Orthodontics can solve problems related to malaligned teeth, temporal mandibular joint disorders and airway issues. It can also be a minimally invasive smile enhancement to position the teeth in a pleasing position. In interdisciplinary dentistry, it is often used to correct tooth position and gum levels as an initial phase to set up the teeth for the next phase of treatment. Teeth often shift as they wear or if adjacent teeth are lost and orthodontics can be utilized to return the teeth to their original position to make space for dental implants or teeth, that once restored, have a pleasing height to width proportion.
How long will my orthodontic tooth movement take?
Every patient is different depending on the difference between where they start and their desired outcome. Certain movements, such as rotational and bodily transitions often take longer than tipping and intruding. Very complex cases can sometimes take up to two years while most cases are around six to nine months. We would encourage you to not focus on the quick fix, but an amazing outcome we can all be proud of.
There are always alternatives to orthodontics depending on the outcome you want to achieve. For example, if you have worn teeth and they have erupted to maintain contact with the opposing teeth and as a result, show too much gum tissue, those teeth could be repositioned with orthodontics or surgically by removing gum and bone tissue. There are pros and cons to each plan and should be discussed thoroughly so you can make an informed decision.
There are patients whose tooth movement is so complex, they would ideally be treated with brackets and wires. However, anyone can go the clear aligner route, they would just have to accept that their outcome may not be what it could be. It may be possible to correct everything they desire on their front teeth, but not a bite issue in the back of their mouth. All of this would be discussed in detail so you can make the best choice for you. Clear aligners and the material they are made from have come a long way in recent years and we can get amazing results in shorter time.
If teeth are properly aligned before having restorations such as veneers or crowns, it allows less tooth to be removed preserving more healthy tooth structure ensuring long term success. Also, it provides the added benefit of spacing the teeth properly and aligning the gum tissue for ideal height to width ratios and proper tooth display when talking and smiling. There are also instances where bite alignment issues need to be corrected to ensure long term success.