If you’re like most people, when you think about orthodontics, you think of a teenager wearing metal braces. This may lead you to wonder, am I too old for braces? This stereotype has had a lot of staying power throughout the years, but thankfully, it’s not the case! Orthodontic treatment has a variety of benefits for patients of all ages, including adults. While it’s true that we do have many younger patients, there’s been a large increase in the number of adults seeking orthodontic treatment in recent years. About 1 in every 5 current orthodontic patients is over the age of 18!
You only have one smile, and if you’ve spent your life feeling unhappy or self-conscious about how your teeth look or function, now’s the time to look into improving your oral health. It’s never too late to achieve a healthy, confident smile! Here at Dudley Smiles, we’re proud to offer multiple treatment options to correct a wide range of orthodontic issues, including crooked teeth, overbites, underbites, incorrect jaw positioning, and more.
Let’s explore what orthodontics really is and how our expert team can help you achieve the beautiful smile you deserve!
What is orthodontics?
Orthodontics is a dental specialty. An orthodontist is a dentist who has had additional years of education and training in diagnosing and correcting bite abnormalities. They also learn how to successfully straighten teeth, correct misaligned jaws, and improve the overall function and health of the mouth.
An experienced orthodontist like Dr. Dudley is able to diagnose, prevent, and treat dental and facial abnormalities. When these conditions are left untreated, they can get worse over time, leading to premature wear and tear on the teeth, gum tissue, and bone. This can eventually lead to pain in the face and neck area, headaches, and even difficulties with chewing or speaking.
Orthodontists are able to diagnose and treat these types of issues, improving both the function and appearance of your smile.
Why are more adults now choosing orthodontic treatment?
As we get older, we often begin to learn more about how our oral health is related to our overall health. This can lead many people to begin to seek out orthodontic treatment, in order to better care for their teeth and gums.
We also see many adult patients who started orthodontic treatment when they were younger, but never completed it and are looking to do so now. Another common desire is touchup treatment, since teeth that were straightened in a patient’s youth may shift over time, due to age, genetics, or improper retainer use. In these cases, we have multiple options, including monitoring the teeth, providing new retainers, or re-treating with braces or aligners.
Finally, there are a number of adults who have never had orthodontic treatment but are simply looking to improve the cosmetic appearance of their smile. This can lead to improved self-esteem and can even have a positive impact on their personal and professional lives!
What orthodontic options are available for adult patients?
No matter what your reason for seeking orthodontic treatment as an adult, there are more options for you to choose from than ever before! Dudley Smiles offers the following treatments for a total smile makeover.
Traditional metal braces
Traditional metal braces are the most popular orthodontic treatment and with good reason! Braces are one of our most efficient treatments, particularly for more severe or complex cases. Modern braces use high-quality stainless steel, with innovations in the design making them much more comfortable and light-weight than previous models. The total treatment time in today’s braces also tends to be shorter than it used to be.
These function in much the same way traditional braces do but use ceramic brackets instead of metal ones. The brackets can be clear, white, or tooth-colored, and for a nearly invisible treatment option, they can be used with elastics or ties that are also clear, white, or tooth-colored. Ceramic braces can be an excellent choice for patients who want a more subtle way to straighten their smile, but because they are more delicate than metal braces, we generally only recommend them for older teens and adults.
Invisalign clear aligner therapy
Instead of brackets and bands, the Invisalign system uses a series of clear, customized, removable aligners. These are custom-designed for each patient to fit snugly over the teeth, and gently move them into the desired positions over time. Aligners are made of a soft but strong thermoplastic resin and are replaced with the next in the series every 1-2 weeks to keep up with the shifting teeth.
All three of these options can be a great fit for busy adults! You can trust that Dr. Dudley will only recommend the treatment he feels will work best with your smile, lifestyle, and goals.
Get the smile you’ve always wanted with Dudley Smiles
Here at Dudley Smiles, we believe that each patient is unique, and so is their smile! There is no “one size fits all” treatment, and Dr. Dudley is dedicated to creating a treatment plan that fits your individual needs. We’ll give you everything you need for a positive orthodontic experience and long-lasting results!