For most people, a beautiful smile is the most obvious benefit of orthodontic treatment; however, there are many more important benefits that will be discussed with you by the doctor should you decide to schedule a consultation appointment. As our life expectancy continues to increase and our expectations move toward retaining our dentition for the duration of our lives, the way our teeth function and wear becomes extremely important. It’s wonderful to have a beautiful smile but this becomes a side benefit when we consider the big picture of having a healthy dentition that is easy to clean and does not damage itself during heavy functioning. A dentition that is well aligned and functions properly can potentially save you from needing a variety of dental procedures later in life that may be very expensive.
How Orthodontic Treatment Works
Orthodontic appliances come in may types and forms these days and can be made of metal, ceramic, or plastic. They may be removable or they may be brackets bonded to the teeth. By placing a constant, gentle force in a carefully controlled direction, braces slowly move teeth to a corrected position. This is a great time to wear braces! Gone are the days when a metal band with a bracket was placed around each tooth. You can choose brackets that are clear or metallic color. You can choose the color of the ties that hold the wire in brackets. Wires are also less noticeable than they used to be and the latest materials move teeth faster with less discomfort to patients.
Duration of Treatment
Treatment time typically ranges from one to three years, depending on the growth of the patient's mouth and face and the severity of the problem. Patients grow at different rates and will respond variously to orthodontic treatment, so the time to case completion may differ from the original estimate. The patient's diligent use of any prescribed rubber bands or headgear is an important factor in achieving the most efficient treatment. Interceptive, or early treatment procedures, may take as few as six months.