Many patients are concerned they may be too old for orthodontic treatment. However, advances in dentistry have paved the way for adult orthodontics, and treatment is easier now than ever before! According to the American Association of Orthodontists, one in five orthodontic patients is over the age of 21. In fact, at Knight Orthodontics, a staggering 45 percent of our patients are adults. Orthodontic treatment not only helps you achieve the smile of your dreams, but it also improves dental function and helps to prevent a multitude of more serious health issues. Dr. Knight proudly serves the Louisville, KY and Radcliff, KY areas, and offers a full range of orthodontic treatment for the entire family.
Should I Consider Orthodontic Treatment as an Adult?
The field of orthodontics stretches far beyond straightening teeth. When your bite fits together properly, everything is balanced appropriately. Bite abnormalities can cause excessive wear and tear on the surfaces of your teeth, and can even cause problems in your muscles, jaw, or temporomandibular joint.
Tooth crowding can result in a situation where it is extremely difficult to properly clean your teeth. To maintain overall dental health, it is imperative to brush and floss regularly. If the alignment of your teeth is preventing you from normal oral hygiene, it can lead to decay and periodontal disease.
If you are experiencing anything that causes concern, or even if you simply have questions about improving your smile, it is a good idea to have an orthodontic evaluation. At Knight Orthodontics, we offer free consultations.
Options for Adult Orthodontic Treatment
No matter what your goal, Dr. Knight can help you determine the most practical and efficient treatment for you. During your initial consultation, your overall dental health will be evaluated. Diagnostic scans and digital imaging may be used to obtain an accurate assessment of your orthodontic needs. Once Dr. Knight has a well-defined idea of possible treatment options, he will share them with you in detail. A custom treatment plan will be presented to you, providing specifics about timelines and cost. In the meantime, here are a few options for you to review:
- Traditional braces: Metal braces are fabricated from surgical-grade stainless steel. The bands, archwires, and brackets are all silver in color. Traditional braces offer far more comfortable today than in years past. Though they are noticeable, they are sleek and less cumbersome than their previous counterparts.
- Ceramic braces: For a more aesthetically-pleasing option, you have the option of ceramic braces. With brackets fabricated from either porcelain or ceramic, this appliance blends in with your smile. Even the archwire is frosted so the color is less noticeable against your natural teeth. Ceramic braces tend to be more fragile than traditional metal, so proper care is essential. It is recommended to avoid certain foods or beverages, as the elastic bands that secure the archwire to the brackets can stain. There is no need to worry if this happens, as the elastics are changed out at each monthly appointment.
- Invisible braces: Perhaps the most popular aesthetic choice is invisible braces. This treatment option consists of a series of several custom trays which can be worn to gently move the teeth. It is important to note this type of treatment is not for everyone and is typically only used in very minor cases. However, if you are a good candidate for invisible braces, you will enjoy the ability to remove them when you brush, floss, or eat.
Your Orthodontic Treatment Timeline
Each patient is unique, with specific dental needs. Your orthodontic treatment timeline will depend on your individual case. Although timelines can vary greatly, the average length of adult orthodontic treatment is approximately six to 24 months.
When a patient reaches full maturity, the growth of the jaws is complete. As an adult, there are also other factors to consider, such as gum recession and bone degeneration. Comprehensive care is important to Dr. Knight. If you are missing teeth or considering dental implants, we may work together with additional specialists who can help you achieve your desired result.