For some people, it’s a special occasion looming like a wedding or a Prom night. For others, it’s just that their brace treatment has become a bit of a drag.
Now and again some of our patients at Cleveland Orthodontics ask for an “early finish” to their brace treatment. So when is it okay to call it a day? And when is it best to keep on keeping it on?
What’s taking so long anyhow?
For many of our patients, it’s only the front teeth that they want fixing. With modern fixed “train track “ braces, the front teeth get straightened quite quickly… sometimes within the first few months.
So why can some treatments last up to 18 months (or sometimes even longer)?
This is usually because your orthodontist is trying to correct the position of ALL of the teeth, not just the front ones.
For example, teeth need to be biting together correctly at the sides, all gaps need to be closed and teeth need to be positioned at the correct angulation.
None of these issues may be noticeable ( or of concern) to our patients… but they are important to get right so that the end result is as good as possible.
Also some teeth are a lot more difficult to correct than others! So if you started off with extremely crooked teeth, your treatment will probably take longer than someone with relatively minor problems.
Other reasons for long treatment times are repeated brace breakages or multiple missed appointments.
Why it might be best to keep going
If you are caring for your brace well and keeping your mouth healthy, it may be a good idea to try to get to the end of your treatment if possible.The better the result we can get, the greater chance there is that your teeth will look nicer and will stay straighter in the long term.
If you are having lots of breakages or having problems with your brace hygiene, we will support you as much as we can. At Cleveland Orthodontics we have a dedicated Brace Care Room so that we can advise our patients if they run into problems. We want all of our patients to finish their treatment to the end… so we will help to get on top of any problems as soon as possible.
Patients who opt for early brace removal sometimes come back lmonths or years later wanting the braces re-fitted. This can be done, but if you are an NHS patient, you would have to pay a fee if you wanted to re-start the treatment.
When stopping treatment may be the right answer
For whatever reason, very long brace treatments are not a good idea as the teeth can become damaged, especially if braces are not regularly checked.
If this is the case, your orthodontist can advise whether it would be best to accept an improvement in your teeth rather than a “perfect result”.
If you are experiencing multiple brace breakages or missing lots of appointments, it may also be better to stop treatment.
All of our patients who opt for an early finish to their treatment are given a set of retainers to wear so that the improvements that we have achieved can be maintained.
What should I do if I am thinking about stopping my treatment?
The best approach is to let the orthodontic team know prior to your next appointment, by telephoning the practice or via email if preferred.
Your orthodontist will then be able to review your clinical records before your appointment and can then give you the best advice on how to proceed.
About Cleveland Orthodontics
Our specialist-led practice has been established since 1996 and provides brace treatment to people of all ages from across the North East, including Middlesbrough, Yarm, Stockton-on-Tees, Billingham and Redcar.
We offer NHS orthodontic treatment for children and a range of modern white and “invisible” braces for adults of all ages such as Invisalign. FREE consultations are available… you can either telephone for an appointment on 01642 243 020 or book through our website.