Adult Treatment

We are often asked by patients if they are too old for treatment or if it's too late for them to straighten their teeth. There's no age limit on treatment, in fact, we've had a few patients over 70 years old.

As long as your gums and the bone surrounding the teeth are healthy, anyone can be treated at any age. More than a quarter of all our patients are classified as adults - over 18 years of age.

Adults come to us for several reasons:

  • The appearance of their teeth has concerned them for years and now that they are adults, their appearance may be affecting their self-esteem
  • They may be having functional problems which include a poor bite and present or potential gum problems due to tooth and bite irregularities

Adult’s teeth tend to move more slowly than children’s and, of course, there is no assistance from growth. Adolescent growth during orthodontic treatment can be of great assistance and therefore treatment options that are possible for children may not be possible for adults. This may result in adults requiring orthognathic surgery or certain compromises that may be necessary if a satisfactory treatment outcome is to be achieved.

Some adults are at times concerned about the appearance of the braces than adolescents and will choose clear aligners for the front teeth or will choose lingual (placed at the back of teeth) braces.

Invisalign® is a very popular option with adults, however complex cases may still require traditional braces.  

Healthy Gums

Adults’ orthodontic treatment often requires a multi-disciplinary approach. Typically, a general dentist or perhaps a gum specialist or periodontist is involved before orthodontic treatment starts to ensure that the patient is dentally fit for care. Regular appointments with a periodontist, dentist, or hygienist is strongly recommended throughout orthodontic treatment. If there are any dental issues, they usually need to be addressed prior to orthodontic care being provided. Careful coordination between the various specialists and the general dentist is essential to achieve the best result.