Generally there are two main reasons to consider orthodontics. First, for cosmetic improvement in the alignment/positioning of the teeth for a beautiful smile. More self-confidence is often seen with a great smile. Second, for an improvement in the functional relationship of the teeth. This will often decrease uneven tooth wear, allow temporomandibular joints to function properly, and increase chewing efficiency.
How Orthodontic Treatment Works
Orthodontic appliances 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 individually 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 is an important factor in achieving the most efficient treatment. Interceptive or early treatment procedures may take as few as six months.