Orthodontics

What Are the Differences Between Adolescent and Adult Orthodontics in Poway CA?

In our office and nationwide, we have observed that the number of adults seeking orthodontic treatment has been steadily increasing every year. For whatever reason, the percentage of adults in active treatment has grown from about 15% to over 30% in 2017. What are the pros and cons of adult orthodontics in Poway CA and how is it different from adolescent treatment? We’re discussing that today!

Adult patients are typically better-informed, more motivated, follow instructions better, and usually maintain better oral hygiene than adolescents. With the availability of information on the Internet, most adult patients have a better understanding of their own condition and the possible treatment options than the younger patients.

Unlike teenagers who are many times forced by their parents to attend the dentist, adult patients typically pursue treatment because they want it or because they have been referred by their dentist. These differences usually result in improved compliance.

Adult patients do, however, face some challenges not faced by younger patients. First, they are no longer growing. Growth can be helpful in correcting many types of malocclusion. Examples of this include expanding the palate, opening the bite by changing the direction of growth, and reducing the “overbite” by restricting the forward growth of the upper jaw.

Additionally, because their metabolism is slower than in growing patients, tooth movement in adults is typically slower and therefore their treatment times are longer. Finally, adults tend to have more missing and compromised teeth that are worn, misshaped, restored, etc., which sometimes limits the options that are available to them.

In summary, because of these differences, adult orthodontics in Poway CA varies from adolescent treatment in the following ways.

  • Adult treatment usually takes longer than the same treatment in younger patients.
  • Because there is no growth, extractions, and surgery are more common if full correction is to be achieved.
  • If teeth are missing or compromised, there may be fewer treatment options than with teenage patients.

Since many adults don’t want to have teeth removed or have jaw surgery, many are willing to accept a degree of compromise not required by their children. On the upside, adult patients are usually more motivated and compliant than adolescents and are therefore better candidates for aesthetic options like Invisalign clear aligners.

If you are an adult who is considering treatment for yourself, take heart. Although your treatment may take a little longer and maybe a bit more complicated, improved appearance, better function, and healthier teeth are achievable at any age.

Call our office to schedule an appointment today to discuss your options and see how adult orthodontics in Poway CA can give you your best smile ever.