When is it too late for me to get braces as an adult?
Crooked teeth? There’s no time like the present to seek treatment
The days of orthodontic treatment being just for kids or teenagers are long past! Today, many adults are choosing to straighten their teeth with us, either with traditional braces or by taking advantage of modern Invisalign technology.
Yet many of our adult patients want to know whether there’s an age limit for having orthodontic treatment. They answer is no! In fact, our oldest orthodontic patient is in her seventies!
But while it’s never too late to have orthodontic treatment, it’s a very good idea to get started sooner rather than later. That’s because the earlier you start your treatment, the better your outcome is likely to be.
Let’s take a look at why it’s never too late to have orthodontic treatment as an adult.
The problems caused by crooked teeth
Crooked teeth can easily cause damage to your teeth, gums, and even your jawbone. Left untreated, this becomes a nasty cycle where your crooked teeth do ongoing damage to your oral health. Having orthodontic treatment as an adult can break this cycle.
You’ll find that crooked teeth are also much more difficult to clean, which increases your chance of developing teeth decay and gum disease.
Since crooked teeth will collide rather than meeting neatly, they cause much greater wear and tear on tooth restorations such as fillings or crowns. These will tend to wear out much faster than they would with straighter teeth.
The good news is that having orthodontic treatment as an adult will gradually move your teeth back into their correct position. This will work to reverse any damage you already have, stabilise your teeth, and even improve gum health in the right circumstances.
What types of orthodontic treatments are available for adults?
Most of our adult orthodontics patients choose to have Invisalign treatment. And it’s not hard to see why!
Invisalign is more affordable, more comfortable, and more efficient than traditional metal braces. And of course, being practically invisible, it’s also highly aesthetic.
Yet occasionally, due to your oral health situation, you may need to have braces rather than aligners. In such cases, braces are still a very powerful tool that can move your teeth in a wide variety of ways, and handle situations where a lot of teeth movement is required. This means they can be a more versatile tool than removable aligners – but improvements are making aligners able to tackle more and more issues every year.
How long will my orthodontic treatment take?
It's a little hard to say, since everyone’s needs and treatment plan will be different. The duration of your treatment and the time commitment that’s required will depend on the seriousness of the issue you have.
Speaking generally, aligner treatment is often quite efficient. A lighter case can take under 6 months for treatment; moderate cases around 12 months; and a complex case perhaps 18 months or more.
Can I combine my orthodontic treatment with other dental procedures?
Absolutely – this is one of the big advantages of having orthodontic treatment through a general practice dentist (such as Wickham Terrace Dental) rather than a specialist orthodontist.
Instead of having to travel between different dental providers, with the possibility of miscommunication, when you combine your treatments at one dentist you’ll have one team taking a holistic view of your entire treatment, and planning for the best results.
For example, we can plan to move your teeth into their ideal position for building up with resin; having dental veneers; replacing missing teeth; or having cosmetic treatment. You’ll have one dentist putting the “foundations” in order to create your ideal smile.
How often will I need to visit the dentist for orthodontic treatment?
The seemingly endless advance of technology has changed the answer to this question. A process called Dental Monitoring makes your Invisalign treatment faster and even more predictable than ever.
You simply use your smart phone at home to take photos of your teeth and aligners as your treatment progresses. These images are then analysed by AI and the results sent to us here at Wickham Terrace Dental.
Our team can remotely view your teeth and more accurately monitor, observe, and correct your treatment as it progresses. As you can imagine, Dental Monitoring drastically reduces the number of physical appointments you’ll need.
Traditionally, you’d need to see your dentist every 4-6 weeks for braces and perhaps every 4-8 weeks with aligners. Thanks to Dental Monitoring, we may only need to see you every 6 months – all without compromising the quality of your treatment.
What happens after adult orthodontic treatment is complete?
Once you’ve finished your orthodontic treatment, it’s so important to maintain your results by wearing fixed or removable retainers. Even though your teeth are now in their ideal position, they will still move over time.
Make sure you visit your dentist regularly for a checkup and professional clean, to check that your teeth are stable, your retainers are still doing their job, and that your results will last for the long haul.
Remember: straight teeth are much easier to look after and keep healthy than crooked teeth are. So make the time to visit the Wickham Terrace Dental team regularly. Your smile will thank you!
Talk to us to find your ideal adult orthodontic treatment
It’s never too late to think about getting braces as an adult. So if you’d like to find out more about getting the smile you’ve always wanted, get in touch with the Wickham Terrace Dental team on 3831 3031 or contact us online now.