It’s Never Too Late for Orthodontic Treatment

Have you been looking at your teeth in the mirror for years, always wishing that your parents had invested in orthodontic treatment while you were still young? 

While orthodontics tend to be associated with adolescence, you’d be surprised at the number of adults seeking orthodontic treatment. Today’s appliances are barely noticeable, giving adults more discreet choices when it comes to treatment options. For an adult, the 12-18 months it takes for a smile makeover is short compared to the lifetime of happiness the treatment brings. Straightening teeth has significant benefits—both socially and professionally—and boosts confidence and oral health

Healthy teeth can be moved at any age, so you can’t ever be too old for braces. However, gum disease (periodontitis) is more common among adults than in children or teenagers. When you wear orthodontic appliances, gentle force is applied to the teeth as the surrounding bone is reshaped. When gum tissues are not healthy, bone loss can occur. That’s why it’s important for any gum disease to be brought under control before adults begin orthodontic treatment. In addition, good oral hygiene will need to be maintained at home and regular professional cleanings will be needed to protect gums.

If cost has been an issue for you, consider Penn Dental Medicine as your potential provider. We offer the ideal combination of quality and affordability. Because we operate in conjunction with the University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine, we can provide care at discounted rates for all our orthodontic patients. Cost doesn’t have to be prohibitive when you can get the affordable rates of a dental school clinic.

What Do Braces Fix? 

Orthodontics treatment addresses a variety of problems that can affect an individual’s teeth. These problems aren’t just inconvenient; when left untreated, they can lead to chronic secondary dental problems. 


Improperly spaced teeth can include both overcrowding and wide spacing. Overcrowding can cause teeth to rub against each other, taking a heavy toll on the enamel over time. This causes premature aging of the teeth. Wide spacing puts you at greater risk for cavities, since the bacteria can build up in the gaps.


Crooked teeth make it more difficult to keep teeth clean, increasing the risk of tooth decay and gum disease. Having crooked teeth also interferes with proper chewing, which strains the jaws and muscles. Crooked teeth are more likely to break or fracture.


Also known as overbite or underbite, malocclusion refers to disproportions in the sizes of your upper and lower jaws. Having a larger upper jaw is called an overbite, while a larger lower jaw is an underbite. Misaligned jaw sizes can cause the teeth to shift over time and increase wear on enamel, raising long-term risk for tooth decay.

Orthodontic Treatment Options for Adults 

Penn Dental Medicine offers a variety of orthodontic treatments at affordable prices. Each patient’s situation is different, which is why treatment plans should address their specific needs.

Traditional metal braces 

Metal braces are highly recommended for patients with severe overcrowding and misalignment because they are the most effective treatment for these conditions. They may also be used to fix gaps and shape the teeth and jaws. Made of high-grade stainless steel, traditional braces are attached to each tooth. An arch wire connects the metal brackets, which slowly shift teeth into the correct position. 

Why metal braces? 

Metal braces offer the most affordable orthodontics option, and they’re also the tried-and-true method for a range of orthodontic problems. They are strong, rarely break, and can’t get lost because they’re attached to the teeth. As an added bonus, the dietary restrictions required for mental braces (avoidance of sugars, sticky foods) often help patients improve their nutrition and lose unwanted weight.

Invisible braces 

Clear aligners against a white background.Many adult patients prefer invisible braces, which are clear plastic aligners that are inserted into the mouth and removed at will. Custom-made in our laboratory to fit the unique shape of your mouth, they straighten teeth using a series of tray sets that gradually move teeth into position. The teeth typically move about .25 mm per tray, with thermoplastic design controlling the force applied. The clear aligners take 12 months when they are worn at least 20-22 hours daily. In some cases, patients will wear a retainer after the use of invisible braces.

Why invisible braces? 

Many adult patients are attracted to the idea of invisible braces because this option provides discretion. If you want to draw the least amount of attention to your teeth while you’re undergoing treatment, invisible braces offer that possibility. Because invisible braces are removable, they provide a great deal of flexibility and allow you to eat the foods you love (no dietary restrictions). 

Adult Orthodontics at Penn Dental Medicine 

Whether you’re just starting to think about the possibility of orthodontic treatment or you’re ready to move forward, we hope you’ll consult with Penn Dental Medicine. Our patients trust the Penn name and the quality of care we provide. All the work is performed by our student dentist in training, who are overseen by top professionals in the field. This collaborative approach to patient care provides orthodontic patients with an affordable, high-quality dental experience. 

We also bring the advantages of having access to state-of-the-art technologies at the School of Dental Medicine. While most private practices often need to outsource certain services, we have everything we need right here—from digital scanning to manufacturing your custom invisible braces at our lab. 

What are you waiting for? To make your appointment at Penn Dental Medicine, please call us at 215-898-8965. 

New to PDM? Learn how to become a patient here

© 2020 Penn Dental