Mrs. Z presented to my office for an orthodontic consultation. She is a healthy, vibrant, 80+ year old woman who enjoys traveling and taking care of herself. When I met her, she had just completed a rehabilitation of her upper dentition with implants and crowns. She commented that her daughter had asked her why she had not fixed her bottom teeth. Mrs. Z thought that although her bottom teeth were strong and cavities free, it really bothered her that they were crooked. She wanted to know if she was too old to have braces.
More and more adults are seeking tooth alignment. According to the American Association of Orthodontists “one in 5 patients is over age 18 when they begin some form of orthodontic treatment”. There are many treatment options for adults based on their particular needs and lifestyle.
Many restorative dentists send their patients for orthodontic treatment to align roots before placing crowns and bridges. They are finding that they achieve better results with more bone support and soft tissue response. This leaves the patient with healthier gums.
In Mrs. Z’s case she only needed alignment of the mandibular incisors (see picture 1), so we decided to use clear aligners. Invisalign® (see picture 2) is a system that uses a series of clear aligner trays. They are worn 22 hours a day and removed for eating, drinking, and brushing. Invisalign® is a popular brand name, but there are several other clear aligner systems that work in a similar fashion. This method of orthodontic treatment is very popular with adults because it is comfortable, esthetic, and makes it easier to maintain proper oral hygiene.
It only took 6 months to complete Mrs. Z’s case. She was very happy with the results and her overall smile.
Martha Miqueo, DDS, Co-Founder and VP of VIZSTARA, Director of Family Practice, Pediatric Dentistry, and Orthodontics . Dr. Miqueo is a leading authority on pediatric dentistry and orthodontics. She served as a clinical professor at New York University College of Dentistry (NYUCD) Department of Pediatric Dentistry for ten years. She also served as an attending pediatric dentist at several hospitals in New York and New Jersey, covering both oral trauma and dental emergencies and caring for special-needs patients. Dr. Miqueo is an expert in the management of pediatric patients with cleft lip and palate, as well as in the application of the laser technique for soft and hard tissue. In her orthodontic practice for adults, Dr. Miqueo has specialized in lingual braces, providing exceptional cosmetics and comfort.
By: Martha Miqueo, DDS