A General Dentist Explains How Long Different Teeth Straightening Options Take
Dentists have long used teeth straightening techniques to improve patients’ oral health. These tactics also have effective cosmetic results. People with crooked teeth and misalignment problems can once again feel good about their appearance. If you are not happy with your teeth, your dentist can suggest a few different ways to help. Different approaches have various timelines.
The problems with crooked teeth
It is not uncommon to find youth and adults alike who have crooked teeth. Some patients primarily see this as an aesthetically unattractive issue. Having crooked teeth can ruin a good smile and even be embarrassing for the person. However, without straight teeth, there are health effects too.
When teeth grow in at odd angles, it is more difficult to properly brush and floss. This leads to tooth decay and gum disease. Untreated, the patient could eventually suffer tooth loss and bone loss. Infections could also occur and spread throughout the body.
At one time, traditional metal braces were about the only choice a person had when it came to teeth straightening. This has been an effective treatment for decades. Braces consist of metal wires and brackets, along with elastic bands. The braces put pressure on the teeth, moving them over time into the desired location.
Patients come in for appointments with the dentist every four to six weeks while wearing braces. The dentist will check the progress and make necessary adjustments. Timelines vary, but most people will wear braces for two to three years. A person’s diligence in keeping appointments and following the dentist’s directions will affect the treatment time.
In recent years, this has become a popular teeth straightening treatment. Aligners resemble a mouthguard or teeth-whitening tray. They are clear, made of plastic, and fit over the person’s teeth. Unlike braces, patients will get a new aligner at each appointment. The aligners are also removable, as patients should take them out at mealtime and to clean them.
Aligners do not irritate the mouth as braces can. They are also virtually invisible, which is one reason people prefer them over metal braces. Also, treatment times are usually shorter. Patients may start to see results within a few months. Most people end up wearing aligners for about a year to 18 months.
Crowns and veneers
These are other teeth straightening options to think about. Though it would require a bigger financial commitment to put a crown or veneer on every tooth, this could make sense if only a couple of teeth were crooked. The crown or veneer would cover a misaligned tooth and restore its natural appearance. Getting a crown or veneer takes about an hour. With proper care, they can last up to 15 years.
Take care of teeth straightening today
You can stop living with embarrassment because of crooked teeth. Talk to your dentist today about these methods. Together, you can decide which one is right. Each has a different treatment length, but all have benefits. Enjoy your smile again with the help of braces, aligners, crowns, or veneers.
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