Adult Treatment

 

We're seeing more and more adult orthodontic patients these days, and it's not hard to figure out why. Appliances that are barely noticeable have been developed to give adults more discreet choices when it comes to orthodontic treatment. And many adults realize that investing in a smile makeover can have significant benefits, socially and professionally. Straightening teeth can be an important part of that confidence-boosting makeover process.

Adult orthodontic treatment.Healthy teeth can be moved at any age, so there's no such thing as being too old for braces. However, orthodontic treatment for adults is different in two important respects: For one thing, the growth and development of the jaws is complete in adults, so changes in actual jaw structure can't be accomplished with orthodontic appliances in the way they can with a growing child.

Secondly, periodontal (gum) disease is more prevalent in adults than in children. While you are wearing the orthodontic appliances, gentle forces will be applied to your teeth so they can move through their surrounding bone. Periodontal health plays a key role in all of this; if the gum tissues are not healthy during orthodontics, bone loss can result and weaken the long-term prognosis of your teeth. So any gum disease must be brought under control before orthodontic treatment begins. And to maintain your periodontal health, you will need to make sure to have regular professional cleanings during the orthodontics while maintaining good oral hygiene at home.

Types of Appliances

All orthodontic appliances work essentially the same way: by employing light, constant force to move teeth into proper alignment. But how we apply these forces can vary, as numerous innovations have become available in recent years. Less visible orthodontic appliances have been designed to blend more easily into an adult's personal and professional lifestyle. Types of orthodontic appliances include:

Traditional Metal Braces.Metal Braces need no introduction. However, you may be surprised to find they are smaller and lighter than ever. We also offer champagne gold or bright gold options for metal braces. You can further customize your braces with colored elastic ties that get changed at each adjustment. We offer every color you can imagine to place on your braces!

Clear Braces.Clear Braces — Instead of highly noticeable metal brackets, you can have clear ones made of ceramic, plastic or a combination of both. They are hardly visible, except for the thin wire running through, but they are more susceptible to breakage than metal braces.

Clear Orthodontic Aligners.Clear Aligners — As an alternative to the fixed type of orthodontic appliances mentioned above, clear aligners are removable. They are actually a series of clear plastic “trays” that fit over your teeth exactly. Each tray is part of a series of trays that move your teeth a little bit at a time until they are in the proper position. Your trays are designed with the help of specialized computer software that generates a virtual model of your bite.


After Treatment

The retention phase is one of the most important parts of your orthodontic treatment. Our job is to give you the smile of your dreams, and it’s your job to maintain it by wearing your retainers. Dr.Wilhite will recommend the best retainer type based on your case as well as the best wear patter. Retainers wear protocol typically varies, but generally there is a short 24/7 wear time right after getting your braces off or finishing alignment with clear aligners. Strict adherence to the prescribed wear regimen is crucial to maintain your results. As facial structures (muscle and bone) are always in a dynamic state changing throughout life, it’s extremely important to wear retainers “nighttime for a lifetime” to prevent shifting and relapse.