“How long will my treatment take?” is probably the most common question we hear
from patients. From the day you begin treatment, we know you are counting down the
days that remain until you have your perfect smile. There are many factors that contribute
to the length of treatment including the complexity of your treatment, your age, and your
commitment to following the right steps towards your orthodontic treatment. Remember, if you put in the time now, your beautiful, healthy smile will last you a lifetime!
Because every patient who comes through our door is unique, there isn’t a universal treatment time. From their hair to their shoes, no two patients are identical; this goes for their smile too! We may not be able to give you a definitive answer to how long your treatment will take without a complimentary consultation, but we can look at average estimated treatment times and give you a better idea of how long your treatment may take. Let’s take a look at some of the factors that affect the length of treatment!
On average, braces tend to be worn between one and three years. In some cases, braces will need to stay in place for a longer period of time than might be originally anticipated, and the reverse can be true as well – there will be patients who end up completing treatment before their original estimated date. While there are some factors you don’t have any control over, there might be a few things that you can do to help complete your treatment on time, or even early.
How much spacing and how far off your bite is play a role in the length of your treatment time. The more comprehensive the treatment is, the longer the treatment time needed. Someone with mild crowding and a healthy bite may have a relatively short treatment time, while someone with severely displaced teeth and/or a significant bite discrepancy may have a longer time in treatment.
Your age also plays a factor in the length of your treatment time. Dr. Larrabee recommends children at the age of 7 be seen by an orthodontist for an initial evaluation. Most children this young are not ready for orthodontic treatment, but this allows us to get baseline records and monitor them for the coming years so we can pinpoint the exact time to start treatment and minimize treatment time. Young jaws are still growing and this allows Dr. Larrabee more control over correcting the bite.
A patient’s willingness to comply with treatment can have the largest effect on Dr. Larrabee’s ability to complete treatment within the time frame estimated at the start of treatment. While Dr. Larrabee does the work of placing the brackets and wires, or prescribing the Invisalign movements, the patient has the important job of maintaining their appliance. It is very important for our patients to follow Dr. Larabee’s instructions on oral hygiene. This means brushing and flossing properly, wearing rubber bands as prescribed, and keeping all scheduled appointments. When you begin your treatment at Advanced Orthodontics, we will provide you with a brush kit full of all the tools you’ll need to keep your teeth healthy! If the level of oral hygiene declines in a patient, treatment may be slowed or even stopped while any damage is mended. Being mindful about caring for your teeth could actually cut some time off how long you’ll need to be in braces!
This seems like a no-brainer, but breaking your orthodontic appliance can push back treatment time as well. Sometimes accidents do happen. A loose/broken bracket is not an emergency, but we do want to get it rebonded as soon as works with your schedule. Without a bracket being properly bonded to your teeth, there is no active tooth movement occurring. The best way to prevent breakage is by following the proper braces diet. Anything hard, sticky, or chewy can weaken the bond strength of your brackets.
If treatment time is a concern of yours when considering orthodontic treatment, Dr. Larrabee has the perfect solution for you! At Advanced Orthodontics, we have the latest in accelerated tooth movement technology. Our high-tech bracket system utilizes self-ligating braces. These brackets maximize the efficiency of the bracket and wire movements, without the old-school color ties. This allows for optimal movement, minimized discomfort, and adjustment appointments are often spaced every 8-10 weeks apart. Another option we have at Advanced Orthodontics is a device called Acceledent. Acceledent is the 1st FDA approved device to speed treatment time by up to 50%. The device is used for 20 minutes per day and delivers precisely calibrated vibrations to help speed the rate in which your teeth can move.
If you’re in the Mesa, Gilbert, Chandler or even Queen Creek areas and would like more information about braces, Invisalign or treatment times, get in touch with us today to schedule your complimentary consultation. Our Advanced Orthodontic families drive from all over the East Valley to see Dr. Larrabee, as he was voted “Best Orthodontist” in AZ Foothills Magazine several years in a row, and awarded “Top Doc” by his colleagues.
During this first appointment, you’ll be able to meet Dr. Larrabee and our entire Advanced Orthodontics team, as well as tour our award winning office, discuss treatment options, and review our affordable payment plans. We’re proud to offer a unique orthodontic environment, with special and personal touches, like fresh baked cookies, a rewards program, and a photo booth for our patients to take fun photos. Our team loves greeting all of our patients, current or new, and we work hard to provide the kind of personalized service that orthodontic patients need. If you have any additional questions about treatment time for braces or Invisalign, we are more than willing to help answer them! Give us a call and let’s get you or your child started on the journey towards an amazing Advanced Orthodontics smile.