What Orthodontic Treatments Are Available for Adult Patients?

Orthodontic treatment is no longer just for teenagers. In recent years, there has been a significant increase in the number of adults seeking orthodontic care to improve their smiles and oral health. This trend is driven by advancements in orthodontic technology, which have made treatment options more discreet, comfortable, and efficient than ever before.

Do Adults Really Need Orthodontic Treatment?

Many adults come to Shine Orthodontics wondering if orthodontic treatment is necessary or worthwhile at their age. The truth is that orthodontic issues don’t simply disappear with age. In fact, untreated orthodontic problems can worsen over time, leading to more severe complications. Here are some reasons Dr. McGrogan says why adults might need orthodontic treatment:

  • Improved oral health: Misaligned teeth can be harder to clean, increasing the risk of tooth decay and gum disease. Proper alignment makes maintaining good oral hygiene easier.
  • Better function: Correcting bite issues can improve chewing efficiency and reduce wear on teeth, potentially preventing future dental problems.
  • Alleviation of jaw pain: Orthodontic treatment can help address temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorders and relieve associated pain.
  • Enhanced aesthetics: A straighter smile can boost confidence and improve overall facial appearance.
  • Preparation for other dental work: Sometimes, orthodontic treatment is necessary before other dental procedures, such as bridges or implants, can be performed.

It’s important to note that orthodontic treatment can be successful at any age, provided the patient has healthy gums and bone structure.


Clear Braces for Adult Patients

Clear braces, also known as ceramic braces, are a popular choice among adult patients due to their less noticeable appearance compared to traditional metal braces. Key features of clear braces include:

  • Tooth-colored or clear brackets that blend with natural tooth color
  • Similar effectiveness to metal braces in treating various orthodontic issues
  • Slightly larger brackets compared to metal braces, which may require more attention to oral hygiene

Clear braces are an excellent option for adults who want effective treatment with a more discreet appearance. However, they may not be suitable for severe cases that require more robust treatment.

Patients should be aware that the elastic ties used with clear braces can stain over time, particularly if they consume foods and drinks like coffee, tea, or red wine. Regular dental visits to adjust and replace these ties can help maintain their aesthetic appeal throughout treatment.

What Treatments Are Available for Adult Orthodontic Patients?

Metal Braces

Despite the increasing popularity of more discreet options, traditional metal braces remain a highly effective and reliable treatment choice for adult patients.

Advantages of metal braces for adults include:

  • Versatility in treating a wide range of orthodontic issues, from simple to complex
  • Generally, the most cost-effective option
  • Often, the fastest treatment option, especially for complex cases
  • Durability and resistance to damage

Modern metal braces are smaller and more comfortable than their predecessors. Many adult patients find that the improved aesthetics and reduced irritation make metal braces a viable option, especially when weighed against their effectiveness and efficiency.

It’s worth noting that some adults may feel self-conscious about wearing metal braces. However, the temporary nature of orthodontic treatment and the long-term benefits often outweigh these concerns for many patients.

Invisalign for Adult Orthodontic Treatment

Invisalign has revolutionized adult orthodontics by offering a nearly invisible treatment option. This system uses a series of clear, removable aligners to gradually move teeth into their desired positions. Key benefits of Invisalign for adult patients include:

  • Aesthetics: The clear aligners are virtually invisible, making them ideal for professionals and those concerned about appearance during treatment.
  • Removability: Aligners can be taken out for eating, drinking, and oral hygiene, allowing for greater flexibility in daily life.
  • Comfort: The smooth plastic aligners generally cause less irritation to cheeks and gums compared to traditional braces.
  • Predictability: Advanced 3D imaging technology allows patients to see a virtual representation of their expected results before starting treatment.

While Invisalign is an excellent option for many adults, it may not be suitable for all orthodontic issues. Complex cases or those requiring significant tooth movement might be better addressed with traditional braces.

Invisalign treatment requires a high level of patient compliance. The aligners must be worn for 20-22 hours per day to be effective, which requires discipline and commitment from the patient.

What Treatments Are Available for Adult Orthodontic Patients?

Choosing the Right Treatment Option

Selecting the most appropriate orthodontic treatment depends on several factors:

  • Severity and type of orthodontic issue
  • Lifestyle considerations
  • Budget
  • Treatment duration
  • Aesthetic preferences

A consultation with Shine Orthodontics is crucial in determining the best treatment plan. Dr. McGrogan will conduct a thorough examination, which may include X-rays and 3D scans, to assess the patient’s specific needs and recommend the most suitable option.

What to Expect During Adult Orthodontic Treatment

Regardless of the chosen treatment method, adult patients should be prepared for:

  • Initial discomfort: Some soreness is common in the first few days after getting braces or starting with a new set of aligners.
  • Dietary changes: With traditional braces, patients need to avoid certain foods that could damage the brackets or wires. Invisalign users must remove aligners before eating or drinking anything other than water.
  • Oral hygiene routine changes: Maintaining excellent oral hygiene is crucial during orthodontic treatment. This may involve new cleaning techniques or tools.
  • Regular appointments: Periodic check-ups and adjustments are necessary to ensure treatment progresses as planned.
  • Retention phase: After active treatment, wearing a retainer is essential to maintain the new tooth positions.


What Treatments Are Available for Adult Orthodontic Patients?

Love Your Smile Again With Shine Orthodontics

At Shine Orthodontics, we believe it’s never too late to achieve the smile you’ve always wanted. Dr. McGrogan and our team are here to guide you through your adult orthodontic journey, offering a range of treatment options tailored to your unique needs and lifestyle. Whether you’re interested in clear braces, traditional metal braces, or Invisalign, we’re ready to help you take the first step toward a healthier and more confident smile. 

Schedule your free consultation with Shine Orthodontics today and discover how we can transform your smile!