“Adulting” Now Includes Orthodontic Work: Appealing to an Expanding Patient Base

The number of adults looking for orthodontic treatment or retreatment is on the rise. Some seek that perfect “selfie smiles” while others are more concerned with their overall long-term oral health. Whatever the reason, adult patients are different from younger patients—they need flexibility with lasting results. They might just need: Clear aligners. In fact, a recent study conducted by the American Association of Orthodontics (AAO) estimates that 27 percent of all orthodontic patients in the United States and Canada are adults.


COVID-19 has given cosmetic dentistry and orthodontics a boost thanks to the so-called “Zoom Boom.”  As we’ve shifted to remote working, many adults have found themselves scheduled on Zoom or Microsoft Teams videos conference calls throughout their day. Businesses have relied heavily on video conferencing to keep teams connected, and as many of us have discovered during the COVID-19 lockdown periods, video calls significantly emphasize our facial aesthetics and mouths. Many adults see this as a significant downside as their smiles―and for some, their obvious malocclusions or tooth crowding― are now prominently displayed front and center.


Given that one in three US adults exhibit meaningful malocclusions, it’s no wonder that we are noticing a growing trend in adults seeking aligner therapy.  In fact, three out of four adults have reported improvements in their career growth,  which they have attributed directly to their post-orthodontic treatment outcome.

Generally, adults prefer clear aligners over traditional orthodontic appliances given their aesthetic focus and preferences. Clear aligners are discreet due to their transparent design; are significantly more comfortable than conventional appliances; and are convenient in that they can be removed at any time. In fact, 87 percent of adults in a recent survey found clear aligners to be the most acceptable form of orthodontic treatment.

The great news is that the majority of adults in aligner treatment are happy―in fact, 92 percent of adults recommend orthodontic treatment to other adults, citing new-found confidence as the reason. And it goes without saying that happy and satisfied patients are extremely important in the field of dentistry, where the importance of word-of-mouth referrals cannot be underestimated.

Adding an aligner solution to your practice is relatively easy. From third party manufacturers that offer study clubs to help familiarize you with appropriate aligner cases, like the ClearCorrect Clic Study Clubs, to in-house solutions like CS Model+ v5 with aligner design capability, we have a solution to help you get started today.

The Digital Stream Carestream Dental Blog Administrator