One of the first questions many adults requiring orthodontics treatment have is “how long will I need to wear braces?” Although the timeframe will vary according to each patient's needs, the benefits of traditional braces make it well worth the wait. Traditional braces can transform the appearance of mild to severely misaligned teeth. For your personalized adult braces timeline, we welcome you to schedule a consultation with our Kansas City, MO dentist, Dr. John P. Goodman.
Timeline for Adult Braces
The length of time required to complete traditional braces treatment in adults varies depending on the severity of alignment issues. In general, adults require more time than children to achieve the desired results of orthodontics treatment. This is because the oral tissues become less malleable in adulthood. Some adults may achieve their desired results in as little as six months or as long as three years, however, the average adult will need to wear braces for about two or two-and-a-half years. Although the length of time braces need to be worn will vary, the basic treatment will follow a similar timeline:
- Consultation: During the initial consultation, Dr. Goodman will discuss treatment options and answer any questions you may have.
- Impressions: Next, we will take impressions of the teeth and take additional X-rays as necessary to develop a treatment plan.
- Tooth extraction: Some patients may need to have permanent teeth extracted to create room for the proper alignment of the remaining teeth.
- Spacers: About a week prior to applying the braces, spacers will be placed to prepare the teeth for the braces.
- Braces are fitted and bonded: The braces will be fitted and bonded to the teeth in about an hour-long appointment.
- Regular adjustments are made: Regular adjustments are made every four to six weeks to gently tighten the braces and realign the teeth. The length of time between adjustments, along with the number of adjustments needed, is where each patient's timeline will vary. Most patients will require regular adjustments over a period of 24 months.
- Removal of braces: Once the teeth have reached the desired alignment, the braces will be removed. In most cases, retainers will be used to help the teeth maintain their new positions.
- Check-up: A complete dental check-up will be done after the braces are removed to ensure teeth are properly aligned and healthy.
Alternative Treatment Options
Although traditional braces offer outstanding results, they are not the only teeth straightening treatment. Patients concerned with the appearance of metal braces may be interested in Invisalign® treatment, which uses discreet, clear, plastic trays to gradually adjust the alignment of the teeth. Patients concerned with the lengthy timeframe required by traditional braces may want to consider Six Month Smiles®. Six Month Smiles® treatment uses tooth-colored brackets and wires to transform the smile at an accelerated pace.
Which Treatment Is Right for You?
To find out which treatment is right for your needs, we welcome you to schedule a consultation with Dr. Goodman, today.