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Orthodontics for Adults vs. Children: The Difference

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

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 youngsters since they have completed their growth. Therefore, adults' jawbones are less responsive to treatment than children's jawbones, and it might take longer for the teeth to adjust to their new locations as a result of the 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 good portion of patients requires treatment to rectify a malocclusion (an improper bite). When it comes to adults, this can be particularly tough to correct. For example, an adult patient with a significant overbite may not have enough space in his or her mouth for the teeth to shift into the proper position without the need to remove 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 had one or more teeth pulled in the past, the dentist may encounter difficulties in the treatment process. It is possible that old extraction sites are not suitable for tooth movement and that they will need to be rebuilt by grafting artificial bone into the region. In addition, closing the gaps left by pulled teeth might be challenging 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.

The friction caused by orthodontic treatment may alter the tooth's root structure and cause them to become loose and finally fall out. To detect indications of resorption, your orthodontist should closely examine your teeth during treatment.

Risk of TMD 

Adult patients are normally at a higher risk of acquiring temporomandibular dysfunction (TMD) when undergoing orthodontic treatment. To determine whether you are at risk for TMD, your dentist will likely do a risk assessment.

If you're considering orthodontic treatment contact our Manitoba offices for an assessment. We'll be happy to answer any questions you have regarding your orthodontic treatment.

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