Many teenagers and adults alike, who need to wear orthodontic braces, wonder if the process of getting the braces will hurt. Many will not ask the question out of fear of hearing the answer they may not like. However, “fortune favors the brave”. As the quote implies, the one who will definitely know the answer behind that question is the one who bravely sits in the dental chair to discover that the process is quite comfortable.
First Step: A No charge initial consultation
During the first consultation appointment, you will have a chance to meet with the orthodontic team and the orthodontic team will meet you. Medical, dental and orthodontic history is taken. An initial evaluation of orthodontic needs will be made. An estimate for the second step is provided – including a list of the type of records that are required.
Second Step: Records and Work up
There is a records appointment. All necessary orthodontic records are taken. These may include some or all of the following but are not limited to: full orthodontic examination, orthodontic x-rays, models of teeth, photographs, measurements etc.
Third Step: Orthodontic analysis and Treatment Plan
This is when the dentist sits down to analyse the records, write down the diagnosis, and formulates the treatment plan.
The orthodontic treatment plan is presented to the parents/patient. As much details as possible of the treatment and treatment time is provided.
Fourth Step: Process of Cementing and Bracketing
This is a well mapped and plotted out process which is termed bracket cementation and /or appliance cementation process. The dentist treating orthodontic dental and jaw conditions has already mapped the treatment plan on his study teeth “models” so as to establish the exact position for bracketing. This very precise first step for bracket and/or appliance placement will go a long way towards determining how successful the treatment will be.
Fifth Step: Process of Placing Orthodontic Wire
It takes at least 2 hours for the cementation process and for the placement of orthodontic wire. This is a non-invasive procedure and that normally poses little if any discomfort during the application of cement to the surface of your teeth, placement of the bracket, and curing of the cement. Even the wire placement, which is done to align your teeth to their correct positions, is normally a painless task. Initially a light wire is used to help activate your gums, teeth, and jawbone for the gentle pressure that will be required for movement of gums, teeth and/or jaw bone.
This gentle pressure is often described by patients as they feel their teeth move. With today’s advanced orthodontic technology, the focus is on lessening the inflammation that is caused by dental movement, hence lessening also the oral discomfort.
Sixth Step: Coping with Minor Discomforts
Minor discomforts typically occur during the first week of having the braces. It can be caused by the brackets hitting the inside layer of your cheeks, as well as the lips, leaving these parts tender for the first few days. To help lessen this discomfort, a small amount of orthodontic wax, which you can get from your orthodontic dentist, will help lessen the tenderness.
Having orthodontic braces will be an adventurous and fascinating time. Talk with your dentist regarding any concerns that you may have and follow any special instructions that they provide for you to follow.
Seventh Step: Removal of Braces and Retainers
Once the teeth and jaws are in the right position, it will be time to remove the braces. To maintain the teeth and jaws in the right positions, bone has to form around the new position of teeth and jaws. This may take from months to years. You will be provided with permanent or removable retainers to wear during this process.
Congratulations! Now you are done.