What was once a unique sight-adults with braces-has grown increasingly common in recent years, especially with the rapidly increasing popularity of the Invisalign procedure. From 1994 through 2004, in fact, the American Association of Orthodontists reports the rate of adults seeking braces rose by an impressive 37 percent. Long before adult patients choose Invisalign or the more traditional metal braces approach, though, there are questions they should ask as they determine whether or not to get adult braces.
-Were they recommended for braces as teenagers but unable to afford them? It’s an unfortunate fact of life that dental is often the first thing on the chopping block for employers looking to pare down health coverage plans. This puts parents in the position of being unable to fund much-needed dental procedures for their children. Unfortunately, dental issues don’t fix themselves, which means adult braces are a necessity if the patient can afford them.
-Are their mouth and/or their teeth in pain? Again, this pain won’t go away on its own, and it’s likely cause is decades of misaligned teeth and other issues that could be fixed by braces for adults. Relief can be just a procedure away-why live in discomfort if adult braces are the answer?
-Is the patient unhappy with his or her appearance? Dental issues are at the root of so much of our appearance. If teeth are misaligned and the patient is sensitive about it, then he or she may battle low self-esteem and may be reluctant to socialize with peers. Who wants to go out and have a good time when he or she is worried about smiling? If this is an issue, then braces for adults can provide as much peace of mind as a long-awaited solution to dental problems.
-Is the patient worried about having to wear braces for a long time? While teenagers usually have to wear braces for between two and three years, many adults don’t have to wear braces quite that long. This is especially true for those who choose the Invisalign procedure. Adults with the aligners may only need to wear braces for as little as 12 months or LESS.
-Are they concerned about how the adult braces will look? As noted, the Invisalign braces will all but make those concerns-pun intended-disappear. Invisalign braces are in fact nearly invisible, and few people will be able to detect the braces. And those that see them will be curious how they work. And if a patient has to wear metal braces, well, let’s face it, adults are nicer than teenagers. Nobody is going to make middle school-esque cracks about someone wearing braces for adults.
It’s never too late to fix your teeth! Now you can get rid of the discomfort and turn eating and drinking into pleasurable experiences again! Adult braces-whether of the metal variety or the plastic of the Invisalign procedure-can solve a lot of problems and make trips to the dentist less frequent and less painful in subsequent years!