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For Adults

Orthodontics for Adults in Edmonds, WA

While most people associate orthodontic treatment with adolescents, braces can be used to correct teeth at any age.  There are many reasons that  adult patients come to be treated by Dr. Pagan.  Most adults are concerned with crookedness that they have always had or crowding that has appeared with age but braces aren’t always just for good looks. Adults can have periodontal problems, plans for future implants, veneers or crowns, bite discrepancies, even TMD symptoms (like clicking and popping of the jaw joint) that require an experienced orthodontist to treat.

How old is too old for braces?

You’re never too old to have orthodontic treatment.  Orthodontics works because of basic physiologic principles that are always occurring throughout life.  No matter a patient’s age, orthodontics is always an option. Dr. Pagan has treated patients in every decade of life up to people in their late 70s. Dr. Pagan’s father recently finished treatment, having braces for the first time in his life.

There are  few medical contraindications for orthodontic treatment at any age. However, certain drugs and diseases can affect tooth movement so make sure you fill out your medical and dental histories completely.  For example, if you are taking Fosamax, Boniva, or another bisphosphonate drug (either orally or intravenously) it’s important to let Dr. Pagan know before treatment starts.

How does adult orthodontic treatment differ from adolescent treatment?

For the most part, orthodontic treatment for adults is the same as for kids with some basic differences.  The first difference is because adults have had their teeth longer, tooth wear over time and existing dental restorations means adult treatment has to take far more into consideration for that perfect result.  Put simply, the less wear and tear a patient has on their teeth, the easier it is for the patient to get an ideal result.  That’s why it’s almost always easier to have braces done sooner rather than later.

Another difference between adult and adolescent orthodontics is metabolism.   Some adult treatment can take slightly longer due to an older body taking longer to heal than a younger body.  This difference is not always noticeable, however.  Dr. Pagan has had plenty of adult patients of all ages who finished their treatment in astonishingly fast treatment times.

The last significant difference between adults and children in orthodontic treatment is growth.  Since adults are no longer growing, jaw discrepancies become more difficult to address in adult treatment.  While orthodontic technology has made incredible strides in helping orthodontists deal with differences in the upper and lower jaws, having growth aid with those corrections makes the treatment easier.

Although the differences between adults and kids can be significant with regards to orthodontic treatment, they are far from insurmountable.  Dr. Pagan has treated hundreds and hundreds of adults from all ages and helped them to meet their goal of straight, beautiful, healthy teeth.   Call Dr. Pagan for a free consultation, and see what we can do to turn your smile into something we can both be proud of!