In terms of improving appearances and oral bite, braces can benefit just about anyone. Someone with periodontal (gum) disease that would render the underlying bone too unhealthy to support tooth movement, is probably just about the only person on which we would hesitate to put braces.
The treatment of adults, which includes using braces, represents about 40% of our total practice. However, a high number of adults are now choosing Invisalign, which is a clear aligner type of therapy. We have substantially increased the number of adults we treat because of Invisalign!
Adults who are seeking orthodontic treatment have definitely been a significant increase for our practice over the last 15 years. Having a really attractive smile has certainly become a more socially desirable goal in that time period, something people usually notice when they meet you for the first time.
The stigma of not having a straight, beautiful smile, has over time, far outweighed the perceived stigma of having braces, and is one big reason that more and more adults are seeking treatment. Since we have been able to replace the old metal braces with clear, almost invisible ones, it has opened the door for more patients to seek out cosmetic orthodontic treatment, in our opinion.
Because of the availability of high-tech brackets and wires, which enable the faster movement of teeth, treatment times are also faster than ever.
Once in a while, we may have to do a combination of orthodontic treatments using metal braces and wires, as well as some aligners like Invisalign. Some tooth movements respond better to wires and braces, while others work better with clear aligners. In these cases we usually begin with braces and finish the treatment with Invisalign.
In these cases our patients may only have metal braces for three or four months, then for another 8-10 months we move them over to clear ones to finish the treatment. Compare that to the 2-2 ½ years needed with traditional braces!