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Factors that Affect Orthodontic Treatment Time

By December 12, 2018February 22nd, 2019Blog

How long do braces take? How long does Invisalign take? These are some of the first questions we usually get from our patients at Davis Orthodontics. The answer is, the time someone spends in braces or Invisalign varies from patient to patient. When you come in for a free consultation with Dr. Buddy, we’ll take diagnostic records and he will perform an exam. He can use the findings to determine exactly how long it will take for you to get your dream smile. In the meantime, to give you a better understanding, these are the factors that affect orthodontic treatment time:

  • The Severity of Your Case ­– The severity of your case is the biggest determinant of orthodontic treatment time. How long with braces or Invisalign will really depend on exactly what we’re fixing and how significant your orthodontic issues are. A case of mild spacing will be a relatively quick fix, while an issue like severe crowding will take longer since we need to create space and then shift the teeth into place. When skeletal issues are part of the problem, like in the case of an underbite or a large overbite, then we are not only aligning the teeth, we also have to direct jaw growth and fix how the upper and lower teeth meet together, which is what we call your bite. Sometimes, in these cases, two phases of treatment are necessary. In two-phase treatment, we use appliances while a patient still has baby teeth to guide the jaw, followed by a resting period and then topped off with a final round of Invisalign Teen or braces. Obviously, two-phase treatment will be lengthier than standard braces or Invisalign.
  • Your Age –Age is another factor that determines how long with braces or how long with Invisalign. Since kids and teens are still growing and developing, Dr. Buddy can work with their high metabolisms and growth spurts to move the teeth extremely efficiently. Kids’ bones also happen to be more malleable and easier to manipulate, meaning bone remodeling, a process that allows the teeth to move, can occur at a more rapid pace. So, orthodontic treatment time can be a bit less for younger patients. However, that’s not to say that just because you are an adult, you will be in braces or Invisalign for an extremely long period of time. The materials and engineering behind today’s treatments are pretty phenomenal and we’re able to move teeth more quickly than ever before. You’ll see great results at any age.
  • Compliance – Orthodontic treatment time also depends heavily on patient compliance. When you are straightening your teeth, you’ll be an active participant in the process. Coming to all of your appointments, wearing things like rubber bands as directed, staying away from foods that can damage your brackets or wires and using a mouthguard when playing sports are all essential to keeping your braces treatment on track. Appliance breakage can set you back and if you don’t come in for adjustments or wear your appliances like you’re supposed to, your teeth won’t get the necessary force to move into their proper places. If you are one of our Simpsonville or Greer Invisalign patients, compliance is equally, if not more important. Why? Since your aligners are not bonded to your teeth, it is entirely up to you to make sure they’re in your mouth for the prescribed amount of time. Avoiding losing your aligners, wearing them for about 22 hours per day and changing them as directed will ensure you finish treatment according to schedule.
  • Oral Hygiene – Maintaining good oral hygiene throughout treatment is tied to compliance but we gave it its own point because it’s so important. Teeth move most effectively in a healthy oral environment. Additionally, developing gum disease or cavities during your orthodontic treatment can mean more appointments. In extreme cases, you could have to have your braces taken off while your dental needs are addressed and then put back on later, really drawing out your orthodontic treatment time.
  • Your Orthodontist – The doctor and practice you choose will play a role in how long braces and Invisalign take. Choosing an experienced, certified specialist in orthodontics like Dr. Buddy will go a long way in ensuring you get the best possible results in the least amount of time. At Davis Orthodontics, we use the most advanced treatment options that apply the ideal amount of force over a prescribed period of time, which helps move the teeth more comfortably and a whole lot faster. With high-tech breakthroughs like our iTero scanner, treatment planning is also extremely precise and that’s important for maximum efficiency.

Now that you’re familiar with the factors that affect orthodontic treatment time, if you’re ready to find out how we can transform your smile with braces or Invisalign in Simpsonville or Greer, SC, book a free consultation at Davis Orthodontics today!