Most people who are about to begin their orthodontic journey have similar concerns. That’s why we hear one question more often than any other here at Moffett & Walley Orthodontics: “how long will my treatment take?” Every patient is anxious to skip to the good part and see their brand new smile! We’re excited to get you there, too, but there’s no “one size fits all” answer to this question. That’s because many factors go into determining how long a person will need to be in braces or clear aligners. Let’s look at some of them to help you better understand what to expect from the orthodontic process!
What issues are we treating?
Every smile is unique, but there are some generalizations we can make when it comes to expected treatment times. For instance, complex cases are more likely to require comprehensive care. That means the treatment time is likely to be longer than someone who has a relatively healthy bite with only minor issues. In other words, teeth that are severely displaced will often require more time to correct than problems with mild crowding or spacing, as will a bite that is seriously misaligned.
How is your body responding to treatment?
Even with similar cases, no two patients will have an identical response to the treatment process. Things like bone density, gum tissue thickness, and chewing patterns can vary widely from person to person. Oral habits such as clenching or grinding the teeth can also impact how treatment progresses. This is why it’s important to work with an experienced orthodontist! Dr. Moffett takes a personalized approach to every case, building custom treatment plans based on the patient’s specific needs and goals. This will help give you the best results in the shortest amount of time possible!
Are you compliant during the treatment process?
Our doctors will handle the hard work of straightening your teeth with braces or clear aligners, but you also have a role in how successful your treatment is. Complying with the guidelines we give you is a key factor in completing treatment within the estimated time frame! Keeping your teeth and gums healthy throughout the treatment process is part of this—maintaining a solid oral hygiene routine and following our recommendations can sometimes decrease the total treatment time while failing to do so can slow treatment down.
The same goes for keeping your regular follow-up visits to our Clinton or Madison offices. These appointments are an essential part of the treatment plan, allowing us to assess how your teeth are moving and make any necessary adjustments. While we understand that you may need to cancel or reschedule an appointment from time to time, you should stick to the schedule as closely as possible to ensure your treatment plan stays on track.
Treating your braces or aligners recklessly can also push your treatment schedule back. This is more of an issue with braces, although clear aligners can break and crack, too. You can do your part by avoiding any crunchy or sticky foods if you’re in braces, as these can weaken the bond strength of the brackets. Although we don’t consider it an emergency if a bracket breaks or comes loose, we will want to rebond it as soon as possible. No active tooth movement can occur when a bracket isn’t properly bonded to the teeth, which can add time to the treatment process. Be sure to contact our office if you experience any damage to your appliance.
How old will you be during the treatment process?
People can get weird when you ask how old they are, but it really is relevant here! Many patients are surprised to learn that age can play a part in how long treatment takes. Our expert team can successfully move teeth at almost any age, but it’s sometimes easier treating children and teens. That’s because they’re still growing and have pliable bones that are not yet fully developed. This can make the treatment process faster and more effective. It also allows Dr. Moffett and Dr. Walley more control over the bite correction.
Our jawbones stop growing by our early twenties, and orthodontic treatment after that point may require more time and effort. That doesn’t mean you should give up on improving your smile if you’re an adult, though! We still have plenty of treatment options available to straighten your teeth and boost your oral health. You’re never too old to explore everything orthodontics has to offer!
Good things come to those who wait
Whatever treatment method you choose, it’s important to remember that nothing lasts forever. It might feel like it sometimes when you’re an orthodontic patient, but eventually, treatment will be complete and you’ll be saying hello to your beautiful new smile!
Moffett & Walley Orthodontics offers a range of affordable treatment options to move your teeth comfortably, efficiently, and as quickly as possible. You may not have an exact date for treatment to be completed going into your orthodontic journey, but we’ll give you an estimated time before you begin.
As noted above, this will vary depending on the patient and the specific issues we’re treating. In general, however, the average treatment time for braces tends to be anywhere from 12-36 months. If you’re using a clear aligner system like Invisalign, it may take slightly less time to achieve your desired results.
Get the smile you’ve always wanted with Moffett & Walley Orthodontics
Your treatment may last slightly longer or shorter than our given estimate, but there’s one thing you can always count on for sure—personalized care and exceptional results from our expert team! It’s true that patience is a virtue when it comes to the treatment process, but why put off a straighter smile any longer? Click here to schedule a FREE consultation!