Am I Too Old for Braces or Invisalign®?

You can get a healthy, beautiful smile at any age. About half of our Bellaire and Houston braces and Invisalign® patients are adults. We’ve had patients up to 80 years old! So, if you’re wondering, am I too old for braces or Invisalign? The answer is, absolutely not. Our experienced Bellaire and Houston orthodontists can achieve excellent results in adult patients. To help give you a better idea of the ins and outs of treatment for grown-ups, we’re answering some of the questions we hear most often about adult orthodontics.

What Are the Benefits of Adult Orthodontic Treatment?

A huge benefit of Invisalign or braces for adults is getting a beautiful smile that complements your facial features. Most of us want to look our best so it is an important perk. However, there are other benefits beyond the cosmetic ones:

  • Straight teeth are easier to clean, which reduces your risk for tooth decay and gum disease. Gum disease has been linked with conditions such as heart disease, diabetes and, in women, premature labor. So, in essence, by improving your oral health, you’re also preemptively helping your overall health.
  • Aligning the teeth and jaws can help you chew, breathe and speak properly.
  • By ensuring your teeth are in their proper places and creating ideal spacing, we can reduce your risk of jaw bone loss, which, in turn, helps you avoid pain and tooth loss.
  • Shifting protruding teeth back lessens your chances of dental injury.
  • Straightening your teeth prevents uneven wear and erosion of your enamel.
  • Creating a functional bite by aligning the upper and lower jaw can help with teeth grinding, TMJ pain, headaches and migraines.
  • Invisalign and braces for adults can give you an important boost in self-esteem and confidence that carries over into your career, home life and relationships.

Does Orthodontic Treatment Still Work Well for Adults?

While there are benefits to kicking off orthodontic treatment when you’re still growing, we can get amazing results with our adult orthodontics patients too. As long as your teeth and gums are healthy, we can shift them into place at any age. If you’re experiencing oral health issues, we can also work with your general dentist and any other specialists to get you to a place where orthodontic treatment will be effective.

We rely on cutting-edge technology at Houston Orthodontic Specialists, including computerized treatment planning, digital impressions, self-ligating braces and Invisalign. This means that even in cases where adults would have been told they weren’t candidates for orthodontic treatment in the past, we can often get outstanding results with just braces or Invisalign alone. For more severe problems, such as a significant underbite, we do offer surgical orthodontics, though that’s always the last resort.

Will I Have to Wear Metal Braces?

We have a wide variety of adult braces options at our practice, including metal and clear Damon™ braces, metal and clear Carriere® SLX™ braces, and metal and clear conventional braces. While today’s metal braces, particularly self-ligating ones, are smaller, more comfortable and more attractive than ever before, if you don’t want to wear metal braces, that’s okay! Our clear braces for adults are equally as effective and a lot less noticeable since the brackets blend in with your smile. Self-ligating braces, such as our Damon and Carriere braces, don’t even use elastics, making them even more discreet. However, probably the most popular of all of our orthodontic options for adults is Invisalign. The clear aligners are removable, comfortable and, most importantly, virtually invisible. We’re Diamond Invisalign Providers, so if you decide on this option, your smile will be in good hands!

How Long Will My Orthodontic Treatment Last?

The length of orthodontic treatment for adults depends on several factors, including how severe your case is. In general, comprehensive treatment lasts one to two years. That being said, thanks to our digital treatment planning and modern orthodontic options for adults, we can eliminate a lot of mechanical inefficiencies for faster treatment times and better, more stable results. For patients who had orthodontic treatment in the past and relapsed or for those who just want to touch up their smile, we do offer limited Invisalign treatment. In most cases, with limited treatment, you can finish treatment in as little as six months and with as few as two office visits. It also costs about 50% less than traditional treatment. If you decide you want to continue with comprehensive treatment, you can upgrade at any time.

Can I Get Braces if I Have Implants, Crowns or Missing Teeth?

Yes, you can. Braces and Invisalign still work for patients with dental implants and crowns. Sometimes, orthodontic treatment is recommended for patients with missing teeth as a way to shift the teeth into their ideal places before a dental implant is placed. We can coordinate with your dentist or specialist if that’s the case.

Do Invisalign and Braces Hurt?

We know some patients are hesitant about adult braces because they remember how braces used to be when they were younger. We have good news. Today’s braces are a lot more comfortable, especially our self-ligating braces. These braces rely on a slide mechanism that holds the wire in the brackets, which causes less friction and pressure. Or, skip the brackets and wires altogether and go with Invisalign. Invisalign aligners are crafted from a smooth plastic that’s custom designed to fit your mouth perfectly, making them supremely comfortable. You should never feel any actual pain during your braces or Invisalign treatment and any sensitivity when you first begin treatment is mild and easily managed.

How Much Are Braces for Adults?

The cost of braces or Invisalign varies by patient and will depend on how long your treatment lasts and how complex your case is. We’ll give you an accurate number at your consultation once we’ve had the chance to examine you and take diagnostic records. We strive to make adult orthodontics affordable for our patients. That’s why we accept most insurance and offer a variety of payment options, including those with zero interest, no down payment and low monthly payments. As we discussed earlier, we also have Smile Express for patients who don’t want comprehensive treatment. With this option, the cost of Invisalign is 50% less than traditional treatment.

If you’d like to learn more about how our adult orthodontics options can help you get your dream smile, book a complimentary consultation with us today. A Houston, Texas orthodontist will help you decide on the treatment that works best for your needs and lifestyle.