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Seattle Office
(206) 225-2882
Everett Office
(425) 337-2400

Frequently Asked Questions About Comprehensive Orthodontic Treatment

braces orthodonticComprehensive orthodontic treatment refers to the traditional braces treatment that many people have gone through once all of their permanent teeth have erupted. Orthodontic treatment can be used for many different cases, whether it’s an under bite, overbite, or general misalignment of teeth structure. Although the treatment is quite popular, we can’t deny the fact that it’s quite a bit of a significant commitment to a certain lifestyle, and that’s why many people are hesitant to have them put on. With that said, here are the FAQs about comprehensive orthodontic treatment:

How long is the orthodontic treatment?

  • Most of the time, orthodontic treatment will last around 2 to 2 and a half years from start to finish, but the length can vary depending on the severity of the case. For patients with significant jaw alignment or bite issues, it may take an entire extra year for the treatment to be complete. It will also depend on how well you take care of the orthodontic equipment and watch your eating habits. If you follow the dentist’s orders strictly, treatment duration will be reduced significantly.

Do I need to have teeth removed?

  • Although tooth removal is not always necessary, in certain cases, it must be done before the orthodontic treatment can take place. A wisdom tooth can often be the cause of a misaligned bite, as it can push your teeth structure out of alignment. If this is the case, your wisdom tooth may have to be removed before the dentist can install braces in your mouth.
    Can I still have braces if I have missing teeth?

The short answer is yes, and it’s recommended that you consult with your dentist if you have recently lost a tooth. Each tooth rests against the ones adjacent to it, and that pressure is what locks the teeth structure in place. When there’s a tooth missing, the entire structure can collapse due to the imbalance. Your dentist may need to use orthodontic treatment to spread the teeth out so that there’s enough space for tooth replacement.

Will it involve any surgery?

  • In most cases, you don’t need to have a surgery to receive orthodontic treatment. Operations are necessary only in some outlier cases where the teeth structure is highly out of alignment or if there’s a fully submerged wisdom tooth, as mentioned.

How often will I need to see the dentist?

  • If there’s no particular issue with your braces, the dentist may require you to come back for a check-up every eight weeks to make sure that the treatment is going as expected. If the wires come loose, or if a bracket is broken, you will have to book an urgent appointment.

Will the treatment hurt?

  • Pain levels will depend on the severity of the case, but there’s no orthodontic treatment option that’s not at least mildly invasive to your life. At the very least, you will feel a sense of pressure on your teeth, but during the first months, the treatment can be quite painful. It’s not uncommon for patients to lose weight in their first few months of the treatment. If the pain is unbearable, you can take over-the-counter painkillers such as Tylenol and Advil to deal with the pain.

Can I play sports while I have braces?

  • To prevent damage to your braces, dentists may suggest that you wear a protective mouth guard when playing any contact sports. You can buy them at any sports shop, and they come in a variety of color and styles.

Will I be able to play instruments normally?

  • The braces may change how you position your lips and mouths, but it won’t prevent you from playing any instrument. Again, you can opt to use a mouth guard if that’s more comfortable for you.

What happens when my braces come off?

  • Braces usually come off at least once for most patients, and that is to be expected. Most of the time, it will happen when you’re chewing hard foods, brushing your teeth, or playing sports. The first thing you will have to do when this happens is to call your dentist and pay them a visit as soon as possible. The ends of the wire can point out towards your cheek, poking the soft tissue on the inside of your mouth and causing irritation and even bleeding. If this is the case, you may want to wear a mouth guard to feel more comfortable. Nowadays, we have Invisalign treatment that can hold your teeth in place without having to involve any metal wires. This type of orthodontic treatment is more expensive, but it’s less invasive and more convenient. Plus, it’s almost invisible, which means that adults can wear them to work without having to worry about not looking professional.
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