Your dentist would have discussed with you the benefits of having healthy teeth and proper jaw alignment. Crooked and crowded teeth are difficult to clean and look after. This can lead to tooth decay, worsen gum disease and lead to tooth loss. Other orthodontic problems can additionally contribute to abnormal wear of your tooth surfaces, inefficient chewing function, excessive stress on gum tissue and the bone that supports your teeth, or misalignment of the jaw joints. All of these factors can contribute to chronic headaches and face or neck pain. Treatment by an orthodontist can be less expensive than the additional care required to treat dental problems arising as a result of orthodontic problems. For most people, a beautiful smile is the most obvious benefit of orthodontics. After your braces come off, you’ll feel more self-confident.
Braces for All Ages
Orthodontic treatment can be successful at any age, and adults especially appreciate the benefits of a beautiful straight smile. 20% of our patients in orthodontic treatment is over the age of 21. Jaw surgery is more often required for adult orthodontic patients because their jaws are fully grown at this time. Adults are also more likely to have a degree of breakdown or loss of their teeth and bone that supports the teeth and may require periodontal treatment before, during and/or after orthodontic treatment. Bone loss can also limit the amount and direction of tooth movement that is advisable.
It’s best for our expert to see children before the age of 7 for a complete assessment and to advise if orthodontic treatment is necessary, and when treatment should start. Children’s first permanent molars and incisors have usually erupted by this point and crossbites, crowding and other problems can be assessed in full. When treatment is starts early, the orthodontist can guide the growth of the jaw and the incoming permanent teeth. Early treatment can also regulate the width of the upper and lower dental arches, gain space for permanent teeth, avoid the need for permanent tooth extractions, reduce likelihood of impacted permanent teeth. This can also correct thumb-sucking, and prevent abnormal swallowing or speech issues. Therefore early assessment and treatment is much simpler than later treatment.
How Orthodontic Treatment Works
Orthodontic appliances can be constructed of metal, ceramic or plastic materials. They may be removable or they may be fixed to the teeth. By exerting continuous motion in a controlled direction, braces slowly move teeth to their ideal positions. Advances in treatment and technology mean this is a great time to wear braces. You can choose from fixed metal braces on the outside or inside of your teeth, or clear aligners such as Invisalign. Braces also move teeth faster and are less visible or practically invisible.
Duration of Treatment
Your treatment duration will normally ranges between one to two years. This depends on the growth of the patient’s mouth and face and the severity of the problem at hand. Patients grow at different rates and will respond differently to orthodontic treatment, so the time to case completion may differ from the original treatment plan 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 short a period as six months.
If you prefer the idea of a socially acceptable way to straighten your smile – read about our Invisalign treatment.