Welcome to Frequently Asked Questions: Adult Orthodontic Patients (tm) part 1

Contents: Do Adults Really Get Braces? How much does adult orthodontic treatment cost? Are there any age limits? Why Do Adults Get Braces?

Before Braces

After Braces

After Braces

Figure 1 An example of how much orthodontic treatment can improve your face. These pictures were published, by Dr David Sarver, DMD MS, in the American Journal Of Orthodontics, 110(1996) 128. © 1996, the American Association of Orthodontists, with permission

Do Adults Really Get Braces?

Absolutely. Many people did not get braces when they were young. Either their parents could not afford braces, or their teeth could not be straightened with the techniques of 40 years ago. Now they have problems with their teeth and gums, they get indigestion all the time or they are just unhappy with their smile. They can afford braces now, and want to do something for themselves so they get braces. Other people did have orthodontic treatment when they were young, but they did not wear their retainers until they stopped growing (you should wear your retainer until you are 24). The result is that their teeth are now a little bit crooked. Now they are unhappy with their smile so they get braces too. Presently as much as 1/4 of the orthodontic treatment being done is being done on adult patients. It is quite a change from 20 years ago when orthodontists were only treating children.

How much does adult orthodontic treatment cost?

hmm. It matters how much work the orthodontist has to do and where you live. If you live in a rural area, with low rents and few malpractice lawyers, standard orthodontic treatment can be obtained for under $3,000. It will cost more if there are complications. If you live in an expensive city with many malpractice lawyers, the costs can be significantly higher. Generally the orthodontist will want a substantial down payment to cover the orthodontists costs of starting up a new case. Then the orthodontist will ask you to make payments every time you come in for a checkup or to have your braces tightened. For further information about how much braces cost and how to pay for them click here

Are there any age limits?

No, there are no age limits! Orthodontic treatment goes slower when you are older, and it feels different. Still, people as old as 90 are getting braces. People who live to 90 know how important it is to take care of themselves, and orthodontic treatment is part of it.

Why Do Adults Get Braces?

Most adults get orthodontic treatment because they realize that taking care of your smile is part of taking care of yourself. Look at your smile. Your smile is the most important feature on your face. Look in the mirror. Are you happy with your smile now? Does your smile look as good as it did when you were younger? What do you think about someone who has a pleasing smile. Do you find them attractive? What do you think about someone who has an awful smile. Do they look old and haggard? Do you want to look old an haggard? Orthodontic treatment can keep your smile from looking old and haggard. At the end of orthodontic treatment, people's smiles end up looking fabulous. Wouldn't it be great if you looked fabulous.

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