Common Orthodontic Problems in Adults
In the past, many adults have mistakenly believed that orthodontic treatment is reserved for children, teens, and young adults alone. This is no longer the case.
In 2016, nearly 1.7 million adults were receiving treatment for orthodontic issues. Today, with that number continuing to grow, it has become clear that this outdated belief has changed. Nowadays, no one is too old for braces.
While adults can present with issues that may compromise the safety of teeth and the surrounding bone if not accurately diagnosed and addressed beforehand, orthodontic treatment is very safe when a patient is under the care of an experienced orthodontist. Being seen by an orthodontist for a thorough pre-treatment evaluation, including necessary x-rays and a clinical exam, is a critical step to ensuring more harm than good is not done by undergoing treatment.
Dr. Redford and Dr. Burke are passionate about helping patients achieve a healthy, stunning smile. The doctors thoroughly diagnose and treat a wide variety of issues for every patient.
To get started, Burke & Redford Orthodontists offer a free consultation to prospective patients. A consultation may be scheduled online or by calling (951) 699-8011 during normal office hours.
Adult Orthodontic Problems
Orthodontic problems are the result of a combination of factors. If the issues are minimal, some adults may go through life not realizing a problem exists.
Other issues are related to significant crowding of teeth or improper bites (malocclusions) and are visibly obvious. These conditions may cause the person to be self-conscious of their appearance or negatively affect the way their teeth and jaws are meant to function.
Dr. Redford and Dr. Burke have undergone years of training at the top dental school and residency programs in the nation to be able to expertly address even the most severe orthodontic problems.
Thousands of patients have been treated over the past 30 years at this private practice, and they agree these doctors offer the most professional orthodontist team in the Inland Empire for their families.
Types of Oral Health Issues to Correct
Crowding occurs when certain teeth are positioned too closely together, resulting in overlapping. If the crowding is severe enough, certain teeth may have been prevented from coming into the mouth and remain stuck underneath the gums (impacted).
Spacing describes the situation where gaps exists between the teeth. Also called a “diastema”, a common place where spacing occurs is between the upper front teeth. Spacing makes it easy for food to become impacted between teeth.
- Anterior crossbite
An anterior crossbite, also known as an underbite, is when the upper front teeth sit behind rather than in front of the bottom teeth.
- Tipped/Missing teeth
When teeth are lost, adjacent teeth in the same jaw or opposing teeth in the other jaw will begin to shift into the void of space. This can cause subsequent problems. It often makes it difficult for the general dentist to replace the missing teeth in a conservative way.
When the upper front teeth jut forward, sometimes even out of the mouth, this is known as protrusion. This is what is commonly referred to as an overbite.
- Open bite
An open bite is when the upper and lower front teeth do not overlap properly when biting down, resulting in a vertical space between these front teeth. Invisalign clear aligners is a great option for this condition.
- Deep bite
A deep bite is when there is excess vertical overlap of the front teeth. This results in little to none of the lower front teeth being visible when biting down. This condition is correlated with excess wear and breakdown of front teeth.
Jaw size mismatches contribute to underbites, overbites, and open bites. If the severity of the mismatch is significant, this can greatly affect facial balance and a person’s overall appearance.
Orthodontic Treatment Options
The approach taken during treatment is specific to each patient’s individual case. In some cases, people will have pre-existing dental issues that must be treated before orthodontic care is provided. A final orthodontic treatment plan should be made in consultation with the general dentist, the orthodontist, and other dental specialists, if necessary.
For instance, half of all adults in the United States have at least a mild case of gum disease, also known as gingivitis. If left untreated, it may worsen and turn into advanced periodontal disease. This is a condition that often goes undetected.
If active gum disease or another condition is observed, the orthodontist should refer you back to your general dentist for management before moving on to addressing the orthodontic issues.
When it comes to treating adults, one of the following methods may be used:
- Clear aligners (I.e. Invisalign)
- Braces (including ceramic and self-ligating braces)
- Orthodontic surgery (used only in the most severe cases)
Does Treatment Differ Depending Upon Age?
On average, treatment for children tends to be more efficient than it is for adults. The bone surrounding the teeth of adults is more mature and is typically denser, making teeth more resistant to shifting. An experienced orthodontist can help identify and solve problems related to this. It is our goal to complete treatment in a safe, yet efficient manner.
Why Should Orthodontic Problems Be Corrected?
While the main goal for adults is usually a cosmetic improvement, most people do not realize that undergoing orthodontic care is more than just straightening a smile.
Besides a beautiful smile, the following benefits make orthodontic care ideal for a large population of adults.
- Aids in improving oral health and maintaining clean teeth and gums
- Boosts overall confidence and self-esteem
- Improves facial aesthetics and creates a better smile
- Can help or improve periodontal problems (bone loss around teeth, gum issues)
- Improves the way teeth fit together and function
- Improves or facilitates the general dentist’s ability to replace or restore missing teeth
The reasons above provide enough incentive for adults to seek out quality orthodontic care. Many are coming to view this type of treatment as a priority rather than a luxury.
The orthodontists at Burke & Redford Orthodontists, located in Temecula and Lake Elsinore, provide their patients with attention and care of the highest quality, without exception.
What are the First Steps in Receiving Orthodontic Treatment?
The first step to achieving a beautiful, healthy smile is an initial consultation with a qualified orthodontist. While this is a (modest) investment of time and energy on the patient’s part, it is crucially important. Rushing into treatment or without a proper diagnosis will have a direct influence on the results achieved during treatment.
The doctor will provide an exam, identify any existing issues, and then offer a treatment plan. Treatment fees, including any available insurance benefits and payment options, will also be discussed in detail by one of our expert staff.
If you think you need or are interested in receiving orthodontic treatment, the staff at Burke & Redford Orthodontists will be happy to assist. Just call the office at (951) 699-8011 during our normal business hours.
An initial consultation with our board-certified orthodontists is offered free to new patients at either location.