Although the number of adults seeking orthodontic treatment has skyrocketed in recent years, it is not uncommon for older patients to feel as though it is too late to do anything about their smile, even if they are unhappy with it. You may love the idea of straighter teeth but are not sure braces are something you can pull off as an adult. Or perhaps you have found it increasingly difficult over the years to keep your teeth and gums as healthy as they should be, but do not know where to start to correct the issue. While many people associate orthodontics with children and teens, Thacker Orthodontics believe a beautiful smile should be available to patients of all ages!

You are never too old to take advantage of the orthodontic treatment we offer to correct crooked teeth, overbites, underbites, incorrect jaw positioning, and more. In fact, adult patients currently make up about 1 in every 4 orthodontic patients. As we age, we often become more aware of the connection between our oral health and our overall health. This can lead to a desire to take better care of our teeth and gums. There are also many adults who never completed the orthodontic process as children or teens, or did not wear their retainer as directed after their treatment was finished. Teeth that were partially or fully straightened may have shifted over the years, and they want to complete the process or redo their orthodontic treatment. Most adults who seek orthodontic treatment later in life are simply looking to achieve the straight and healthy smile they have always wanted!

Keep reading below to learn a little bit more about what orthodontics is, and what Thacker Orthodontics has to offer adult patients like you.

What exactly is orthodontics?

Orthodontics is a dental specialty that focuses on diagnosing, preventing, and treating dental and facial abnormalities. When these kinds of orthodontic issues are left untreated over time, they can worsen, causing abnormal wear and tear to the surface of your teeth, affecting the chewing function, or causing excess stress on the gum tissue and bone. This can result in headaches, or pain in the face, jaw, or neck.

Orthodontists like Dr. Jim and Dr. MaryEvan are dentists who have also undergone years of extra schooling and highly specialized training in identifying and correcting bite abnormalities. This education and experience is what enables an orthodontist to straighten teeth, correct misaligned jaw structure, and improve the function of your smile. By choosing an orthodontist to diagnose and treat your oral issues, you will receive all the specialized care and attention your smile needs to shine!

What can you expect from an orthodontic appointment?

We consider your first visit to Thacker Orthodontics to be one of the most important appointments you will have. We value this opportunity to get to know each other and assess your orthodontic needs, and we even offer your initial consultation free of charge. At this visit, we will review your medical and dental history, take photos of your face and teeth, collect digital x-rays, and perform a complete oral examination. If orthodontic treatment is indicated, one of our doctors will discuss with you what kind of treatment is needed and then create a custom treatment plan for you.

We want you to feel confident that you are in the best hands by the end of this visit! Dr. Jim or Dr. MaryEvan will discuss your diagnosis and treatment with you in detail, including the orthodontic investment you will be making for your particular case. You will be able to discuss all associated fees and payment options before treatment ever begins. We have payment plans to suit different budgets, including a no-down-payment option, and we also accept most insurance plans. We will even file the necessary paperwork for you! We are committed to providing high-quality, individualized, affordable orthodontic care.

Young man with dental braces on his teeth

What orthodontic treatments are available for adult patients?

Modern orthodontics has made some amazing leaps in recent years. We use cutting-edge technology and techniques to offer a wide variety of treatment options that are more comfortable and customizable than ever before. This includes treatments such as:

Traditional metal braces

As the most common type of braces, metal braces are probably the most easily recognizable orthodontic appliance. Made of high-grade stainless steel, they use a combination of metal brackets, bands, and archwires to gradually move teeth into the desired positions. Metal braces are far more comfortable and lighter than they used to be, and more fun, too – we have a wide range of colored elastics available to showcase a patient’s personality! For those who prefer a more subtle approach, we also have clear or tooth-colored bands available.

Ceramic Braces

Ceramic braces function in much the same way metal braces do, but they are made of a white or tooth-colored ceramic material that is much less visible than traditional braces. While they are less noticeable, they do require more attention to oral hygiene as they are larger and a bit more brittle than their metal counterparts. For this reason, ceramic braces are used mainly on older teenagers and adult patients who need the strength and functionality of traditional braces but want a more cosmetically appealing option.

Clear aligner therapy

Clear aligners are a series of removable, customized acrylic trays that straighten your teeth the same way braces do, but without all the hardware. The aligners are made to fit over your teeth so they are very comfortable as they gently straighten the teeth over time. These are typically computer-controlled by Dr. Jim or Dr. MaryEvan, and will often have a shorter treatment time than braces. Being invisible and removable, they offer adult patients a treatment option that is flexible and incredibly discrete.

As with anything, each option will have its own pros and cons, and not every treatment will be suitable for all patients. Working with our experienced orthodontist’s guarantees you get only the treatment that will provide the very best results for your specific case.

How long does orthodontic treatment usually last?

Unfortunately, there is not a one-size-fits-all answer to this question. Every case is different, and every patient will respond to treatment in their own way. The time required to correct any particular orthodontic problem will also depend on the severity and specifics of that problem. On average, treatment time will tend to be anywhere from 18 months to 30 months, but it could be longer or shorter. We may not be able to give you a concrete answer to how long you will need to wear braces or aligners, but we will always discuss the estimated time we expect your treatment to take, and you can be sure we will only recommend the treatment we feel is the best fit for you. 

Woman in braces

Get the smile you have always wanted with Thacker Orthodontics

If you have been waiting years to take the first step towards improving your smile, the last thing you want is a cookie cutter approach to your treatment. At Thacker Orthodontics, all treatment plans are tailor-made to fit your individual needs, goals, and lifestyle. Dr. Jim and Dr. MaryEvan have many years of experience between them, and they are committed to giving each patient nothing but the best orthodontic experience, from start to finish. Our skilled staff works hard to provide a relaxed environment that you will feel calm and safe in from the moment you walk in our door. Between our high-quality care and compassionate approach, we give patients not only a beautifully aligned smile that lasts a lifetime, but a good time getting there! Get in touch with us today for more information on how our adult orthodontic options can give you the smile you have always wanted.