Can I Get Braces Even Though I’m An Adult?
Although straightening teeth is easier when teeth are already going through many changes, many Houston, TX adults are unhappy with the teeth’ position and consider pursuing orthodontic work. For some, the problems are primarily cosmetic, which can affect self-esteem in many areas of life. For others, teeth misalignment can lead to physical issues that need to be addressed. Patients often ask dentists if braces can solve alignment concerns in adults as quickly as they can as children. Luckily for most patients, at least one of the several types of orthodontic solutions can be successful and correct most of the problems of concern.
Problems Caused by Crowded, Crooked, or Misaligned Teeth in Adults
For some patients, teeth problems have been around since childhood but could not be corrected due to financial or other reasons. Other patients experienced a shift in teeth as wisdom teeth came in or did not consider the crowding or misalignment to be an issue until dental problems began. Regardless of the reason behind pursuing adult braces, most patients are eligible to use one of the available options to achieve a straightening goal.
- Cosmetic. Some people dislike the appearance of the teeth and prefer the look of straight, even teeth. Negative feelings about smiling can lead to self-esteem and confidence issues.
- Pain. Crowded and misaligned teeth can actually cause pain in the facial muscles due to poor biting and chewing actions. Swallowing and speaking can also be affected.
- Dental hygiene. Teeth that are not aligned well can be difficult to clean. Patients with crowding may have difficulty brushing and flossing between teeth, which can cause cavities, inflammation, and gum disease.
- Face structure. Misalignment of the bite can be visible even when the mouth is closed and affects a person’s profile and the ability to chew and speak correctly.
Options For Adult Teeth Straightening
With modern advances in dentistry, adults have more teeth straightening options than in the past. Some situations still require traditional metal braces to fully correct the issues, but other patients have the full spectrum of available options. Speaking with an experienced dentist is the best way to get individualized recommendations for how to proceed.
- Traditional metal braces. Most patients are candidates for traditional metal braces. This type of orthodontia moves multiple teeth at the same time in different directions with a steady amount of force. They are strong enough to shift teeth that have settled into the mature jaw of an adult. Despite these benefits, some adult patients prefer to be more discreet, even it means the total treatment time is longer.
- Clear braces. Patients who want most of the benefits of traditional metal braces but desire a more subtle look can choose clear ceramic or plastic brackets. These brackets are typically only placed on the most visible teeth, and metal braces are still placed elsewhere. Clear braces are more likely to break, can stain, and may lead to longer treatment times than the metal version.
- Professional tray systems. Customized tray systems have gained in popularity in recent years, largely due to the subtlety and convenience they provide. Treatment time is reduced, and the trays can be removed while eating and sleeping. One disadvantage is that professional tray systems are not suitable for some severe cases of misalignment or crowding.
Items to Consider Before Adult Braces
Adults considering braces should meet with a dental professional to discuss all options since there are advantages and disadvantages to each. Keep in mind, the total treatment time for adults may be longer due to matured bone structures. In some cases, surgery may be necessary before proceeding with braces. To achieve an ideal structure after extreme crowding, some teeth may need to be removed. If the patient has dental health concerns, these also need to be addressed before orthodontic work. Fillings, root canals, and repairs must be completed first. Another consideration is your budget. The various options have different price points, so discussing your budgetary limits with your dentist can also help develop a treatment plan.
Schedule an Appointment For Information on Adult Braces
Whether your teeth are misaligned, crooked, crowded, gapped, or otherwise not in ideal placement, it is not too late to correct them in adulthood. Adult braces are a viable option for most patients who want to achieve a straighter, healthier smile. From traditional metal braces to nearly-invisible tray systems, there is a solution waiting for you. If you are an adult in the Houston, TX area seeking more information about adult braces or any other dental concerns, contact Ingenious Dentistry to set up an appointment for a consultation. Call today! (713) 795-5805.
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