Orthodontics in adults

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1. Overview

Orthodontic treatment can be carried out successfully at any age. In recent years there has been an increase in adult patients. In fact, today, two out of five patients are adults. Tissues involved in tooth movement are the same in adults as in children.

However, the lack of growth in adults maxillary bones may be a slight limitation of treatment. Also, the health of the teeth, their supporting structures, and facial muscle and temporo-mandibular joint (TMJ) may influence the prospects for improvement.


1. Overview
2. Orthodontic treatment
3. Orthodontic-surgical treatment

2. Orthodontic treatment

Adults seeking orthodontic treatment can be divided into two groups: young adults aged under 35 years who have wanted, but did not receive treatment in adolescence and now they are financially independent, while the second group comprises patients aged between 40 and 50 years who need orthodontic treatment as part of a larger dental treatment.

For the first group the purpose of the orthodontic treatment is to improve quality of life. These adults seek complete treatment, with all its benefits. The second group is interested in orthodontic treatment to the extent that it is necessary as auxiliary treatment to solve other dental problems.

These patients do not want a complete treatment, considering that the purpose of their orthodontic treatment is to ensure the conditions for achieving periodontal treatment and implant prosthetic restoration or missing teeth more effectively.

Spaces between teeth, dental crowding, protrusion of teeth, tooth tipping in a space that has been left open after extraction of a tooth or teeth that have moved in the wrong position can all benefit from orthodontic treatment for adults.

Functional aspects of orthodontic treatment are often the main consideration for the treatment of adults. Incorrectly positioned teeth can exert additional stress on the supporting tissue.

Failure to correct the problem could cause such diseases of teeth support tissue, or tooth loss and the need for prosthetic restorations.

Left untreated, in adults, a malocclusion can lead to harmful effects on the general health of the patient, including speech defects, emotional and psychological disorders.

A pleasant appearance is a vital asset for confidence and self-esteem. Often, they are improving in adults as orthodontic treatment brings the correct position of teeth, lips and face.

Psychological component is a very important aspect of orthodontic treatment in adults. The doctor must understand and analyze exactly why the patient wants treatment to avoid situations in which expectations will not be met.

Sometimes orthodontic treatment is a last resort effort that an adult patient makes to improve his personal life, relationship or even career.

Adult patients are concerned about how orthodontic treatment will affect the aesthetics of how it might interfere with professional image. Importance that adult patients attaches to aesthetic dictated by profession and other social obligations makes them ideal candidates for various types of aesthetic or invisible orthodontic appliances available: lingual appliances, ceramic appliances, Invisalign system, etc.

Comprehensive orthodontic treatment of adults shows technical features and can be more difficult compared to that of adolescents. Unlike adolescents receiving orthodontic treatment during growth component maxillary bones, absence of this increase in adults causes skeletal abnormalities to be more difficult to treat.

Thus, orthodontic treatment in adults involves either a camouflage treatment of malocclusions, which consists of moving teeth so change their position to compensate the imbalance of maxillary basal bone or complex orthodontic-surgical approach.

3. Orthodontic-surgical treatment

Orthodontic-surgical treatment involves a team effort between maxillofacial surgery and orthodontics in solving dental and facial problems that require a combination of skills. The two specialties, working together, are able to treat malocclusions, which can only be treated by the surgeon or orthodontist. Orthodontist’s knowledge in determining the correct placement of the teeth before surgery are vital for maxillofacial surgery.

Of great importance in understanding surgical cases is teeth placing in relation to facial proportions and understanding the forces that will exercise facial muscles under the new inter-maxillary relationships.

Developing new techniques for orthodontic treatment enabling a superior aesthetics, faster results and orthodontic approach in difficult clinical situations in terms of periodontal status or availability of anchorage teeth have increased the number of adult patients that address orthodontist and have allowed increasing the level of dental care that can benefit them.



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