Orthodontist in Carlsbad shares life with braces
The estimated time that your braces will be on is not some average number quoted by your Orthodontist, and spewed out to every patient. It is not a number that is determined by the kind of braces or specific treatment technique employed. How long you’ll have your braces on is dependent upon the concerns and issues that exist in your mouth at the beginning of treatment and the achievable goals that you and your orthodontist have for how you want your smile to look at the end.
The following are a few of the key factors that will affect the length of your treatment. Let’s fast forward to the end of treatment, and work our way back. Assuming you have made the wise choice to work with an orthodontist, (a SPECIALIST who does orthodontics and nothing else), they will create a treatment plan that involves not only the best “look”, but also the best functional bite to last you a lifetime. Although this may seem obvious, there is a popular trend among non-specialists (general dentists who do some braces along with everything else, or even online marketing scams) to merely line up the front teeth to give you an esthetic look, and purposefully not finish the job. They call this “short-term orthodontics,” and market it to the public as an alternative to treatment by orthodontists. Their promise of “faster treatment for less money” is eye-catching but misleading since they begin treatment without any intention of finishing (correcting the bite for example). There is no disclosure in their ads that they’re going to just do part of the treatment and then remove the braces.
What else should I know about braces?
So let’s assume we are all making the smart choice to work with an orthodontist who will finish your treatment correctly. The easiest, and therefore shortest, orthodontic cases are those in which all of the permanent teeth are erupted, the bite is normal (often corrected previously by Phase I Orthodontics) and the crowding and alignment problems are minor and do not require the removal of permanent teeth. Generally speaking, an orthodontic specialist can complete these cases in less than a year. If you have more crowding, (that requires the use of a palatal expander for example), a posterior crossbite, mild to moderate bite issues, but don’t need to have any permanent teeth removed, your treatment will probably take between 12 and 18 months. These are routine cases for a specialist and represent the majority of the patients. Some surgery cases that start off with straight teeth but a bad bite can also be finished within 18 months.
When you have moderate to severe crowding, a bite problem that is more than half a tooth off, or any condition that requires the removal of permanent teeth, you should plan on 18 to 24 months of treatment. The reason this takes so much longer is that every tooth in your mouth must be shifted or rotated to close the extraction spaces or to compensate for the problems with your jaw-size discrepancy. It is wise to think of the teeth in your mouth like dominos. Correcting the position of just one tooth often means correcting the positions of all the teeth. Most orthodontists consider these moderately severe orthodontic problems. There are additional variables that complicate treatment and can make treatment time longer and more difficult to estimate. These include impacted or missing teeth and severe jaw-size discrepancies that require supplemental anchorage or jaw surgery. Depending upon how each individual patient’s biology responds to the treatment, these are severe cases and may require 30 months or more to finish. Most adult extraction cases fall into this category. Everyone is different, but these estimates give you a general idea of what you can expect going in to your treatment. The last and MOST IMPORTANT factor is patient compliance. Orthodontic wires are similar to karate belts. After a certain amount of wear/practice wearing these wires, you graduate to the next level just as you would a karate belt. However, several broken brackets, or lack of compliance and hygiene can cause the teeth to shift, and results in starting over at the beginning wire again! So to make sure you have the shortest treatment time possible, make sure you keep the appliances clean, worn, and not broken!
More info: The Brush Stop Pediatric Dentistry and Orthodontics
In the end, we just want our patients not to be fooled by promises of faster treatment by those promising a faster technique. We all play by the same biological rules and no bracket or aligner manufacturer has an inside track with Mother Nature to get the job done any quicker. If something sounds too good to be true, it probably is, and you should be asking yourself “what’s the catch”. There are no shortcuts to excellent orthodontic results. If you follow your orthodontist’s instructions to the letter, take care of your braces, and don’t miss any of your appointments, your braces will be off before you know it… and the job will be done right! Call us for your free consultation the best Orthodontist in Carlsbad! 760-635-5995
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– Dr. Jenna Khoury, a Board-Certified Pediatric Dentist in Carlsbad, CA.