Nearly half of Dr. Atoosa Nikaeen’s patients are adults from the ages of 21 and 70. With all the advancements in orthodontic technology in recent years, if you didn’t get your bite issues fixed as a child or you didn’t wear your retainer and now your teeth have relapsed, there is still time to fix your bite with less discomfort and better aesthetics.
Why you should consider orthodontic treatment as an adult:
- You have a bad bite (malocclusion), that is there is an incorrect relationship between the upper and lower arch
- Your teeth are crowded or spaced, which can contribute to tooth decay and/or gum disease
- Jaw pain or pressure caused by misaligned teeth or a bad bite
- You want a radiant and healthy smile
Orthodontic treatment options for adults offer improved aesthetics and comfort:
- Clear (Ceramic) braces
- Self-ligating (Damon) braces
- Lingual (behind the teeth) braces
- Invisalign and other clear teeth straighteners
- Traditional (metal) braces
Frequently Asked Questions
- Will orthodontics give children and adults the same results?
- How is adult treatment different than treatment for children or teenagers?
- Can my orthodontist treatment the pain in my muscles and joints?
- My family dentist told me I needed orthodontic treatment before replacing missing teeth. Why?
- My teeth have been misaligned and crooked since I was a child. Why should I have orthodontic treatment now?
Will orthodontics give children and adults the same results?
Orthodontics can be performed at almost every age, and the process is just as easy for adults as it is for children, in most cases. The force provided by braces and other orthodontic appliances move teeth the same way for an older person as they do for a child. However, some complications, such as lack of jaw growth in an adult, may require specialized treatment.
>back to top
1. How is adult treatment different than treatment for children or teenagers?
Since adults have stopped growing, a breakdown can occur of the teeth and jawbone that support the teeth. This means the patient may require more than braces, and may instead require the combined efforts of an orthodontist, periodontist, oral surgeon, endodontist, as well as your family dentist.
When it comes to orthodontic problems in children, the most common include:
- Jaw growth issues
- Loss of gum or bone
- Teeth that are worn or damaged
Jaw Growth Issues
If your child suffers from jaw growth problems, these can be treated easily with an orthodontic appliance that is designed to modify growth. For adults, the same problem may require orthognathic or jaw surgery.
For example, if you are an adult with a lower jaw that is too short and that doesn’t align with your upper jaw, this can cause severe bite problems. Braces may not be able to help with this issue, and surgery might be required. Orthognathic surgery can lengthen the lower jaw and move the lower teeth forward.
Other jaw-width issues or incongruities with length may also require surgery.
Loss of Gum or Bone
Damage to the gums and gum loss that supports the teeth are common as we age. These problems require the combined efforts of your family dentist and a periodontist before, during, and after you receive orthodontic treatment. This is due to the fact that loss of bone structure can limit teeth movement and direction, which is required for treatment.
Teeth that are Worn or Damaged
Worn, damaged, and missing teeth can lead to an unattractive smile and hinder oral function. Wear caused by age can cause teeth to move into improper positions, and missing teeth can cause the drifting and tipping of the remaining teeth. Each of these issues can lead to bite and gum problems.
While orthodontic treatment is recommended for these cases, it should be noted that treatment may be more difficult and require additional time to complete a full correction.
>back to top
2. Can my orthodontist treatment the pain in my muscles and joints?
Discomfort in your jaw muscle or joints is commonly associated with bruxing, which is the habitual grinding of the teeth, typically at night.
This habit can lead to teeth wear and trauma to your jaw’s joint structure. You can also experience acute pain, in some cases chronic pain. Treatment may involve the use of a bite splint or a night-guard to protect your teeth and ease your jaw muscles, both of which can alleviate the pain.
If you suffer from structural damage caused by bruxing, you may require joint surgery and the restoration of any damaged teeth.
>back to top
3. My family dentist told me I needed orthodontic treatment before replacing missing teeth. Why?
Complex tooth restorations, including crowns, bridges, and dental implants, can be more effectively treated when your remaining teeth are in proper alignment.
When you lose your permanent teeth, the remaining teeth can begin to tip, drift, and shift. This type of movement can create a bad bite and uneven teeth spaces. To correct your bite, we recommend the replacement of any missing teeth if you hope for orthodontic treatments to have the full effect. For teeth that have tipped, treatment typically involves straightening the teeth so that they can withstand the firmest biting pressure.
>back to top
4. My teeth have been misaligned and crooked since I was a child. Why should I have orthodontic treatment now?
Even if you have lived with orthodontic problems your entire life, why would you want to live with them any longer? Orthodontic treatment will restore your oral function and improve your overall body health. You will also enjoy a more attractive smile, which can do wonders for your self-esteem.
It is never too late to improve your smile and life with orthodontic treatment. Call Dr. Nikaeen to schedule a free consultation by calling (310) 444-1113 or email if you live in Los Angeles, Beverly Hills, and Santa Monica.