Orthodontics has enabled many people, old and young alike, to seek oral care. But the treatment differences between young and old patients are important to consider when seeking orthodontic care. This article will cover some of the differences that you ought to know.

The Key Differences Between Adult Orthodontics and Kids' Orthodontics

The Age-Related Considerations

Young patients have different oral problems compared to older patients. This is because as you age, your bone density reduces and creates problems with blood supply to the roots of your teeth. Older patients also face issues such as gingivitis.

The Journal of Oral Health and Community Dentistry writes that the aging of oral tissue makes it hard for moving teeth to align correctly into their new positions. This problem can be referred to as “biomechanical limitations that hinder a faster realignment of the teeth in the old.”

The Bite Correction Concerns

Improper bites or malocclusions form major problems that necessitate orthodontic treatment. According to Kokich Orthodontics, an adult patient with a deep overbite may have a problem creating more space in order for the teeth to be moved back. This may necessitate the extraction of a tooth or more.

It is also good to note that by the time one gets to adulthood, some of their teeth might be worn down and this might worsen the overbite. These problems are referred to as perio-restorative problems and they are handled in a way that focuses on creating a functional bite for the patient possible, rather than perfection of the teeth.

Issues of Tooth Extraction

For adults who have previously had a tooth extracted, their treatment may present some issues. Generally, old extraction sites are not be the most appropriate sites for teeth to move into. Adding prosthetic bones to these areas may help this problem. Closing gaps that have been left between teeth by the use of pressure is another option, however it may prove to be less responsive in adult patients compared to younger ones.

The Adult Vulnerabilities

There is a higher risk of bone resorption in the old compared to the young people. The rate of bone resorption determines how much your tooth’s root is able to retain bone for normal functions. According to Dr. Barry McArdle, patients may be predisposed to this due to things such as family history, oral habits and the types of roots you have.

In an individual who is more predisposed to root resorption on a treatment modality that may cause friction on his/her teeth, their teeth are more likely to fall out. This may make an orthodontist cautious with patients who are more predisposed to tooth resorption. It is good to note that this problem should be treated in advance, as its complications are irreversible.

Older patients also have an increased risk for Temporomandibular disorder, or TMD. The symptoms of this disorder typically present themselves during orthodontic treatment. Your orthodontist must assess your risk of TMD before choosing the appropriate oral treatment.

Written by Dr. Darren Wittenberger, the best orthodontist Columbia MO has to offer, and owner of his own practice, Advance Orthodontics. Dr. Wittenberger enjoys sharing his expertise to ensure people can maintain the healthiest, straightest teeth possible!