While every patient may have different orthodontic needs, patients can generally expect a similar basic treatment process. Getting straight teeth begins with a consultation, proceeds to getting braces put on, and ends with retainer wear. More about this process is below.
Consultation Before Braces
Before getting braces, you will receive a consultation to determine your needs and outline your options. During this visit, our dentist will explain how your options compare to one another and how they match your goals. Metal braces, ceramic braces and Invisalign are a few examples of choices you may have.
Start Bite Correction
After your treatment needs are established and you have chosen a type of braces, you will return to start treatment. If you choose a treatment that uses brackets, you will have the brackets bonded to your teeth and the wires attached. If you go with Invisalign, our dentist will give you your first aligners and instruct you on their usage.
Visit Again Regularly
Regular visits during braces treatment enables our dentist to help your treatment go smoothly and make changes if necessary. After your treatment is finished, you will be given retainers to wear. These plastic trays fit the shape of your new smile and keep the teeth from moving back to their old positions.
Getting dental braces will make your smile look better while improving your oral health and comfort at the same time. To find out more about orthodontics at our office, you can contact our orthodontist and schedule a consultation.
Braces are worn for months or years depending on the patient, but they are placed in a single appointment. The process can vary slightly but remains similar among braces that use brackets and wires. Below, you can learn how braces are put on the teeth.
Cleaning and Polishing
For brackets to stay cemented to teeth, the teeth must first be cleaned and dried. Just like during routine cleanings, our dentist polishes the enamel with a special paste. A barrier is placed to keep the cheeks away from the teeth, ensuring that the teeth stay dry. Finally, air is used to dry the teeth completely. They are then ready to have brackets attached at this point.
Cementing Brackets in Place
Our braces dentist puts cementing paste on the backs of brackets and applies them to the right positions on the teeth. If there is any extra bonding cement, it is removed carefully. Next, the cement is cured with a light or chemical process depending on its type. The last step involves threading the brackets with the arch wires and securing them in place with rubber bands. When self-ligating braces are used, the rubber bands are unnecessary.
This appointment is only the first during orthodontic treatment. At regular intervals, patients come back to Antoine Dental Center to have their wires tightened. The last step involves getting retainers, which are made of clear plastic and are designed to further ensure that treatment results are permanent. At a consultation with our dentist, you can find out more about how your chosen type of braces is applied.
Many people associate braces with teenagers, and some might wonder what the age limit is for this orthodontic appliance. Age limits do exist, but they can vary with the treatment. Here is a look at some at basic limits to expect with different treatments.
No Upper Age Limit
Regardless of the type of braces, there is no limit on how old patients can be and still be candidates for braces. Whether braces are used during adolescence or after middle age, patients still gain similar improvements in appearance, comfort, and oral health. However, there are some mild differences between orthodontics during adolescence and during adulthood. Adults tend to need longer treatment time because their jaws have finished developing and are harder to mold. In some cases, longer retainer wear may also be necessary afterwards.
Lower Age Limits
In most cases, braces are used only after all baby teeth have been replaced by permanent teeth. This can vary, but the limit for boys is usually around twelve, and the limit for girls is often a year earlier. Invisalign has different age requirements. Whereas Invisalign Full is limited to adults and some older teens, Invisalign Teen is made specifically for adolescents and includes special features for these patients.
In addition to age limits, treatment needs and other factors may affect candidacy for different types of braces. An exam is necessary to confirm eligibility for specific options and determine if any other appliances are required for the desired results. At a consultation with our braces dentist, you can find out about age limits and requirements for the braces that interest you.
Even if you are eager to start orthodontic treatment, you might still wonder what it will be like to have braces put on your teeth. The procedure usually only takes an hour or two depending on the type of braces you are getting, and little to no discomfort is involved. Here is more about the procedure.
Preparation of Teeth
Getting brackets to stick to your teeth requires a clean, dry surface, so our dentist begins here. After the teeth are totally clean and dry, a small amount of acid may be used to etch the teeth so that the brackets will stay in place once attached.
Our dentist next puts bonding material on the teeth and positions the brackets precisely. If any extra bonding material is present, it is removed. Finally, our dentist cures the bonding material with a special light or a chemical agent.
The final step involves inserting the wire through the brackets. With conventional brackets, the wire is then held in place with rubber bands placed over the brackets individually. Self-ligating brackets hold the wire in place on their own and do not require rubber bands.
If care is taken to avoid breakage, properly placed brackets can last throughout treatment without repair or replacement. Throughout treatment, patients return to have their wires tightened. These visits may also provide a chance to choose new colors of rubber bands. To learn more about how braces are placed at our office, you can schedule a consultation with our orthodontist at Antoine Dental Center.
During orthodontic treatment, heightened risks of oral health issues make dental hygiene more important. This is especially true with braces that require brackets bonded to the teeth. Here is a short guide to keeping your teeth and gums healthy while you wear braces.
Brush More Often
In addition to brushing twice per day, you should also brush after meals. This is because food and bacteria stick around more easily during orthodontic treatment. Extra care, such as brushing at an angle around brackets, is important for maximizing plaque removal.
Floss Every Day
Flossing becomes more challenging during orthodontic treatment, but it remains as important as ever. To use floss when you are wearing braces, you will need to thread the floss through the wires. You can also get floss threaders from our dentist to make this faster.
Get Regular Cleanings
Professional cleaning during orthodontic treatment is similar to a regular cleaning, but it must be performed with respect to brackets and wires, just like oral hygiene at home. Getting your teeth cleaned by our dentist will eliminate more plaque than you can clear away with a toothbrush and floss. Furthermore, you will gain a new, clean baseline from which to work more easily on your own.
Keeping your teeth clean requires extra diligence when you are wearing braces, but the effort is essential. When your teeth are finished with treatment, it is important for them to be healthy as well as straight and comfortable. You can schedule a consultation with our braces dentist to learn more about caring for your teeth during orthodontic treatment.
Braces are the foundation of orthodontic treatment for most patients. Used to move teeth into their ideal positions for the patient, braces work by putting continuous pressure on the teeth for months or years. We offer several types of braces, including traditional metal braces and a variety of other options offering extra features. Below is more about the types of braces available and what they provide.
Traditional metal braces use metal brackets, which are bonded to the teeth, and metal wires that are threaded through the brackets. These braces are versatile and affordable, but they are not discreet. Self-ligating braces are a newer version, with brackets that hold wires in place without rubber bands. This option makes treatment faster and more comfortable.
Ceramic and Lingual Orthodontics
Both of these are like metal braces in terms of their basic form. However, ceramic and lingual braces have different materials and placement. Ceramic braces, as their name suggests, use ceramic brackets, which are colored like teeth to make them less noticeable. Lingual braces are even more discreet because they are hidden on the backs of the teeth.
Invisalign utilizes clear plastic aligners that are worn over the teeth, as opposed to being bonded in place. This treatment offers the best discretion of all options, and is also known for its comfort and fast treatment speed. Most patients finish Invisalign in just twelve to fifteen months rather than the twenty-four normally associated with metal braces.
Many patients first get braces during adolescence, but braces are also commonly used during childhood. Kids tend to finish orthodontic treatment more quickly because their orofacial structure is not yet set. Below is more about the use of braces for kids.
Aesthetic and Oral Health Benefits
Kids benefit as much as other patients from the social benefits of a better smile, but their teeth and jaws can also be given a dramatic boost beyond what adults gain. Eliminating overcrowding promotes good orofacial development, and straightening the teeth reduces risks of gum disease, tooth decay, and tooth loss.
Not all types of braces are open to kids, but most are. Metal braces, the traditional choice, are available for young patients, along with lingual and ceramic braces, which offer a degree of discretion. Invisalign is only an option for teens and adults at this time.
Additional Treatments for Some Kids
In some cases, one early treatment is not enough for the best lifelong results. Many kids do benefit from having an early course of braces, but some kids need another course of treatment later, such as during adolescence. This can vary with the types and severity of bite irregularities present.
Kids should have their orthodontic health assessed by age seven so that early treatment can be performed if necessary. Benefits arrive quickly, and dental costs may be reduced in the long term thanks to fewer oral health problems. Parents can schedule a consultation with our braces dentist to find out if their kids need orthodontic work and what their options are.
The cost of braces is often a factor in how patients choose their treatment. How much a patient must pay depends on the type of treatment, what is being treated, and how much treatment is needed. More about the cost of orthodontics is below.
Type of Orthodontics
Metal orthodontics is known as the most affordable option for most patients. For more discretion, patients can expect to pay more. For example, lingual and ceramic orthodontics both are more expensive than metal orthodontics. Invisalign, which uses clear aligners, is also more costly.
Amount of Treatment
More orthodontic adjustment requires not only more materials but also more appointments and labor. As a result, the total cost of treatment rises accordingly. How long treatment will take is determined on a case-by-case basis. The goals of patients also are involved in determining this aspect of cost.
Top and Bottom Orthodontics
Many patients receive both top and bottom orthodontics, but some patients prefer to have orthodontic treatment performed only on their top teeth. This makes treatment more affordable and still corrects the most visible part of the smile. This will be an option for patients with more minor bite irregularities.
Orthodontic care often includes different choices for patients, and the price of having the teeth straightened can also vary. An exam and a discussion of treatment goals and priorities, such as discretion, are valuable for deciding on the best path to take. At a consultation with our orthodontist, patients can find out what types of orthodontics will work best for them.
Orthodontic care has numerous benefits, but there is no doubt that most patients would prefer it to work as quickly as possible. With Propel orthodontics, an innovative tool that works with all braces, patients can shorten their treatment significantly. Propel works similarly to surgeries used to speed up orthodontic care by stimulating bone restructuring, but this technology works without any invasive procedure. Here is more about the advantages of this exciting new option.
Patients choosing Propel use the portable device for just twenty minutes a day during treatment. While the device works through tiny vibrations, patients can easily read or watch television to entertain themselves.
As an alternative to surgical alveocentesis, Propel does not require incisions or a recovery period. In fact, patients may even enjoy their daily Propel sessions as tooth massages that make orthodontic care more comfortable as a whole.
Propel patients will find that their teeth are straightened much quicker with this treatment than with braces alone. For example, cases normally estimated to take two years may finish in just fifteen months, possibly even faster.
The vibrations applied to the teeth by Propel allow braces to do their job more quickly and easily. Propel keeps options open, and is designed to work with the braces patients choose. To learn more about Propel and how it works, you can contact our dentist for a consultation.
If your teeth have developed in less-than-optimal positions, getting them into their proper places requires treatment by an orthodontist. Orthodontic care, including a host of different braces, can straighten your teeth permanently for the benefit of your smile and oral health. Here is more about how to achieve straight teeth.
How Braces Work
Teeth are held firmly in place by the jaws, ligaments, and other tissues, so changing their positioning requires extended and continuous pressure. This action is performed with braces, which progressively match the form of the ideal smile as treatment nears completion. Treatment can last from a few months to a few years, depending on the patient. Regardless of the length of the treatment time, when it is completed, patients can enjoy the attractive, healthier results for a lifetime. .
Many Options Available
Several types of orthodontic treatment are available today. Our office provides traditional metal braces, but it also offers newer options, such as ceramic braces, lingual braces, and Invisalign. Ceramic and lingual braces are similar to metal braces in that they have brackets and wires. However, ceramic braces are made of tooth-tinted ceramic, and lingual braces go behind the teeth instead of in front. Invisalign uses clear plastic aligners that are removable, as well as comfortable. Candidacy can vary based on treatment needs and age group, but many patients have more than one option when it comes to orthodontic appliances.
Getting braces can give you more confidence and lower risks of tooth decay, gum disease, and tooth loss for life. Over time, these improvements may even save you money on dental expenses. You can schedule a consultation with our dentist to find out about your own candidacy for orthodontics.