It’s natural to want to achieve that winning smile as quickly as possible. And the good news is, orthodontic treatments are far more efficient and effective than in years gone by, shaving months of the time it previously took to achieve a picture-perfect smile that lasts a lifetime.
That said, orthodontic treatment is still a process that takes time and can’t be rushed. Here’s an insight into why.
A slow and gentle shift
From the moment you are born, a smile begins to take shape, with a host of factors affecting how straight your teeth will look and how well aligned your bite will be.
From genetics to habits and dental trauma, these factors all combine to see your teeth fall into their natural position, and they do so over time.
That means even the smile your orthodontist assesses when you are 7, 14 or 20 has taken years to develop, and likewise, correcting it also takes time.
The aim of orthodontics is not to swiftly force teeth into a desired position, but to gently guide them into place, encouraging them to move of their own accord with the help of a little gentle pressure.
This gentle maneuvering ensures minimal discomfort and allows the jaw to naturally alter and support the teeth as they move and remain in position.
Straighten, then align
Whether you elect braces or Invisalign clear aligners, the stages of creating the perfect smile are similar. First the teeth are moved into their desired position and then the bite is corrected.
This first stage, known as the initial alignment, is often pretty quick leading many to mistakenly believe the hard work has already been done.
While the initial alignment may achieve noticeable results that have you champing at the bit to have your braces removed early, in reality it’s just stage one of a multi-stage affair. And there’s a lot going on beyond the results you can see.
Behind the scenes there are major changes in the periodontal structures of your jaw that hold your teeth. Bone on one side of a tooth is being broken down (resorption), while additional bone mass is being created on the other side (deposition).
Once this initial stage is complete, it is followed by the lengthier period of correcting any bite issues and maintaining the teeth position.
The big deal of a good bite
Yes, orthodontic treatment is about achieving an aesthetically appealing smile, but it’s also about cold, hard functionality. And much of what an orthodontist looks to achieve is about correcting a bite and aligning a jaw.
They focus on this in the knowledge a correctly aligned bite improves everything from speech to dental hygiene, breathing, general wellbeing, and in some cases even sleep.
The upshot is, while the look of your smile may be greatly improved by the initial alignment, the long-term benefits of the second stage bite correction and jaw alignment should not be underestimated.
In many ways it’s this very correction that will allow your attractive smile to stand the test of time.
Time to settle in
Just like breaking a general habit, your teeth need time to get used to their new position. And orthodontic relapse is one of the greatest risks of rushing the treatment process.
Your orthodontist needs to ensure that process of resorption and deposition has had sufficient time to take effect.
In many cases ensuring this also involves the use of a retainer after braces or Invisalign treatment has been completed.
A retainer does just what its name suggests – it retains the position of teeth and maintains your newly-aligned bite.
Speeding up the process
We appreciate many people are in a hurry to see the results of orthodontic treatment. That’s why Norwest Orthodontics features state-of-the art technology to achieve that winning smile as swiftly and effortlessly as possible.
Our services include:
Renowned as the Rolls Royce of the braces world, the Damon system uses self-ligating brackets that allow a custom-fitted archwire to slide and guide the teeth into position.
According to studies, Damon patients are treated in an average of 7.2 months less time than those treated with conventional braces.
The same studies also show the amount of time required for levelling and aligning with conventional braces was 6.0 months, versus just 3.2 months for Damon, a difference of 46.7 per cent.
Invisalign uses a series of custom-fitted, clear, removeable aligners that are upgraded at intervals to move teeth into the desired position. That means no wires, no brackets and no adjustments.
Better yet, it means your orthodontic appliance can be removed for special occasions. So, if the reasoning behind your orthodontic rush is a special event, this might be just the right solution to ensure you can enjoy a braces-free celebration, without jeopardising your long-term smile.
The Australian Society of Orthodontists recommends children should first visit an orthodontist at around the age of seven, and yes, in the long run this can help speed up orthodontic treatment.
This early assessment allows any potential issues to be flagged and in some cases these can be addressed.
Potential problems that may benefit from early intervention include a narrow bite, or bite misalignment.
Treating them early allows an orthodontist to create the space required for additional adult teeth or fix a misaligned bite long before someone reaches their formative years.
Early intervention may not rule out the need for braces later, but it is likely to make the process less invasive, reduce the need for teeth extractions, and even shorten the subsequent treatment timeframe.
About Norwest Orthodontics
Norwest Orthodontics specialises in helping you achieve a great smile, no matter your age. We feature a range of orthodontic treatments that span from early intervention right through to remedial adult work.
We also have a suite of treatments available that include discrete, removeable Invisalign braces, and welcome the opportunity to work with you to achieve the smile you’ve always dreamed of.