If you have crooked, misaligned teeth that bother you and cause poor oral hygiene, orthodontic procedures such as dental braces and dental aligners are available as solutions. These dental appliances help straighten your teeth, allowing you to smile confidently so you can show off your radiant pearly whites. Here, we will tackle your expectations with dental braces before and after the procedure.
Dental braces before and after the procedure: The initial consultation
The initial consultation with your orthodontist is one of the most critical parts of your teeth alignment journey. This visit is where the dentist or orthodontist you have chosen asks questions about your overall general health, assesses your dental cavity, takes pictures of your teeth and face, makes an impression or mould, as well as requests for panoramic radiographs of your mouth and head. The results of these tests and images will determine the overall condition of your dental health. These results will then be the basis for your dentist to decide on which orthodontic treatment would best address your dental issue.
Dental braces before and after the procedure: The types
If you and your dentist agree that dental braces are the best option for you, you will then decide which type of braces you would want to have – metal, ceramic, or lingual.
Metal braces are the traditional braces used and continue to be the gold standard of orthodontic procedures. These use metal brackets that are glued on the front surface of the teeth connected by a metal wire that adjusts and moves the teeth to their correct position.
Ceramic braces are like metal braces but use a different material for its gears. The difference between metal and ceramic braces is the colour. Ceramic braces are clear or off-white, addressing one of the most common complaints metal braces gets by being too noticeable.
Lingual braces, on the other hand, are metal braces that are attached to the back surface of the teeth, hiding it from the public. It may solve the metal braces’ complaint of being too ‘out there,’ but it poses more discomfort due to the nicks and cuts the gears make to the tongue and the insides of the cheeks.
Dental braces before and after: The procedure
The step-by-step procedure of putting on the braces depends on how complicated your malocclusion or teeth misalignment is. Basically, your teeth should be scaled and cleaned in preparation for the procedure. The tiny metal brackets are glued either in the front or at the back of the teeth. Metal bands are cemented or fixed in the molars, and an archwire connects the brackets and bands together. During your routine follow-up, the dentist adjusts the archwire to move and reposition your teeth to straighten them gradually. He may also use rubber bands to aid in the alignment of the upper and lower jaw.
Dental braces before and after: The expectations
Here are some of the reported expectations while on braces:
The estimated length of treatment. Approximately 2 to 3 years are needed to complete this orthodontic treatment. Prolonging or shortening the treatment process can affect the health of the teeth. Hastening to finish the procedure faster can shock or damage the tooth roots and cause the death of a tooth. Prolonging the process, on the other hand, can cause problems with the dental hygiene of the patient as limited access to the teeth is available.
Pain or discomfort. Patients wearing braces can expect a bit of pain or discomfort during the first few weeks of the treatment. It may gradually subside as the mouth, tongue, and other surrounding tissues adjust and get used to the gears attached to the teeth.
Speech difficulty. Because the tongue may have nicks and cuts from the metal appliances of the braces, it may affect the patient’s ability to speak and enunciate his words. The tongue may also gradually adjust to the space that the braces took up so normal speech may return slowly but surely.
Hygiene issues. Since metal gears are attached to the teeth, it may be difficult to clean them. Flossing is essential to make sure that no food particles get stuck up in between the teeth causing dental cavities and gum disease. Thorough oral hygiene and regular visits to the dentist for the biannual dental cleaning are essential to maintaining the overall dental health.