Some of those who need orthodontic treatment are put off by the treatment duration. Others think that their treatment duration will be as long as a friend's or colleague's lasted. Well, the fact is that there is no definitive number of days that orthodontic treatment must take. It all depends on the facts at hand, which include the following:
Although anyone can benefit from orthodontic treatment, younger patients are more likely to enjoy faster treatments than their older counterparts. This is because their bones are still a little malleable, they are still growing and they have high metabolic rates. All these factors combine to help teeth move fast in young orthodontic patients.
Your teeth's spacing also determines how fast your orthodontic treatment goes. Seriously overcrowded teeth will take a longer time to move because they have less wiggle room and probably have considerable movement to make for treatment to be considered complete. Those with slightly crowded teeth finish their treatment early.
Some dental habits affect teeth movement and increase orthodontic treatment time. A classic example is that of bruxism, which is defined as habitual teeth clenching and grinding. Bruxism affects your teeth's movement because it causes undesirable movements of the braces; the braces need to stay "locked" in their positions to effect the desired movement of the teeth.
During your orthodontic treatment, your dentist will also give you instructions on how to take care of the braces and your teeth during the treatment period. For example, the dentist may stress the need for maintaining good oral hygiene, avoiding DIY orthodontic adjustment, and wearing your brackets as directed. How well you comply with these instructions will also determine the speed of your orthodontic treatment.
Type of Braces
There are different types of braces with different treatment speeds. For example, traditional metal braces that most people consider ugly are some of the fastest working braces. Therefore, you need to discuss with your orthodontist the different options available, and their average speed of treatment, if you want a fast treatment process.
Lastly, the medications you are taking, if any, may also affect how fast your orthodontic treatment concludes. For example, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such may decrease your teeth's movement and lengthen the treatment period. Therefore, you should discuss all the medications you are taking with your dentist to understand their possible effects.
As you can see, treatment duration is decided on a case-by-case basis. In fact, the duration of your treatment may even be changed, slightly, during the course of the treatment. What is important is that you follow your orthodontic's treatment to the letter.