How long does orthodontic treatment take?
So, you’ve been referred for orthodontic treatment. Most people know that there is rarely such as thing as a ‘quick fix’ where the positioning of teeth is involved. Although they can move, it is a very gradual process that takes place over months and in some cases, even years. So, how long can you expect your orthodontic treatment to take?
The length of your orthodontic treatment will be determined by a range of different factors and this will be discussed with you when you attend your consultation appointment to determine which orthodontic treatment is going to be right for you.
These factors include:
The severity of your orthodontic problem
Unsurprisingly one of the biggest factors that will influence the length of your orthodontic treatment is just how severe your orthodontic problems are. Some patients are fortunate enough to only have. Few crooked or gapped teeth and no bite issues. This will normally be quicker and easier to correct than the smile of someone with lots of misaligned teeth and a significant overbite or underbite.
The health of your teeth
Orthodontists specialize in correcting alignment and bite problems, but this doesn’t mean that they aren’t concerned with the health of your teeth. In order for your treatment to be successful, you must keep your teeth in excellent health. Otherwise, it may be necessary to temporarily halt your treatment so that any dental health issues that have arisen can be addressed. For example, if you are not brushing your teeth properly around your braces, your orthodontist may remove the wire part of them so that you can focus on bringing your oral hygiene up to scratch.
Your commitment to your treatment
For any orthodontic treatment to be successful, you have to commit to fulfilling your responsibilities as a patient. In the case of orthodontic braces, this means taking special care to brush your teeth properly around the brackets and wires and to avoid certain foods that could damage your brace – such as things that are hard, chewy or sticky. In the case of Invisalign, patients must commit to wearing their aligners for the recommended wear times. This is a minimum of 22 hours each day, only removing the aligners for cleaning their teeth and eating. Plus, each aligner must be worn for the specified number of days/weeks before moving onto the next aligner in the series. Even skipping just an hour of wear a day can delay progress so that the teeth aren’t in the optimal position for the next aligner. This can delay the overall treatment plan significantly, and even affect the overall result of the program.
Whilst all orthodontic treatments are unique, typically you can expect your program of care to last anywhere between 12 and 36 months. To find out more about what orthodontic treatment entails, and to obtain a more accurate treatment timeline based on your individual requirements, please get in touch with our experienced orthodontic team.