When one thinks of a person in dental braces, images of older children and teens immediately come to mind. That’s probably because orthodontic problems are, more often than not, addressed during a person’s younger years. Children, however, aren’t the only ones who frequent the dentist for issues surrounding misaligned teeth. In fact, Seton Hill University’s Center for Orthodontics estimates that around 25 percent of orthodontic patients are adults.
Although each case is different, adults, as group, tend to be more compliant compared to younger patients; thus, from a compliance point of view, orthodontic treatment for adults tends to be less challenging.
On the other hand, treating adults has other unique challenges. For instance, adults tend to have busier and, often, less flexible schedules. Also, adults may tend to be more exacting and less likely to compromise when it comes to treatment results. In addition, adult patients may tend to have a higher expectation when it comes to service and accommodations. Anecdotal evidence shows adult patients have a more refined taste and tend to pay for orthodontic treatment out-of-pocket which increases their level of expectation.
Orthodontic treatment for adults has other distinct challenges:
- Longer treatment times
- Wear and tear
- Premature tooth decay, misaligned teeth tend to wear faster and unevenly
- Premature wear and fatigue of the lower jaw joint. Joint injuries can cause severe headaches and loss of function which can decrease the patient’s quality of life and lead to other health related issues.
Many adult patients present a rather unique set of circumstances. Years of uneven wear and improper function of the jaw compounded with inadequate oral care can lead to root and tissue resorption. Root and tissue structures are responsible for securing teeth to the jaw bone; damage to these structures can lead to premature tooth loss which increases the level of difficulty when treating adults. Using a dental laboratory that understands these nuances gives dental professionals an edge and helps to improve treatment results and quality of care.
Common Orthodontic Conditions Among Adults
Human teeth are rarely ever naturally perfect. This is because of the combination of genetics, oral hygiene, eating habits, and other circumstances in a person’s life. As a result, many develop orthodontic issues that affect the functions of their mouth.
Some of the most common orthodontic problems are:
- Underbite – a type of malocclusion where the lower jaw is extended outward, so the lower front teeth are positioned in front of the upper front teeth.
- Overbite – a type of malocclusion where the upper front teeth extend way over the lower front teeth.
- Crossbite – a type of malocclusion where the upper and lower sets of teeth do not meet correctly.
- Openbite – a type of malocclusion where the upper and lower front teeth do not meet.
- Crowding – a condition that results from the lack of space for the teeth to fit within the jaw.
- Excessive Spacing – a condition that results when one or more teeth fail to grow, resulting in wide spaces between each tooth
While there are orthodontic problems that can happen to any person at any age, adult patients may have additional conditions that younger patients do not typically suffer from. These include gingivitis infections, marginal bone loss between the roots needed for blood supply, and hardened bones. Tissue aging is also a common problem in adults, and this makes it more difficult to adjust the teeth into new positions.
Orthodontic Treatment Options for Adults
The first step to correcting orthodontic problems like malocclusion is to assess the condition of the teeth. This usually involves taking X-ray scans and photographs of the patient’s teeth, then creating a plaster model.
However, it can be a huge problem for dental practices when appliances have issues with fit and design. With Orthodenco’s team of expert lab technicians, you’ll be able to provide your patients with the right dental appliance that’s tailored to their orthodontic needs.
Orthodontic treatments also involve the use of dental equipment and apparatus to correct the position of the patient’s teeth. The most common devices used to correct malocclusions are fixed braces to correct extensive orthodontic problems and removable braces for minor ones or as part of the fixed brace treatment. Functional appliances, headgear, aligners or clear braces, as well as retainers, are also used to address several orthodontic problems.
Orthodontic clinics need proper dental appliances and technology for the treatment of adult orthodontic problems. As a premiere orthodontic laboratory, Orthodenco Orthodontic Lab recognizes how important it is for you to have the best and latest equipment. We are constantly developing our products to reflect the ever-changing needs of the orthodontic market, so that you can offer your patients the quality of apparatus that they deserve.
Orthodontic Appliances and Digital Services from Orthodenco Orthodontic Lab
Our highly-qualified orthodontic technicians design and manufacture different types of orthodontic appliances in our laboratory, including:
- Arch Development Appliances – These appliances, ranging from the simple sagital plate to TAD (Temporary Anchorage Divice) supported expanders, are ideal for correcting crossbites, narrow palates, and crowded jaws. These kinds of active appliances assist with arch width and length development.
- Distalizers – These are designed to correct malocclusion through helping regain a patient’s lost arch length. With the use of the most advanced spring-loaded appliance, distalizers help patients achieve the molar rotations and distalization required. Further, the use of TAD supported distalizers has made it possible to reduce the length of treatment and increase clinician control because TADs virtually eliminate the flaring of the anterior segment and other anchor structures.
- Aligners – Clear aligners are a great complement to orthodontic treatment for adults. For instance, braces may need to be removed to prevent resorption of the root structure or due to life circumstances. In those situations, clear aligners can help the clinician to finish the treatment instead of a compromised result. Clear aligners are also a good alternative to braces for minor tooth movements and limited treatment.
- Splint Appliances – Adult patients have a higher propensity to develop burxism (the clenching of the upper and lower jaws), which overtime will compromise the results of orthodontic treatment as well as the health of the lower jaw joint. Splint appliances are specifically designed to help with these two challenges; also, hybrid appliances like OrthoDenco’s HawleyGuard double up as retainers which is an ideal solution for patients that brux their teeth and need retainers after orthodontic treatment.
Through all these products and services, we cater to the growing number of adult patients who need orthodontic treatments – and to the orthodontists who provide these treatments. We look forward to hearing from you; get in touch with us for more details about orthodontic treatments for adults.