Teeth straightening for adults has become increasingly common over the past couple of decades. Though traditional metal braces are effective, they aren’t usually the first choice for adult patients (or teenage patients for that matter). When patients don’t understand their treatment options, they may be hesitant to take the first step toward straighter teeth.
Others may be concerned about their budget or may not want to make the time for it. In addition, many patients mistakenly believe that clear aligner therapy is strictly cosmetic, despite the numerous health and functional benefits of orthodontics.
It’s important to carefully consider the way we, as dental professionals, explain the pros of treatment during consultations. The language we use can have a significant impact on treatment acceptance, not to mention the long-term oral health of our patients.
Learn more about how to explain the benefits of adult orthodontic treatment to hesitant patients in this blog.
Step 1: Explain the Benefits of Teeth Straightening for Adults
When a patient expresses concerns about having their teeth straightened through orthodontic treatment, your first notion should be to explain all the benefits of straight teeth and the disadvantages of misaligned teeth.
Straight teeth are beneficial for several reasons:
- Proper chewing function. Being able to chew food completely before swallowing helps with digestion and improves overall health.
- Improved appearance. According to a study posted by the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry, people find that those with straight teeth are more attractive than those with misaligned teeth.
- Reduced risk of tooth decay and gum disease. Crowded teeth, crooked teeth, and gapped teeth all raise your risk of cavities (or tooth decay) and gum disease by making it more difficult to clean all surfaces of the teeth properly. Teeth straightening will significantly improve your oral health.
- Less pain. Malocclusion caused by misaligned teeth can cause TMJ pain.
- More self-confidence. That same study by the AACD reported that people with more attractive smiles are viewed as more intelligent, happier, and more successful. Imagine the impact of these assumptions on a person’s self-confidence!
Once patients understand the benefits of orthodontic treatment, they are much more likely to move forward in the process.
Step 2: Address Specific Concerns
Every patient is unique with unique needs. Be sure to listen to your patient’s specific concerns about adult orthodontics so you can address those concerns head-on. It’s difficult to overcome objections when you don’t know what they are.
When patients show hesitancy, ask them what worries them the most, listen actively to their concerns, and respond with relevant, reflecting statements.
Here are some of the most common concerns dentists and orthodontists hear from their patients:
“I’m too old.”
As a whole, humans are living longer than ever before. This is one of the many reasons adults over 50 are choosing to straighten their teeth. From mobile apps that help us meditate to apps that even help us find that “special someone”, older adults are embracing wellness, vitality, and better health.
As more and more individuals realize the health and aesthetic benefits of orthodontic treatment, teeth straightening is becoming a priority. So, along with a “spiritual makeover”, comes a physical one – and straighter teeth among older adults are now a part of the plan!
Additionally, older patients are more compliant, so braces, or clear aligners, often work better for them.
“Braces are expensive.”
Cost will likely be a factor for every adult orthodontic patient. Braces can be expensive, but there are options.
Be sure to let your patients know that many insurance companies now offer partial coverage for braces and clear aligner therapy. Explain that every plan is unique and that your financial team will be happy to check their benefits on their behalf.
Also discuss your practice’s financial options. Do you offer in-house financing or accept CareCredit? Your patients will be delighted to know about these possibilities.
“I will look or talk funny.”
It’s true that clear aligners and traditional metal braces can change the way you talk and look. But the appearance issue is temporary, and most people start talking normally after a few weeks into treatment. Remind your patients that the goal is to give them a more beautiful smile for the rest of their lives.
Additionally, Orthosnap clear aligners are more discreet than any other option on the market, so appearance should be of no concern.
“Treatment takes too long.”
The treatment process and timeline always depend on the patient’s current dental alignment. For many patients, treatment time is between six and twelve months, though it can be longer in some cases. Regardless, the benefits of having perfectly aligned teeth and an improved smile make the process worth it.
Remind your patients of the benefits of straightening their teeth before they make a final decision.
“Braces are uncomfortable.”
Truthfully, traditional braces are uncomfortable. The brackets and metal wires irritate the patients’ gums and cheeks. There’s no getting around that.
If it’s an option for your patient, encourage them to choose Orthosnap clear aligners. Our aligners are made from high-quality, smooth plastic and created using the dynamic physical model. This means they are more accurate than other clear aligners that use 3D printing.
Step 3: Be understanding.
Some patients will not follow through with treatment and others will want a second opinion. Be patient and understanding with these patients.
When Patients Want a Second Opinion
Some dentists may feel a bit defensive when patients want to seek a second opinion. But if you believe in your work and the treatment you’ve recommended, you have nothing to fear. Second opinions are not a reflection on you as a practitioner.
Some patients are just more thorough in their research. Remember that many individuals who seek a second opinion elsewhere still return to their original provider for treatment.
When Patients Say “No”
Some adult orthodontics patients, no matter how convincing you are, simply will not follow through with treatment. Follow the guidelines mentioned above, and know that you have done your absolute best to be transparent.
If they ultimately answer “no” to treatment, then focus your time on the patients who show up routinely.
Step 4: Discuss Orthosnap Clear Aligners
Orthosnap clear aligners work just as effectively as traditional metal braces and sometimes even better and faster! Orthosnap offers superior treatment and amazing results for adults who want to straighten their teeth. Remember that the next time you encounter a patient who is hesitant about beginning orthodontic treatment.
Contact us to learn more.
If you are a dentist who would like more information or support regarding clear aligner therapy in your practice, check out the Orthosnap Help Center. You can also visit our website to become a provider today.
Connect with Orthosnap for additional support and tips to offer your patients. With three patents and registration with the FDA, Orthosnap provides a unique molding system for better-fitting aligners. Learn more about Orthosnap by scheduling a meeting with our founder, Yan Pogorelsky. You can also call us at 516-606-7606.