Questions To Ask Your Dentist About Teeth Straightening [Orthodontic Options]

Orthodontic New City, NY

Individuals suffering from crooked teeth or a misaligned bite may be curious about their orthodontic treatment options. In some instances, a crooked smile is merely a cosmetic issue, but there are situations that can lead to serious malocclusion. In these cases, an improper bite formation can lead to tension and pain in the jaw. Regardless of the severity, many people are still interested in teeth straightening to improve their appearance and quality of life. It is important to gather information from a dentist concerning the individual situation before moving forward with a treatment plan.

Pretreatment questions and options

When undergoing orthodontic evaluation by a dentist, the patient should first inquire as to whether or not teeth straightening is necessary to maintain a proper and healthy bite. This can help individuals and families who are unsure about the investment make a decision based on necessity rather than aesthetics alone. In some situations, a person may be comfortable leaving their smile as is if it will not have a negative impact on the overall structure of the jaw. It is also helpful to ask at what age treatment should begin. In general, this does not take place until all baby teeth have been lost. However, there are some instances where jaw alignment, which helps improve tooth alignment, should begin promptly.  

Braces or aligners?

Once it has been determined that the patient wishes to go forward with orthodontic treatment, it is beneficial to discuss viable methods. In some cases, patients may be a good candidate for clear aligner trays, which are less noticeable and often less expensive than traditional braces. However, some people with severe cases of poor alignment may require braces to reshape the smile. Next, patients should ask if any type of preliminary procedure is required before beginning orthodontic treatment. Sometimes lingering baby teeth need to be pulled or wisdom teeth should be removed before starting with braces or aligner trays. In addition, some teeth may need to be reshaped to create necessary space and prevent overcrowding in the mouth. 

Questions about the actual process and follow-up

In order to have realistic expectations, patients should discuss the anticipated length of treatment with a dentist. It is important to remember that this is only an estimation and unforeseen situations could add extra time to the original plan. In most cases, clear aligner treatment lasts between six months and a year, while traditional braces are worn for 16 to 24 months on average.

On top of this, most individuals will need to wear a retainer for several years to prevent regression, although this is ultimately required only at night. In addition to these traditional orthodontic methods, the individual should ask if any supplemental devices or procedures are anticipated. In some more severe cases, headgear, palatal expanders or jaw-growth devices may need to be worn for a short period during orthodontic treatment.

Conclusion

There are many important factors to consider before beginning orthodontic treatment. Individuals who wish to correct a crooked smile should discuss all possible options with a dentist in order to have clear expectations about any upcoming treatment. With proper care, perseverance and persistent follow-up maintenance, most individuals are able to achieve a straighter, healthier smile.

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