Orthodontics for Adults vs. Children: The Difference

Posted in Orthodontics

As a result of recent advancements in orthodontics, an increasing number of people are seeking treatment for orthodontic difficulties. Our Montreal dentists discuss how orthodontic treatment for adults may differ from that of children in this post.

Age-Related Considerations

Adult patients may suffer from tooth problems that might interfere with their orthodontic treatment. Gum disease, the inadequate bone between the roots to allow for adequate blood flow, and marginal bone loss are examples of these conditions.

Adult bones are also denser and more durable than those of children because they have finished growing. As a result, adults' jawbones are less responsive to treatment than children's jawbones, and teeth may take longer to adjust to their new positions as a result of therapy.

Because of these biomechanical restrictions, orthodontic treatment in adults can often be a more complicated procedure than it is in pediatric patients.

Bite Issues

A significant number of patients require treatment to correct a malocclusion (an improper bite). This can be especially difficult to correct in adults. An adult patient with a significant overbite, for example, may not have enough space in his or her mouth for the teeth to shift into the proper position without the need to extract one or more teeth.

In addition, many adult patients have some wear on their teeth, which can exacerbate the overbite problem even further. In these situations, the dental team might focus on making the adult patient's bite functional rather than on getting the patient's bite perfectly straight.

Issues With Previous Tooth Extractions

When an adult patient has previously had one or more teeth extracted, the dentist may encounter difficulties during the treatment process. Old extraction sites may not be suitable for tooth movement and will need to be rebuilt by grafting artificial bone into the region. Furthermore, closing the gaps left by pulled teeth may be difficult because adult bone does not respond to pressure in the same way that developing children's bone does.

Risk of Root Resorption

Root resorption is more common in adult patients having orthodontic treatment than it is in pediatric patients undergoing orthodontic therapy. When your body reabsorbs the root of a tooth, this is referred to as root resorption.

It is possible that the friction caused by orthodontic treatment will change the root structure of the tooth, causing it to become loose and eventually fall out. During treatment, your orthodontist should closely examine your teeth for signs of resorption.

Risk of TMD 

Furthermore, when undergoing orthodontic treatment, adult patients are more likely to develop temporomandibular dysfunction (TMD). Your dentist will most likely perform a risk assessment to determine whether you are at risk for TMD.

If you're considering orthodontic treatment, whether it is braces or clear aligners, contact our Montreal offices for an assessment. We'll be happy to answer any questions you have regarding your orthodontic treatment.

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