(828) 253-2498

Adult Orthodontics, Clear Braces, and More – Answers to Questions from Our Asheville Patients

At the practice of Dr. Jim MacAlpine, we are dedicated to providing our patients with all of the information they need to make important decisions about their care. Many of our patients have questions about adult orthodontics, clear braces, and other services offered at our Asheville practice. Below, we have provided answers to many of these questions. If you have specific questions about your treatment plan or would like to schedule an appointment, please do not hesitate to contact our office.

What is Adult Orthodontics? Am I Too Old for Braces?

Dr. Jim MacAlpine believes that it’s never too late to improve your smile. That’s why he offers a full range of options in adult orthodontics, including Invisalign® and clear braces, at his Asheville practice. Age is not a factor as long as the bone and gum tissue surrounding the teeth are healthy. Many adult patients seek orthodontics not only to straighten their teeth, but also to help improve their bite, align their upper and lower jaws, and create an overall younger appearance.

What are Clear Braces?

Clear braces are similar to traditional metal braces in that they use a thin metal wire as a track on which the brackets move, as the teeth shift into their proper alignment. However, the brackets in clear braces are made from pure monocrystalline sapphire and are almost invisible. For a completely clear, virtually invisible way to straighten teeth, Dr. MacAlpine offers his teenage and adult orthodontics patients in Asheville the revolutionary Invisalign® system. Instead of using wires and brackets, Invisalign® uses a series of clear, removable aligners to straighten teeth. Dr. MacAlpine can examine your teeth to determine if clear braces or Invisalign® may be right for your treatment plan.

What are the Benefits of Early Orthodontic Treatment?

Through early orthodontic treatment, Dr. MacAlpine can prevent a child’s orthodontic problems from developing to the point where extensive treatment will be needed later in life. In many cases he is able to guide jaw development, make room for permanent teeth, and even correct underbites and overbites without the need for braces. Dr. MacAlpine’s phase one interceptive program of early treatment can reduce or eliminate the need as an adult for extensive orthodontics.

When Should My Child Have an Orthodontic Evaluation?

The American Association of Orthodontists suggests that all children have an orthodontic evaluation by the age of seven while the bones are still growing and orthodontic problems are beginning to develop. It is at this time that an interceptive treatment plan can have the most impact on preventing future orthodontic problems. The sooner we can diagnose problems, the sooner we can begin to treat them. Often we see children as young as six for their first orthodontic evaluation.

How Long Will My Orthodontic Treatment Take?

Typically, patients wear braces between one and three years. The length of your orthodontic treatment will depend on the extent of correction required and how well you follow the treatment plan developed by Dr. MacAlpine. Taking care of your teeth by brushing and flossing regularly, following instructions from Dr. MacAlpine, and attending each appointment will result in optimal results. If you follow your treatment plan, there is little difference in the treatment time required for traditional metal braces and clear braces.

Why Would Treatment with Braces Take Longer than Expected?

The main factor that causes treatment to last longer than expected is poor patient participation. We encourage our patients to follow Dr. MacAlpine’s instructions in order to achieve optimal result. Our adult orthodontics patients often follow their treatment programs well. However, to encourage our young patients to stick with their treatment plans, Dr. MacAlpine has developed the "wooden nickel" incentive program to reward children with prizes when they keep their teeth clean, attend appointments, and avoid foods that can damage their braces.

It may also take longer for adult patients to achieve an ideal appearance with braces, and there may limitations to the amount of correction that can be achieved by some. Braces work well for children because their mouths are still growing. However, the mouths of adult patients have reached full growth, so there may be physical limitations that prevent them from achieving a perfect smile. Sometimes, surgery is recommended for adult orthodontics patients to achieve optimal results. For those who choose not to undergo surgery, Dr. MacAlpine is typically able to achieve a dramatic improvement through orthodontic treatment alone.

How Do I Contact Your Practice for More Information?

For more information about adult orthodontics, clear braces, and other services offered at our Asheville practice, contact the practice of Dr. Jim MacAlpine today. You may also call our office at (866) 559-4559.

If you have questions about our services, including adult orthodontics, adult braces, and clear braces, contact the practice of Dr. Jim MacAlpine in Asheville today.

James E. MacAlpine, D.D.S., M.S.
1061 Haywood Rd.
Asheville, North Carolina 28806

P. 828 253 2498
F. 828 667 9199