Braces are no longer just for teens. It is never too late to wear braces or explore other orthodontic treatment options to achieve the smile of your dreams. In fact. American Association of Orthodontists states that one in four orthodontic patients is an adult. The practice of orthodontics has continued to evolve, combining advances in technologies and treatments with better materials to make orthodontic procedures more comfortable and accessible for individuals of all ages.
An attractive smile can do wonders for your self-esteem and confidence. A great smile can help you make an excellent first impression and improve your professional achievements. Orthodontic treatment creates a better bite and tooth alignment, and can decrease the risk of future dental problems.
Is orthodontic treatment different for adults? Yes and no. Braces can provide the same benefits no matter the age, but treatment can take longer for adults than for children. The reason for this is that an adult’s facial bones have developed and hardened years before treatment. Because the jaw bone, teeth, and gums are now fully developed, treatment to correct your orthodontic issues may be more challenging to correct, but Dr. Ikeda and her team are experienced in solving these concerns while achieving ideal outcomes and happy smiles.
We have several orthodontic treatment options for you to consider.
Braces are very effective at treating most orthodontic conditions and are often the fastest and most predictable way of moving teeth. We use self-ligating braces that have less friction between the wire and the brackets, resulting in greater treatment efficiency compared to traditional braces. Combining these brackets with heat-activated archwires that respond to your body heat, treatment time is shorter and less painful than what people experienced in the past with traditional metal braces. The stigma associated with metal braces is a thing of the past. Modern brackets are now smaller and less noticeable. We offer ultra-low profile metal brackets with matte finish that make them more discreet and comfortable.
This option allows the braces to blend in more naturally with the color of your teeth, making them far less noticeable. The clear brackets are made from a ceramic material that is similar in color and texture to our teeth. However, these brackets can stain with certain foods/drinks or when the patient is not diligent with their brushing and flossing. Due to the type of material used and the manufacturing process, ceramic braces are more expensive than the metal option and tend to be somewhat bulkier than their metal counterpart to prevent chipping. The ceramic braces are clearly the superior choice for the esthetic appearance, but may not be as comfortable as the metal braces.
We offer Invisalign as an alternative to braces for those that are a good candidate. Invisalign uses a 3D image of your mouth to fabricate a sequence of clear, removable thermoplastic aligner trays. Many of our patients who choose Invisalign over braces do so because of the minimal daily interference and the convenience they offer. These aligners must be worn 20-22 hours a day for them to be effective, which can be a big challenge for many of our busy clients. Invisalign does make brushing and flossing easier while in treatment, but because of their removable nature, they can be lost or broken, resulting in costly replacements. It’s definitely a compliance-dependent treatment option. While more comfortable, they are also more expensive than braces. Technology with clear aligner therapy is constantly advancing, but Invisalign is not best suited for certain orthodontic conditions. If you are interested in Invisalign, ask Dr. Ikeda if you are a good candidate.