Stratemann & Stratemann Orthodontics
The first stage is the diagnostic stage, in which the orthodontist identifies the nature of the patient’s orthodontic and dental condition. For most cases, the orthodontist will need to analyze x-ray images of the jaws and teeth, make measurements of dental casts, and visualize the dentofacial condition using digital photography. With this information, the orthodontist can determine what steps and what orthodontic appliances will be necessary to correct the condition. Some cases will require working in conjunction with a patient’s family dentist or other dental specialists to treat specific conditions.
Orthodontic treatment typically consists of three main stages.
The second stage is active orthodontic treatment, in which orthodontic appliances are used to move the teeth into a more ideal position. Orthodontic appliances may be as simple as clear aligners, such as Invisalign, retainers with active springs to move teeth, or brackets and wires placed on the teeth. The orthodontist will work with these appliances for several months. Typical treatment times may range from 12-30 months, but may differ due to the wide range of orthodontic conditions that may be encountered. Patient compliance with appointment attendance, prescribed elastics and appliances, and care in keeping the orthodontic appliances intact may also have significant positive or negative effects on treatment time.
The last stage of orthodontic treatment is retention. Following completion of orthodontic treatment, it is necessary to use a plastic or wire retainer to hold the teeth in place. The teeth have moved through the bone of the jaws, and it takes time for the bone to harden and mature following tooth movement. Retainers hold the teeth in place while the bone remineralizes similar to the way a cast holds the bones in a broken arm in place while they mend. The gradual transition from braces to retainers helps to keep great, lasting results from orthodontic treatment.
Everyone Deserves Straight Teeth and a Beautiful Smile