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Adult Braces and Orthodontics

More and more adults are considering braces and other advanced treatments to correct what may have been lifelong orthodontic concerns. While these procedures are typically thought of as options primarily geared toward adolescents, the fact is that a very large percentage of orthodontic patients are over the age of 21. With innovations in orthodontic techniques and new treatments designed with discretion in mind, many adults can successfully resolve common concerns such as teeth misalignment, crowding, and bite irregularities that may be compromising the beauty and function of their teeth.

At Cumberland Dental Specialists, our treatment options can effectively move teeth into their ideal position and correct malocclusion (bite concerns) using state-of-the-art orthodontic techniques. As a result, we can help you achieve improved smile aesthetics in a treatment process that doesn’t necessarily entail extended discomfort or an awkward appearance. Dr. Ben Chan, our highly skilled and board-certified orthodontist, can develop an individualized adult orthodontic treatment plan that prioritizes your anatomical needs, cosmetic goals, personal comfort, and future orthodontic stability.

There are many reasons to consider orthodontic treatment—whether the procedure will be for your benefit or that of your child.

For more information about our adult orthodontic options, please contact us today. We can answer your questions and help you schedule a consultation with Dr. Chan.

What Are the Benefits of Orthodontics for Adults?

Our selection of orthodontic treatments for adults includes a wide range of techniques designed to bring the teeth into better alignment and reduce malocclusion. All of the orthodontic procedures at our practice are uniquely customized for each patient to achieve the best possible results for one’s individual needs and goals.

If you have any of the following concerns, orthodontics may be able to help:

  • Spaces, gaps, or missing teeth
  • Overcrowding
  • Overbite, underbite, or crossbite
  • Problems chewing, eating, drinking, breathing, or speaking due to malocclusion
  • Dissatisfaction with the appearance of your smile
  • Neck, jaw, or jaw joint pain

In addition to greater comfort and improved results, advances in orthodontic techniques include significantly more discreet appliances. In many cases, the orthodontic treatment can be performed using virtually invisible hardware. If you’re concerned with the appearance of traditional metal braces, we may be able to offer inconspicuous alternatives that better suit your lifestyle.

What Are My Adult Braces Options?

Our practice offers a vast selection of braces options for adults, including treatments designed to minimize the appearance of the appliances while they are on the teeth. Some of the types of braces available from our orthodontist include:

Metal Braces

Metal braces are the most traditional types of braces, and have been successfully utilized in orthodontic correction procedures for decades. This option involves the placement of metal brackets on each tooth, which are threaded together with a very thin wire. With this process, the teeth can be gradually moved into a straighter position and bite irregularities can be significantly improved. Metal braces can be an ideal option for orthodontic concerns that are moderate to severe. Advances in the design of metal braces have allowed these appliances to provide more comfortable treatment and a less prominent appearance when compared to older versions of these options.

Clear Ceramic Braces

Clear ceramic braces essentially use the same technique as their metal counterparts; however, this option is designed to be less noticeable on the teeth. The braces are made to resemble the color of your natural teeth, which makes them less visible to others during the treatment process.


For our adult patients who are looking to improve orthodontic concerns with maximum discretion, Invisalign® may be the best alternative to traditional braces. Invisalign® does not require brackets and wires to shift the teeth into the desired position. In fact, Invisalign® is able to correct mild to moderate teeth misalignment and bite irregularities using a series of removable aligners made of an advanced plastic material. The aligners are flexible and translucent, making them virtually invisible while they are on the teeth.

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Dr. Chan will evaluate your needs during the initial consultation and help you determine the best braces option for your goals.

How Long Do Braces Take for Adults?

Orthodontic treatment varies in length for each person based on a number of factors, including the type of orthodontics used, the complexity of the case, and how dedicated the patient is to the program. Most patients can straighten their teeth in nine months to two years. We can provide specifics during your initial consultation once we have evaluated your smile and determined the ideal approach. You can help speed up the process by taking excellent care of your orthodontic appliances, maintaining healthy oral hygiene, and attending all scheduled appointments.

How Much Do Braces Cost for Adults?

The national average cost of braces for adults has been estimated to fall in the $4,800 to $7,135 range; however, this is a very general estimate, and the cost of braces for adults at our practice is often variable among patients, depending on each individual’s unique treatment plan. Costs can vary significantly based on factors such as the specific type of braces being placed, the extent and complexity of the orthodontic concerns being treated, the projected length of time to achieve optimal results, and other components. Once you have been examined during the initial consultation and have decided on the treatment plan that is ideal for your needs, a member of our team will produce a total cost estimate and answer any questions you may have. Many dental insurance policies offer coverage for orthodontic procedures, and our practice accepts a variety of payment methods to make paying for your treatment as convenient as possible. We will be happy to talk more with you about the way to pay for braces that is most suitable for your budget.

Additional Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) About Orthodontics

Choosing the right orthodontic treatment for your individual characteristics and desired outcome requires some consideration. To make this process as easy as possible, Dr. Chan has answered some commonly asked questions about braces and other orthodontic appliances. This will hopefully serve as a helpful resource as you make a decision. If you would like to know more, please contact our office to schedule a personal consultation where we can tailor a plan just for you.

Am I too “old” for braces?

No one is too “old” for braces; everyone’s needs, goals, and experiences are unique. In fact, as many as 25% of orthodontic patients are adults. If you want to improve your smile for aesthetic or functional reasons (or both), then you are probably a good candidate for orthodontic treatment. We can help you determine which method is ideal based on an oral evaluation.

What types of braces are right for me?

Advances in orthodontia have given us a wide range of choices to help straighten teeth and improve bite misalignment (malocclusion). Traditional metal braces are still an option, and there are several other methods that use ceramic brackets and no metal parts at all. One of the most popular approaches is Invisalign®, which uses a series of clear aligner trays to gradually adjust the teeth into the optimal position. It’s now possible to improve your smile with greater discretion than ever before. We understand that, as an adult, you may be hesitant to select a treatment that makes you feel self-conscious, and we can assist you in finding a solution that works with your lifestyle and offers ideal results.

How often will I need to schedule appointments?

This will also depend on the type of orthodontic treatment you receive. For traditional braces, visits are usually scheduled every five to 10 weeks. Appointments are typically fewer and less often for Invisalign® than with traditional braces. The complexity of your case and your lifestyle will also be factors that we consider. If you have any concerns about the frequency of your visits, please don’t hesitate to ask questions to better understand our process. We want you to feel involved and become well-informed about each stage of this exciting journey.

Will teeth straightening hurt?

Most people find that the teeth-straightening process does not hurt, but sometimes your teeth or oral structures may be sore. When you have your orthodontic appliances adjusted, or when you switch to the next aligner in your series, you may find that your teeth feel a little “tight” or there may be a mild sensation of pressure. This effect should fade quickly, and if needed, you can take over-the-counter pain medication until it passes.

If you never had the chance to address crooked or crowded teeth as a child, or if your child has misaligned teeth, Dr. Chan can help. Contact us today for more information about orthodontics or to schedule a consultation at your convenience.