How Orthodontics Works Elmhurst
We honestly believe that the value of a healthy, dazzling smile can be so great that everything possible should be done to ensure maximum benefit from treatment.
It is important that the patient has had a checkup and a cleaning at their family dentist prior to beginning orthodontic treatment. The teeth should be free of cavities, and the foundation or supporting bones and jaws healthy. Dental visits every three to six months should be maintained with the family dentist or alternating with the periodontist to avoid decalcifications (permanent white marks), cavities, gum problems and bone loss. Should you need us to refer you to a dentist, please let us know, we will gladly help you.
Orthodontic appliances can be made of metal, ceramic or plastic. They may be removable or they may be attached (cemented or bonded) to the teeth. By placing a constant, gentle force in a carefully controlled direction, they will gradually move the teeth to a corrected position.
You can choose brackets that are clear (ceramic translucent porcelain) or metal (outside or inside of the teeth). You can choose the color of the ties that hold the wire tied to the brackets, or choose Invisalign (if you are a compliant patient and envision yourself wearing the clear aligners 24/7), or select the completely hidded behind the teeth lingual brackets option, should you desire a completely unnoticeable approach to orthodontic treatment.
Wires are also less noticeable and more flexible today than they used to be, and move teeth faster, with less discomfort to patients.
The appointment when you get your records and initial appliances (braces, expanders, etc.) can take anywhere from 30-90 minutes and is generally done at quieter times, since quality orthodontic care requires quality time. NO PATIENT MAY HAVE ALL OF THEIR APPOINTMENTS AFTER SCHOOL OR O SATURDAYS ALL THE TIME, in fairness to everyone else. However, once treatment is started, you will be seen at regular intervals (three to eight weeks apart, based on your particular treatment plan) for progress checks or adjustments, which generally take 10-30 minutes. You may be surprised at how quickly you get used to your new appliances. Then life should be much the same as before.
Duration of Treatment
Treatment time typically ranges from one to three years, depending on the severity of the problems. The time to complete cases may differ from the original estimate, and it is very much influenced by patient’s compliance with good oral hygiene, few or no breakages of appliances, and correct use of elastics and appliances for the right amount of time, as instructed by the orthodontist. Furthermore, the response to orthodontic tooth movement may be influenced by genetics and the health and anatomical variations of the supporting tissues, which may explain why some individuals respond more quickly to treatment than others when the orthodontist employs the same treatment mechanics.
Hold That Smile!
You’ve worn your appliances just as your orthodontist told you. You’ve brushed and flossed your teeth every day. You’ve kept all appointments and worn elastics as prescribed. Now it’s time for your appliances to come off. This doesn’t take long. The brackets and the bands are removed with special pliers. Then, the orthodontist cleans the cement off your teeth and takes impressions for retainers, which hold the teeth in their new places. It usually takes almost a year for the surrounding bone, gums and muscles to adapt themselves to the new tooth positions. Wear your retainers as much as you are told, otherwise your teeth may go back to where they were, and you may need re-treatment.