The Orthodontic Treatment Process
What can you expect when you come in to our office for treatment? It all depends on what kind of treatment you need. The first time you come in, we will take pictures and radiographic (X-ray) images of your mouth, and possibly make a model of your bite. Then, we’ll develop a treatment plan. It may involve regular braces, with or without elastics (rubber bands). We might also recommend that you use a specialized appliance for a period of time.
All orthodontic appliances work essentially the same way: by employing light, constant force to move teeth into proper alignment. But how we apply these forces can vary, as numerous innovations have become available in recent years. Some of the newer, less visible orthodontic appliances have been designed to blend more easily into an adult’s personal and professional lifestyle.
Types of Braces
Metal braces are the most common type. They are made of high-grade stainless steel. Today's metal braces are smaller, more comfortable and more attractive.
Clarity™ braces feature a comfortable design with a translucent appearance. Made from a hard ceramic material, these braces won't stain or discolor. With the same performance as metal braces, many patients are now choosing the clear option – Clarity!
The Invisalign System is a series of clear overlay templates called aligners that have been generated by computer simulation to gradually move the teeth. This system is available to adult patients with certain orthodontic bite problems. Ask us if you are a candidate for the Invisalign system.
Invisalign Teen is the clear way to straighten teeth without metal braces, using aligners. Aligners are removable and virtually invisible, which means you can straighten your teeth without anyone knowing; and you can still eat and drink what you want. With a Blue Dot Wear Indicator to show how long each aligner has been worn, six free replacement aligners in case some are lost or broken, and other changes designed to accommodate growing mouths, Invisalign Teen is the perfect teeth-straightening system for today's teens' busy lifestyles!
Incognito lingual braces are placed behind your teeth so no one will know that you are wearing braces unless you tell them. These unique braces are created using state-of-the-art technology and are 100% customized to the shape of your teeth and to your dental situation. Incognito have the unique prescription that your orthodontist creates for you built-in to ensure you get the results that you want. With Incognito, you get efficient, effective tooth movement and great aesthetics.
Other orthodontic appliances may be recommended in some cases, where major tooth or jaw movement is needed. They can range from small devices that fit inside the mouth to external headgear. But don’t worry: You’ll get used to them, and they’re temporary — but they provide a long-term benefit in a short time.
How Long Will I Wear Them?
There’s no one answer that fits everyone: It all depends on what we need to do in your individual situation. Generally, however, the active stage of orthodontic treatment lasts 6-30 months. Afterwards, you will wear a retainer for another period of months. When your orthodontic treatment is complete, the new smile we’ve worked together to create will be yours for a lifetime.
Wearing a retainer after orthodontic treatment is crucial, no matter which type of appliance you choose and what age you happen to be. Teeth that are not held in place by a retainer long enough for new supporting bone to develop around them can drift back to their original positions, and that’s certainly not something we — or you — want to see happen. We will make sure to instruct you on how to retain your new, more beautiful smile so that it continues to make you look and feel great for years to come.