Orthodontic treatment takes some time, on average about 10 to 24 months for active treatment. Adult treatment time is generally longer. The length of orthodontic treatment depends on the severity of the problems, the patient’s growth and the level of cooperation. More severe problems take longer and require more cooperation.
The mouth is very sensitive and the introduction of any appliance means a period of adjustment must be expected.
Occasional discomfort may be experienced after the adjustment of braces or plates. The level of discomfort varies widely but most can be remedied by over-the-counter remedies.
Almost all treatments go as planned, but results cannot be guaranteed and to achieve the best possible result, patients must adhere to the recommended treatment plan and be fully committed to doing their part both during the active and retention phases of treatment.
The amount of time spent with the orthodontist is only a fraction of overall treatment time. The Orthodontist is responsible for planning, coordinating and initiating tooth movements. The actual movement of the teeth takes place continuously during normal activities between your visits.
Cooperation of patients (parents) is therefore essential and means:
• Keeping all appointments as scheduled
• Wearing all appliances, elastics, headgear, retainers etc as instructed
• Avoiding activities and foods that could damage or dislodge appliances
• Maintaining excellent oral hygiene
• Maintaining a good balanced diet
• Attending your dentist or school dental therapist regularly during treatment
Placement of Braces
Braces fitted on upper and lower teeth takes 80 minutes; this procedure is painless and no form of anesthetic is necessary. Several hours after the braces are fitted it is normal to require mild pain relief (eg, Panadol) for a few days as the teeth mobilize to allow movement during orthodontic treatment.
Approximately 4-10 weekly; this may vary depending on individual treatment.
Average Treatment Time
This will be estimated for an individual and depends on the difficulty of the problem being treated, the patient’s response to treatment including their cooperation, following instructions and attending scheduled appointments.
This is the supervised retention period of 12 months and commences when the braces are removed, the removal of braces is a painless procedure. Retainers are provided and used to maintain the teeth in their new position. Retainers are fitted and checked 4 monthly during the 12 month period. Retainers are removable appliance and bonded wire behind upper and lower front teeth.
After 1 year of retention visits your orthodontic treatment and monitored retention can be considered complete. Continued retainer use is mandatory for long term retention.