Orthodontics is a specialisation in the field of dentistry that requires additional training and certification. Orthodontic treatment involves correcting malocclusion, which is the misalignment of a bite or incorrect spacing between teeth. This is usually accomplished through the use of orthodontic braces or clear aligners. The cost of orthodontic treatment may vary depending on the type of materials used, the treatment plan, and even the location.
The Evaluation of Orthodontic problems
If you are a candidate needing orthodontic treatment, your dentist will likely refer you to an orthodontist to evaluate your bite. On your first orthodontic visit, your orthodontist will use different methods to further develop a customised treatment plan, including:
- Oral, facial and functional examination.
- Intraoral and facial images.
- Cephalometric X-rays.
- Impressions and models of the patient’s teeth and bite.
An orthodontist is a specially trained dentist who reviews your previous dental records, carries out a clinical assessment of the teeth alignment and bite, take X-rays of your mouth and head to prepare models of the teeth. The orthodontist then studies the impressions to design an individualised treatment plan. The results of the evaluation are analysed to create the best orthodontic treatment.
During the second visit, the orthodontist reviews the treatment that has been planned and estimates the timeline of the treatment phase. The standard treatment period is a maximum of two years. Following your orthodontic treatment, you will have to wear a retainer for at least six months.
Orthodontic treatment duration usually varies based on age, how severe the problem is, and how long the treatment will take, and how closely you follow your orthodontist’s instructions.
How age matters in orthodontic treatment
Younger patients usually respond to treatment faster than older teens or fully grown adults because the bones supporting young teeth are more mouldable than older teeth.
In some cases, the treatment time can be extended. For example, oral surgery and recovery may be needed before or during orthodontic treatment.