeth for at least 20 to 22 hours daily. So long as they follow the guidelines, the patient can also remove the aligners during sports, presentations, pictures, and more.
Why Adults Should Consider Orthodontic Treatment
A benefit of straight teeth is that they are easier to clean than crooked teeth. Since crooked teeth create crevices between teeth that can trap food, it is not easy to reach these areas with a toothbrush. With straight teeth in the proper alignment, patients can experience a boost in their self-confidence.
Once people can achieve the straight smile they desire, they are more likely to want to smile during pictures, at social gatherings, and more. Untreated misalignment in teeth will only continue to worsen over time. We can help to correct misalignment and prevent the possibility of other oral health issues from occurring.
Age should never be a restraining factor for those who want to correct problems with their oral cavity. Teeth crookedness can happen at any time in adulthood, especially due to incomplete orthodontic treatment as a teen, gum or bone loss, and missing teeth. Adults generally have more options for teeth straightening, including both permanent and removable devices.
Call Us Today
To learn more about adult orthodontics and the benefits of undergoing treatment, call us at 602-362-7072 to schedule an appointment with our orthodontist.
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