Posted on August 18, 2021
When orthodontic treatment is needed, it can be a little overwhelming to figure out what you should do. The orthodontist will talk with you about your orthodontic needs and the options available to help correct the problem, but many questions may remain unanswered. Here are some questions you can ask at the orthodontist office so that you’ll feel more comfortable with your orthodontic decision-making process.
Your orthodontist will be able to tell you what procedures are available and which ones would give you the smile that you desire. They will advise you on orthodontic options based upon your problem (if any), your dental health, your budget, and the time involved in completing orthodontic treatment. For example, traditional orthodontics typically involves wire or brackets bonded to the teeth with elastic ligatures while Invisalign does not require add-ons.
Choosing orthodontic treatment is a big decision. The average orthodontic treatment cost may vary depending on the orthodontist, your dental insurance (if any), and which orthodontic option you choose. If payment is completely out of pocket, ask your orthodontist to estimate how much each procedure will cost. Many orthodontists provide payment plans to make orthodontics more affordable for patients who need treatment but can’t pay it all at once. In fact, many people have found that they can save money by choosing to pay their orthodontist in installments rather than all at once.
The orthodontist will give you an estimate of how long orthodontic treatments will take. For example, traditional orthodontics may require as little as 18 months for braces, while Invisalign clear aligners generally take about one year to complete treatment.
Your orthodontist will examine your teeth to determine what orthodontic problems you may have. For example, overbites are corrected by installing a metal wire bonded to the front of each tooth with brackets attached. The orthodontist uses this wire as an “anchor” for soft rubber bands called elastics, which gently pull the upper jaw back into place so that it is in alignment with the lower jaw. Some orthodontists use some combination of orthodontic treatments even if they only need one specific procedure done, such as Invisalign or normal braces treatment.
The orthodontist office will let you know how long orthodontic treatment appointments will take. In general, sessions require several hours per appointment because orthodontists must examine teeth thoroughly and apply elastics to move the teeth into place before using a series of X-rays to make sure that the teeth are moving correctly. You will also need an appointment to remove braces once treatment is complete.
Eating and brushing your teeth will be virtually the same as it was before orthodontics. Orthodontics can even help you improve your oral health because it fixes problems such as a crossbite or overbite that are causing other dental problems. For example, treatments often help reduce the crowding of teeth linked to gum disease, tooth decay, and cavities. Many people find that once their orthodontic problem is fixed that they have healthier teeth and gums.
The orthodontist will recommend what type of post-treatment care you need. For example, if your treatment involves braces, your orthodontist may recommend that you wear a retainer to help keep your teeth in place.
Your orthodontist will use X-rays and other equipment to monitor how you are progressing with orthodontic treatment. The orthodontist will also examine your teeth with a mirror and a pick to check more closely to see if any wires or brackets need readjusting.
While at the orthodontist office, do not be afraid to ask questions. Knowing more about the procedure you are receiving will help you relax and allow the treatment to work well.