We’ve always said you’re never too old to achieve the beautiful smile you’ve always dreamed of, and thousands of adults have taken that to heart by becoming our orthodontic patients through the years.
With the holiday season upon us, and New Year’s resolutions right around the corner, we realize that smile improvements might be on your wish lists this month, and among your goals for 2016.
When you have a consultation with Dr. Yan Razdolsky, there are some considerations he must account for that often are unique to adult patients when he develops a treatment plan.
Adults often have crowns, fillings and have undergone root canals at some point, and this sort of dental work must be taken into consideration when developing a treatment plan, Dr. Razdolsky says. Sometimes dental work can make achieving the desired result more challenging.
Orthodontic treatment in children typically takes their growing dentofacial features into consideration. Growth is complete in adult patients, so fixing severe overbite, underbite and crossbite may require surgery in addition to orthodontic treatment.
According to recent findings from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, half of Americans ages 30 and older have periodontitis, the more advanced form of periodontal (gum) disease, the American Academy of Periodontology reports.
Periodontal disease destroys gum tissue and bone, and orthodontic treatment can make the problem worse. In cases where a patient has gum disease, we work jointly with their family dentist or periodontist to coordinate treatment once the disease is under control and properly managed.
Adult orthodontic treatment by the numbers
A Wall Street Journal article noted recently that more than 1.2 million adults in the U.S. received orthodontic treatment in 2012, the most recent numbers available from the American Association of Orthodontists. That is a 39 percent increase since 1996. By comparison, about 4.65 million orthodontic procedures were performed for patients age 17 and younger in 2012, up 32 percent in the same period.
Why bother with orthodontic treatment?
Dental treatment and care is better than it’s ever been. Dentists offer more conservative treatments, which preserve more natural tooth structure.
Studies are mixed about whether orthodontic treatment improves oral health, but we know this: Adults who go through Invisalign or other treatment are proud of their smiles once treatment is complete, and that likely entices them to practice good oral hygiene. That promotes healthier teeth and gums.
“There was a time when it was almost expected to end up wearing dentures in your old age,” Dr. Razdolsky says. “That’s no longer the case. These days, people can reasonably expect to keep most or all of their natural teeth for a lifetime with proper dental care.”
So if they’re going to last you forever, don’t you want your teeth to look their best? Feel free to call our office today if you’re an adult who’s been considering orthodontic treatment. We can perform a comprehensive examination and offer treatment recommendations.