The traditional idea that only children undergo orthodontic treatment has changed. It was over the last decade of last century that the number of adults who visited the orthodontist asking for treatment increased significantly.
In fact, in United States today more than 35% of orthodontic patients are adults, and this number will undoubtedly go up as the average age of the population increases. Technically orthodontics in adults is not so different to children or teenagers. This is basically because the teeth move in the same way. However, there are three factors that show the differences.
Firstly, the fact that all the new teeth appeared and the main growth of the face finished makes any preventive treatment impossible. Thus, there are more frequent extractions and patients have to turn to the maxillofacial surgery.
Secondly, adult patients usually have got another oral problems related to decay, absence of some teeth, gum problems, which will have to be planned and solved with other specialists.
The last factor is the different way of thinking of elderly patients. Most of them think, and they are partly right, that teeth move slower and that they will need ages to fix them. In practice, adult treatments do not last much more than children’s, since a good motivation, an absence of broken teeth, a better hygiene and a care of the brackets compensate for the dental movement. At the end the duration is the same!
Another common matter is the aesthetics of the appliances. We do not like a mouth full of “iron”, and we even have got difficulties to speak. Nowadays, we have got ceramic brackets with a high level of transparency and, although they are still noticeable, they eliminate the aggressive look of conventional metallic brackets.
To sum up, let’s forget the hoaxes, orthodontics in adults is nowadays a reality. We have got scientific information and the experience enough to correct or improve the smile of any patient. Patients with motivation and the help of other professionals allow us to have got spectacular results, and on most occasions quicker than we expected. Adults do not renounce to a perfect smile.