Orthodontic treatment takes several years, on average. There are many factors that can prolong or shorten orthodontics, so it is impossible to give an exact time frame. Most orthodontists’ offices have patients who have been in orthodontics for decades, while other orthodontists have patients who are seeking orthodontic treatment for cosmetic reasons.
The American Association of Orthodontics has clear, concise guidelines on what orthdods should tell their patients before orthodontic treatment begins. The following are common questions orthods are asked by prospective patients, and the standard responses they should give.
Q: How long does orthodontic treatment take?
A: It varies from person to person, depending on the severity of their orthodontic problems. On average, most orthodontics are completed within 2-3 years. However, orthodontics will not be complete until your bite is stable. This can take several months to a year after orthodontic treatment has been completed.
Q: Is orthodontic treatment painful?
A: A little bit of discomfort may be experienced, but most orthodontics are painless. The orthodontist will use local anaesthesia if the patient is feeling discomfort. They will also teach the patient how to care for their orthodontics and minimise discomfort.
Q: How often do I need to visit the orthodontist?
A: Visits are typically required every 6-8 weeks during orthodontic treatment, although this varies from orthodontics to orthodontics. It may be more or less frequent, depending on orthodontic progress.
Q: Do I need to take braces off for sporting events?
A: Generally speaking, yes. However orthodontics are extremely close-fitting, so orthodontists have developed creative solutions to this problem. For example, some orthodontists may offer to fabricate customised orthodontics which can be removed easily for sport, but are still able to provide the orthodontic support needed to ensure orthodontic teeth stay in place.
Q: Will my orthodontics affect any of my other teeth?
A: Usually orthodontics only affects orthodontic teeth, but there are some rare cases where orthodontics can affect neighbouring teeth. However it is extremely unlikely for orthodontics to damage any non-orthodontic teeth.
Q: Does orthodontic treatment always work?
A: Yes! It is almost impossible not to be orthodontic after orthodontics, unless the orthodontics are stopped/ not finished. Orthodontic treatment can be stopped at anytime without any problems or complications arising.
Q: Will orthodontic treatment effect my speech?
A: No! Modern orthodontics has undergone major developments in the past few decades. It is no longer likely for orthodontics to impact speech, as orthodontics now only affects the orthodontic teeth and not the surrounding teeth or mouth.