Whether you’re just about to start orthodontic treatment, you just began orthodontic treatment, or you’re simply considering treatment, you may be wondering, “how long do I need braces?” Well, a beautiful smile is both science and art: proper teeth and jaw alignment united with aesthetically pleasing results.
Dr. Insoft and Dr. Hurst achieve both of these outcomes with a careful, thorough analysis of any dental and facial problems. One of our experienced orthodontists will perform a complete orthodontic exam (at no cost) to determine the best treatment route, and design a personalized treatment plan that addresses each patient’s needs. Your age and the severity of your condition will help us determine how long your treatment plan will be.
So the answer is: there’s no single, standard answer as to how long a patient will wear braces because there is no one, standard patient. On average, treatment may take anywhere from 18 to 24 months – but your treatment plan can be months shorter or longer depending on your unique case.
How is treatment time calculated?
Your expected treatment time will be based on a number of factors, including your specific condition, your diligence in wearing your clear aligners (if you choose Invisalign), and your current growth & development stage (based on your age). Here are some ways that your braces treatment time is calculated:
- Based on your specific needs
Your orthodontic needs and goals will generally determine your treatment time. Some patients need only a bit of alignment, or are only aiming for smile esthetics, which can lead to a fairly short orthodontic experience. Patients who have malocclusions (misalignments), such as cross bites and open bites, will require more complex and lengthy treatment.
While we used to think of orthodontics as a teenage rite of passage, that’s certainly no longer the case! Some children will need two-phase orthodontic treatment, where early treatments before the adult teeth even come in ease the way for any necessary second stage treatment when the permanent teeth arrive years later. And some adults will want orthodontic treatment later in life, where denser bone tissue might lead to (somewhat) longer treatment.
- Based on your chosen treatment
With today’s technologies, we offer you different types of braces. Our patients can choose from advanced self-ligating braces, (metal or clear), one-of-a-kind gold braces, and Invisalign clear aligners! Aligners use clear, custom-molded trays to move the teeth into a beautiful new position with each new tray. Self-ligating braces use a passive, tie-less mechanism that clips brackets in place – instead of using rubber bands to hold the bracket to the wire. This allows for faster tooth movement and makes for a more comfortable treatment experience than traditional braces.
Depending on the orthodontic goals you want to achieve, there might be a small difference in the amount of time each treatment will take to get you to those goals. Braces may be better suited for certain cases, whereas Invisalign is best for others. At your first visit, we’ll discuss all of your treatment options and their associated treatment times!
- Based on your diligence
This is one area you can make a real difference! If you follow our instructions for using your treatment most effectively, you’ll make progress as quickly as possible. If you choose Invisalign, be sure to wear them for as long as directed each day. It’s important that you wear your aligners for at least 20 to 22 hours a day to see results.
If you have braces with rubber band appliances that attach to brackets on your upper and lower teeth, wear them for as many hours as your orthodontist advises. These little bands are actually the tools that are moving your teeth into alignment! If you don’t wear your braces or aligners as directed, you won’t experience the results you’re looking for – and your treatment time will be a lot longer than initially expected.
Still have questions about braces treatment times?
Please don’t hesitate to reach out to us with any questions! Our orthodontists are some of the most experienced in the area. We’re here to guide you and your child through your treatment process, from your very first visit, to your last appointment.