Not everyone is born with straight teeth. Many people have crooked teeth that can cause many issues for their oral health which then affects their overall health. Orthodontic treatment works to align teeth to ensure proper function of teeth and create healthy smiles.
Straightening your teeth is more than aesthetic, it improves your overall oral health. Improperly aligned teeth are harder to clean and can cause tooth decay and many other painful dental disorders – leading to extensive and expensive dental procedures. In addition, misaligned teeth can make it harder to chew – leading to headaches, shoulder and back pain, and even temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorders.
Orthodontic treatment aligns your teeth to form a better bite decreasing the risk of future, and potentially costly dental problems.
How Does Orthodontic Treatment Work?
Orthodontic treatment involves a variety of appliances used to create changes in jaw bones, facial bones, and soft tissue while teeth are moved into their new positions. During an orthodontic consultation, you will meet with an orthodontist to have a thorough examination of your teeth and mouth. They review your dental records – x-rays, photos, and models of your teeth. From here your orthodontist will advise you on which approach is right for you and work to develop a custom treatment plan.
Orthodontic Treatment Options
Orthodontic treatment is for everyone and works to correct teeth and jaws that are positioned improperly. There are a variety of fixed and removeable appliances that an orthodontist may recommend for treatment. Depending on how severe your situation, your orthodontist may require traditional metal, clear, or Invisalign® braces for your treatment, as well as additional removable appliances.
- Metal Braces: Made from a high-grade stainless steel, these braces provide the highest-quality treatment. Metal braces are the most common type of braces. They consist of bands, wires, and brackets that are adhered to your teeth. Historically they’ve been considered unattractive, but now they are smaller, more comfortable and attractive.
- Ceramic (clear) Braces: This form of braces includes bands, wires, and brackets. Although like metal, ceramic braces are made from a clear, ceramic material – allowing a more discreet option.
- Invisalign®: Unlike metal and ceramic braces, Invisalign® is a removable aligner. Rather than wires and brackets, Invisalign® utilizes a clear material that fits over your teeth. Although this is the most discreet option, it is only available to those with specific orthodontic bite problems.
How Do I Know if I Need Braces?
Several problems could lead to orthodontic treatment. An overbite, underbite, crossbite, or open bite may be a culprit to needing treatment. In addition, a misplaced midline, spacing, or crowding could also be cause for treatment.
- Overbite – your upper front teeth stick out over your lower teeth
- Underbite – your lower teeth are too far forward, and your upper teeth are too far back
- Crossbite – when your mouth is closed, the upper teeth sit behind the lower teeth
- Open Bite – a vertical gap exists between your front lower and upper teeth when biting down
- Misplaced Midline – center of your upper and lower teeth doesn’t line up
- Spacing – random gaps or spaces between teeth causing your teeth to not completely fill up your mouth
- Crowding – when the dental ridge in your mouth doesn’t have enough room for all your teeth
With the use of diagnostic tools such as clinical exams, plastic models of your teeth, and x-rays an orthodontist will be able to correctly determine which treatment is right for you.
How Long Will I Need to Wear Braces?
Treatment time varies depending on each patient’s specific diagnosis and treatment plan. In general, most patient’s treatment times range from 12 to 24 months. For those with problems that are harder to correct or adults, treatment may take up to three years. If problems are less severe or you’re a good candidate for clear aligners, such as Invisalign®, treatment may take as little as 6 to 12 months.
How Much Does Orthodontic Treatment Cost?
Cost of treatment is dependent on several variables. Types of braces, age of patient, type of orthodontic issue being corrected, and length of treatment are just some of the variables that could contribute to your final cost of treatment. For instance, traditional metal braces tend to be less expensive than clear braces or aligners. While cost is dependent on various factors, the average cost of orthodontic treatment for children can vary between $2,000-7,000. For adult braces or aligners, the cost can range anywhere from $3,000-8,000. These are estimated costs. The exact cost will depend on your needs, the factors mentioned above, and any dental insurance you may have to cover orthodontic treatment.
When teeth are properly aligned it’s easier to practice good oral hygiene such as brushing and flossing. In addition, orthodontic treatment will help give you the freedom to smile without holding back! If you’re experiencing any of the above problems, schedule a free orthodontic screening and consultation (Nevada location only) with Roseman Dental & Orthodontics. We’re dedicated to increasing your confidence and helping you maintain good oral health.