Starting orthodontic treatment can feel intimidating if you don’t know what to expect. At Elm Tree Orthodontics, you can come to your first visit with all the questions you can think of, and our team will have the answers! We hear one question from nearly every patient: “When will I get my braces off?”
We know you’re excited to see the final results of your treatment, but there’s no one-size-fits-all answer as to how long treatment will last. Many factors go into creating your treatment plan, and no two smiles are the same! Let’s look at some factors that Dr. Desai will consider when creating your treatment plan and what you can expect from the orthodontic process!
The Issues We’re Treating
Every smile is unique, but there are some generalizations we can make regarding expected treatment times. For instance, complex cases are more likely to require comprehensive care. That means the treatment time will be longer than someone with a relatively healthy bite with minor issues. In other words, teeth that are severely misaligned will often require more time to correct than problems with mild crowding or spacing.
How Your Body Responds to Treatment
Even with similar cases, no two patients will have the same response to orthodontic treatment. Things like bone density, gum tissue thickness, and chewing patterns vary from person to person, and oral habits like clenching or grinding the teeth impact how the treatment progresses.
These differences are why it’s important to work with an experienced orthodontist! Dr. Desai takes a personalized approach to every case and builds custom treatment plans based on the patient’s specific needs and goals. This gives you the best results in the shortest amount of time!
Patient Compliance During Treatment
Dr. Desai handles the hard work of straightening your teeth with braces or clear aligners, but you also have a role in the success of your treatment. Complying with the guidelines is key to completing treatment within the estimated time frame! Keeping your teeth and gums healthy throughout the treatment process is part of this—maintaining a solid oral hygiene routine and following our recommendations can sometimes decrease the total treatment time, while failing to do so can slow treatment down.
The same goes for keeping your regular follow-up visits to our Hamden office. These appointments are an essential part of the treatment plan, allowing us to assess how your teeth are moving and make any necessary adjustments. While we understand that you may need to cancel or reschedule an appointment from time to time, you should stick to the schedule as closely as possible to ensure your treatment plan stays on track.
Failing to care for your braces or aligners can push your treatment schedule back. This is more of an issue with braces, although clear aligners can break and crack, too. You can do your part by avoiding crunchy or sticky foods if you’re in braces, as these can weaken the bond strength of the brackets.
Although we don’t consider it an emergency if a bracket breaks or comes loose, we will want to rebond it as soon as possible. No active tooth movement can occur when a bracket isn’t correctly bonded to the teeth, which can add time to the treatment process. Be sure to contact our office if you experience any damage to your appliance.
Your Age During Treatment
People can get weird when you ask how old they are, but it is relevant here! Many patients are surprised to learn that age can affect how long treatment takes. Our expert team can successfully move teeth at almost any age, but it’s sometimes easier treating children and teens. That’s because they’re still growing and have pliable bones that are not yet fully developed. This can make the treatment process faster and more effective. It also gives Dr. Desai more control over the bite correction.
Our jawbones stop growing by our early twenties, and orthodontic treatment after that point may require more time and effort. That doesn’t mean you should give up on improving your smile if you’re an adult, though! We still have plenty of treatment options available to straighten your teeth and boost your oral health. You’re never too old to explore everything orthodontics has to offer!
Good Things Come to Those Who Wait
Whatever treatment method you choose, it’s important to remember that treatment won’t last forever. It might feel like it sometimes when you’re an orthodontic patient, but eventually, treatment will be complete, and you’ll say hello to your beautiful new smile!
Elm Tree Orthodontics offers a range of affordable treatment options to move your teeth comfortably, efficiently, and as quickly as possible. You may not have an exact date for treatment to be completed going into your orthodontic journey, but we’ll give you an estimated time before you begin.
As noted above, this will vary depending on the patient and the specific issues we’re treating. In general, however, the average treatment time for braces tends to be anywhere from 6-24 months. If you’re using a clear aligner system like Invisalign, it may take slightly less time to achieve your desired results.
Get the Smile You Deserve with Elm Tree Orthodontics
Your treatment may last slightly longer or shorter than our given estimate, but there’s one thing you can always count on: personalized care and exceptional results from our expert team! Patience is indeed a virtue in the treatment process, but why put off a straighter smile any longer? Click here to schedule a FREE consultation in Hamden!