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Getting orthodontic braces for the correction of your smile is probably the most common elective procedure in all of dentistry. These are the most common questions that patients have prior to treatment.

Orthodontic treatment has been around for quite a long while now, in pretty much its current form, however there have never been more people seeking orthodontic treatment than now. The reasons for this are manifold and include a generation that is much more aware and conscious of their appearance, as well as an increase in awareness about the various treatment options available.

There are a lot of questions that a patient will have as they consider orthodontic treatment. Here are some of them answered for you.

Is Getting Braces Painful?

This is almost always the first question that a patient will ask before getting treatment done and the answer to that is an emphatic no. Even someone with an extremely low threshold of pain will not have any pain whatsoever while getting braces put.

The process of bonding the braces to the teeth does not involve any grinding or cutting or even the use of any sort of anesthesia. The process involves application of an etchant solution followed by a bonding agent which allows the braces to attach strongly to the surface of the teeth.

This entire procedure takes somewhere between 30 and 45 minutes.

How Long Does The Treatment Last And What Is The Best Age To Get The Treatment Done?

The exact duration of the treatment is difficult to estimate however a reasonable estimate can probably be given by an experienced Orthodontist. The process of moving the teeth through the bone to the desired position is notoriously slow. The forces that are applied to the teeth cannot be increased beyond a certain point without harming the surrounding bone and causing necrosis.

The age at which the treatment is done also has an impact on the treatment time. It is seen on average that as the age of the patient increases, the treatment time increases as well. The ideal age to get the treatment done is during the early teenage years. This is when the entire permanent dentition has erupted and the bone characteristics are most favorable.

It tends to take between a year and 18 months for the treatment to be completed. For complicated cases, like those that have a surgical component to them or the uncovering and movement of impacted teeth this time period can go up significantly.

How Frequent Are The Dentist appointments?

After the initial appointments during which consultations, preorthodontic treatment and the actual placement of the orthodontic braces will be done, the frequency of appointments drops and usually stabilizes to once every month.

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That equates to around 12 to 15 exploratory  and maintenance visits during the entire duration of the treatment. During each of these appointments the orthodontist will adjust the forces acting on your teeth by adjusting the braces, changing the wires or adding certain other appliances as needed. None of these routine appointments should be painful to the patient or require any sort of anesthesia. After the appointment however patients experience soreness and pain for a couple of days. This is a natural reaction of the body in response to the changed nature of the forces. The pain, if it occurs at all, is very mild in nature and can be easily managed by the use of over the counter pain medication.

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