Orthodontic treatment is available for adults who wish to correct their smile, straighten their teeth and feel better about their appearance. Clear braces and Invisalign are more discreet and therefore the more popular choices for adults seeking orthodontic treatment.
Are there any oral health reasons adult might have orthodontic treatment?
Dr. Justina LaPoulas: Yes. There actually are. An improper bite or malocclusion, basically when your top and bottom teeth don’t align properly. That can make chewing really difficult or even affect your speech, especially if your teeth don’t come together as they should, something called an open bite, where there is a space between your top and bottom teeth. Maybe you can fit your tongue in there or a finger in there or something. That can definitely affect chewing and speech. Teeth that are too crowded together can be really hard to keep clean, which can lead to more significant problems, like periodontal disease. Big issues that we want to avoid. A missing tooth or a tooth that had to be pulled earlier in life can cause the teeth in your bite to shift. Basically, if there is a missing tooth, the teeth next door get really excited and want to move into that space. We can definitely address those issues. All of those things can affect the bite, which we don’t want. With orthodontics, we can help all of these things, straighten things out, and improve your bite.
What common appearance or smile issues can be resolved with orthodontics?
Dr. Justina LaPoulas: Really, almost anything you can think of that you don’t like about your smile can really be addressed with orthodontics. It’s pretty great. If your teeth are too close and crowded together, if your teeth are spaced too far apart, if your teeth are too far forward, or certain teeth are just rotated or just basically out of place. All of these issues can be fixed with orthodontics in one way or another. With all the different appliances out there, adults are more willing to go ahead with treatment and give their smile what they have been wanting to, which is nice.
What different type of orthodontic treatments or devices are available to adults?
Dr. Justina LaPoulas: Really, the same options are out there for children and adults. The traditional metal braces with all the fun colors don’t usually appeal as much to the adult patients, but they are available nonetheless. Most adults are more interested in something more subtle, like clear braces, which are very, very, subtle. They kind of blend in with the teeth, which are nice. Clear aligners, like Invisalign. We do a lot of Invisalign. Both are very aesthetic options and are hardly noticeable to people you’re talking to, which the patients really like.
Do adults need to wear orthodontic devices for a longer period of time than children do?
Dr. Justina LaPoulas: That’s a good question. I get that a lot. Treatment time really depends on the patient’s specific orthodontic needs. It is possible that treatment can take a little longer in adults when compared to children. It’s just adult teeth can be a little more stubborn to move as their bone is more developed and happy where it is. Adults just don’t have growth on their side, as kids do, either. It is definitely worth an exam and a consultation to see what orthodontics can do for you, especially if there is something that you’ve wanted to fix or improve about your smile. There’s things that we can get around without growth on our side. We can do so, so, much now with orthodontics in adults.
Will insurance cover orthodontics for adults?
Dr. Justina LaPoulas: You know, we’re actually seeing more and more insurance plans with some type of adult coverage, which is just wonderful. We can look into your specific plan to see if that applies to you. Either way, we do offer payment plan options to make orthodontic treatment more affordable for you, more accessible for you, and something that you can actually wrap your head around and get done for yourself, and take some time for you.
If you are interested in speaking with Dr. Justina LaPoulas, visit www.stoneridgedental.com or call (586) 739-6400 to schedule an appointment.