Orthodontics used to be used only in children or adolescents. However, it is currently used equally in adults. There are many adult patients with dental problems who dream of a perfect smile. In fact, more and more people are aware of oral health, facial aesthetics and smile as the main letter of presentation and seek a final solution efficient, durable and stable long-term. That is why we increasingly offer orthodontic treatments in Barcelona and its different forms of invisible orthodontics , including transparent aligners, porcelain brackets or brackets cemented by the inside of the teeth (lingual orthodontics).
However, there are some complications that adults have to face and not children. Years of dental work, crowns, endodontics, caries, periodontal disease or the absence of teeth make orthodontics more laborious in adults. To this is added that in adults there is no growth of bone, something necessary in many cases, so the solution is orthognathic surgery to correct malocclusion.
Although there is no scientific evidence to show that orthodontics makes teeth more long-lived and healthier, it has been demonstrated in a recent study conducted at the University of Washington by Dr.. Nart that teeth and support bone do not get worse after having taken orthodontics and hygiene and periodontal health improves. Patients who have taken orthodontics are more aware of oral health and dental aesthetics.
What should an adult who wishes to wear orthodontics know?
Adults, as mentioned, have different oral conditions and situations for children and young people. Hence, a series of recommendations should be made:- Orthodontic treatment can be more complex in adults (tooth state, dental crowns, periodontal disease, etc.).- Orthodontics is not able to solve all dental problems because the maxillary and facial bones no longer grow. This makes necessary, perhaps, orthognathic surgery.- Optimal periodontal health status is essential before starting orthodontics.- The treatment of adult patients can be delayed if interdisciplinary treatment is required, in addition to the force that the orthodontist makes in the mouth of the adult is less because it is more sensitive to pain.- Alternatives with good results: invisible aligners and brackets on the inside of the teeth ( lingual orthodontics ).- Orthodontic treatment in adults is usually longer than in children (between 24 and 30 months ), while in children it is between 18 and 22 months.
Importance of correcting the maxillary and mandibular bones with orthodontics
There is a clear difference between treating adults and children: the maxillary and mandibular bones of children grow during orthodontics but in adults they do not. Thus, in children orthodontists can modify the growth to favor the position of the bone: if the child's teeth are out, the maxillary growth can be stopped while the jaw continues to grow and, consequently, the aesthetic harmony will accompany.
However, in adults the facial structure is fixed. To correct the cross bite (upper teeth bite inside the lower ones) a surgical intervention is required that modifies the shape and size of the maxilla and that thus they fit. Another alternative currently used in the adult patient with orthodontics are the titanium micro screws in the bone as an anchor to be able to move the teeth in the correct direction, avoiding those adverse movements.
It is important that the adult patient who wants to undergo orthodontics does not have signs of inflammation or bleeding in the gums, as well as periodontal disease or signs that demonstrate a fine bone or gum that would not resist tooth movement before beginning orthodontics.. In those cases, the area should be covered to prevent the bone or gum from being damaged.
To be able to undergo other treatments such as, for example, esthetic restorations or implants, many adult patients will need a previous orthodontic treatment. There is no age limit for orthodontics, provided that the gum and bone that supports the tooth is healthy.
Possible movement of the teeth after removing orthodontics
Approximately one third of the adults who decide to get orthodontics took it when they were young. However, their teeth have been moved by the absence of retainers. And is that the teeth always move. Only 10% of patients who have taken orthodontics keep their teeth aligned 20 years after treatment. The retainers are recommended throughout life, one fixed to the inside of the teeth and one removable during the night.