Have you had root canals or crowns done on your teeth and are unsure about whether braces would work for you now? Are you missing teeth, but would like braces to help straighten the rest of your remaining teeth-or perhaps to help close the gap?
With the American Association of Orthodontists reporting the number of adults seeking orthodontic care rose to a whopping 1,690,000 in 2016, you’re most certainly not alone!
Adults are increasingly seeking orthodontic care for various reasons.
While one in four orthodontic patients are currently adults, their reasons for seeking treatment vary considerably.
Although some are interested in it primarily for cosmetic reasons, others have sought help getting their bite adjusted due to years of wear and tear, difficulty appearing professional enough, or problems with past dental work.
One American Dental Association survey from 2015 reveals details as to why adults currently seek braces or other orthodontic treatment. In the survey, for example, it is shown that 25% of respondents avoided smiling due to their teeth’s appearance, and 29% of low-income adults reported feeling their teeth affected their ability to successfully interview for a job.
What is involved when braces are added to previous dental work?
So, what happens when orthodontic care like braces follows previous dental work like crowns, dental implants, or extracted teeth? Does it take longer? What’s different for adults getting orthodontic care compared to children and teens?
Today we’ll discuss what’s recommended for these situations and what to expect if you get this type of treatment.
First, see your orthodontist for a thorough examination.
If you have crowns, missing teeth, implants, or prior root canal work on your teeth already, a thorough examination by an orthodontist should be your starting point if you’re interested in braces. From that point, you can develop a treatment plan together based on the current condition of your teeth and what you need to be done.
Here at Jungle Roots, we offer all new patients a complimentary consultation to begin the process. During this time, you’ll be given a thorough evaluation, and from there we will work with you to create an individualized treatment plan based on your specific needs and goals.
It is likely that x-rays will be taken during this screening in order to make a full and accurate diagnosis. Be sure to jot down and bring along any questions you may have so we can discuss them during this consultation. Next, we’ll customize your treatment plan to fit your goals, financial needs, and lifestyle using our conservative approach to care.
You’ll need close monitoring.
Close monitoring will be essential to treatment, both before and after getting braces, and it might be necessary to move the teeth a bit slower than otherwise recommended, especially if there is a history of trauma to any of your teeth.
And while braces will probably work fine for those who’ve recently had root canals, it may be necessary to wait a few months to be sure the tooth heals up well first.
In some cases, a crown or other work may need to be redone as part of your treatment plan.
We may recommend that braces and other dental work be done in a specific order, if both types are needed.
If you need braces as well as other work done, we may suggest a certain order to the treatments. For example, if you need both braces and a dental implant, we may recommend the braces go on first. This is because certain types of work make it difficult or impossible for the desired tooth realignment to take place, such as implants that are fixed into your jaw.
However, if the teeth near the dental work in question are not a target area for your braces, it could be possible to do such implants or other work before starting the braces.
Missing teeth may require special care.
Sometimes we may want to close the gap from a missing tooth by using braces to move neighboring teeth closer together. Or we may alternately want to hold the space open in order to preserve dental work such as a crown, bridge, or implant while simultaneously treating with braces.
Occasionally, treatment may get complicated and require the coordination of two or more specialists to ensure the process runs smoothly.
Are there differences between adult and child orthodontic care?
According to the American Association of Orthodontists, the basic biological process of orthodontic treatment is identical, regardless of the patient’s age. Since teeth move as a response to forces being placed upon them over a period of time, both children and adults have teeth that can be moved - the way that is done and exactly how long it takes are the main questions.
Adult mouths and jaws are no longer growing like children’s are, so adjustments may take longer to complete.
The main difference between adult and children’s orthodontic care? Adult mouths and jaws are no longer growing like children’s are, so adult bones are denser, which can make their adjustments take a bit longer to complete.
Additionally, adult habits like smoking and taking certain medications can have an impact on the speed and direction of treatment, as can habits like tooth-clenching and jaw-grinding. In some cases, as mentioned previously, your orthodontist may call in a team of dental specialists in order to achieve the best outcome overall.
However, adults tend to follow treatment plans and instructions better and take better care of their teeth. Since these actions greatly impact the length of treatment, it can balance out other factors and minimize the length of treatment while optimizing results.
Adults benefit from properly aligned teeth in additional ways.
Nearly half of all American adults have some amount of gum disease or gingivitis, even though much of it goes undiagnosed due to its being painless. If left untreated, it can progress and turn into periodontitis or even advanced periodontitis as the plaque moves and spreads down below the adult gum line.
Properly aligned teeth are less likely to develop gum disease - making braces even more attractive to the adult patient.
Whatever your reasons for seeking orthodontic treatment may be, there is likely a path to an ideal result ahead of you if the treatment is planned and implemented correctly. We invite your questions and would love to set up a complimentary consultation for you. If you’re interested in getting braces but happen to have already existing dental work like crowns, or possibly missing teeth, don’t hesitate to call us and set up the consultation. We’d be happy to examine your teeth and dental work and discuss the best options that work for you.
At Jungle Roots Children’s Dentistry & Orthodontics, we strive to provide the highest comprehensive pediatric and orthodontic dental care in a unique, fun-filled environment staffed by a team of caring, energetic professionals. We believe the establishment of a “dental home” at an early age is the key to a lifetime of positive visits to the dentist.
Call Us - (480) 759-1119
“Am I Too Old For Treatment?” American Association of Orthodontists, 4 Feb. 2020, www.aaoinfo.org/blog/am-i-too-old-for-orthodontic-treatment.
“Adult Orthodontics.” American Association of Orthodontists, www.aaoinfo.org/_/adult-orthodontics/.
“Can I Get Braces If I'm Missing Some Teeth?” American Association of Orthodontists, 20 July 2018, www.aaoinfo.org/blog/faq/can-i-get-braces-if-im-missing-some-teeth/.
Roots, Jungle. “What Is Included in Orthodontic Treatment?” Jungle Roots Children's Dentistry & Orthodontics, Jungle Roots, 22 Oct. 2019, www.jungleroots.com/post/orthodontics-ahwatukee-what-is-included-in-orthodontic-treatment.