Orthodontics refers to the correction of tooth alignment, versus cleaning teeth, filling in cavities, and other such dental services. Adult orthodontics can be a bit different than orthodontic services provided to children, simply because an adult's teeth may be very worn or more damaged due to age. Note a few questions you might have about adult orthodontics so you can know if this service is right for you, and be sure to ask your dentist about any other information you need when it comes to treating and aligning your teeth.
Do adult teeth need to be pulled for orthodontics?
If you have a friend or family member who went in for orthodontic treatment and he or she needed to have a tooth pulled, don't assume that this is standard, and that you can expect the same. In some extreme cases, it can be best to extract a tooth that is severely crooked, or that is crowding other teeth, so that there is sufficient room for the healthy and proper alignment of teeth. This isn't necessary for everyone, however, and only your orthodontist can tell you if this will be needed in your particular case.
When is jaw surgery needed?
As with tooth extraction, jaw surgery may be needed in some extreme cases of orthodontic treatment, if the jawbone is severely crooked or need bone grafts to help strengthen it. This might also be needed if you've suffered an injury of some sort, and now have a hairline fracture or other such damage to the jaw itself. Braces and other appliances may not be enough to address your misaligned and damaged teeth in these cases, so jaw surgery may be needed; again, only your orthodontist can tell you if this would be warranted in your case.
Do braces hurt an adult's mouth more than a teenager's mouth?
You might assume that braces will hurt an adult's mouth more than a teenager's mouth, simply because the adult bones are already fused and set, whereas a teenager's jawbone may still be growing. This isn't necessarily true, as the discomfort you feel with braces often depends on how crooked your teeth are, and how long it takes to straighten them. Braces may cause some discomfort and even mouth ulcers when first applied to anyone, and your orthodontist will usually provide wax that you put in front of the braces to reduce those ulcers. He or she can also give you instructions on how to adjust to the braces, so that you have less discomfort after they're installed.