For most people, a beautiful smile is the most obvious benefit of orthodontics. Clearly a confident smile affects our self-image and self-confidence, especially in our social and career lives. Additionally, properly aligned teeth can prevent or alleviate future dental problems. The benefits of a healthy bite should not be underestimated as they play a huge role in overall long-term dental health.
How Orthodontic Treatment Works
The brackets that are placed on your teeth and the archwire that connects them are the main components of braces. When the archwire is placed into the brackets, it tries to return to its original shape. As it does so, it applies pressure to move your teeth to their new, more ideal positions. By placing a constant, gentle force in a carefully controlled direction, braces slowly move teeth to a corrected position.
Do I Have Options
Orthodontic appliances can be made of metal, ceramic or plastic. They may be removable or they may be brackets bonded to the teeth. You can choose the color of the ties that hold the wire in brackets. Additionally, you can choose brackets that are clear or metallic color. 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 variously to orthodontic treatment, so the time to case completion may differ from the original estimate. The patient's diligent use of any prescribed elastic bands, appliance or headgear is an important factor in achieving the most efficient treatment. Interceptive, or early treatment procedures, may take as few as six months.