Adult orthodontia worth it?

Hi,

My dentist is bugging me to get orthodontia done due to a messed up bite. Only some of my teeth meet and only on some of their edges. However, I eat food fine and my teeth don't hurt except some sensitivity to cold and heat. I don't grind my teeth. I do have receding gums. My dentist says my teeth will crack eventually and this will help. I've consulted with one ortho and he recommends invisalign with rubber bands for 20 months and many thousands of dollars. I'm in my 50s with lots of other expenses...what do you think? Is it really worth it? Are my teeth going to crack out of my head when I'm 70? What about having plastic in your mouth for years? That doesn't seem like a good idea. Thanks, wise ones!

Parent Replies

New responses are no longer being accepted.

RE: Adult orthodontia worth it? ()

I am not a dentist or a dental professional but did have orthodontia in my adult years (and as a child). It is worth the money to fix and will actually save you money as you get older since the teeth will continue to move and your gums will continue to recede.  It is not a cosmetic thing- thought that it is an advantage. It is actually preventive so you don't have to have oral surgery later in life for pockets forming and developing gum disease which can lead to grafting, root canals, and losing teeth. In my opinion, it is definitely worth it to have invisalign which is much better than braces. Good luck.

RE: Adult orthodontia worth it? ()

I would not do it.I had braces as a child and I had TMJ problems later.I know people who only bite down on a few teeth and they have been fine.Unless you are having problems,I feel like you could make things worse.

RE: Adult orthodontia worth it? ()

 I can't say if this is worth it for your bight, but  I can tell you my mother's and my experience. I had braces when I was 13 to 15 years old to hopefully correct my bite.  My bite was structurally the same as my mother's, meeting in one spot on each side at the back molars.  We were told that without orthodontia the bight would get worse, the jaw would really start hurting and having problems. In my 20s, I was told  that I should have orthodontia on and off for the rest of my life. My mother was about 50 at the time and her jaw did not hurt and her bite hadn't gotten worse. I opted not to do orthodontia.  Fast forward, my mom died at the age of 87 with no additional problems with her jaw or bight. I am now 62 and have had no additional problems. For me,  if I was in my 50s and told what you were told, I would take my chances and not do orthodontia. I guess I'd be saving that money for dentures.  But of course every bite is different.

RE: Adult orthodontia worth it? ()

I'd seek a 2nd or even 3rd opinion. But if they say your teeth will crack, take them seriously. At 92, almost all my mom's teeth have fallen out due to poor dental care in childhood, and you might think she doesn't care, but she really does. It impacts her every day. She hates it and wishes she just had regular teeth as many of her friends do. 70 is not that old ...

RE: Adult orthodontia worth it? ()

I say no. Two of my four kids 'needed it,' so we shelled out a small fortune and now, 10 and 20 years later, their teeth are back to the way they were before braces. I'd switch dentists . . .

RE: Adult orthodontia worth it? ()

There are alternatives to orthodontia. May I suggest looking into orofacial myopathy? I am currently seeing Kathy Winslow and it's been an interesting process. Good luck!

RE: Adult orthodontia worth it? ()

I'm doing invisalign after my dentist expressed concerns about my bite and (like yours) said my front tooth could eventually break off.  Unlike you, however, I also REALLY care about how teeth look.  Call me shallow, but I think it's the single most important thing about your appearance - more than clothes, more than shape, more than hair.  If you have good teeth, you look younger, smarter, and wealthier! Invisalign definitely works, and it's a little annoying but not painful.  Also, it promotes good dental hygiene because you brush more frequently. As your teeth straighten, it becomes a lot easier to floss, too (at least in my case it has).  My orthodontist (Rodney Lee in SF) is really good, and it was less expensive than I expected.   

You do have to keep wearing the retainers at night if you want to avoid your teeth moving back to the way they were.  This is a common problem with kids - my son had braces but didn't wear his retainer when he was done, and now his teeth need straightening again.  SIGH.