Orthodontic braces are not a one-size-fits-all solution. Why is that, you might wonder? Well, there is a really simple answer to that. Each person’s teeth and gums are unique, making orthodontic treatment and treatment times different for each person.
Nowadays, adult patients are curious to know how long their treatment will take as much as teenagers. And the answer is: “it varies.” Every case is different, and treatment could take several months to a few years.
In general, orthodontic braces treatment can take a little longer for adults than teenagers and children. Quicker teeth straightening results are possible when we treat children and teenagers because their jaws are still in the growing phase, and teeth are still moving, making it easier to shift into the desired position. Adult teeth have been in position longer and take more work to shift into place.
There are primarily four factors that impact the treatment time for patients –
- The complexity of the case
- Type of braces used
The severity of teeth misalignment and type of orthodontic issues being treated are the main factors that impact treatment times, not just the patient’s age. Age usually only plays a minor role.
Results usually fluctuate from person to person to patient and often depend on many factors such as misalignment severity, bone density, and the patient’s age. A person will usually start to see changes within four to six weeks. Within a few months, your friends and family will also start to observe that your braces are beginning to be sufficient.
Each time you get your braces adjusted or switch to a new Invisalign tray, your teeth will be straighter. It can take a few months to over a year for the braces process to be completed, depending on how misaligned your teeth were initially. However, as time goes by, you will experience and enjoy straighter and straighter teeth.
As orthodontic braces can hinder your regular eating habits and may cause additional stress, knowing when you will remove your braces can help make the treatment easier and give you a goal to look forward to. An orthodontist will always give you an estimated time duration for your treatment. They will explain the process step by step and will inform you of the expected time duration for which you will have braces.
Usually, most patients will start to see major changes in the appearance of their teeth within the first six months of braces treatment. This is because the first goal after the placement of the brackets is to remove the crowding of the teeth or tight spaces, depending on the initial situation. After that, the changes aren’t as visible or noticeable as they are predominantly bite-related.
Although it is difficult to foretell when you are likely to be able to have your adult braces removed, there are a few factors that can help you have them removed sooner:
Your age might influence your treatment. As an adult, your treatment will typically take longer as your bones are already set in place, and you will need more force to push your teeth into the right position.
Another thing that can seriously slow down treatment is a patient who does not follow the instructions given by the orthodontist, such as maintaining good dental hygiene, which is fundamental to any treatment. Some treatments require patients to be more hands-on than others. At Whites Dental, we try to give clear instructions to our patients so they know exactly what they have to do to ensure their treatment success
Your teeth may look like they have been straightened, but your bite might not yet be. This is one of the main factors determining whether or not you will have to continue to wear your braces.
Depending on how severe your case is, including the orthodontic issues being fixed, the issues identified at the start of treatment can contribute to a longer treatment duration. Your treatment may go on for longer than expected if the problems are not easily corrected and more complex than initially spotted. Such orthodontic treatments will naturally take longer than a patient who requires less complex corrections.
In some cases, the patient’s teeth are simply not responding to treatment as quickly as was originally planned, and therefore the braces may have to be left on for longer than was first expected.
During the treatment, it is possible that the orthodontist may find additional issues that need to be corrected, which the patient is then informed about.
If your teeth are not straight enough for you or not aligned enough for your orthodontist, a few additional times (usually a few months) may be required before your braces are removed.
It is quite difficult to generally say how long an orthodontic treatment can take as it depends on the severity of the malocclusion or dental problems that the patient suffers from. Overall, orthodontic treatment through braces can take anywhere between 6 months to 30 months.
It is important to note that you should only get your braces off when you and your orthodontist are completely satisfied with the position of your teeth, as getting your braces removed too early may result in unwanted or undesirable results.