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Can I Get Braces if I’ve Suffered Bone Loss?

By Kellyn Hodges on March 12, 2015

Young female with a straight, healthy smileIt is rare for people to have a smile and bite that is naturally straight and even. Orthodontics are a popular form of dentistry because treatment allows dentists to address alignment problems and create a straight smile that functions comfortably. Braces use wires and brackets to slowly shift the teeth into proper alignment and are an effective solution for all types of patients. While dentists are able to diagnose alignment problems and treat them while patients are still young, braces are a viable solution for patients of all ages. However, there may be special circumstances to take into consideration with older patients. For instance, many adults have suffered from some degree of gum disease and may have experienced some jaw bone loss. For Dr. Kellyn Hodges’ patients in Philadelphia, braces for those with bone loss is still a realistic possibility.

Will Bone Loss Affect Orthodontic Treatment?

Braces have been growing in popularity among adult patients. In many cases, these patients have longed for a straighter smile and are anxious to receive the orthodontic treatment that was neglected in their childhood. While braces and orthodontic treatment does not have an age limit, there are special considerations that may need to be factored into the braces treatment plan of an adult patient. For instance, periodontal disease is a very common condition among adult patients (especially those who have crooked and misaligned teeth, which are more difficult to clean properly), with many suffering from some degree of gum disease without even realizing it. This condition causes infection and inflammation in the gums and can lead to loose teeth and a loss of healthy jaw bone structure. While minor to moderate bone loss does not necessarily eliminate the possibility of braces, it may affect treatment. Below are some steps that should be taken by those who have bone loss, prior to undergoing orthodontic treatment:

  • Work with a periodontist or dentist to ensure that gum disease is treated
  • Determine if any additional dental treatments or oral surgeries (such as jaw surgery or a bone graft) are recommended
  • Discuss with Dr. Hodges the degree of correction that can realistically be expected with orthodontic treatment (based on the amount of bone loss)

If both Dr. Hodges and the patient’s treating periodontist or dentist agree that braces are a good option, patients should continue to work with Dr. Hodges and their periodontist or dentist for the duration of orthodontic treatment to ensure that periodontal disease is kept under control. One of the many benefits of braces is that once the teeth are straight and even, they become easier to clean and patients should have an easier time avoiding gum disease and other oral health complications.

Schedule a Free Consultation

If you are tired of living with crooked teeth, an uneven bite, or a misaligned smile, Dr. Kellyn Hodges can help you explore your orthodontic treatment options. Schedule a free consultation at your earliest convenience to learn how we can help you achieve the straight, even smile you’ve always wanted. We look forward to meeting with you!

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