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How long does orthodontic treatment take?

Wavescape Orthodontics invisalign

One of the most common questions we get asked is, how long do I have to wear my braces or aligner? The duration of orthodontic treatment varies considerably from one patient to another.

Several factors that can impact treatment times. These include:

Severity of issues

Most often, the severity of the issues determines treatment duration. For some people with just a few teeth that need straightening, it may require a couple of months’ worth of treatment.

But for others needing extensive teeth movement and jaw alignment, it may require a few years’ treatment.

On average, it takes about 18 to 24 months to complete orthodontic treatment.

Age of Patient

Age matters.

When we are younger, the bone is softer, and our metabolism and bone turnover is quicker. This makes tooth movement faster.

Growth also contributes to fixing bites. Jaw growth can be manipulated and redirected while the patient is still growing.

Treatment is, therefore, generally faster and more efficient in young teenagers than in adults.

Patient Commitment

Compliance with the orthodontist’s instructions can have an impact on treatment times.

Your orthodontist will provide instructions on how best to look after braces, such as foods to avoid. Eating hard and sticky food can break the braces. Breakages cause teeth not to move where we want them to or move back to where they started.

Correct usage of elastics or plates that are removable is also essential in changing the bite and getting the teeth to fit together.

Following the orthodontist directions for brushing and flossing with braces is important to ensure good oral hygiene and prevent tooth and gum disease that could lead to longer treatment times.

Type of Treatment

Some types of appliances take longer to achieve results.

Traditional metal and ceramic braces can achieve results faster than clear plastic aligners (such as Invisalign) because they are glued to the teeth and work 24/7, whereas removable aligners only work for the time that they are kept in the mouth. Also, orthodontists have more flexibility to make adjustments with traditional braces than with clear aligners where the change between each fortnightly tray can only be minor.

Everyone is different

Every patient is unique, and every person’s teeth will move at different rates.

The speed at which your teeth move is dependent on how quickly your body’s bone cells can change the bone surrounding your teeth.

Orthodontists are experts in moving teeth and can advise how long treatment will likely take for your unique set of circumstances.

Book an assessment at Wavescape Orthodontics today. Wavescape is a specialist orthodontics practice in Dee Why on Sydney’s Northern Beaches. We offer a comprehensive range of orthodontic services to children, teenagers, and adults.

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