Orthodontic treatment can help you feel more confident in your smile, and have an overall positive impact on your personal and professional life. Straight teeth is also easier to clean, reducing the risk of tooth decay or gum disease.
In short, it is safe to say that orthodontic treatment can contribute to a happier and healthier life!
So how do you get started with orthodontic treatment, and what happens during the process?
Orthodontic Consultation and Treatment Planning
Once you have finally decided to get the smile of your dreams, you will first need to arrange a consultation with your orthodontist or dentist (with orthodontic training).
At Aperture Dental, a few important things take place during this consultation:
- Dr Erik will have a chat with you to discuss your concerns and the impact it has on your life. He will also answer any questions you may have.
- He will then examine your teeth, jaw and face.
- You may be asked to have X-Rays taken.
- With all that information, Dr Erik will discuss with you his opinion on whether treatment is required, and when to commence treatment.
- The next step is to have photographs taken for records, and also impressions taken to create plaster models of your teeth.
- Dr Erik will then formulate a treatment plan for you based on all the information above.
Treatment often involves using braces and/or other orthodontic appliances to straighten crooked teeth, correct problems with your bite, and optimise jaw development.
Occasionally, it may be recommended that you have one or more teeth removed to create more space. We usually aim to avoid this if we can. However, if you need to have teeth removed, you can be assured that it will be done comfortably.
What do Braces do?
Braces correct how your teeth line up by putting steady pressure on the teeth, which eventually moves them into a straighter position.
There are many different types of braces, including the traditional metal brackets bonded to your teeth, with a thin arch wire running through it . Other options include clear or tooth-coloured braces, braces that are bonded to the inside surface/tongue side of your teeth (lingual braces), and clear, removable tray ‘aligners’.
Wearing braces might feel strange in the beginning, but you will get used to it soon. However, if your discomfort doesn’t disappear, speak to your treating orthodontist or dentist, and they may be able to make adjustments so you feel comfortable.
How Long does Orthodontic Treatment Take?
It is slightly different for different people. On average, treatment takes between 12-24 months. Having said that, treatment length varies between people, depending on the type of braces used, and complexity of the case.
You will need to visit your orthodontist or dentist regularly during this time for review of progress, and to make any necessary adjustments.
Once your teeth have moved into the desired position, and your treatment goals have been reached, your braces (or aligners) can come off.
Most people will then need to wear a retainer to maintain their beautiful results, as teeth tend to drift back out of position over time.
Retainers come in the form of removable trays that you wear at night, or a wire fixed to the back of your teeth.