Orthodontic treatment involves movement / alignment of teeth into a desired position using braces (wires) and brackets (clips).
During this procedure the Orthodontist moves teeth from their original position to the ideal / desired position to give you a beautiful smile. It consists of 2 phases : Active treatment and Passive retainers.
Active treatment is the phase in which teeth are moved into their new position. Time duration for this phase may range between 10 months to 24 months depending on extent of malalignment. Conventional fixed brackets and braces or modern removable aligners are used to accomplish the required alignment of teeth.
Passive retainers are post the active movement in which the teeth are retained in their new position. In this phase removable appliance is worn by the patient during the night time or as advised by the Orthodontist for a period of 6 to 18 months.
This is the most important part of the Orthodontic treatment. Failure to comply with this phase results in failure of the treatment.
Treatment duration will be dependent on the extent of crowding / spacing between your teeth. It will be decided by the Orthodontist once he checks your teeth clinically. Time duration may range between 10 months to 24 months for active treatment, post which you will be asked to wear retainers for 6 to 18 months.
Appointment will be once a month till completion of your active treatment (10 months to 24 months). First 2-3 appointments will be for fixing the brackets and braces onto your teeth and subsequent appointments will be for follow up visits. Once your treatment is completed and you start with the retainers, a general check up once every 3 to 6 months can be planned.
In case you are a frequent traveler and are unable to visit your dentist every month, you can opt for self-ligating braces, which are self adjusting and requires you to visit once in 2 months. There are other options available such as clear braces where your visits can be further reduced.
If you are facing gaps between your teeth then generally tooth removal is not required. If your teeth are overlapping each other or are too forwardly placed or placed completely out of alignment, depending on the extent, your dentist will be able to decide about tooth removal at the time of consultation. The dentist may ask for some X-rays which will help him see your jaw and teeth relations and help him plan the procedure better.
The treatment as such is not painful. When the braces and brackets are first fixed onto your teeth, it may be little discomforting as there will be a foreign material fixed in your mouth. You may take 3-5 days to get used to the fixed brackets and braces. During your subsequent visits when the adjustments of the wires will be done, you may experience some temporary discomfort (feeling of tightness) on the first day.
If you are aesthetically conscious, you can opt for lingual braces (placed behind you teeth) or clear aligners (clear invisible braces).
Brackets and wires come in lot of varieties, staring from basic stainless steel to high end ceramics. Aligners which are completely invisible are also available. The cost may range from Rs. 25,000 to Rs. 2,50,000 depending on the type of material you chose.
IMPORTANCE AND MAINTENANCE OF ORTHODONTIC TREATMENT
Correct alignment of teeth not only makes them cosmetically pleasing but also assures easy maintenance and proper oral hygiene and hence no cavities.
• REGULAR PROPHYLAXIS / CLEANING TEETH
• USING CORRECT ORTHODONTIC BRUSHES
• USING INTERDENTAL BRUSHES AND MOUTHWASHES
POST ORTHODONTIC TREATMENT CARE
RETAINERS: A very important phase of Orthodontic treatment post completion of active tooth movement. Usually lasts for 6 to 18 months.
REGULAR PROPHYLAXIS: After a round of laser cleaning, maintenance becomes an important aspect and can be achieved with regular rounds of cleaning and polishing every 6 months.
In patients with high frenal attachment (tissue connecting upper lip to the gums), Orthodontic relapse (failure) is frequently observed. To prevent this Orthodontic failure, frenectomy may be advised post the treatment completion. This procedure aids in retention of achieved results and does not allow any unwanted forces to change the new achieved tooth position.