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Braces for Adults

Orthodontic braces were historically associated with teenagers.  Today, an increasing number of adults are choosing to wear braces to straighten their teeth and correct malocclusions (bad bites).  In fact, it is now estimated that almost one third of all current orthodontic patients are adults.

Orthodontic braces are predictable, versatile and incredibly successful at realigning the teeth.  Braces work in the same way regardless of the age of the patient, but the treatment time is greatly reduced in patients who are still experiencing jaw growth and have not been affected by gum disease.  In short, an adult can experience the same beautiful end results as a teenager, but treatment often takes longer.

Can adults benefit from orthodontic braces?

Absolutely! Crooked or misaligned teeth look unsightly, which in many cases leads to poor self esteem and a lack of self confidence.  Aside from poor aesthetics, improperly aligned teeth can also cause difficulties biting, chewing and articulating clearly.  Generally speaking, orthodontists agree that straight teeth tend to be healthier teeth.

Straight teeth offer a multitude of health and dental benefits including:

  • Reduction in general tooth decay
  • Decreased likelihood of developing periodontal disease
  • Decreased likelihood of tooth injury
  • Reduction in digestive disorders

Fortunately, orthodontic braces have been adapted and modified to make them more convenient for adults.  There are now a wide range of fixed and removable orthodontic devices available, depending on the precise classification of the malocclusion.

The most common types of malocclusion are underbite (lower teeth protrude further than upper teeth), overbite (upper teeth protrude further than lower teeth) and overcrowding, where there is insufficient space on the arches to accommodate the full complement of adult teeth.

Prior to recommending specific orthodontic treatment, the orthodontist will recommend treatment of any pre-existing dental conditions such as gum disease, excess plaque and tooth decay.  Orthodontic braces can greatly exacerbate any or all of these conditions.

What are the main types of orthodontic braces?

The following are some of the most popular orthodontic braces:

  • Traditional braces – These braces are strong and tend not to stain the teeth.  They are comprised of individual brackets which are cemented to each tooth and accompanied by an archwire which constantly asserts gentle pressure on the teeth.  Traditional braces are generally metal but are also available in a clear synthetic material and “tooth colored” ceramic.  The ceramic brackets are generally more comfortable than the metal alternative, but can become discolored by coffee, wine, smoking and certain foods.

  • Invisalign® – Invisalign aligners are favored by many adults because they are both removable and invisible to onlookers.  Invisalign® aligners are clear trays, and should be worn for the recommended amount of time each day for the quickest results.  Invisalign® aligners are more comfortable and less obtrusive than traditional braces, but also tend to be more costly.  Not all patients are candidates for Invisalign®.

  • Lingual braces – These appliances are usually metal and fixed on the tongue side of the teeth, therefore not seen when a patient smiles.  Lingual braces tend to be moderately expensive and in some cases, can interfere with normal speech.

If you have any questions about orthodontic braces, please contact our office.

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Testimonials

"Friendly staff, very clean offices, thorough explanation of services and pro-active maintenance tips, no pain...all you could ask for in a dental team! Thanks"

I came to Hawthorn Woods Family Dentistry, since I had problems with my gums and overall dental health. Dr. Copeland provided a consultation and recommended a long-term treatment plan, which included porcelain veneers and improving my overall dental health in the course of two years. I could not believe the transformation and I enjoyed being part of the process!
Dr. Copeland performed the dentistry for my porcelain veneers, which look natural and help keep my gums healthy. Dr. Copeland gave me the smile I never had, but always wanted and did so in a caring and professional manner.
The staff at Hawthorn Woods Family Dentistry wanted to make sure I was happy and healthy and were accommodating to my schedule by providing appointments that worked for me.
What I like most about Hawthorn Woods Family Dentistry is that the aftercare and preparation were just as important to Dr. Copeland and his staff as the actual dentistry for the final fitting and placement of the veneers.

I went to your office to get a tooth extracted. I wanted to let you know what a wonderful experience I had! Jeffrey Copeland explained everything to me, helped me relax, feel at ease. The best part- I didn’t feel any pain! Never before have I felt more relaxed getting dental work! His assistant, Kristen, was just as comforting.

My sisters, Karen McGuinn and Sue Bowers, are patients of yours and highly recommended I come to you. The best advice I ever received from them!

I can’t say enough about Dr. Copeland. I’m going to recommend everyone I know to your practice!

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