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Treatment Summary Comprehensive Treatment Overview

Comprehensive orthodontic treatment is the most common type of treatment that patients receive and completely corrects bite problems from start-to-finish in one stage. It is appropriate for young adults and children who have lost all, or almost all, of their baby teeth. In general, it involves use of braces or Invisalign on both upper and lower teeth to correct bite problems.

Get All the FAQs Common Questions & Answers

In general, orthodontic treatment ranges from less than a year to three years, but the average is typically 18 to 24 months in duration. The actual treatment time depends on the severity of the original bite problem, the growth of the jaws and face, the degree of movement possible, and the cooperation of the patient. It is important to remember that some individuals simply respond faster to treatment than others. At our office, we maximize the progress made at each patient’s appointment by using high-quality materials and the latest orthodontic techniques to make your treatment as efficient as possible.

Removing teeth is sometimes needed to get the best orthodontic treatment outcome. It’s a technique involving the removal of select teeth to create space for all the other teeth in the mouth to be aligned properly over their supporting bone in a healthy manner. The goal is always to have straight teeth and a balanced facial profile. However, because today’s technology has resulted in advanced orthodontic procedures, the need for removing teeth has been greatly reduced.

When teeth are missing, adjacent teeth will drift into the empty space. This will cause functional, esthetic and/or periodontal problems. Orthodontic treatment will correct and prevent these problems from happening and will also provide proper alignment for your dentist to replace the missing teeth.

The health of the teeth, gums, and supporting bone is very important to the success of orthodontic treatment in adults as well as children. Sometimes, orthodontic treatment may have to be combined with the efforts of an oral surgeon to achieve the final result. At the initial visit, we will determine if orthognathic (jaw) surgery is the correct treatment option for you.

Appointments are scheduled according to each individual patient’s needs. Most patients in braces will be seen on average every 6 to 8 weeks. If there are specific situations that require more frequent monitoring, appointments may be scheduled more often.

Orthodontic treatment has improved dramatically. The braces themselves are now much smaller and less cumbersome than in the past. We use high-tech, light-force wires to initiate tooth movement. This not only results in less pressure on the teeth, but also means that your treatment will be more comfortable. As a rule, braces make your teeth sore for a few days following each adjustment. This temporary annoyance can be relieved with an over-the-counter pain reliever, such as acetaminophen (Tylenol) or ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin).

It is recommended that patients protect their teeth by wearing a mouthguard when participating in any sporting activity. Mouthguards are inexpensive, comfortable, and come in a wide variety of colors. There are mouthguards designed specifically for patients who have braces, and they can be purchased at our office or most sporting goods stores.

Most patients with braces continue to play their musical instruments. There may be an initial period of adjustment, so we advise that you don't start orthodontic treatment just before a concert or performance. Braces covers can be used to prevent discomfort during the adjustment period.

When your braces are removed, you begin the retention phase of your orthodontic treatment. Removable retainers are worn full-time (except while eating and brushing) in the initial retention phase, then only at night in later months. The purpose of the retention phase is to help stabilize the teeth in their new position and ensure the dazzling new smile will remain for a lifetime, as exact and precise as it was the moment the braces were removed. During the period of night-only wear, we have a chance to evaluate the natural stability of the orthodontic correction and decide if tapering the amount of wear of the retainers is appropriate. For individuals with stubborn teeth that try to return to their pre-treatment positions, and for many adults, routine nightly wear is the best way to ensure that their teeth will stay aligned.

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The best way to learn what orthodontic treatment could do for you or your child is to schedule a complimentary initial exam. We will determine the best course of treatment and answer all your questions. Book your initial appointment online now using the link below, or just simply call our office.

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