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Preparing for braces at age 56

Posted: Tue Jul 11, 2017 6:18 am
by EmilyTravels
Hi everyone ~~ first-time poster here. Please be kind. ;-)

I had a bicycle accident in April and fractured my jaw in three places. In the past couple of months I have been through jaw-wiring with arch bars (first wired, then with elastics). Before the jaw wiring, I could only touch a couple of teeth on the left side as my lower jaw had shifted so far back from the accident. Now my bite is better than before the surgery but not like what it was before my accident. I can see that the midline of my lower teeth is off from my top teeth by about half a (lower) tooth, I have a bit more of an overbite than before, and chewing still feels strange. My back molars aren't lining up 100% right, though at least they all touch now.

Every time I go to my oral surgeon, he says that my next step is orthodontia/braces. Not thrilled about this at age 56. I had braces with full metal brackets for a couple of years when I was a pre-teen. Braces were very different then -- the wide metal bands went all the way around each tooth and looked/felt awful. Fortunately today's braces look quite a bit better, though I expect the discomfort is still the same!

I haven't had an ortho consultation yet as my oral surgeon has to release me first so that I can proceed. My next (and hopefully last) appt. with the oral surgeon is on 7/31. I also need to visit a dentist for a cleaning and check-up when I am released by the oral surgeon.

I am really bummed about having to have braces as my husband and I travel full-time in our RV and hadn't planned on settling down in one place for so long. Orthodontia will keep us tied to one area for a long period of time as I assume once I get the braces put on, I'll have to visit the office at least once a month for adjustments. I have no idea how long my treatment will take.

I have read some horror stories about "root reabsorption", especially likely in older folks like myself. Any thoughts or experience with this? I would rather live with my imperfect bite than risk losing teeth from having braces!

Thanks for reading my story. Any input or experiences to share would be most appreciated!

Emily

Re: Preparing for braces at age 56

Posted: Tue Jul 11, 2017 6:46 am
by Prometheus
Root resorbtion tends to happen when too much force is used, so orthos will go slow, esp. with folks in our age group. I got mine at 58 and still have them. It is a slow process, there is no getting around that to do it safely. I have ortho appointments every month, 4-6 week intervals is typical. I do not see an easy solution for your wanderlust concern. That said, getting my bite fixed and solving the tmjd problems was well worth the time and effort, I'm very happy I did it. Good luck with your decision!

Re: Preparing for braces at age 56

Posted: Wed Jul 12, 2017 9:21 am
by EmilyTravels
Thanks, Prometheus. The thought of having to give up over 2 years of my life (on top of the several months I already have since my accident) is not super appealing. I have heard that sometimes Invisalign can be quicker than standard brackets, but I would have to feel comfortable re. root reabsorption, which I'll discuss during my ortho. consults.

Glad to have this forum as I am sure I'll have many questions during the process!