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Phases Of Braces Treatment

May 19, 2020

Phases Of Braces

Braces are a type of orthodontic treatment that improves teeth and jaw functions and enhances your smile. Braces at Orthodontic Arts are suitable for teens and adults and can also help boost self-confidence. Each patient seeking to improve their bite and smile will have to go through the different phases of braces treatment. Although the phases can last for months or years, our patients believe it’s worth the while.

Why Do People Get Braces?Orthodontic Arts shows you a photo of a patient going through phases of braces treatment.

Before delving into the phases of braces treatment, it may help explain why you may need the procedure in the first place. Braces are dental appliances worn over the teeth. They include traditional metal braces to advanced orthodontic treatments such as Invisalign and lingual braces. These appliances are effective in helping to correct teeth misalignment (malocclusion) or the following bite problems:

Overbite – The upper row of teeth hangs over or not aligned with the lower row of teeth.
Underbite – The lower row of teeth extends past the upper row of teeth. The chin also sticks out.
Crossbite – A type of malocclusion (lateral misalignment of the dental arches) where some of the upper teeth close inside the dental arch of the lower teeth instead of on the outside.
Overcrowding – The teeth crowds or bunches up when there isn’t enough room on the upper or lower dental arch to fit all of them. This often happens when the size of the teeth does not correspond with the size of the jaw.
Teeth gaps: Extra spaces between two or more teeth can spoil your smile and even interfere with teeth function. Gaps usually develop due to differences in the sizes of the jaw and teeth. Loss of permanent teeth is another common cause of gaps.

What are the Phases of Braces Treatment?

Altogether, it can take between six and thirty months to complete the treatment. The length of time depends mostly on the type of malocclusion, the type of dental device used to correct your bite, and how well you care for your dental appliance during treatment. The following represents the three main phases of braces treatment you’ll need to go through:

Planning phase
Active phase
Retention phase

The Phases of Braces Treatment Explained

Our orthodontist will do a detailed oral exam, perform teeth x-rays, and take digital photographs and radiographs to evaluate the state of the teeth and jaw. This information helps to reach a diagnosis and determine if braces are right for you. If the answer is yes, the orthodontist will discuss your orthodontic goals and may show you before and after photos of past patients who received braces similar to the one we recommend to you. It may be metal braces, clear aligners, Invisalign, ceramic braces, or lingual braces.

Phase 1: The Planning PhaseA photo of Orthodontic Arts telling you about the phases of braces.

Here is a more detailed look at what goes on during the initial or planning phases of braces treatment:

Medical and dental evaluations – The goal of these evaluations is to assess the relationship between the teeth and the jaw. It’s also to identify medical or dental issues that need addressing before beginning the orthodontic treatment. For example, treating cavities or gum disease or replacing missing teeth.
Study models – You will bite down in a dental tray containing a substance that hardens around the teeth. The bite impressions left behind make a model of your teeth. Bite impressions (or study models) help determine each tooth’s position and its relation to the other teeth (how they fit together). The orthodontist will also study your bite or the relationship between the teeth and upper and lower jaws.
Panoramic X-rays – X-rays allow the orthodontist to spot problems or potential problems with the teeth, supporting bone, sinuses, and jaw joints. X-rays also reveal the exact positioning of each tooth and its tooth root, extra teeth, impacted teeth, and what angles the teeth come in from.
Computer-generated images – The bite impressions are scanned to the computer and generated 3-D images show the braces’ precise position on your teeth. The photos help the orthodontist to see how a chosen type of treatment may affect the facial shape and jaw symmetry as well as the final look of your teeth at the end of treatment.
Photographs – Before, during, and after pictures are taken of the face and teeth. The orthodontist will use them to assess how the treatment is progressing. These diagnostic records help us to customize an effective treatment plan for you before moving to the other phases of braces treatment.

Phase 2: The Active Phase

The active phase involves fitting the braces and regular post-braces check-ups. First, the lab will make custom-made trays to show the braces in their planned position. Now for the exciting part of placing the fixed or removable orthodontic appliance on your teeth. The device is a painless procedure but takes time. The orthodontist will fit the bands, brackets, and wires to the teeth if you’re getting metal, ceramics, or lingual braces. In the case of removable braces such as Invisalign, you will receive the first set of clear aligners. Each type of braces works well to move the teeth into the desired position. Fixed braces are recommended to patients with moderate to severe bite issues. However, the treatment time is longer compared to Invisalign. Regardless of the type of braces installed, you will need to see your orthodontist at regular intervals. These check-ups allow him to assess the progress and adjust the device or treatment if necessary.

Phase 3: The Retention Phase

With patience and tenacity, you’ll eventually get through the first two phases of braces treatment. Once the teeth are correctly aligned, it’s time to remove the braces. Yay! There’s usually a lot of anticipation at this stage for obvious reasons. You’ll get to see your new smile–the one you can hardly wait to show off. Although the cumbersome part of treatment is over, you still need to wear retainers daily to prevent the teeth from shifting back to their previous positions. You can remove the retainers to eat and drink. However, it would help if you remembered to put them back on and take good care of them as they can break easily.

Ready for a brand new smile? Call Orthodontic Arts today to request a consultation for braces. During your visit, your orthodontist can provide more details about the phases of braces treatment.

Orthodontic Arts, your number one Orthodontist in OKC. Our Certified Orthodontist provides the latest and greatest Orthodontic practices to our clients in the OKC and Midtown area. Orthodontic Arts is the best place for child and teen orthodontics as well as adult orthodontics. Be sure to ask about Invisalign and invisible braces! Contact us today at (405) 604-3745 or request an appointment.