Am I too old for braces? Is Invisalign worth it in my 50s? These are the types of questions I hear all of the time as an Alaska and Seattle-area orthodontist. As I tell my patients, as long as your teeth and gums are healthy, I can help you get an incredible smile at any age and it’s never too late to reap the benefits of orthodontic treatment. Even if you do have oral health concerns, I can work with your dentist or any specialists to get you to a place where treatment would be safe and effective. If you’ve been considering orthodontics, here are seven things you should know about Invisalign and braces.
1. There are a Variety of Orthodontic Options for Adults.
Getting braces as an adult doesn’t mean you’ll have a mouth full of metal. There are more orthodontic options for adults than ever before. If you do decide you want braces, today’s metal braces are streamlined and much more attractive and comfortable than those of the past. Or, if you’d prefer a more under-the-radar adult braces option, you might like ceramic braces. Ceramic braces, sometimes called clear braces, work the same as metal braces, however, they’re made from a translucent material that blends in with your smile. Clear braces are the more popular choice for our older teen and adult patients.
Lastly, if you want to straighten your teeth without braces, I also offer Invisalign®. The treatment involves a series of clear, removable, plastic aligners that are printed just for you based on my specifications. As you make your way through the series, your new smile takes shape little by little. The benefits of Invisalign are it’s virtually invisible; the aligners are removable so there are no food restrictions and your oral hygiene routine remains the same; and it’s comfortable. Since the aligners lack brackets and wires, you won’t ever have emergency repair appointments. The visits you do have will be quick.
2. The Benefits of Adult Orthodontics are Significant.
The benefits of Invisalign or braces for adults include:
- Improving your appearance and facial symmetry
- Since straight teeth are easier to clean, you’ll love brushing and flossing
- Stopping the early wear of enamel
- Preventing bone loss and even tooth loss from issues like gum disease
- Boosting self-esteem and confidence, which impacts all areas of your life
3. You Can Have Excellent Results as a Grown-Up.
It is true that since your jaw is done growing and there could already be some breakdown in the bone that supports the teeth, occasionally the direction and amount of tooth movement is a little more limited in adult patients. However, thanks to our high-tech diagnostic equipment and innovations in treatments and techniques, we can still get dramatic results with a lot of adult patients. Additionally, grown-ups tend to be motivated and willing to follow instructions for things like wearing rubber bands or wearing their aligners for 22 hours per day, which means excellent outcomes.
4. You Won’t be in Orthodontic Treatment Forever.
As I noted in the last point, thanks to innovations in diagnostics, treatments and techniques, adult orthodontics is effective and efficient. You won’t be in braces or Invisalign forever. For most patients, treatment takes between six and 24 months, regardless of their age.
5. You Can Get Braces or Invisalign if You Have Crowns, Veneers or Missing Teeth.
Braces and Invisalign can still move teeth with crowns or veneers. A tooth with a crown or veneer has its natural root and will still shift into place when we apply pressure with wires or aligners. If you’re getting braces as an adult and you have crowns, I may use a different adhesive on the teeth with crowns to avoid damaging the restorations. While you can get braces with veneers, they’re very thin and when your braces come off, you could be left with rough patches from the glue. That’s why I’ll often suggest patients with veneers opt for Invisalign treatment.
As for Invisalign or braces with missing teeth, this is actually fairly common. When you lose a tooth and don’t replace it right away, the teeth around it have a tendency to shift and fill in the space. This can interfere with getting a dental implant. So, many times, you’ll actually need orthodontic treatment before replacing the tooth to make enough space for the implant to be placed properly.
6. Getting Braces as an Adult Can Fit Your Busy Lifestyle.
At Richard Chan Orthodontics, my team and I pride ourselves on making orthodontic treatment convenient and enjoyable for our patients. We’ll work with you to ensure treatment fits your lifestyle. We have minimal wait times and offer early morning appointments, as well as a variety of treatment options to suit your needs. Since we use digital systems and modern tools, visits are efficient, letting you get in, out and on with your day.
7. Adult Orthodontics is More Affordable Than You’d Think.
I think everyone should be able to get a smile they love, which is why I strive to make braces and Invisalign affordable for my patients. In fact, for a limited time, we’re offering braces or Invisalign treatment for as low as $129 per month. Simply mention the offer at your consultation to take advantage of it. We also have zero-down payment options and discounts for paying in full at the start of treatment. More and more adults are also able to benefit from orthodontic insurance, or more accurately dental insurance with orthodontic coverage. If that’s the case, that can also dramatically reduce your out-of-pocket costs. We accept most insurances at our office and we’ll even file claims on your behalf!
Are you an adult interested in braces or Invisalign in Everett, Mill Creek, Bothell, Monroe, Juneau or Sitka? Contact Richard Chan Orthodontics today for a complimentary consultation!