Technology has dramatically affected many aspects of daily life. Many tasks take less time. Advances in technology have allowed six- to ten-week intervals between orthodontic appointments that fit even the busiest of schedules. It’s all about the materials used in today’s orthodontic treatment.
For those using aligners, your orthodontist will provide a few at a time, with each worn for one to two weeks before moving to the next one.
For those with braces, consider today’s wires. It’s the wires that actually move teeth (brackets serve as “handles” to hold wires). Wires apply constant pressure to guide teeth into their desired positions. Back in the day, wires stretched out after a couple of weeks. To keep treatment progressing, patients needed to see the orthodontist to tighten the wires. Fast forward to today’s cutting edge wires. They are engineered to apply gentle pressure over a longer period of time. That translates into fewer trips to the orthodontist. Your orthodontist may use custom braces or custom bent wires that also can reduce the number of visits to the office. Keep in mind the fact that your orthodontist is planning for your treatment to happen in the most efficient and effective manner possible.
But in-person visits are still needed. Even the most carefully planned treatments need to be monitored to ensure that treatment stays on course. Periodic visits let your orthodontist keep an eye on tooth movement and personally evaluate the health of the teeth and gums. In between visits, should you have a problem – if a wire is out of place, a bracket comes loose, or if you misplace an aligner – contact your orthodontist to make them aware of the problem and ask about next step. Treatment can come to a standstill if your braces or aligners are unable to do their jobs.
Our goal is to help you complete treatment on time and with the healthy, beautiful smile you want. It’s a worthwhile team effort – and whether it’s for your child or for yourself, it’s one that will take less time away from your busy life than you might have guessed!
The American Association of Orthodontists (AAO) is open exclusively to orthodontists – only orthodontists are admitted for membership. The only doctors who can call themselves “orthodontists” have graduated from dental school and then successfully completed the additional two-to-three years of education in an accredited orthodontic residency program.