Braces are the most efficient and accurate way of moving teeth.
Braces (bands, brackets, and wires) are usually made of stainless steel, although clear brackets are available, usually at extra cost.
Fitting the braces usually involves two visits. Braces remain on the teeth for the entire duration of treatment.
Patients then attend approximately every 4-8 weeks for adjustments, wire changes, etc.
During treatment, patients may need to wear such items as rubber bands and/or headgear with their braces. These items provide important extra forces for the correction of the bite.
Orthodontic treatment usually takes 18 – 24 months. Some cases may be finished earlier, and others may take longer to complete. The total treatment time depends on the severity of the original malocclusion, the type of treatment carried out, and the co-operation of the patient.
Orthodontic patients should continue to visit their family dentist for regular check-ups during the course of orthodontic treatment.
At the completion of the active part of orthodontic treatment, the braces are removed, and retaining appliances (retainers) are fitted to hold the teeth steady in their new position. These appliances may be removable plates or wires fitted behind the teeth.
Retainers play major role in orthodontic treatment ;if they are not worn according to instructions, the teeth may move back towards their original position.
The retaining appliances are usually worn:
The corrected teeth are observed periodically , up to five years after the retainers have been phased out. During retention and the subsequent observation period, patients are expected to attend once or twice a year.
A. Age 7, Unless you suspect a problem at an earlier age, because most facial asymmetries are likely to be apparent by that time. A timely screening will lead to extraordinary treatment benefits. For others, the principle benefit is peace of mind.
A. Early diagnosis and treatment can guide erupting teeth into a more favorable position, preserve space for the permanent teeth and reduce the likelihood of fracturing protruded front teeth. Also, early treatment may shorten treatment time, make treatment easier and in some cases less expensive. It may even provide advantages that are not available later.
Q. Is orthodontic care expensive?
A. Orthodontic therapy may eliminate the need for other medical and dental treatment. The physical and psychological benefits usually last a lifetime, which makes orthodontics one of the best investments in healthcare and quality of life.
A. Appearance has been related to popularity, social behaviors, self-expectation, personality style, and self-esteem. Orthodontic therapy may lessen the likelihood that a child will be picked on by other children. Treatment may reduce appearance-consciousness and the emotional scarring that can occur during critical developmental years. Also, as adolescents enter the sensitive teenage years, they become far less receptive to orthodontic therapy.
Q. In addition to esthetic improvements, what are some other benefits of orthodontic therapy?
A. Additional benefits may include better function, improved cleanability, more favorable wear patterns and greater longevity of natural teeth.
A. This is the time when much of the development of the face occurs. Treatment during this period allows the orthodontist to favorably influence the facial profile in a growing child. Once growth of the facial bones is complete, correction of skeletal discrepancies usually requires surgery.
A. If in doubt, refer. If you notice a problem and refer to a specialist, your legal and professional responsibilities are fulfilled. Also, an early referral can avoid more complex problems that may worsen with time.
Q. What’s the problem with waiting until the permanent teeth erupt before referring ?
A. The problem may be one of the opportunities missed on growth and development. While patients can be treated at any age, those with available growth may enjoy a substantial advantage. Timely treatment may prevent the need for jaw surgery, extraction of permanent teeth, or fracture of protruded incisors. Early treatment may also help the psychological development. Patients also benefit from the guidance of tooth eruption.
A. Patients who have teeth and strong supporting structures are never too old for orthodontic therapy. Age is not a factor.
A. Ask the question: “Are you happy with the appearance of your teeth?”. The answer will be your guide to the further development of the conversation.
A. Many adults are receiving orthodontic care that was not available to them as children. They realize that improving the health of their mouths and the attractiveness of their smiles and facial appearances can result in changes for the better in their personal, social, and professional lives. Technical advances have also had an impact on adult therapy.
Q. What are some of those advances?
A. Advanced technology has produced small tooth-colored brackets that are barely noticeable. Specially alloyed wires are more comfortable, can speed up treatment, and may decrease the number of necessary appointments. New retainers can be placed where they do not show. Also, advanced surgical techniques now allow treatment of many skeletal problems after growth is completed.