Orthodontic Treatment for Adults

Orthodontic treatment is not just for kids. In fact, the American Association of Orthodontists states that 1 in 5 orthodontic patients in the U.S. is over the age of 21. At Carroll & Sutton Orthodontics, 1 in 3 of our patients are adults. More adults are choosing to receive treatment because they understand the importance of maintaining their dental health, and they want to feel better about their appearance. Adults everywhere are taking advantage of the opportunity to receive orthodontic care, and now you can too.

For many adults, the thought of having metal braces is enough to discourage them from receiving treatment. However, today’s orthodontic treatment options offer a variety of appliances like braces and clear aligners that are more comfortable, esthetic, and customized to meet your needs. While most of our adult patients do quite well with their braces, others prefer to wear clear aligners for the majority or all of their treatment. For those who are most concerned about reducing their treatment time as much as possible, we have options to accelerate orthodontic treatment like SureSmile®, LightForce and PAOO.

Actual Patient

Common reasons why adults consider orthodontic treatment:

  • A bad bite (malocclusion), causing teeth to fit together incorrectly
  • To improve esthetics due to dental crowding, spacing or misalignment
  • To make oral hygiene easier, since teeth that are well aligned and fit together properly are easier to clean, reducing tooth decay and gum disease
  • Abnormal jaw pain or pressure that is caused by crooked or poorly fitting teeth
  • To prepare for dental implants or cosmetic dentistry like veneers
  • Desire for a healthier mouth and a more confident smile
  • Obstructive Sleep Apnea
  • Collapsing dental arches and shifting of teeth

Differences between adult orthodontics and orthodontics for children and teens:

Although we may use many of the same appliances (braces, clear aligners, etc.) on children and adults, there are some significant differences when it comes to adult orthodontic treatment including:

  • Jaw growth is complete: We cannot take advantage of jaw growth in adults like we can in children. In severe cases, some treatment objectives may require jaw surgery or a non-surgical alternative.
  • Gum or bone loss (periodontal disease): Adults are more likely than children to experience gum recession or bone loss, so orthodontists must take additional precautions when it comes to moving teeth with loss of supporting tissues (gums and bone loss).
  • Worn or missing teeth: Adults are more likely to have worn or missing teeth. Teeth that have excessive wear are more difficult to fit together and missing teeth can complicate treatment.
  • Part-time residents/snowbirds: Many of our adult patients do not live in our area full-time. We are used to customizing treatment for our snowbird patients and monitoring their progress from afar when necessary.

Why should you consider orthodontic treatment?

  • Straight teeth are healthy teeth: Teeth that are well aligned and fit together properly are easier to keep clean with flossing and brushing and are less likely to develop future issues like decay, bone loss, excessive wear and fractures.
  • A beautiful, straight smile builds confidence: Orthodontic treatment can help boost your self-confidence, giving you a better quality of life and the freedom to smile without holding back!
  • Mouths left untreated can get worse: Not receiving orthodontic treatment when it’s needed can create long-term health issues costing you more in the end.