How long does orthodontic treatment take?
“Doctor, when am I getting my braces off?” At Coburg Dental Group Orthodontics, this is a very common question. Orthodontic treatment can be quite difficult for the patient to manage. There are a number of delicious foods which can’t be eaten whilst wearing braces such as hard crusty bread, sweets, and sticky foods. Adjustment appointments when the wires of the braces are adjusted or changed, may make your mouth feel uncomfortable. There is an increased risk of tooth decay and gum inflammation also. Other people simply don’t like the appearance of the braces. So it’s understandable that many patients can’t wait for orthodontic treatment to be over, and to start wearing their retainers already. But determining the length of orthodontic treatment is not an exact science, as there are many factors that can influence it. Fundamental to the decision to take off braces (we call this debanding) is that we want to achieve the best possible result and the final stage of orthodontic treatment, which involve very small amounts of tooth movement, can take several months
Average length of orthodontic treatment
At Orthodontics Campbellfield and Coburg Dental Group Orthodontics, we estimate that the average length of orthodontic treatment is around 24 months, with a range of 6 months to 4 years. This includes a wide range of orthodontic treatment types, for all people 18-60 years of age, and there is a lot of variation. For example a severely crowded mouth will take a lot longer to treat than a patient with mild issues. Clear aligner treatment such as Invisalign takes longer than traditional metal braces.
Recently, a new marketing campaign, called FastBraces was introduced in to Australia. This concept just straightens the upper front teeth in just 6 months, and leaves all the remaining teeth crowded or in a compromised position. At Orthodontics Campbellfield and Coburg Dental Group Orthodontics we do not usually recommend this treatment for our patients.
The two variables which have the most significant effect on lengthening treatment time are the number of missed appointments and the number of issues with each orthodontic appliance. Every time you miss an activation or adjustment session, you are delaying your finalization, and if there are problems with the device, it needs to be fixed before you can continue with the treatment. Other factors that can influence the treatment time include the type of braces which are used, the number of required tooth extractions if any, the distance between the canine teeth, facial and jaw skeleton type, the density of the jaw bone and the age, sex and severity of malocclusions.
Your treatment plan
At your treatment planning consultation we will endeavour to give you the most accurate estimate of your orthodontic treatment time. However, this can only be an estimate. We can assure you that any treatment time extension will not result in additional fees being charged.
Any surgical or invasive procedure carries risks. Before proceeding, you should seek a second opinion from an appropriately qualified health practitioner.