Recent developments in orthodontic practices have given rise to the creation of many different kinds of corrective solutions. This wider range of treatment options has made orthodontics more accessible than ever before. As a result, an increasing number of adults are now seeking braces and other corrective orthodontic procedures.
For many adults seeking braces, however, it can be difficult to know where to begin. Concerns about cost and appearance often arise. Indeed, the cost is one of the main reasons that so many adults who are currently seeking braces did not get them as children. Another concern a lot of adults have is how the braces will affect their appearance.
If you’re an adult who is considering getting braces, don’t let yourself be deterred by misconceptions or preconceived notions. Below we discuss a few factors that will be integral in your decision to help you have a more informed conversation with your orthodontist. Remember, a better smile is within reach, and it doesn’t have to cost you a fortune or make you feel like an awkward teenager.
1. The End Game
The first thing to keep in mind is whatever motivated you to seek corrective orthodontics in the first place. Whether you need extensive work or simply seek to straighten out a few teeth, keeping your goal in mind will help you get through the whole process. Why? Because it’s going to be long and probably at least a little bit uncomfortable.
It is also important to have a frank and honest discussion of your goal with your orthodontist before you begin. It is critical for you both to be on the same page about the results you hope to achieve – and what needs to be done in order for it to happen. This will also give your orthodontist a chance to make sure all your goals are attainable and help them create the treatment plan that is right for you. With a more complete picture of what work will be required, they will also be able to give you an accurate projection of the costs.
2. Anatomy and Physiology
One of the biggest considerations you and your orthodontist will face is the overall health and anatomy of your mouth. This will all but dictate what type of braces you can use, how long you’ll have to wear them, any other procedures that will need to be done, and how effective it all will be.
Without getting too technical, here are some of the factors that will come into play, and why they matter:
The reason that doctors recommend someone who needs braces get them as a child or teenager is because adults can have more health complications than children. This can include bone loss and issues with blood supply to the teeth. Young bone that is still growing is also softer and more malleable than older adult bone. This means it can be harder (i.e. take longer, be more uncomfortable) to move your teeth into new positions.
Your overall oral health will be another huge factor. This includes issues such as cavities, rotten teeth, chipped or cracked teeth, plaque build-up, and gum disease. All this will need addressing before or during the course of having braces and will influence which types of braces you can use.
Your orthodontist may also tell you that you need to have some teeth extracted in order for the braces to work. This could be because the tooth is too damaged, or because it is impacted, or that your mouth is too crowded. Also, if you’ve had teeth pulled in the past, it may cause issues with realigning your teeth. Old extraction sites may require prosthetic bone implants in order to support other teeth.
3. What You’re Willing to Do
When you sit down with your orthodontist to discuss your treatment options, it is important to be honest with them – and yourself – about what you’re willing and able to do. The best treatment plan and medical care in the world won’t make any difference if you’re not compliant with the doctor’s orders.
Some things to think about here include the amount of time you’re willing to wear the braces. Do you have a wedding to attend in 8 months and absolutely need them off by then? In addition, consider:
- Level of tolerance for discomfort
- Concern for your appearance
- Availability to come to all your follow up appointments
- The amount of money you’re willing to invest
- Willingness and ability to comply with orthodontic instructions – such as wearing mouth guards, avoiding certain foods, and brushing and flossing twice a day.
4. Types of Braces Available
Based on your individual health and goals, your orthodontist will likely make some recommendations as to which types of braces you should use. Some of the most common are:
-Conventional or Traditional Braces
These are what most people think of when they hear the word. They are often the least expensive and fastest type of braces. However, they are very obvious and many adults balk at the idea of wearing them. Luckily now they can be affixed in white or ‘tooth colour’ making them less visible than the usual metal.
These are exactly like traditional braces, except all the hardware is on the backs of the teeth. This makes the braces are virtually unnoticeable. However, they tend to be more expensive, are harder to keep clean, and have a bigger impact on the wearer’s speech.
-Invisible Aligners (Invisalign)
These clear braces come as a series of mouth pieces that gradually change shape as the teeth shift. They are completely removable, invisible, and more comfortable than traditional braces. However, they are more expensive and not effective for severe orthodontic corrections.
Get in Touch for a Consultation!
If after taking all these factors into account, you’re ready to get fitted for adult braces, get in touch with us today! At Valley Ridge Dental Centre, we offer many different types of braces, and each has a different price range, duration, and appearance. With our selection, you’re guaranteed to find a braces solution just right for your smile!