Am I Too Old For Braces?

Thanks to recent innovations in orthodontic technology, there’s never been a better time to explore how treatment can transform your smile—even if you’re an adult! In fact, more adults than ever are looking to straighten their teeth and correct issues they’ve struggled with for most of their lives. About 1 in 5 orthodontic patients is currently over the age of 18, so if you’ve ever struggled with the way your smile looks or functions, why not schedule a FREE consultation with Dillehay Orthodontics? We’re proud to offer a variety of affordable treatment options to patients of all ages, and would love to help you take the first step towards the confident smile you’ve always wanted. 

Why are more adults now exploring the idea of orthodontic treatment?

We all have personal reasons for choosing the things we do, and that includes orthodontic treatment to improve your smile! For many adults, this is linked to a better understanding of how oral health is linked to overall health. As we get older, we tend to recognize this more clearly. That knowledge often encourages patients to seek out dental or orthodontic treatment that will allow them to keep their teeth and gums clean and healthy, and their mouths fully functional. 

We also encounter a number of adult patients who received orthodontic treatment earlier in life that was never completed. They contact us because they want to finish the treatment process, or even start it from scratch again! Touch-up treatment is extremely common, as well. Even when treatment is completed at a young age, the teeth can still shift over time due to age, genetics, or improper retainer use. For cases like these, there are multiple ways we can treat the patient. We may choose to do nothing more than monitor the teeth over time to see what they do. We can also provide them with new retainers, or even re-treat them using braces or aligners.

Some adults have never had any treatment before, and simply wish to improve the cosmetic appearance of their smile. We fully support this! After all, studies have shown that a beautiful smile can do more than boost a patient’s confidence and self-esteem—it can even have a positive impact personally and professionally. 

Whatever your personal reasons for exploring orthodontic treatment, we have a number of options available to you. Because our doctors create customized treatment plans for every patient, we’ll be sure to find the right option for you and your unique smile.

Am I Too Old For Braces?

What treatment options are available for adult patients at Dillehay Orthodontics?

Modern techniques and innovative technology have made it easier than ever for you to achieve a total smile makeover! Our practice proudly offers the following treatment options.

Traditional metal braces

Traditional metal braces are the most popular and recognizable orthodontic appliance, with a proven track record of efficiency in treating cases that range from mild to complex. Thanks to a mix of stainless steel, nickel, and other high-quality metals, the brackets are very durable and long-lasting. Today’s braces are far more comfortable, effective, and aesthetically pleasing than previous designs! They’re also customizable, with a variety of fun-colored elastics to choose from. 

These braces deliver excellent results, and are especially useful in cases that are more severe or complicated. Since they don’t require some of the more complex technology or expensive equipment that newer treatments do, metal braces also tend to be a slightly more affordable option. 

Clear braces

Clear braces are also referred to as ceramic braces, tooth-colored braces, or esthetic braces. They function the same way metal braces do, but use semi-translucent or tooth-colored ceramic brackets instead of metal. This allows them to blend in with a patient’s natural smile for a more subtle straightening option, especially when paired with clear, white, or tooth-colored wires and elastic ties!

Although ceramic braces are strong, the ceramic material can be more prone to chipping or cracking. Since metal braces can tolerate more pressure than ceramic ones, they may be a better option for those who have severe corrections that need to be made. The ceramic brackets are often slightly more costly than metal brackets, as well. 

Since they can be more expensive and are slightly more prone to breakage, ceramic braces are generally better suited to adults and older teens.

Lingual braces

The brackets used with lingual braces are placed on the back sides of the teeth facing the tongue, rather than the front of the teeth. This makes them virtually invisible, which can be an especially attractive feature for teens and adults!

Before lingual braces are placed, we will take a digital impression using a scanner  of the teeth to customize the brackets to fit each patient’s mouth perfectly. They are then placed onto each individual tooth with wires connecting them. These wires are also customized robotically based on each patient’s specific needs. It’s essential to have the perfect fit from the very start when it comes to putting lingual braces on, so we use a customized tray that allows us to cement all the brackets to the teeth at the same time. 

Once the lingual braces are placed, they work in much the same way as traditional braces do to gently move the teeth into the desired positions over time.

Invisalign clear aligner therapy

Invisalign is an exciting alternative to braces that uses a series of clear aligners to straighten the teeth instead of brackets and bands. Because they are designed to be removable, these aligners offer patients a bit more freedom and flexibility! The trays are made of a soft but strong thermoplastic resin, and are customized to fit snugly over your teeth. 

Patient compliance is important with the Invisalign system. They need to be worn for 20-22 hours per day throughout treatment, and gently move the teeth into their optimal positions over time. Each aligner also needs to be replaced with the next in the series every 1-2 weeks depending on the treatment plan. This is what allows them to keep up with the movement of the teeth. 

Any of our treatment options can be a good fit for a busy adult! You can count on our doctors to only recommend the best treatment for your smile. We will always take your specific needs, lifestyle, and goals into account first before suggesting any particular treatment method. 

Am I Too Old For Braces?

Get the smile you’ve been waiting for at Dillehay Orthodontics

Here at Dillehay Orthodontics, our goal is to provide exceptional care and superior results. We want you to have a rewarding and stress-free orthodontic experience from your first visit to your last! If you’d like to learn more about how orthodontics can help you achieve the beautiful smile you’ve always wanted, get in touch today to schedule your FREE consultation with Dr. Dillehay or Dr. JK