How long will it take to complete orthodontic treatment?
“Braces always take at least a year and a half to two years to move teeth. I have absolutely no desire to look like a metal mouthed geek for that period of time.”
While that’s not exactly what patients have said to me it certainly carries the essential truth that most adults have little interest in looking like they are trying to regain adolescence.
What these patients are usually asking me is a combination of: “can you straighten my teeth in a short period and do it in a way that allows me to avoid as much of the indignity that traditional braces can cause?”
The answer is yes and yes.
Traditional braces used on angst ridden adolescence are not the option that most adults are looking for. They usually do require eighteen months to two years worth of treatment and can be unsightly.
We have traditionally used two methods for our adult patients when it comes to straightening adult teeth. The first is short term orthodontics (STO) the other is clear aligned or similar care (Invisalign, Clear Correct or other types of aligner therapy).
Using these methods the average adult orthodontic treatment is somewhere between six and nine months.
Lest you think that we should just wait until everyone is an adult to move teeth, since it seems to be done quicker, it isn’t truly the case.
You see the goals of adult treatment are different from the treatment of children.
With a child we want to idealize their bite and the cosmetics. With an adult, on the other hand, we are usually just dealing with cosmetics. Sure we don’t want to go around and mess up the bite of adults. However, we also acknowledge the fact that these same adults have been using these teeth as they are for most of their lives. Sometimes you just are better off leaving well enough alone.
Besides, these people really aren’t interested in or worried about their bite. They are concerned about their smile. Fewer things to treat. Less time needed.Back to Invisalign Page