Orthodontics is a specialist branch of dentistry concerned with the realignment of the teeth and jaws to improve the appearance and function of the teeth and face. An attractive smile is a vital asset to personal self-confidence.
When should treatment begin?
The majority of orthodontic treatment occurs when most of the adult teeth are present; usually 12-14 years. Sometimes, early treatment is indicated in the mixed dentition.
It is never too late to consider orthodontic treatment. Although adult faces are no longer growing and certain treatments cannot be achieved by braces alone, adult treatments are perfectly feasible in most instances.
Active treatment usually takes between 18 months to 2 years although it varies with the clinical complexity and patient cooperation.
Most case require fixed applicances (“train tracks”). However, frequently a combination with other braces is required, such as removable braces, functional appliances, headgear or elastics.
After the removal of the active braces, it will be necessary to wear retainers to allow the teeth to settle in their new positions.
Success depends directly on patient cooperation. Failure to follow instructions to wear the various components of the braces or to look after the braces will lead to prolonged treatment, a less than ideal result, or a combination of the two.