Possibilities of Orthodontic Treatment with Braces

During orthodontic treatment using a braces system, it is possible to restore the position of teeth and correct malocclusion. Completely correcting a malocclusion is possible by using braces on both the upper and lower rows of teeth. It’s important to note that when braces are only applied to one row of teeth, the aesthetic result is less stable.

Duration of Orthodontic Treatment with Braces

The typical duration of orthodontic treatment with braces is approximately one and a half years, though in uncomplicated cases, treatment may be completed in one year. In cases of severe malocclusion, treatment may extend to three years or even longer. The duration of orthodontic treatment depends on several factors, such as:

– The severity of the malocclusion: More severe cases require longer treatment.

– The patient’s gender and age: Children’s teeth may move at a rate of about 1 mm per month, while adults’ teeth move more slowly. Therefore, orthodontic treatment in adults generally takes longer. Male bone density is higher and stronger, so treatment in males may take longer.

– The number of extracted teeth, the size, and the location of the remaining teeth. If restoring unevenly positioned teeth doesn’t require the extraction of permanent teeth (or teeth), the treatment usually doesn’t last long.

– The material of the braces. The duration of treatment using metal braces is shorter than when using ceramic (white) braces. This is because the metal archwire used in treatment slides more easily in the slot of metal braces, while sliding in the slot of ceramic braces involves greater frictional force, which slows down tooth movement.

– Jaw structure. The upper jaw is softer and more porous compared to the lower jaw, so orthodontic treatment of lower teeth takes longer than upper teeth.

– Overall health condition. Some general health conditions affect bone structure and may slow down tooth movement.

– Regularly used medications. For example, regularly used anti-inflammatory drugs (Ibuprofen, Vioxx, Mobic, and similar drugs) slow down tooth movement, increasing the duration of orthodontic treatment.

Risks and Side Effects of Orthodontic Treatment with Braces

Orthodontic treatment with braces carries its own risks, and some side effects may occur during the treatment process:

– If a patient does not clean their teeth adequately or at all, and braces are surrounded by plaque, white spots may develop around the braces on the enamel of the tooth (loss of mineral elements from the surrounding enamel), which later acquire a brown shade. These spots do not disappear even after subsequent polishing and spoil the aesthetic appearance of the teeth.

– Poor oral hygiene during braces treatment can lead to gum inflammation (gingivitis) and tooth decay, but with careful tooth care during braces treatment, all of these can be avoided.

– It’s important to note that during braces treatment, the tips of the roots may start to dissolve. In every patient who has completed treatment using braces, the tips of the roots are 1 mm shorter compared to the beginning of treatment. This indicates that root resorption occurs in every patient, and in isolated cases, this process can be extensive. If less than half of the root dissolves, it does not have any consequences (the tooth does not loosen or fall out). If more than half of the root dissolves, the tooth may start to loosen and eventually fall out, requiring replacement with a prosthesis. Extensive root resorption is very rare, but no one is immune to it. When a patient begins treatment using braces, they should be aware of the possible risk of root resorption and consciously accept this risk.

– The risk of root resorption exists for teeth that have been traumatized before, teeth undergoing re-braces treatment, teeth with poor-quality fillings in the root canals, and also in cases where the tooth root has a very thin and sharp tip.

– Often, in the treatment of complex abnormal bite of teeth, braces treatment may be insufficient, and after restoring the position of the teeth, surgical intervention is required, during which the jaws are shifted relative to each other. The surgery promotes a correct bite and also changes the appearance and profile of the face.

Beginning of Orthodontic Treatment

Before starting treatment with braces, all teeth need to be treated and plaque removed to ensure that all teeth and gums are perfectly healthy. The oral cavity should also be in order. After the braces are installed, the teeth may be sensitive for some time, and for several days, consuming hard food may be difficult. Therefore, in the first days after braces installation, a light diet is recommended.

If any brace interferes with or damages the oral mucosa, special brace wax is provided to cover that brace. If the archwire irritates the cheek, call your orthodontist, and they will shorten the wire. If visiting the orthodontist is difficult, your dentist can shorten the excess wire (using a bur).