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Orthodontics for 60 yo folks?
Old 06-14-2015, 10:01 PM   #1
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Orthodontics for 60 yo folks?

There was a recent thread here on dental night guards and a (to me)surprisingly large number of folks posted on their personal experiences. As far as I could see from the posts, the night guards were almost all worn primarily to reduce teeth grinding.

I have severe case of overbite and last year my dentist recommended a night guard to position my lower jaw forward and open my airways during sleep. Amazingly I have got used to wearing this big appliance when I sleep. It undoubtedly does open my throat significantly, but I can't say that I have seen any improvement in my sleep quantity or quality.

Anyways my dentist proposes a course of treatment for my overbite which
would involve wearing the night guard & wearing another appliance during
the day for about 1 year, at which point my jaw would have been "trained" to be in its new position. At that point I would get braces for my teeth to reposition them appropriately, which process would take another year or more. The advantage at the end would be properly positioned jaw and teeth - with reduction in possible sleep apnea & potential jaw pain issues, and less stress on my teeth when my jaw is closed and thus better dental health.

The reality of the severe overbite (combined with a backward slanting upper front teeth) is not in doubt as it has been remarked on by every dentist I ever visited. My dentist says my lower jaw is "in jail", forced back by my upper teeth pushing the lower ones back. I can't even imagine what a properly aligned mouth and jaw would feel like. Without treatment my dentist paints a picture she has supposedly seen with other patients of upcoming jaw pain, cracked teeth etc.

I think my dentist is a good young professional but she is expensive and has some expensive new X-ray equipment (which take images of whole head and throat) to pay off. I get the impression that fixing overbites is an enthusiasm for her.

So... any experiences, advice etc. from the excellent folks here? Thanks in advance.

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Old 06-14-2015, 10:08 PM   #2
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I can tell you my observations at the orthodontist's office... Over half of the clients at my kids' orthodontist are adults. Some well beyond middle age. You won't be alone being "mature" at the orthodontist.

Retired June 2014. No longer an enginerd - now I'm just a nerd.
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Old 06-14-2015, 10:38 PM   #3
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Not quite 60 at the time, but I had braces on my upper teeth for two years at the age of 53. I had nowhere near as serious of symptoms as you've listed, though. In my case, it was a choice between installing a replacement bridge every decade, or fixing the problem through orthodontia. The bridge was required due to an impacted primary tooth that wasn't removed until adulthood.

Not an enjoyable process, but not that bad. And the results look a lot better, with better chances of avoiding issues in the future.
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Old 06-14-2015, 11:09 PM   #4
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I'm one of those heavy brusim people. If there was anything I could do to proactively do that would prevent future issues with broken teeth or jaw pain, I'd be interested.

Do you live around an area with a dental college? You might get a nearly free second opinion at a teaching college. The answer wouldn't be biased by financial needs.

Like others have mentioned I've known several mature people who wore corrective appliances.
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