Orthodontics is not just for kids any more. Adults are getting in on the act to get a straighter smile. For some it may seem like a daunting task but the actual procedure can be quite easy if you know what to expect.
Initial Orthodontic Braces Consultation
If orthodontic braces are something you are thinking about it is best to speak to your dentist first to see what your options might be. Modern orthodontics has multiple options and one may be better for you over another. An educated patient is the best patient. Depending on the severity of your orthodontic case, your dentist may be able to treat you in their office or they may feel it is better for you to see an orthodontist. An orthodontist is a specialist in the world of dentistry.
The treatment will be very similar between the two. Initial consultation will include a complete intra and extra oral examination, necessary radiographs, photographs, and models of your teeth. Using all of this information your dentist can develop the proper treatment plan that best fits your needs. You will also tell your dentist exactly what you want to achieve during this treatment. This extra information will also help in developing the treatment plan.
Orthodontic Treatment Options
Treatment options include:
-Traditional Orthodontic Braces. These are your traditional braces used for many years which are on the outside (and sometimes on the inside) of your teeth. These are less esthetic but can do more than the more modern methods for severe cases. A major drawback to these besides esthetics is the ability to maintain dental hygiene. These braces will make it harder to keep the teeth clean during treatment. Something to consider if presented with this option and your dental hygiene is lacking.
–Invisalign or Clear Aligners. These have become quite popular especially among teenagers and adults. This type of orthodontics has the advantage of being far more esthetic and also giving you the ability to remove them on your own to maintain good dental hygiene. The drawbacks for them are they are not for everyone and they can be easily lost as they need to be removed for eating. This is especially important for children and teenagers.
Orthodontic Braces Procedure
If you have chosen the invisalign route, the actual procedure is quite simple. Following initial models and possibly 3d scans, your invisalign aligners will be made and you will change them out generally every 2 weeks with periodic visits back to dentist to ensure treatment is going as planned. In some cases, there may be the need for additional hardware to be used in conjunction with invialign aligners but not always.
For traditional orthodontics your dentist will begin by thoroughly cleaning and drying your teeth. Then they will apply a bonding material to your teeth in order to be able to attach the orthodontic bands and brackets. Once they are in place, they will install the arch wire into the brackets and use elastic to secure them in place. Generally the entire initial treatment takes between 1 – 2 hours. Though the actual installation of orthodontic brackets and wire itself is not painful, it is not uncommon to feel some level of discomfort afterward. Initially, your tongue and cheek will rub against the braces, which may cause some sensitivity, and your teeth may feel sore. Getting used to the braces will generally takes about 7-10 days.
Dental Hygiene Maintenance
This area is critical when undergoing orthodontic treatment. It does not matter how straight your teeth are when they are done if tooth decay and periodontal disease has taken hold of your straight smile. It will take a concerted effort between yourself and your dentist to stay on track. If you are undergoing orthodontic treatment or thinking about it speak to your dentist how to keep your oral hygiene so that you do not develop issues when treatment is complete.
Orthodontic Treatment Conclusion
Orthodontics is a great tool for cosmetic dentists to complete the transformation of someone’s smile. A well designed orthodontic treatment can give results that last for a lifetime of smiles. As always see your dentist regularly for dental examinations and cleanings.