You may be unhappy with your teeth or have problems with your bite. Even if you already had braces as an adolescent, your teeth may have shifted out of alignment. If you are interested in a better smile, then adult braces may be right for you.
Braces or clear aligners (such as Invisalign) are an excellent choice for protecting oral health and preserving natural teeth. Fortunately, the science of braces is advanced far beyond where it was in decades past. It's possible to receive efficient treatment and enjoy your new smile within a year and a half.
What Are Braces?
Dental braces are orthodontic systems that use gentle pressure to slowly move teeth into optimal positions.
The parts of dental braces are as follows:
Dental brackets attach to the front of each tooth. Their role is to facilitate the application of forces to the teeth, allowing them to travel through the bone.
Brackets were all metal in the past, but today, they come in clear or tooth-colored material. This change makes braces less obvious and may appeal to the adult patient.
Archwires are specially designed wires, made for biologically safe metals. The archwires are tied into brackets and bands and apply forces to direct the movement of teeth. Dr. Palermo is able to put bends and adjustments into the archwire to dial-in the precise position of each tooth.
Metal bands go around the back molars, held with cement. As with brackets, the bands hold the archwire in place; however, here at Embrace Orthodontics we rarely use bands. They are reserved for certain types of dental crowns that brackets are unable to bond to.
Power chains are made of an elastic material and have several functions in orthodontics. Their primary use is to close spaces between teeth by pulling the teeth together. They may also be used to rotate stubborn teeth and apply various forces to groups of or individual teeth.
O-rings, or color ties, are the colorful circles on the brackets. Traditionally, they were used to hold the archwire in the brackets; however, at Embrace Orthodontics we use a newer technology known as “self-ligating brackets”, which do not require O-rings. O-rings can be placed for esthetic desires, but are not necessary here at Embrace Orthodontics.
Elastics are rubber bands that run from teeth on the upper jaw to teeth on the lower jaw, in order to control their orientation to each other and coordinate them together. Elastics fatigue quickly and should be changed through-out the day, as prescribed by Dr. Palermo.
An Alternative: Clear Aligners
Clear aligners are a great alternative for adults that are not interested in traditional bracket/archwire therapy. Clear aligners work by gradually shifting the teeth using biologically safe plastic trays. As you progress through your sequence of aligners, teeth gradually follow into their new position. Each tray is typically worn for 10-14 days, allowing enough time for this movement to occur before advancing to your next tray. Clear aligners are the most inconspicuous option for orthodontic treatment.
Benefits of Braces or Clear Aligners for Adults
Just like children and teens, adults experience many benefits when they have braces.
Fixing Problem Bites
Bite problems include underbites, overbites, and crossbites. Adults with problems with their dental bite may have uneven wear, resulting in cracked, broken, or compromised teeth. Broken teeth may need replacement with crowns, bridges, or implants.
Correcting the bite allows these teeth to return to their ideal positions, where they will be under less stress. This leads to fewer costly restorations and healthier teeth.
Correcting Misaligned Teeth
Adults with misaligned or crooked teeth may have trouble keeping them clean, leading to cavities and other dental disorders like gum disease.
Getting braces can protect against unnecessary cavities and lessen the risk of severe gum disease.
Creating Beautiful Smiles
The esthetic benefits of orthodontics should never be underestimated. With a beautiful straight smile comes increased self-confidence and reduced self-consciousness.
Are You a Good Candidate for Adult Orthodontics?
If you have poor tooth alignment, or just don’t love your smile, you may be an excellent candidate for adult braces. Here at Embrace Orthodontics, we feel that everyone should be provided with the best knowledge about their dental health, which is why we offer free consultation appointments for all patients. If you have any interest, please text or call us for a 10 minute consultation and Dr. Palermo can tell you if and why adult orthodontics may be right for you.
Why Choose Embrace Orthodontics?
Our boutique practice strives to be a place where patients feel comfortable. Unlike other orthodontic offices, Embrace Orthodontics is a solo-doctor practice, meaning that you will know exactly who your doctor is at every appointment. Your satisfaction and good health are our top priorities. We take care of all ages, with extensive experience in adult braces and orthodontic treatment. We will assist you in making the best decisions for your orthodontic treatment and build a great smile together, as a team.
Frequently Asked Questions About Adult Orthodontics
How old is too old for braces?
Today's braces are appropriate for all ages. Patients can get braces until their 60s and even 70s.
What is the difference between braces for kids and braces for adults?
Treatment involves the same equipment and steps. Adults may be more interested in braces that are not as visible since it is more unusual for an adult to get braces than for a child or teen. Clear aligners, such as invisalign, are also a great option for adult patients.
Does your office accept my insurance?
Although Embrace Orthodontics does not directly participate with insurance, we do go out of our way to work with your insurance to ensure you receive your entitled orthodontic benefits. Our experienced treatment coordinator will submit all necessary information to your insurance company, who will then send the benefit directly to you.
Do you accept payment plans?
At Embrace Orthodontics, we work with ORTHOFI. This flexible payment plan allows you to choose your down payment and select your monthly payments within a comfortable budget. No interest is accrued through your expected treatment length, and no credit checks are required.
Do you charge for consultations?
No, consultations are complimentary. We believe everyone should be educated on orthodontic treatment and are happy to see you for a new patient consultation.
What types of braces do you offer for adults?
We offer the following types of braces:
- Metal Damon Braces: These braces do not need O-rings to hold the archwire on the brackets. The bracket itself has a locking mechanism to hold the archwire. This feature means that the teeth can slide smoothly along the archwire. They allow for lighter forces and fewer appointments than traditional metal brackets.
- Clear Ceramic Braces: Today, ceramic brackets are available in place of standard metal brackets. These brackets can be made transparent or in tooth-matching colors for lower visibility. These braces are also easier on the lips and cheeks than the metal variety. We use ceramic Damon brackets here at Embrace Orthodontics, so you will be able to appreciate the same benefits from the metal Damon braces, with a much less conspicuous appearance.
- Clear Aligners: Clear aligners, such as Invisalign, work by gradually shifting the teeth using biologically safe plastic trays. As you progress through your sequence of aligners, teeth gradually follow into their new position. Each tray is typically worn for 10-14 days, allowing enough time for this movement to occur before advancing to your next tray. Clear aligners are the most inconspicuous option for orthodontic treatment.
What are the signs that an adult needs braces?
Here are a few selected signs that mean an adult should consult an orthodontist:
- Unexplained Facial or Jaw Pain
- Improper Dental Bite
- Uneven Spacing Between Teeth
- Increased Cavities
- Uneven Tooth Wear
- Dark shadows on one or a few of your front teeth when you smile
Do adult braces take longer than braces for kids and teens?
Adult braces may take longer because adults' bones are denser. This factor means it takes longer to shift the teeth to new positions. However, adults often have specific concerns about their smile that they would simply like to improve. In this case, limited orthodontic treatment may be an option for a shorter amount of time to correct the concern.
Will I need a retainer after treatment?
Yes, braces patients usually receive retainers which you must wear correctly. Your teeth could shift out of alignment and waste your investment in braces.
Deciding to Get Adult Orthodontics
Thinking about your oral health, you may decide that now is the time to discuss getting braces as an adult. Our office can help you make a treatment plan that improves your smile for better health and a brighter smile.