Too Old for Orthodontics?
Dolfield Dental does its best to cater to patients of all ages, including those trying to improve the appearance and function of their smile through orthodontics. When we think about candidates for innovative treatments like Invisalign, it breaks down into kids and teens, adults who had orthodontic work previously but relapsed, and adults who’ve never had the opportunity to use orthodontics. In our opinion, these are the most ideal candidates for Invisalign.
So the short answer is no, you cannot necessarily be too old for orthodontics. Whether you’re 50 years old or have a 13-year-old child, Invisalign can provide both cosmetic and functional improvements for your smile. This month, we’ll go over how Invisalign works and how you can benefit from this revolutionary treatment.
Who is Invisalign For?
A majority of patients who receive orthodontic treatment are kids and teenagers. According to the American Association of Orthodontics, approximately 80 percent of patients undergoing orthodontic treatment range from 6 to 18 years of age. Orthodontics aren’t typically introduced until all their adult teeth have fully grown. By doing this early, we can make sure their smile is as straight and as functional as possible starting from a young age.
The second largest group to pursue orthodontics is adults, which the American Association of Orthodontics estimates make up 27 percent of all U.S. and Canadian orthodontic patients. This group chooses orthodontics either because they’re learning about the expanded treatment options available, or because they failed to wear a retainer long enough after having treatment as a child. It may also include adults who could not afford orthodontics at a young age and now see the benefits as a chance to improve their social and professional success.
While some people are blessed with straight teeth, many simply didn’t have the chance to get treatment early enough in their lives. Now, Invisalign helps them accomplish their smile goals without resorting to traditional braces.
HowDoes Invisalign Work?
Invisalign utilizes a series of customized clear aligners designed to gently shift teeth over several months. Each pair is worn for a set period of time, typically 20 to 22 hours a day, anywhere from 6 to 12 months. To produce the aligners, Dr. Milner takes an impression of your teeth in order to create a 3D model of your smile. Then, he sends that data to Invisalign’s dental technicians who create your treatment plan from start to finish. Once he approves the plan, the data is sent back to an automated plant where your series of aligners are created.
Check out the video from Invisalign below for more details!
The Esthetic and Functional Benefits
Dentists and patients alike often highlight the cosmetic benefits of Invisalign, especially when compared to traditional braces. However, it’s important to remember that fixing crooked teeth, poor bites, and misalignment isn’t only going to make your smile look better. Basic functions like biting and chewing are more natural and less likely to cause additional stress on your teeth and joints, which is quite common for those with malocclusions.
Furthermore, straightening teeth makes at-home oral care like brushing and flossing much easier. Crooked teeth have many more pockets and spaces in between each other, allowing more room for plaque to develop and food debris to get stuck in your smile. This increases the risk of tooth decay, cavities, and gum disease. Straight smiles carry fewer pockets and therefore make oral care easier to manage.
If you fit into any of the groups mentioned earlier, you’re more than likely a candidate for clear aligners. At Dolfield Dental, Dr. Milner and his team are fortunate to be trained in the use of clear aligners, which is one of the best and newest technologies in dentistry in the last 20 years. For most patients, it replaces the need for metal brackets and wires, offering an easier, more comfortable, and more attractive solution to crooked teeth.
Almost nobody is too old for orthodontic care, so if you or someone you know is in need of a straighter smile, young or old, feel free to give us a call and schedule a free Invisalign consultation. We hope to see you soon!