If you picture an awkward teen in a complete set of braces when you hear the word orthodontics, you’re not alone. This stereotype has had surprising staying power over the years, even though treatment can benefit patients of all ages. While it’s true that tweens and teens make up a large percentage of orthodontic patients, we successfully treat many young children and adults, too! In fact, the number of adults seeking orthodontic treatment has skyrocketed in recent years. Over 25% of current patients are over the age of 18, yet we hear from adults every day who worry that they’ve missed the chance to transform their smile.
Here at Lincoln Orthodontics, we believe a beautiful smile should be available to patients from 7 to 70—including you! Maybe you’ve spent years feeling unhappy with how your teeth look and function but aren’t sure if braces are for you. Or perhaps it’s become increasingly difficult to keep your smile as healthy as it should be, but you don’t know where to begin to correct any issues you’re experiencing. Our talented team is here to help! You’re never too old to take advantage of what orthodontics has to offer, and there’s never been a better time to explore all the treatments available to you.
Why are more adults interested in orthodontic treatment?
It’s easy to overlook the importance of oral hygiene when we’re younger. Many teens and young adults think a quick brush and occasional floss are enough to keep their smile in good shape. They don’t realize the many ways that our oral health is linked to our total body health! As we get older, we tend to gain a deeper understanding of this connection. That knowledge often results in a desire to take better care of our teeth and gums, which may include seeking out specialized dental care or orthodontic treatment.
We also hear from many adult patients who received some orthodontic treatment earlier in life and wish to complete the process. Others may have finished their treatment but didn’t wear their retainers as directed afterward, and now the teeth have shifted back towards their original positions. They may require touch-up treatment, or we might recommend that they redo it for the best results.
Other adults are simply interested in achieving the straight and healthy smile they’ve always wanted! Orthodontic treatment as an adult can give patients a beautifully aligned smile that increases self-confidence and positively affects them personally and professionally. To learn more about what Lincoln Orthodontics has to offer adult patients like you, keep reading below!
If you look at general dentistry as an umbrella, orthodontics is a specialty underneath it. Orthodontists like Dr. Willett can diagnose and treat a wide variety of dental and facial abnormalities and are specially and uniquely trained to do so. When orthodontic issues are left untreated over time, they will almost always worsen. This can lead to several different problems, including abnormal wear and tear to the surface of your teeth and excess stress on the gum tissue and bone. Misaligned teeth are also more challenging to keep clean, increasing the risk for cavities, tooth decay, and gum disease.
Orthodontists spend years (even beyond regular dental school) learning how to identify and correct bite and tooth position abnormalities. This allows them to straighten the teeth, correct misalignments, and improve the overall function of your smile. When you choose Lincoln Orthodontics, you’ll be taking the first step towards receiving the kind of specialized attention and care your smile needs to thrive!
Your first complimentary consultation with us
Your initial appointment with us is one of the most important ones you’ll have. This is our chance to get to know a bit about each other and discuss any concerns you have about your oral health. We pack a lot into this first free visit, including:
- a review of your dental and medical history forms
- a review of the records taken (3D xray and photos)
- a thorough oral examination
- a conversation about the results of this exam
- a customized treatment plan for you if needed
Once you’ve decided on a treatment plan with your Dr. Willett, we’ll outline everything included in the orthodontic process. This consists of a discussion about the investment needed for your new smile and any payment options we have available to you. Our team will ensure you understand precisely what your plan includes before you begin—you’ll never have to worry about hidden fees with our practice! We’ll be glad to answer any questions you may have at this point, as well.
What treatment options are available for adult patients?
Orthodontics has made some impressive advancements in recent years! Cutting-edge technology and innovative techniques have made it easier than ever to achieve a total smile transformation. These include:
Traditional metal braces
Traditional metal braces are an orthodontic staple, and with good reason! This is one of our most efficient treatments currently available, particularly for more severe or complicated cases. Modern braces use high-quality stainless steel, but innovations in the design mean they’re much more comfortable than previous versions. The total treatment time also tends to be shorter than it used to be.
These braces work the same way traditional braces do but benefit from using clear, white, or tooth-colored brackets. For an almost invisible treatment option, we can use them with matching elastics or ties! This makes them popular with our more image-conscious patients. Clear brackets are more delicate than metal braces, so we generally recommend them for older teen and adult patients only.
Invisalign clear aligner therapy
The Invisalign system uses a series of clear removable aligners to move the teeth instead of brackets and wires. These are made of a soft but strong thermoplastic resin material and customized to fit snugly but comfortably over your teeth. Patients must wear the aligners for 20-22 hours each day to move the teeth into the desired positions. Each aligner must also be switched out for the next in the series every 1-2 weeks to keep up with the shifting teeth.
InBrace behind the tooth braces
InBrace is an exciting new orthodontic technology that we’re excited to offer to our patients! Like traditional braces, InBrace works by applying gentle yet continuous pressure on the teeth to help them shift into the desired positions over time. However, InBrace uses just a few robotically bent wires and braces behind the teeth to discreetly create a beautiful custom smile instead of brackets on the front of the teeth. They truly are a totally invisible treatment option!
Each of these options can be a great fit for busy adults. Rest assured that Dr. Willett will always consider your unique needs and lifestyle before recommending the treatment method she feels would best fit your smile! She’ll discuss all the pros and cons of any treatment option with you to help you make the best decision for yourself.
How long does adult orthodontic treatment take?
Because every smile is different, there’s no one-size-fits-all answer regarding how long a patient will need to wear braces or clear aligners. Treatment times will depend on how well a patient responds and the severity of the problem being corrected. On average, however, you can expect comprehensive treatment time to last anywhere from 18 to 30 months or if we’re focused on a small or limited problem, treatment time is generally 6-9 months. While we can’t give you a concrete answer without an exam, we will provide you with an estimated treatment time before beginning your orthodontic journey.
Get the confident smile you deserve at Lincoln Orthodontics
Are you ready to take the first step towards a happier and healthier smile? Get in touch today to schedule a FREE consultation with our office. We look forward to seeing your smile!