The Length of an Orthodontic Treatment

Many patients find that they are still in braces long after the scheduled removal, and wonder why this has to take so long? The realities of orthodontic treatment are such that there are countless factors that can influence the length and duration of the process, and can make the orthodontic treatment longer or shorter. Here are some reasons why you may still be in braces, even though your orthodontic treatment should have ended a while ago.

Biological reasons

Medical science is not an exact science the way that physics or chemistry is. People are not atoms or molecules that all have the same qualities and properties; we are each an individual, a complex set of organs and nerves, and we are all put together slightly differently. What is usually a 6 month long treatment may be 7 months with one patient, and only 4 with another one.

Faults of the dentist

Sometimes certain faults of the dentist or of the particular device or some parts of it (like the brackets or the archwire) can set back your orthodontic treatment’s time, which is a nightmare for patients. If the brackets or the wire just do not exert enough force, or if the dentist does not tighten them the right way, the desired effects will not be reached, and it will take longer to reach them. You may even need to redo certain parts of the treatment, or have another orthodontic treatment done to redeem the effects of the previous, faulty alignment.

Damage or trauma

Sometimes accidents happen. You may have been playing sports, or not paid attention, or have been assaulted, or just have had an accident occur, and may have damaged your device or your teeth. If your wire comes out, brackets come off, your tooth becomes damaged etc., you will need to go to the dentist and have the device readjusted so that it can continue to have the same effect as before.

Patient participation

The single most important aspect of the success of your treatment, and the most important factor for determining your treatment time is none other than patient participation. If you do not show up to an activation session, you will have set your orthodontic treatment back for weeks or even months. If you do not follow the guidelines set by your dentist, you are risking damage or just increasing the length of time you spend in dental braces.

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