How Does Adult Orthodontic Treatment Differ from Treatment for Kids and Teens?

Sep 09, 2022
How Does Adult Orthodontic Treatment Differ from Treatment for Kids and Teens?
It’s never too late to fix your teeth. Kids and grownups alike have multiple orthodontic options that deliver straight, healthy smiles. But that doesn’t mean they’re all the same — here’s how adult treatments differ.

There’s never been a better time to be an adult with crooked teeth because you have more treatment options than ever before. In addition to traditional metal braces, you can choose clear braces, clear aligners, and self-ligating braces to reign in your adult teeth and transform your smile and oral health.

We offer all these options and the expert guidance you need to make the right choice at Gaiduchik Orthodontics in Carmichael, California. 

Factors that affect adult orthodontic treatments

Although the appliances are very similar for patients of all ages, kids and adults have very different mouths. Here, Dr. Andrey Gaiduchik explains how that impacts your adult orthodontics treatment.

Jaw and tooth development

The reason you see so many kids and teens with braces is that they’re at the perfect stage in life for orthodontic corrections. Because their jaws are still growing, their teeth are still easily manipulated by the appliances. 

Adult jaws, however, are fully developed and have already hardened. That doesn’t mean we can’t make corrections in adults, but treatment may be more difficult or lengthy.

Missing teeth

Missing teeth are fairly common. About 120 million Americans have at least one gap in their teeth, and about 36 million have no natural teeth at all. Missing teeth present a problem for orthodontic treatments, as the appliance applies pressure to the teeth to bring them back into alignment. If you are missing one or more teeth, the braces will pull your existing teeth into the vacant space, causing other problems.

Dr. Gaiduchik may recommend you get a dental implant before orthodontic treatment. 

Periodontal issues

Each stick of gum, handful of nuts, and bite of an apple wears down your teeth little by little. By the time you’re an adult, you may have significant signs of wear that affect your orthodontic treatment. 

The state of your teeth and gums matters, too. Periodontal disease inflames your gums and creates an unstable foundation for your teeth. Dr. Gaiduchik recommends addressing gum disease and tooth decay before or during your orthodontic treatment.

Root resorption

Over time, your body breaks down tissue. When this occurs in and around your teeth, it’s called root resorption. When children lose their baby teeth, root resorption allows the tooth root to wither away so the tooth can fall out. But in adults, the condition is problematic. Adult root resorption can affect your orthodontic treatment, whether it stems from traumatic injury, gum disease, or nerve damage. 

Temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD)

Your temporomandibular joint is the hinge joint that connects your jaw to your skull. Stress, trauma, and teeth grinding can lead to painful problems in this joint that affect your jaw and neck. Children don’t usually suffer from TMD, but up to 12% of adults do. If you’re one of them, Dr. Gaiduchik may opt to delay your orthodontic treatment until your TMD is under control. 

How to choose the best adult orthodontics treatment

Although you have several options for orthodontics treatments, one may be a better fit than the others. Each option has pros and cons, and your oral health, age, and lifestyle factor into the decision. 

The best way to choose is to schedule an exam with Dr. Gaiduchik. As a board-certified orthodontist with years of experience treating patients of all ages, he can guide you to the most suitable treatment type and have your smile realigned in the shortest time possible.

Call us today or use our online booking tool to set up your first appointment. It’s never too late to get a beautiful, healthy smile.

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