As more American adults undergo orthodontic treatment, what should potential patients keep in mind for their experience?

According to the most recent data available from the American Association of Orthodontists, more than 1.2 million adults received orthodontic treatment in 2012, an increase of almost 40 percent from 1996. In comparison, about 4.65 million procedures were performed on patients ages 17 and younger during 2012, an increase of 32 percent within the same time period.

In terms of patients now, “They’re healthier, their dental health is better and they’re interested in having their teeth last the rest of their life,” said Gerald Nelson, an orthodontist and clinical professor at University of California, San Francisco.

Although many adults are investing in their oral health, they do have some information to keep in mind. As an adult has teeth of the same nature, unlike the teeth of children, there are different factors to be considered. Over the years, many have undergone procedures such as root canals, being fitted with crowns and cavity fillings. With these changes, comes changes to the mouth, and in turn changes to the teeth. It may be harder, but not impossible, for some to achieve their desired appearance.

Similarly, the mouth of an adult has finished growing, unlike that of a child. Due to the fact that the teeth are completely grown in, correcting teeth can sometimes involve oral surgery depending on patient status. Some of the most common issues, such as an underbite or crossbite may need to instead be corrected by this type of surgery, but should also only be handled by an orthodontist professional.

Adult Orthodontic Treatments

What should adults keep in mind in terms of treatment?

  • The longevity of treatment will most likely be more extensive than that of children. Due to other health issues, the lifelong status of the teeth and previous treatment, the next course of action may be determined in a different manner. This can also affect the type of treatment that may be chosen. Although some adults may prefer clear treatment such as Invisalign or iBraces, these may not be viable choices. During your consultation, this information will be discussed in great detail.
  • Adults are more prone to gum disease than children and teens. It is vital that any gum issues are resolved before orthodontic work begins. Attentiveness to hygiene while wearing braces is also important. As braces are often only as effective as the hygiene that is implemented during their fitting, it’s important to keep brushing and flossing in mind.
  • There are many different forms of treatment available. If one is not the best fit for your specific circumstances, don’t get discouraged! Some of the most common forms of treatment include metal, ceramic and lingual braces.

If you are interested in enhancing the health of your mouth or overall appearance, schedule a consultation with New York City orthodontist Dr. Tanya Vaysman, or visit our website for more information.

Leave a comment