Many people when starting their orthodontic treatment often wonder how many visits it will take them for their treatment to be complete. However, there are few effective ways to determine how long treatment will last because it’s different for everybody. The best way to determine the length of treatment, is to consult an orthodontist recommended by your dentist! Today, Dr. Heidi Harman of H2O Orthodontics is here to give you a better understanding of orthodontics near Brookside, MO and how long your treatment can last.
Take the first step
Once you’re ready to pursue treatment, Dr. Heidi Harman will complete a new patient exam to define your needs. We usually allot about an hour for this assessment so that your orthodontist has plenty of time to evaluate you as the patient, as well as to answer all of your questions. We may need a special x-ray and photographs of your teeth to help identify which treatment option is the best for you.
Schedule a consultation
At the orthodontic consultation, your orthodontist near Brookside, MO will go over all of your dental records and show you samples of braces, Invisalign aligners, and any appliances that may be integrated into your treatment. The consultation is scheduled for 20-30 minutes. Once you’ve decided to continue with treatment, your appointment to get your braces on can usually be scheduled on the same day or within a few days of your consultation appointment. An H2O Orthodontics associate states that if you are ready to start treatment, your orthodontist will provide you with an estimated cost of treatment, a timeline for how long it will take, and options for finishing treatment. They will also take records including additional X-rays and impressions. She will also schedule a series of appointments to get you started, and can discuss options for funding your treatment.
Getting your braces
The appointment to put your braces on takes around 2 hours. One of the vastly qualified assistants will help the orthodontist with the placement of your appliances and answer any of your questions as they walk you through the entire course of treatment from beginning to end. An H2O Orthodontics assistant mentions that they first prepare the teeth for the brackets, and then your orthodontist will carefully position each bracket on each tooth. Because this is such a serious step in the process, Dr. Harman says that she invests a lot of time into the most specific details to reach the best results. On the day that your braces are placed, you can be sure that every detail has been well-thought-out, including bracket positioning, bracket prescription, bracket type, and wire selection.
Throughout your treatment, the H2O Orthodontics team will help you schedule routine checkups, which are brief appointments to adjust your brackets, answer questions, and check your progress. These meetings usually take no longer than 15-20 minutes and take place every 8-10 weeks. If you’re using Invisalign aligners, these checkups occur every 4-6 weeks, and allow your orthodontist to answer questions, check progress and get you your next set of aligners.
The Final Step
You may have been anticipating the end of your orthodontic treatment during the last few visits, and now your orthodontist says that it’s time to get your braces off. You’ll be scheduled for your next appointment, called a “Debanding”. It is important that you make preparations with your dentist earlier to have a good cleaning, check-up, and fluoride treatment succeeding the removal of your braces. Removing your braces will only take about an hour and 20 minutes and you will be pleased at how easy and comfortable the process is. At this appointment, you will be given a photo of how your teeth looked before you had braces, so you can compare how your beautiful smile looks now! Before you leave the office to show the world your gorgeous, new smile, we will need to take a final set of records. We will also make you a set of retainers to hold your teeth in their new position. Dr. Harman will decide which retainer is best for you and will recommend a practice for wearing your retainers. Most patients are advised that they should wear their retainers indeterminately in some capacity. The general rule is: “Wear your retainers for as long as you want your teeth to stay straight.”
Depending on the individual and the type of treatment selected, the time that you have your braces on will vary. However, the average treatment time is 23 months, and can be either longer or shorter. Some patients have their braces on for only six months, while other patients can have them for longer than three years. If your dentist recommends braces for you, then give Dr. Heidi Harman and her team at H2O Orthodontics near Brookside, MO a call at 913-782-7223 today for a new, beautiful smile!