Braces for adults? Sure, why not…
In the past, orthodontists treated mainly children and teenagers. Today, however, every fifth orthodontic patient is an adult. You can have that beautiful straight smile you always dreamed of-whatever your age, you’re not too old to get rid of crooked teeth.
Crooked teeth can result in a host of other oral health issues. They’re hard to clean, which can lead to decay, gum disease and eventually even tooth loss. They can cause bite problems, making it difficult to chew properly. And a less-than-perfect smile affects your appearance and your self-esteem.
There are many different styles and options to choose from. Your orthodontist can fully explain the advantages and disadvantages of each option.
One of those options is the traditional stainless steel brackets and wire braces. Other choices are brackets made of ceramic or even plastic and titanium. These come in a multitude of colors; some are tooth-colored. Even the wires and elastic bands come in fashionable colors. Clear or invisible brackets and wires are also available.
Another option is lingual braces. These are attached to the lingual, or back, side of the teeth, making them truly invisible.
If your teeth are only slightly misaligned, you might be a good candidate for porcelain veneers, a recent offshoot of cosmetic dentistry. These dental laminates are thin shells of custom-shaped porcelain that are affixed to the front surfaces of your teeth. The major advantages of this option are their life-like appearance, they resist staining, and your new smile can be achieved in a matter of a few weeks.
Disadvantages are the fact that they are made of porcelain-they can be damaged or broken. They also require the removal of some tooth structure so they will bond properly. And they are more expensive than braces.
There are some veneers, called “prepless” veneers, that don’t require the surface of your natural teeth to be altered. And there are even “snap-on” veneers available, which are more affordable.
Typically, the process of teeth straightening with braces takes a commitment in time of 1-2 years, so it’s imperative that you choose an orthodontist who is well trained, practices high professional standards and is current on the latest trends and techniques.
Orthodontics is a specialized branch of dentistry. Any dentist can perform orthodontic treatments, but an orthodontist has the additional specialized training, experience and clinical know-how that make him the best choice for the job.
The right orthodontist will be well trained and highly skilled. He will have the proper licensing and other credentials, have extensive experience and offer a variety of options and techniques.
Choosing an orthodontist doesn’t have to be a difficult process. It’s best to select at least 2-3 orthodontists and “interview” them to see which one is the right one for your needs. A reputable and top-notch online dental referral service is a good place to look for orthodontists who practice in your area. Make sure the online service you use tells you how long they’ve been in practice, and whether their credentials are up-to-date. Plus, see before-and-after photos of successful outcomes and read testimonials from real patients who are now enjoying their beautiful new smiles.
Back to the original question: Why braces for adults? So you, too, can have a beautiful new smile-and, no, you’re not too old to get rid of crooked teeth. It can change your life.