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Invisalign Braces: Differences between Teen and Adult Orthodontics

Posted on March 18, 2021


Out of 4 million people wearing braces, three-quarters are below 18. This means that there are a lot of adults who are currently wearing braces to help treat different conditions, including straightening of teeth. Luckily, there have been advancements in orthodontics in recent years, allowing for effective treatment of older patients. These advancements include the introduction of more discreet braces such as Invisalign. However, this does not mean that orthodontic treatment for adults is perfectly similar to that of teens. Here are some of the differences in treatment between teen and adult orthodontics.

1. Biological Differences Between Adults and Teens

It is important to consider the biological differences between individuals of different age groups before an Invisalign procedure. One crucial difference is in the malleability of the underlying bone. In adults, bones are less receptive to treatment.

Adults may also have gingivitis and other oral infections that may affect treatment times and choice of dental appliances. Older patients have reduced cellular activity that affects their response to treatment. That’s why an evaluation is critical, particularly for patients who need braces for adults.

2. Higher Vulnerability to Root Resorption

Resorption refers to the breakdown of the tooth’s root. Adults are more susceptible to resorption than teenage patients. The real cause is not known, but asthma, allergies, and genetics are some factors that can worsen it.

Before undergoing an orthodontics procedure, adult patients must be thoroughly examined to determine if there is a resorption risk. Your orthodontist will take X-ray images and will conduct tests throughout Invisalign Treatment.

3. Anchorage and Viability of Dental Appliances

Adult patients have a weak immune system and are vulnerable to resorption. For that reason, orthodontists have to be careful when placing dental devices. The teeth may be too weak to allow the attachment of orthodontic devices.

Problems with anchorage can be solved by using additional appliances before the procedure. Micro-implants can provide support where there are weak and missing teeth. Adults will require more frequent follow-up sessions to ensure their recovery is successful.

4. Vulnerability to Temporomandibular Joint Disorder

According to statistics, TMJ reaches its peak in adults between the ages of 45 and 65. However, young women below the age of 30 are susceptible to the disease than other groups. Straightening teeth can improve symptoms of TMJ, but your orthodontist must evaluate the procedure.

Research also shows that only 5% of patients with TMJ will seek treatment. If left untreated, it can cause further problems with malocclusions. An orthodontist can refer you to a professional for specialized treatment.

5. Orthodontic Treatment and Psychosocial Factors

Dental professionals need to address psychosocial issues such as the anxiety of wearing braces before the procedure. Most adults prefer lingual or Invisalign braces, which are inconspicuous and more suitable for their social life.

One challenge with younger patients is overlooking essential dental hygiene habits. After a braces procedure, flossing and brushing teeth is even more important. An orthodontist can guide young patients and their parents on how to keep their teeth healthy. They can also provide direction on the dietary changes the patient will need to make during recovery.

Get the Right Orthodontist

The main difference between teen and adult orthodontics is that while adult teeth and jaws are fully developed, children’s are still growing. A thorough evaluation by an orthodontist is necessary before undergoing any orthodontic treatment. Every patient will have varying physiological factors that can pose challenges during their treatment and recovery. That’s why you must keep your appointment with your orthodontist for follow-up treatment throughout the process.