At Charlottesville Orthodontics, we strive to provide expert orthodontic treatment to patients of all ages throughout the Charlottesville and Zion Crossroads areas. Our orthodontists and highly-trained team of orthodontic specialists work hard to treat every patient individually, designing personalized treatment plans to suit each patient’s unique orthodontic needs and lifestyle. While some might think braces are “just for kids,” the truth is that a healthy smile can be created at any age. An increasing number of adults are undergoing orthodontic treatment – over a quarter of our patients are adults and Dr. Weis and Dr. Patel believe, no matter your age, you deserve the smile you’ve always wanted!
It's never too late for orthodontic treatment
For adolescents, braces have become something of a rite of passage – but they’re gaining popularity amongst adults as well! More and more adults are discovering the benefits of orthodontic treatment, and it’s no wonder why. A new smile brings a boost in happiness, confidence, and self-esteem that radiates through every area of life, and modern advances in orthodontic technology have made treatment easier and more convenient than ever.
That said, there are a couple of crucial differences between adult treatment and orthodontic treatment earlier in life:
- In adults, the bones have finished growing and developing. This means that, without more extensive forms of treatment, our orthodontists can’t make changes to the underlying bone structure, like they can with children.
- Adults are far more susceptible to gum disease – so we’ll need to eliminate any signs of periodontal disease or gingivitis before beginning orthodontic treatment and be extra careful to keep the teeth clean and healthy during treatment.
- Traditional metal braces
This is what most people picture when they think of braces. Made from high grade stainless steel, these braces use brackets bonded to the front of the teeth and a thin, springy archwire to apply force and move the teeth over time. They're a dependable, durable, and cost-effective form of treatment.
- Clear braces
Similar to metal braces, these use brackets and wires to move teeth, but instead of steel, the brackets are made from a ceramic composite material that blends in with teeth. This makes them less conspicuous, but also slightly more fragile, than regular braces.
Invisalign eliminates brackets and wires entirely, instead using a series of clear, removable aligners to straighten teeth. These aligners are virtually invisible when worn and easy to pop in and out for brushing, flossing, eating, and drinking. This means almost no one will know you're straightening your teeth, you can still eat all your favorite foods, and maintaining proper oral hygiene - something especially crucial for adult treatment - is as easy as ever.
- Lingual braces
These work just like metal braces, but there's one key difference: the brackets are bonded to the back (tongue side) of the teeth. This means they're just as dependable and durable as regular braces, but completely invisible to others. The only drawbacks are that they're more expensive than regular braces and can take longer to get used to. However, they're a very inconspicuous option for adult professionals looking to minimize the impact of treatment on their lifestyle.
When you get your braces off, we know you’ll be excited. After all, this is the first day of your brand new smile! But while your teeth have moved positions, the bones, ligaments, and tissues supporting them have yet to adjust to their new alignment. To protect your smile for years to come, you’ll have to wear a retainer after treatment. We’ll fit you for a retainer at the appointment in which we take your braces off, and we’ll give you detailed instructions for wearing and caring for your retainer.