Adult Treatment

Today, one in four orthodontic patients is an adult. Leaving misaligned teeth untreated may lead to other dental problems such as tooth decay, gum disease and difficulty chewing. Orthodontic treatment creates a better bite, making teeth fit better and decreasing the risk of future dental problems regardless of age.

Advances in orthodontics have also made treatment more comfortable and less noticeable than ever for individuals of all ages. Many of today’s treatment options are designed to minimize the appearance of the appliance to better fit any lifestyle.

You can have a healthy, beautiful smile at any age. Orthodontic treatment today is a viable option for almost any adult. Like youngsters, adults can experience the self-assurance that comes with a confident smile, along with the benefits of improved oral health. Take this opportunity to explore answers to questions that others have asked about orthodontic treatment for adults.

Frequently Asked Questions

Am I too old for orthodontic treatment?

You are never too old for orthodontic treatment. We consider many variables when developing your customized treatment plan, but age is rarely a deciding factor.

Do other adults get orthodontic treatment?

Yes, they do. As of 2016, there were 1,690,000 adults being treated by U.S. and Canadian members of the American Association of Orthodontists.

Can orthodontic treatment help me keep my teeth?

Teeth and jaws that are properly aligned are easier to keep clean through brushing and flossing. Correcting the bite (how the upper and lower teeth fit together) reduces improper forces placed on the teeth and improves your ability to bite and chew and improves the odds of keeping your teeth long-term.

What if I’m missing some teeth?

Depending on what is missing, we may choose to move neighbouring teeth together to close the space where the tooth is missing or hold open a space for a bridge or implant. We will work with your family dentist and/or other dental specialists.

How is adult orthodontic treatment similar to treatment for children/teens?

The biologic process of orthodontic treatment is the same, regardless of age. Teeth move in response to forces being placed on them over time. Many orthodontic problems can be corrected as easily for adults as for children/teens.

How is adult orthodontic treatment different from treatment for children/teens?

The biggest difference in orthodontics for adults vs. children/teens is that adults are no longer growing. Adult treatment may take slightly longer than treatment for children/teens with a similar problem due to the maturity and density of the bone adults have. Some medications, and habits like smoking, clenching, or grinding teeth, or tongue thrustcan affect the outcome of treatment. It’s common for orthodontists to work with a patient’s family dentist to coordinate care. For some adults to reach optimal dental health, your dentist and orthodontist may need to call in other dental specialists such as oral surgeons, periodontists, and endodontists.

What kinds of orthodontic problems do adults have?

Adults can have the same kinds of orthodontic problems that children and teens have – crowding or too much space between teeth; overbites or underbites. Front teeth may stick out. In the case of an open bite, the front teeth may not make contact when the back teeth touch, or vice versa. Poorly aligned teeth and jaws can, over time, result in abnormal wearing of tooth surfaces. We are in the best position to recommend the type of appliance for your unique treatment needs. Not every type of appliance is suitable for correcting every kind of orthodontic problem. We are qualified to ensure you receive the personalized treatment that is best for you.