Never Too Old for Ortho

Have you been dealing with crooked or crowded teeth or a poorly aligned bite? Maybe you think you’re too old for orthodontic treatment, it can be valuable for people of any age and the results are about more than just aesthetics. Crowding of the teeth or teeth that overlap can be hard to clean and that can lead to tooth decay and periodontal disease. Malocclusion or a poor bite can cause problems with swallowing and chewing food. And when teeth are poorly aligned patients can have difficulty pronouncing words properly. Teeth that are not aligned properly can put excessive stress on the muscles that chew food which can lead to muscle pain in the face. The dental issues that can arise as a result of orthodontic problems are worth considering. No one is too old to benefit from straighter teeth and a healthy bite.

So, while adolescence is the perfect time for orthodontic treatment, patients of any age can benefit from having teeth that are well-aligned and a proper bite. Indeed, about 20 percent of all orthodontic patients are over the age of 18, so if you’re considering orthodontic treatment as an adult, you’re not alone. At Coeur d’Alene Dental Center, we often treat adults for orthodontic issues. There is no age limit for orthodontic treatment. If you have teeth that are crowded and if your bite isn’t quite right, orthodontic treatment can change the course of your overall dental health.

But orthodontic treatment in adults presents special issues and it’s important for patients to understand that long-standing bite and teeth alignment issues require a special touch. In adults, the bones of the jaw and mouth are no longer growing, so the structure of the oral cavity can only be altered with surgery. In contrast, in adolescence, the bone tissues are still somewhat malleable which means that different treatment strategies can be employed to put the teeth in place and to correct bite issues. Adults who seek out orthodontic treatment need to be aware that the strategies used to correct teeth alignment in adolescents are different from the strategies used to correct the same problems in adults.

So it’s important that patients are aware that if their considering orthodontic treatment a Coeur d’Alene Dental Center, the process of correcting orthodontic issues is different from adults than it is for adolescents. For an adult, the process of correcting crooked teeth or a poorly aligned bite may take longer than it would for a child or an adolescent. There’s quite a bit of variability in terms of how long it takes to complete treatment in adults, but as a general rule, it takes between 1 and 3 years.

And at Coeur d’Alene Dental Center, we generally recommend that patients see a periodontist if bone loss or gum disease is a potential issue. Patients who have suffered from crowding of the teeth or gum disease for many years may need specialized treatment to overcome certain dental issues during their orthodontic treatment.

Adult patients who receive orthodontic treatment, such as Invisalign, are often curious about how the process works and what to expect from the treatment. Invisalign works by using clear aligners which are custom-designed – we take molds of your teeth to help create the perfect aligners for your mouth. Invisalign clear aligners are made from BPA-free plastics, and they move your teeth gradually into position by exerting gentle pressure. Throughout their treatment, patients are given new aligners every few weeks.

In some cases, it may be necessary for patients to have one or more teeth removed in order to commence orthodontic treatment. At Coeur d’Alene Dental Center, we do everything we can to avoid removing teeth because we feel it’s important for patients to retain as many of their natural teeth as possible, but often, crowding of the teeth in the mouth is due to a lack of space for proper alignment. We do a careful evaluation to create the best possible plan to proceed, but in some cases, tooth removal is necessary.

Invisalign is extremely versatile and has the ability to move the teeth gradually simultaneously, so all the teeth can be treated at the same time, a major advantage that keeps treatment times to a minimum.

The first step to getting Invisalign treatment is a consultation with our dentists at Coeur d’Alene Dental Center. We will determine if Invisalign is right for you and your orthodontic needs. After an initial consultation, our dentists will provide a time estimate for treatment along with a sense of what kind of results are possible. Once the teeth have been thoroughly examined, we’ll develop a timeline for treatment along with a schedule of monthly visits and an action plan based on your unique situation.

So if you’ve waited long enough for straight teeth and you’re ready to do what’s necessary to create a healthier dental environment, set up an appointment with us today. Anyone at any age can enjoy the benefits of straight teeth and a healthy bite!

Contact our team today to learn more about what Invisalign and straight teeth can do for you.