Factors That Determine Treatment Length

treatment length

Before committing to undergo orthodontic treatment it is important to know the length of time it will take for the braces to shift and move your teeth around so you can get that perfect smile you have always wanted. While only an orthodontist can give you an exact timeframe for treatment, you can get a general idea of approximately how long it will take to complete orthodontic treatment by learning about what factors orthodontists use to treatment length.

The following are the most common factors orthodontists use to determine how long you will be wearing braces.

The Alignment of Your Teeth and Bite

The alignment of your teeth is a huge factor that will determine how long you have to wear braces. If your teeth are severely misaligned and considerable changes need to be made to reach their new place, it will take longer for your treatment to be completed. Treatment is prolonged when teeth are severely misaligned because the teeth need to travel considerable distances or be rotated in order to reach their new positions.

When teeth are only slightly misaligned, treatment can be completed faster. Treatment can be completed faster because the teeth only have a very short distance to move in the mouth until your smile is perfected.

Age in Which You Seek Treatment

The older you are when you start orthodontic treatment, the longer it will take to complete treatment. Older patients have longer treatment times because the bones in their mouth and jaw have completely formed and matured. Fully formed and mature bones are slower to adapt to change. This means you have to wear braces for a longer period of time in order to see results.

Even though older patients have longer treatment times than younger patients, the difference is minor. Usually, there is only a few months difference in treatment times between older and younger patients.

The Health of Your Teeth and Gums

Failure to take care of your teeth and gums can result in a number of problems, including cavities, tooth decay, and gum inflammation, that can prolong your orthodontic treatment. If your orthodontist notices that you have developed a cavity or tartar has built up around your teeth, he or she may slow down your orthodontic treatment in order to correct and address these problems. While this might not seem too bad, it could add anywhere from three to six months on to your treatment time.

The Medicines You are Currently Taking

Not many people are aware that some medications, such as NSAIDS, estrogen, immunosuppressants, and hormone replacement medications can slow down the rate in which your teeth move. Slowing tooth movement can add considerable time to your treatment.

On the other hand, there are some medications and supplements, such as Vitamin D or certain thyroid hormones, which can actually speed up treatment times because your teeth are easier to move around.

Considering how medicine can impact treatment times, it is important that you make sure your orthodontist is fully aware of any OTC medications, prescription medications, and supplements you are taking before you start treatment. This information will help your orthodontist adjust your treatment times to accommodate any medications that may slow down or increase tooth movement.

Experiencing Any Unexpected Damage to Your Braces

An occasional broken bracket won’t dramatically impact the length of your treatment. However, if the wires of your braces break and you don’t get them adjusted in a timely manner, you could be adding an additional month to three months to your treatment time.

To avoid damage to your braces adding additional treatment time to your timeline, call your orthodontist immediately if any problems occur. Your orthodontist can determine if you need an emergency appointment to readjust the wires.

Schedule a Consultation to See How Long You Will Wear Braces

The best way to determine how long orthodontic treatment will take for you is to call Valderrama Orthodontics and schedule a consultation. During your complimentary consultation, our orthodontist Dr. Natalia Valderrama will conduct an examination and take diagnostic x-rays. Once your exam and x-rays are completed, our orthodontist will discuss treatment options and provide you with an estimate on how long treatment will last. Call us today @ 321-4250-5050 to schedule a complimentary consultation!