Adult Orthodontics

Orthodontics is not just for children and teens. Nationally more than 1 in every 5 patients in orthodontic treatment is an adult. No one is too old for orthodontic treatment: teeth move the same at age 80 as age 8. Adults seek orthodontic treatment for many of the same reasons as children. Some adults had orthodontic problems as children but were unable to correct them until now. Others, who had treatment as children, may need further treatment as adults due to relapse or limitations in initial treatment.

Although kids are welcome at the downtown office, at this location adults make up over 95% of our patients. We emphasize esthetic orthodontic treatment with our adult patients. there are a number of esthetic treatment alternatives such as the Incognito custom bracket system, clear aligners (Invisalign) or ceramic brackets (clear braces).

Like most other orthodontic practices we see many children, at our Madrona location kids and adolescents comprise the vast majority of our patients.

Benefits of Adult Orthodontics

Adults can benefit from orthodontic treatment in many ways. These include:

  • Align the teeth to create a more esthetic and beautiful smile
  • Correct relapse after previous orthodontic treatment due to lack of long term retainer wear
  • Improve the ability to brush and floss, especially for crowded or overlapping lower front teeth
  • Create a better or more comfortable bite and ability to chew
  • Address missing teeth
  • Close spaces between the teeth
  • Reduce excessive wear on the teeth due to grinding or poor bite
  • Jaw surgery to correct discrepancy between the upper and lower jaws.

Appearance of Braces

Many adults are concerned with the appearance of braces. Riolo Orthodontics specializes in esthetic treatment alternative for adolescents and adults. We are the pacific northwest’s largest and most experienced provider of Incognito custom braces.

Often, for less severe problems, Clear Aligners like Invisalign (a series of clear trays worn at least 22 hours a day) can be used to align the teeth although these aligners have limited ability to correct “fit” problems and complex tooth movements. Invisalign like all Clear Aligner technology involves clear removable aligners, fabricated through advanced 3D imaging to digitally align the teeth, 3D printing of these digital “models” and then fabrication of the clear aligners on these printed models using a thermoforming process.

For more severe problems, we have the option of custom-made braces placed behind the teeth, “Lingual Braces”.  Like Clear Aligners there are many types of lingual braces.  Some of the more common brands of lingual braces in North America include Incognito, InBrace, Brius/Brava, Harmony, and SureSmile Braces. We have tried all of these braces but currently using a customized version of SureSmile technology employing a number of different commercial and custom 3D printed brackets.

Lingual braces are truly invisible because they are behind the teeth. We also offer clear ceramic brackets instead of metal for a patient who desires a more traditional and usually the least expensive treatment alternative.

Soreness & Discomfort

Orthodontic treatment is no more uncomfortable for adults than children. Adults undergoing orthodontic treatment report the same level of soreness as children (although adults are more willing to tell us about the soreness).

Tooth soreness in usually described as “dull achy” soreness, similar to muscle soreness after a good workout at the gym.  This soreness begins 12-24 hours after an orthodontic adjustment and will dissipate within 7 to 10 days. Most modern lingual braces are smaller and more comfortable to wear and easier to speech adapt. Modern techniques, with the new titanium technology, put less pressure on the teeth to cause discomfort, while moving the teeth more rapidly and efficiently. It also decreases the time required between adjustments to every 6 to 10 weeks. Treatment time, on average, is completed in 6 to 28 months depending on the problems requiring correction.

Cost of Adult Orthodontics

The fee for adult orthodontic treatment is determined the same way as child or adolescent treatment. It is based on the severity of the problem, the complexity of the correction, the appliances used and the length of time to correct.

Dr. Riolo has undergone additional training to better serve the special needs of adults. He has focused his training on jaw surgery, occlusion, implants and will coordinate treatment with your family dentist to address missing teeth and gum disease.

Our office has treated individuals in their 50’s, 60’s, 70’s and even problem focused treatment on patient into their 80’s. It is never too late to gain the smile you have always wanted. Do not hesitate to schedule a consultation to get your questions answered and begin the process to get the smile you have always wanted.