What to Expect When Getting Orthodontics Treatments

What to Expect When Getting Orthodontics Treatments from FitSmiles Orthodontics in Tustin, CAOrthodontics is a field of dentistry that improves the function and appearance of the teeth and/or jaws. In most cases, orthodontics uses gentle, constant pressure to reposition the teeth and the structures that support said teeth.

If you are thinking about improving your smile with orthodontic treatment, keep reading. This guide is an overview of the orthodontics process, from start to finish.

A brief explainer on orthodontics

Dentists almost always recommend orthodontic treatment to patients who have malocclusions (bad bites). Depending on the type and severity of the patient’s condition, a dentist will recommend one or more of the following:

  • Braces, which reposition the teeth with precise, gentle, and constant pressure
  • Rubber bands and power chains, which complement the action of braces
  • Clear aligners, which are custom transparent teeth trays that work like braces
  • Retainers, which are worn after braces or aligners have realigned the teeth and prevent the teeth from shifting back to their old, undesirable positions
  • Face masks and orthodontic headgear, which guide the growth of the upper or lower jaws, reshaping them in the process
  • Palatal expanders, which reshape and encourage the growth of the upper jaw
  • Orthotic surgery, which can correct a jaw injury or malformation
  • Targeted anchorage devices, which are small, temporary dental implants that apply targeted pressure on individual teeth

The last two treatments on this list are surgical procedures. Dentists will only recommend oral surgery when more conservative options are not suitable.

A patient with a severe malocclusion may need a treatment plan that incorporates one or more treatments. For example, a dentist may recommend corrective jaw surgery to treat a jaw malformation. After the patient heals, they may get braces or a palatal expander to alter the jaw even further. Here is what to expect from orthodontic treatment.

What to expect from the process of orthodontic treatment

Orthodontics treatment plans vary from one patient to the next, but some steps in the process are common to all patients.

1. Initial consultation

At this stage, the patient tells their dentist why they want orthodontic treatment. The dentist will ask questions about the patient’s daily experiences with their malocclusion. They will also perform a visual exam of the patient’s mouth. Lastly, the dentist will go through the client’s dental records, which the patient should provide to make the most out of their initial consultation.

2. Patient evaluation

Next, the dentist will perform an in-depth exam to get a complete picture of the teeth and structures that support them. The exam may include medical imaging like X-rays and CT scans. Information from patient evaluation allows the dentist to craft a custom treatment plan.

3. Creation of the treatment plan

The dentist now identifies the ideal orthodontic treatments for their patient. They plot the progress that they anticipate seeing in their patient’s bite over time. Sometimes, the dentist will recommend procedures like tooth extraction or corrective surgery as part of a larger treatment plan. They may slot the procedure at the beginning of treatment or in the middle of it.

4. Crafting and fitting of orthodontic appliances

Once the dentist settles on a course of treatment, they will take an impression, or mold, of the patient’s teeth. The mold becomes the basis for the patient’s custom orthodontic appliance. A dental technician will use the impression to create an appliance that fits snugly over the patient’s teeth.

The dentist will then fit the finished product onto the patient’s teeth. They will instruct the patient on how to live life with an orthodontic appliance in their mouth.

5. Monitoring and adjustment of orthodontic appliances

As treatment takes effect, the dentist will chart their patient’s progress and make changes where necessary. This stage is continuous, only coming to an end once the teeth and jaws are in optimal alignment. The dentist will declare the end of orthodontic treatment once the teeth settle into their new locations with no risk of reversal.

Check out what others are saying about our dental services on Yelp: Orthodontics in Tustin, CA

Level up your smile and your oral health

Orthodontics may be the way to upgrade your smile and improve your oral health. Get in touch with us to find out how your life could be improved with top-notch care from our dentist. Their vast experience in orthodontics could serve you well.

Request an appointment or call FitSmiles Orthodontics at 714-782-0217 for an appointment in our Tustin office.

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